Treasure in My Life

Chapter 1- Emeralds of Jealousy

By Umi

June 2002

Disclaimer: Tiara, Lena, and all Shamanic Princess characters belong to Mitsuru Hongo, Atsuko Ishida, and Asami Watanabe, not me! 

Note: This is an Alternate Universe fanfic. I have altered all of the plot, relationships, and characters of Shamanic Princess to fit my story!

Also, the structure of this story is somewhat confusing, for it is not exactly in chronological order. I am writing my fic in the same structural style as in the Shamanic Princess OAV's, which start somewhere in the middle of the story and progress until the most recent chronological event. It then proceeds to go back in time to show what led up to what happened in the first OAV. The story makes a complete circle, for the story will end right where it began. Hehe, see, I told you it was confusing!

The lyrics used in this chapter are from "Jealousy" by Nanase Aikawa.

Although we were only an hour's drive away from each other, at that moment, I felt like we were a thousand miles apart.

"It was fun having lunch with him, even though it was kinda awkward because unlike when we hung out on Friday, my friend wasn't with us, so it was just me and him." My friend's voice rang cheerfully from my phone.

My heart tightened in my chest. Just you and him… I swallowed hard, and bit the bottom of my lip nervously as I softly said, "Ah, I see."

"Yea, but it was okay after a while. After lunch, he went with me to kill time in the bookstore before my next class. He did something really sweet, actually. Do you want to know what he did?"

No, I don't.

"Eh, sure."

"Well, he knows that my favorite candy is Twix, so he bought me a couple of them from the bookstore. I know that's not much, but it was just so thoughtful of him."

I could imagine her soft, pale face smiling as she sat in her room, talking to me on the phone. She seemed so pleased, so content right now… I mean, she is a sweet, cheerful person at heart, but usually she's much more reserved, much quieter. However, right now, she seems so animated and light hearted, as if her head was stuck in the clouds…

Is it because of him?

It can't be…

Tears began to form in my emerald eyes.

"That was very… nice… of Kagetsu."

Kagetsu…

Lena has been my best friend all throughout high school, ever since that first day that we met during sophomore year. I had just transferred there, and I didn't know anyone because I was a new student. Lena was respected and liked by everyone, but she didn't have any close friends that she hung out with. But, she reached out to me and tried to be my friend, for reasons I don't even know. We just hit it off so well, that within half a year, we were already the best of friends, friends who seemed like we've known each other forever, friends who don't need words to understand what the other is feeling.

We've been through rain and sunshine together, surviving horrible tests, losing friends, and having our hearts broken from guys. Even now, although we have graduated from high school, we've been keeping in close contact with one another. We call each other practically every other day, dispelling any fears I had about us drifting apart since we go to different universities.

However, this was the first time I was angry with her.

This was the first time I've felt like she betrayed me.

"I'm glad that you two had a nice time together," I said quietly.

"Me too."

Neither of us spoke for a minute or so, and the silence felt like an eternity. Well, to me it did. I don't even think that she noticed that anything was wrong… I would think that she would have by now, since I'm usually cheerful and excited when I'm talking to her, which I'm totally not right now…

She can't tell that this hurts so much… She can't see that it hurts for me to hear about her and Kagetsu… She can't see my pain…

Maybe she just thinks that I'm just stressed out by school, and nothing else…

Or maybe she just doesn't want to see it.

"Ah, Lena, I think I've got to be going, because my roommate and I have to meet the others for shopping."

"All right, it was nice talking to you, Tiara. I'll call you later!"

"It was… nice talking to you too, Lena. I'll talk to you later." With that, I hung up the phone, and flipped over so that my stomach lay on the bed. I stuffed my face into my emerald pillow and sobbed into it, my tears falling endlessly.

I shouldn't be feeling this way… I have no right to…

I don't know if anything is happening between Lena and Kagetsu. They're probably just good friends…

But… She talks about him a lot, and I mean, a lot… when we talk on the phone… She tells me about how they banter with each other, and how weird he can be, and how sometimes she's a little hurt because his teasing goes a little too far…

She talks about Leon a lot too, but not as much as she talks about Kagetsu.

How can she… Does she… like him? And… what about him?

Could he possible like her…

Like he used to love me?

My sobs became louder and more desperate, and I tried to muffle my crying into the comfort of my soft green pillow.

If there is something going on, if there are some… sparks setting off between them…

Why does it hurt so much?

