Hey guys! This is a little something that popped into my head while listening to music and at the same time studying some parts of the frog :D Hahaha, anyhoo… I hope you'll enjoy this one! I'm not sure though if I'll leave it as is. So, yeah.. I might change my mind on this. ;)
And I thank my beta-reader, Miracles79! You're as awesome as ever :D Thank you!
Oh yeah, if you really want to feel the struggle both girls are experiencing during the dance, why don't you listen to the song? :D It's entitled "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin. And yep, it's the same song that made me want to write this little story ^^
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Maria-sama ga Miteru
Now, on with the story!
Numerous stars are shining brightly within the pitch black sky, and the night was as clear as day with not a single cloud in sight. Indeed, the night was still young and yet guests were quickly filling in the halls of the grand mansion owned by the Ogasawaras. Today is indeed special for all of them. For today, Ogasawara Sachiko- the solemn heir of the family's fortune- has now successfully graduated Lillian Joguaken, with flying colors, earning both respect and pride from not only her family but also her friends.
True. She rarely had friends but she knows that the friends she has right now are true to her. They accept her not only because of her family name but for who she really is and truth be told, she was grateful for both their understanding and kindness despite her many faults and insecurities, and among the few people she truly cared for, one sole figure stood out amongst the rest. While Sachiko was currently engaged in a tedious chat with one of her father's colleagues, she gave half of her attention to someone who had taken her heart the instant she arrived.
Sachiko looked towards her right and there she saw one of the most beautiful sights she could possibly witness throughout her lifetime. Standing gracefully with a drink in hand, wearing a white gown down to her knees perfectly hugging her body's curves and chatting openly with the attentive crowd that had spread around her, there stood a cute, petite girl; her hair tied in a bun with her bangs sticking out,with a caring personality and a compassionate heart. The girl that had managed to not only capture Sachiko's heart but to re-open it as well, she was none other than Fukuzawa Yumi.
Sachiko couldn't help but feel blessed just by being able to meet this girl one fateful day. On that day, Sachiko saw Yumi praying cutely in front of the glorious statue of the Virgin Mary and couldn't help but feel the urge to talk to the brunette. She didn't fully comprehend why her body was moving on its own accord and seemed as if her mouth was placed upon with a spell. Unknown to Sachiko, she was slowly inching forward towards the oblivious girl. And after the word "Wait" left her lips, her heart began to beat furiously as she anticipated seeing the full view of the girl's face. As her gaze met with the girl's, Sachiko couldn't help but drown within those honest, and clearly shocked, mocha eyes. Who wouldn't be when the most adored girl in school suddenly asks you to wait?
"I-I'm sorry, but are you talking to me?" she heard the girl ask, completely perplexed with a tinge of hue on her cheeks. 'Adorable!' Sachiko's mind and heart soared at the natural cuteness the girl possessed. She saw the girl fidgeting nervously under her gaze and so she replied "You are not mistaken. It is you I am talking to" The girl gave her a questioning look, clearly even more confused. Sachiko smiled and instructed the girl to hold her satchel. She then proceeded to straighten the girl's perfectly-tied scarf. Satisfied with her work, she then prayed and made her way to leave. Before entirely leaving though, she looked towards the girl's direction and kindly reprimanded the girl to always be cautious of her appearance since the Virgin Mother is always watching.
Never in her wildest dreams did Sachiko think that someone saw their little exchange. But instead of getting irritated with the rude intruder, she was very much thankful. Although a smile was formed on her lips meeting Yumi for the second time, it turned into a frown upon remembering what happened after her sudden outburst in the meeting.
"Right here, right now, I'm proclaiming Fukuzawa Yumi as my petite seour" Sachiko blurted out stubbornly.
The first year on her right was so shocked; in fact, everyone in the room was. Sachiko's Onee-sama, Mizuno Youko together with her fellow roses, Satou Sei and Torii Eriko, smirked upon hearing the young bouton's declaration.
"You weren't even aware of the girl's name until she mentioned it, were you Sachiko?" Youko asked incredulously.
"That's right. Have you two even met before this?" Sei, the Rosa Gigantea, chimed in.
"If we didn't know any better, I would have thought you were using this situation to escape from your role, Sachiko?" Eriko, Rosa Foetida, added.
"So this is how it feels to be surrounded by three beautiful yet dangerous roses" Tsutako said in a whisper. Yumi, hearing her friend's words, nodded her head.