It was a nice, summer day, and the dazzling sunlight lit the emerald fields with a wondrous glow. Kagetsu and I were enjoying a picnic lunch together, sitting on a jade green tablecloth on the soft grass, basking in the warmth of such a peaceful day. The park was crowded with families laughing, children playing, and couples embracing one another.

Kagestu and I were talking about the frog that we unwillingly dissected in our sophomore biology class. I was complaining about how totally disgusting it was when suddenly he smiled at me so sweetly, so genuinely, that I nearly froze.

Normally an aloof, even cold young man, Kagetsu usually remained calm, reserved, and apathetic. Yes, he had a sense of humor, if a sometimes wry one, and he knew how to have fun, but usually he never allowed his true feelings to be shown… to anyone.

But there he was, smiling at me as if I was the only other person in the park, as if I was the only person who mattered to him.

I blushed deeply, and playfully asked, "What are you smiling about Kagetsu? Is there something on my face?"

He reached his hand out to me and brushed a stray golden bang from my face. "No, there isn't."

I blinked, and didn't reply. Why is he acting so strangely? I mean, it's not like he never smiles, but… he never smiled quite like that before…

In his deep voice, Kagetsu continued, "I just wanted to gaze into the enchanting emerald sea of your eyes."

 My heart skipped a beat as I bit my lip nervously. "Thanks…" What was I supposed to say to that? I had never heard him openly compliment someone before, except as a joke. My mind raced to find some way to lighten the situation, or change the subject.

After a few moments of silence, I smiled and teased, "Didn't know that you liked green eyes so much, Kagetsu. Why don't you get green contacts for yourself?"

He stared at me, dumbfounded.

I laughed loudly, so loudly that I swear my nervous laughter echoed throughout the park.

Amused, Kagetsu laughed himself, and then joked, "I think I will."

 I gave him a silly grin. Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I said such a seriously stupid, dorky joke like that. Oh well, as long as I got him to stop talking so sweet like that…

Although, I have to admit, I kind of liked it.

Shaking my head, I willed myself to stop remembering. That's the last thing I want right now…

I drew in a big breath, trying to calm myself. Wiping the tears from my sore eyes, I stopped when I heard a knock on my dormitory room. "Who is it?"

"Sarah."  A soft, femininely cute voice answered.

"Oh, come in."

The door opened, and Sarah Joyman, my roommate here at the Trésor University entered. A petite girl with dark hair almost always swept up into a neat ponytail, Sarah was one of my best friends at my new school. She was my first real friend here and we've grown close ever since. I look up to her a lot, because she's a cheerful, pretty girl both inside and out, and because she always seems to have a guy totally infatuated with her at any given moment.

Funny, Lena used to say the same thing about me and guys… Always teased me about being a guy "magnet."

I was tempted to laugh, but somehow, I couldn't.

Not this time.

"Tiara, are you okay? Have you been crying…" She rushed over to me and put a comforting hand on my shoulder.

Caught by surprise by the warm concern in her wide eyes, I found it hard to lie to her. "Yes, I have, but it's okay, I'm fine now."

"Are you sure?" She spoke quietly, as if she sensed that I was far from fine.

And of course she was right.

I plastered on a giddy smile. "Yep! Thanks for being so concerned about me though, Sarah."

She smiled sweetly back at me. "You're welcome. You know that I'm here if you ever need anyone to talk to, right Tiara?"

My lips curved into a true smile as I nodded my head.

"Good! So, how about we go meet the others now? Shopping will definitely make you feel better!" She winked at me playfully.

I laughed. "But of course!" Grinning, I followed her out of my room, determined not to think about Lena and Kagetsu.

~*~*~

Giggling, I walked alongside my girlfriends, Sarah, Apoline, and Suzanna through the mall. We had shopped for a couple of hours already, trying on countless tops and skirts, experimenting with various shades of makeup, awing at the adorable stationary and stuffed dolls, and gaping at a few good-looking boys we saw. It was always fun hanging out with them, and I felt at peace for some time before my cell phone rang.

It was from a new phone number that I didn't have stored on my phone. "Hello?"

"Hi, Tiara. Remember me?"

"Leon!!" My lips turned into a huge smile. "But of course! How are you?"

His soft, soothing voice was always comforting to hear. "I am well. It's been a while, Tiara."

"I know! I haven't seen you since graduation!"

"Yeah, that was such a long time ago. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever."