Sachiko was about to speak when Shimako beat her to it. "I don't think so. Tsutako-san and Yumi-san did come here in search of Sachiko-sama"
The three Roses then turned their attention to the girl in glasses. The latter smiled mischievously and showed the picture she took of Yumi and Sachiko looking like soeurs.
"They do look good together" Sei said after a moment of looking. Both Youko and Eriko nodded their head in approval which caused Sachiko to beam in delight.
"But although we acknowledge her as your soeur, you will still play the part of Cinderella" Youko said, instantly cutting Sachiko's happiness.
"But I have a soeur! You promised!" Sachiko retorted.
"We did say that someone without a soeur has no right to speak in meetings" Eriko started to say.
"But we didn't say you can drop the role if ever you found one" Sei finished for her.
Sachiko grimaced at this in which Youko immediately noticed. "So, are you still planning on making Yumi your soeur even if you can't drop your role, Sachiko?" the Head of the Red Rose family asked.
"Of course, I do! She is my little sister after all" Sachiko answered back with all honesty.
"My, you really are stubborn, aren't you?" Eriko stated, amused.
"I am not. If you would like, I would perform the ceremony in front of you" Sachiko stated with determination in her eyes.
After her statement, she clearly saw the excitement on the Roses' eyes and so Sachiko faced Yumi and withdrew the rosary from her pocket. Sachiko delicately placed it in her fingers, opened it wide and said to the fidgeting girl "Hold still, Yumi" She was about to place it on the girl's neck when the latter moved away from her, bowed low and said "I'm sorry"
Up until today, the hurt from Yumi's rejection still haunted Sachiko. But she knew full well that the blame rested solely on her shoulders, especially after hearing Yumi's explanation and reasons for her unexpected rejection.'I really am insensitive, aren't I?' she mused, a small frown gracing her features as she remembered how her selfishness had hurt Yumi. She loathed anyone who would harm her cute brunette but she hated it even more when she, herself, had hurt Yumi. But nonetheless, things went smoothly between them and they have learnt far more about each other thanks, in part, to the bet Sei proposed.
During the night of the School Festival, she certainly did not expect that the brunette girl would accept her rosary after being initially rejected. And so from that day onwards, she swore to herself that she would protect and never harm the brunette who she had the honor of calling her Petite soeur, while secretly occupying a special place in her heart. Little did Sachiko know that for the last few minutes she had been staring almost longingly at her petite soeur. A few minutes later, blue orbs meet mocha ones.
Yumi was having a pleasant conversation with one of the guests when she suddenly felt a presence gazing at her intently. At first, she chose to ignore it but it seems every passing minute, she could feel the stare boring holes into her back. She turned around only to be met with the loving gaze of her Onee-sama. She instantly felt her cheeks burning up as she stared into those cerulean blue orbs she has come to love and adore. 'You are so beautiful, Onee-sama. And I love you so so much, oh how I wish you knew' Yumi thought sadly.
She desperately wanted to tell Sachiko how she truly feels for her. How Sachiko could make her smile even in times of sorrow and despair. How Sachiko's smile can bring happiness and contentment inside her raging heart. How everyday Yumi's desire for Sachiko's touch and the need to claim a forbidden kiss from her beautiful Onee-sama is continuing to grow stronger every day. She once fantasized about living together with Sachiko in a comfortable and homely house, happy and contented with each other's presence. Oh how she badly wanted to express her feelings to the oblivious Sachiko, but she knows she can't ever let her Onee-sama know about her affectionate feelings.
Yumi had always been fully aware that Sachiko is engaged to her cousin- Kashiwagi Suguru- and she fearfully dreads the day of their pre-arranged wedding. Thinking that she can't possibly win the battle, Yumi decided to push her feelings aside for the raven-haired beauty and instead support her in the best way she possibly can. After all, she is Sachiko's petite soeur. And soeurs always support each other, words which were once said by Youko, Yumi's Grande Soeur.
But she can't just ruin the night with all her negative thoughts; after all, Sachiko did say to her that it isn't publicly known yet and that she wouldn't be getting married until she graduates from her desired course. And so, thinking happily that she has enough time to express her love for her Onee-sama, Yumi flashed Sachiko her charming smile in which the latter responded with her own cheeky grin. They were about to get lost in each other's gaze when they were snapped back to reality with Tooru's voice ringing through the air.
"Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence tonight on this chilly night. As we all know, our only precious daughter, Sachiko, has graduated from high school and will now face the real world" Tooru spoke to the whole crowd and then turned her attention towards his daughter "And so Sachiko, we just want you to know that we are here for you and that we are so proud of your success. If ever you are in trouble, please don't hesitate to tell us and we'll be there right away. I know that your grandfather and I haven't been there much during your childhood years but please don't ever forget that we are your family and that we love you. Although you have matured into a fine lady, remember that you will always be our little Sa-chan, the spoiled yet caring little girl that your mother and I have raised and grown to love every passing day. We love you very much, Sa-chan and congratulations!" with that said, Tooru raised his glass and cheers rang through the night for the young heiress.
Sachiko was touched by her father's words and so she couldn't stop the single tear that trailed down her porcelain cheeks. She never expected her father to say such sweet words to her all her life. She looked towards Yumi's direction and she saw the one who holds her heart flashing her a beautiful smile that showed nothing but genuine happiness. Their happiness was short-lived however as she heard her father's next statement, after all the cheers have subsided. "May I ask our daughter and Suguru-kun to please come up here on stage, please?"
All the members of the Yamayurikai- Sachiko, Yumi and Suguru included were surprised by the request Tooru made. Both Suguru and Sachiko, although completely confused obliged to the elder Ogasawara and were now standing side-by-side together on stage. Yumi, who was intently watching her Onee-sama and Suguru standing next to each other, felt a bad feeling claiming her mind as she waited for Sachiko's father to say his next words. Yumi was practically shaking with fear as she watched the scene before her.
The room fell silent as everyone present, Yumi on the most part, became anxious and curious as to what Tooru was about to say after bringing up the microphone towards his lips. "I am pleased to announce that our daughter here, Sachiko" he started to say as he looked proudly to his daughter and then towards Suguru "and her cousin, Kashiwagi Suguru are engaged and will marry this upcoming December. You are all invited, of course, if you are willing."
Applause, cheers and the words "Congratulations" and "They look amazing together" hung in the air as the crowd supported the couple and Tooru replying his heartfelt gratitude. As Suguru was obviously struggling to gain his composure, Sachiko couldn't help but feel as if her heart was being torn into pieces ruthlessly. Among the crowd, the Yamayurikai were shocked. They haven't expected this sudden revelation at all. But judging on the expression the two people on the stage had, they all suspected that they knew nothing of it before hand.
As she heard her Uncle's announcement, Touko immediately turned towards Yumi and her expression saddened as she saw the brunette had a still and unreadable expression gracing her face. 'Onee-sama…' Touko thought sadly as she pondered on how badly Yumi must be hurting right now. And yet, she couldn't place the blame on the newly engaged couple because it was clear that they knew nothing about this, at least from what she could see.
Touko sighed. She didn't know what to do. A part of her was angry at how Sachiko's family conducted this vile business, while another part of her felt hopeless. The feeling of hopelessness that she can't do anything to relieve her own Onee-sama of the scarring pain she must be feeling, this thought was overwhelming Touko as she continued to watch Yumi. Touko and the rest of the guests then heard Tooru's voice again over the loud speakers saying: "Well, let's enjoy the rest of the evening, shall we? And will the engaged couple lead the dance, please?" the elder gestured for the two to dance in which Suguru and Sachiko have no choice but to oblige.
Suguru extended his hand for his fiancée to take in which Sachiko accepted with a blank expression. The orchestra then started playing and in no time, the garden was filled with harmonious music. Suguru and Sachiko danced the waltz and practically ignored the whispers of adoration directed towards the two of them. They were then joined in by a couple of people. Worried for her Onee-sama's sake, Touko stole a glance to her side hoping to get a glimpse of Yumi's face. As she saw the girl, Touko wasn't able to read her mind for Yumi's eyes were covered by her bangs. The music ended as she approached Yumi, but to her surprise and shock, the latter started moving forward towards the dance floor.
Yumi felt her heart sink and her face pale after Tooru's formal declaration of Sachiko and Suguru's engagement. 'I'm such a fool' she told herself as she watched the couple receive well wishes from the guests. She stared at Sachiko the whole time. Yumi saw Sachiko thanking the guests and complying obediently with her father's plead of dancing with Suguru.
She couldn't believe it. How can Sachiko comply that easily? 'Then again, didn't she say her family always comes first?' she reasoned out sadly as she now realized there is no way Sachiko would go against her family. 'But why can't you at least try, Sachiko? Why are you smiling like that! Can't you see how badly this is hurting me… because of you?' it was one painful thought after another, Yumi didn't understand why but she really wanted Sachiko to argue with her father's announcement.