I started to blush slightly. My friends gave each other puzzled looks as they wondered who I was talking to. "Ah, so, um, what's up?"

"Kagetsu and I are going to try to visit you at Trésor on Tuesday. Is that all right with you?"

Visit me? Like how Kagetsu visited Lena twice already at her school… "Sure! It'd be nice to see you guys again."

"Yeah, I want to see you again, Tiara."

I smiled softly at his honesty. Leon is so different from Kagetsu… In some ways, they are opposites, just like Lena and I are practically opposites… Leon is so open with people and with his feelings. He lets you know what's on his mind, and what's in his heart. It's sweet, actually, although sometimes I'm afraid that if he's like that he'll get hurt…

Sarah nudged me with her elbow. "Tiara, um…"

"Whoops! Oh yeah, Leon, I'm out shopping with some friends right now, so I'd better get going. I'll see you on Tuesday!"

He laughed. "Shopping again, Tiara?"

I grinned. "What else would you expect?"

Leon giggled, and then said, "Well, I'll see you soon."

"Bye!" I hung up my phone and turned to the others, only to see them grinning goofily at me. "What is it?"

"Sooo…. Who's the guy?" Apoline asked, adjusting her glasses.

"Um… He's just a friend of mine from high school. Actually, we didn't even know each other too well then, but he was a friend of my friend, Kagetsu." 

At the mention of Kagetsu's name, Sarah raised an eyebrow.

"Ah, sure sure. 'Just a friend.' " Apoline winked at me.

"Is he cute?" Suzanna wanted to know.

"Hmmm…" I paused for a moment before continuing, "Yeah, I guess he is."

Sarah's eyes glimmered with mischief. "Interesting…" She teased.

"Hey!" I punched her on the arm playfully, and all four of us laughed.

"So, why did he call? Just to talk?" Suzanna pushed back a stray blonde strand from her face.

"Well, he and Kagetsu are going to come down here to visit me since they're done for the year with their respective colleges," I replied.

"Oooooh…" Apoline grinned. "I see…"

"Oh, is the other one, Kagestu, cute?" Suzanna asked again.

I gave her a mock glare. "Hey, you're the one with the boyfriend, you shouldn't be the one to talk!" We laughed, and then I answered her question, "Yeah, they are pretty cute."

"Lucky!" Apoline chimed.

We laughed as we entered an accessory store. After Apoline and Suzanna had run up ahead to check out some cute toe rings, Sarah pulled me aside. "Tiara, is everything okay with you and Kagetsu? Do you think it'll be awkward for you to see him again?"

I looked down at the ground for a moment, pondering. "It might be… Sometimes I feel like what happened between us was never really resolved."

"Tiara…" She said softly.

"But…" I looked up at her and smiled. "I really do want to see him again. And Leon too."

Smiling, she said, "Well, that's good. I hope that you have fun with them on Tuesday!"

"Thanks." She took my hand and led me to a bunch of beautiful bracelets.

I hope so too…

~*~*~

Tuesday came. That morning I woke up with a smile on my face. I hopped out of bed a lot more excitedly than my usual groggy morning stupor, and I freshened up in the bathroom. I had debated over and over again what to wear today, and I had finally decided on this soft sea green spaghetti strap top and a knee length denim skirt. After I changed into my outfit, I applied a little makeup and put on a pair of silver rings, a silver bangle, and a silver chain with a rose shaped rhinestone pendant.

Satisfied, I joined Sarah to go to our first class of the day, our humanities lecture.

"Wow! You look soo pretty today!" She grinned at me. "Trying to impress them, are we?"

I laughed. "Haha, very funny. Thanks though, that's sweet of you to say."  I grinned at her as we left our dorm, wondering when they would arrive…

~*~*~

Half of the day had passed, and they hadn't come yet. I kept picturing how I would greet them, if I would hug them, or if I would be too shy and just smile at them. I wondered how they would look, if they had done anything drastic to their appearances. I wondered if they had changed from before…

I wondered if Kagetsu still thought about me…

Truthfully, I thought of him sometimes. But, during my first year of college, I only thought about him every now and then, like when something I saw or heard reminded me specifically of him. However, lately, I've been thinking about him a lot…

A soft sigh escaped my lips.

Where could they be?

I turned to Sarah, who was sitting next to me in our biology lecture. I knew that she could tell how disappointed I was about not seeing them. During out first class together in the morning, she had teased me a lot about how I had dressed up for them, but as the day wore on and I began to realize that they weren't coming, she mentioned it less and less.

Every time someone walked into the room, I'd turn my head and see who it was, hoping that it was Kagetsu or Leon. But each time, my heart would sink when I saw that it was just another student.

They hadn't called me about whether they could make it or not.

So I just kept on waiting, and waiting.

That's all I could do.

Sarah smiled softly at me and laughed. "Our professor is soo weird. Have you been listening to his latest rant?"

I shook my head, and tried my best to pay attention. Sure, I'm not known for being such a diligent student in classes (okay, so maybe that was an understatement), since I'm always sleeping, staring at some cute guy nearby, or just daydreaming… But today, I was distracted because of Kagetsu…

An elderly man stood at the bottom of the enormous lecture hall. He spoke through a microphone so that he could be heard by the hundreds of students. "What is the purpose of observing one particular frog's intestines? What mysteries will that unravel? What is the point if I bet very few of you students could even tell what frog part was what amidst all of the frog parts? To you, it was probably just a bunch of blood and guts. And that is why I don't think that dissecting frogs, or any animals for that matter, is relevant or helpful in learning biology. So, everyone, realize that your high school teachers merely wanted to watch you all squirm as you uncovered the grotesque insides of all those innocent frogs. Now that is a sad thing indeed." He smiled at us before continuing with his biology lecture.

Amused at his little speech, I laughed. Hmm, even though I do agree with him that dissecting those frogs didn't teach me anything, I have to say that I enjoyed talking about that biology class with Ka…

My eyes began to burn.

With…

"I'm sorry, Sarah. I'll see you back in our room." I gave her an apologetic glance, and then I stood up and ran out of the lecture hall.

Heart always changes colors; the same brightness won't shine again.

I just kept on running, past the library, past the bookstore, and past a cafeteria. I don't even know why I was running; all I knew was that I had to get away from that class, from anything that reminded me of him…

Why didn't you come, Kagetsu? Don't you want to see me? Don't you want to see me like you saw Lena?

Don't you miss me?

Love with no exit, bit by bit

Burning my heart deep inside

I kept on running, tears streaming down my face endlessly. I didn't care about the students I passed on my way to nowhere. I wasn't embarrassed or ashamed of my feelings.

Don't you care about me, Kagetsu?

Maybe you don't… Maybe we've drifted too far apart, that now we aren't close anymore…

Do I mean anything at all to you, Kagetsu?!?!

Even though I had a cold water shower, the heart still

Burning a little like dizzy

I just kept on waiting and waiting for you to come. I wanted to see you so badly. I wanted to hear your voice, to see your face.

I miss you, damn it!

Jealousy, very angry
Jealousy, can't remove

I began to shake from the intensity of my sobs.

You came to see her… She was so happy to see you, to spend time with you… I think that she… that she…

Biting my lip, I wrapped my arms around myself, desperately willing myself to stop shaking… to stop hurting.

It hurts…

It hurts so much…

It hurts so damn much!  

Dark feeling spreading inside the heart

Please release my hand before my tears fall

Why? Why does it hurt?! Why am I feeling like this?! I shook my head, just so confused. I don't understand… Why does it hurt to think of Kagetsu and Lena together?! I have no right to feel this way…

I shouldn't feel like this! Why am I being so selfish?! Why am I being so jealous?!

Why do I care so much?!

Now I think back to the sweet memories holding onto my heart

Like a spear that is not removable, giving me pain continuously

I was never with Kagetsu… We never were together… Even though we shared so many great times with each other, even though he was so sweet to me… we never dated. We never even kissed.

Suddenly, I stopped running. I sank to the ground, sobbing no longer, but the tears still flowed silently from my emerald eyes.

I was the one who broke his heart.

When I hold you, no matter if it's yesterday or tomorrow, it melts

Gradually sinks to the sea where light can't reach it

He loved me then… He asked me to be his girlfriend, and I rejected him.

So why can't I let him move on? I was the one who hurt him… I was the one who wasn't interested in him…

So why am I crying now?

Jealousy, loneliness

Jealousy, can't remove

Could it be that I…

That I…

Love him?

No… No… No… It can't…

My tears stopped falling.

"It can't be true," I whispered.

~To be continued…~

Author's note: So, what did ya think? Yeah, I know this is way different than all Shamanic Princess stories, and is quite overly dramatic and soap operaish, but I wanted to do a story like that, hehe. Well, please review my fic if you liked it! ^.^