To her dismay though, her Onee-sama never fought for her freedom. 'Onee-sama…' she felt tears welling up in the corner of her eyes just watching the couple dancing from afar. She suddenly found the ground interesting instead. 'That's right. She will always be my Onee-sama and I her petite soeur. There's nothing more and nothing less in our relationship. Well Yumi, now that you've heard what you desperately loathed to hear, all you can do now is watch from afar and be happy. If not for yourself, then be happy for her.'
Deciding that she would congratulate her Sachiko, Yumi started walking to the dance floor. While walking, she didn't notice the surprised and bemused looks her friends were giving her. She just continued walking until she reached Suguru and Sachiko's side. The couple stopped dancing and Suguru acknowledged the new comer.
"May I have the honor of dancing with my Onee-sama for awhile Kashiwagi-san?" Yumi asked as she looked up and stared into Suguru's eyes. Suguru saw the hurt and longing in those mocha orbs he has come to treasure and couldn't help but feel slightly heartbroken for the unfortunate Yumi, as well as guilty that he was the man stepping in between them. He knew very well the feeling was mutual between the two, the feeling of love. He was also aware that both girls seemed oblivious to the feeling of the other. He pitied and envied them. They have a connection between them that is strong, it can't be broken easily but ironically, they can't be together. For once, Suguru let down his mask and showed his true feelings. He showed sympathy and great respect for the two and so he stepped aside and bowed, motioning that Sachiko may dance with Yumi.
A man walked towards the microphone and signaled the band behind him to play the music. As the music played, Sachiko held out her hand for Yumi to take and said "Shall we?"
Seeing the outstretched hand, Yumi gladly accepted it as the singer sang the lines. The two of them slowly walked towards the center, a few other people already waltzing around them.
You're in my arms
And all the world is calm
The music playing on for only two
So close together
And when I'm with you
So close to feeling alive
They both stared lovingly at each other and Sachiko guided Yumi's hands to their respective positions, one on her left hand while the other was on her right shoulder. They then began their waltz. Sachiko then turned Yumi wherein the latter's back was facing her front.
A life goes by
Romantic dreams will stop
So I bid mine goodbye and never knew
So close was waiting, waiting here with you
And now forever I know
All that I wanted to hold you
The people observing the two couldn't help but admit that the pair looked good together, really good in fact. But Sachiko and Yumi could care less. They were dancing to their heart's content in their own little world, where there were no rules and regulations to follow. They were lost in the gaze of the other as the moon shone directly upon them, as if sending his best wishes for the two lovebirds. Yumi then twirled out of Sachiko's arms only to return to her side.
So close to reaching that famous happy end
Almost believing this was not pretend
As Yumi was in the comfort of her beloved's arms, she moved in closer to Sachiko and sang together with the lead singer. Sachiko leaned in closer, eager to hear her angel's melodious, sweet singing voice.
And now you're beside me and look how far we've come
So far we are so close
As the music overcame the whole scene again, they twirled and twirled and their feet moved together so in synch with the other. Totally lost in their own world, full of the love they would have willingly shared if they could. They were about to dance again when a distant Uncle of Sachiko pompously moved towards the pair and spoke.
"Mind if I come in?" the kind, old man asked.
"No. Of course not, Sir. Onee-sama, I had fun dancing by your side. Thank you" Yumi replied in a kind tone. She then left the two families alone and started walking out while Sachiko was busy with her dance partner.
Oh, how could I face the faceless days
If I should lose you now?
We're so close
To reaching that famous happy end
almost believing this was not pretend
Let's go on dreaming for we know we are
As soon as Yumi was at the top of the staircase, she looked back to Sachiko and sang.
And still so far
Leaving Sachiko's mansion, Yumi silently sent her best wishes for her true love in her mind. 'I wish you all the best, Onee-sama. I hope you'll be happy with him. And that he can offer you the love that I can't give you. I love you, Sachiko…forever and ever, which is why this is my final farewell' Yumi silently retreated into the dark, a tear rolling down her beautiful face.
Hehe :D That's it for now, maybe I should just leave this as a one-shot?
I hope you guys, you know, somewhat enjoyed it? If you want me to continue this, just let me know ^^ (this is a little advice my beta-reader told me) So uhh, a poll. Yeah Just vote there :P It lasts this whole week so you guys have a lot of time to tell me your 'wishes' ;)
And regarding "Heaven By Your Side", I'm having problems with it but don't worry ^^ I won't drop it or well, the worst case scenario is that I delete it :D But, of course I won't do something silly as that! I've just been busy the last few days, ever since my last update and I'm sure I will be even busier... So uhh, I just hope you guys will understand (you do understand, right? pleassee?) *puppy dog eyes* :D