Title: Play Pretend

Prompt/Theme: Jan 3 / the colors of the day that lie along your arms

Characters/Pairing: Mayuri, Okabe

Summary: A promise is a promise, even if he's not looking forward to the results.

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"Really?" Mayuri looks up from where she's stitching, her needle paused midair.

"Yes."

She blinks rapidly, surprise written on her face, before she breaks into a smile. "Okarin, Mayushii didn't know you were interested in cosplay."

"I'm not." Okabe looks down at the clothes she's stitching, the bright greens and blues she's putting together. Mayuri has always looked her best in bright colours and the childish design she's trying to make suits her.

"Then why?" She tilts her head to the side, confused.

It's not like she'd know. Or understand. She had only survived until the second day of her convention before. While a part of Okabe knows she will live through the entire thing now (he saved her, he saved her), a fear still gnaws in him.

It's one that won't easily leave him.

"I promised I would." That isn't a lie, not really, just a facet of the truth from another timeline.

"You did?" Mayuri frowns slightly, scratching her cheek as she tries to recall this promise. "When...?"

Okabe remains silent. Once she had mentioned dreams, dreams of death after death after death. Maybe she remembered nothing this time. Maybe she remembered bits and pieces. He didn't want to know.

Giving up, she puts down her stitching and claps her hands. "Mayushii has so many designs she wants to try on you."

He looks down at her, and then back at the picture she's attempting to imitate. "So...many?"

"There are so many characters that Mayushii has seen and thought, 'Okarin would be perfect.'" She gets up now and approaches him. Tapping her chin, she nods slowly. "It shouldn't be too hard to get one done in time. Good thing you said so today—any later and there would have been no time at all."

"Nothing bright. Or silly. Or—"

She pouts, shaking her head. "No, no, Okarin doesn't get to pick. Mayushii is picking and there are no promises."

"Can I know who...what?" He feels embarrassed now, as Mayuri examines his body, walking around him in a circle. She shakes her head in response to his question, a finger on her lips and a slow wink indicating it's a surprise, before returning to her exploration.

Mayuri maps his body, in centimetres and string and clothing sizes. It's strange to see her so concentrated, writing down each measurement down precisely before continuing. His arms go up, down, and her finger pokes and prods before she's satisfied. Her pad's full of numbers and short notes and it's the most serious he's ever seen her.

She's a scientist in a different way, her discoveries the more mundane. It's something he should have realized long ago, back when she realized who Suzuha's father was.

"Done." She announces, after checking her figures. "Mayushii will be done in a week, so Okarin has to come back then to make sure the costume fits."

He gives her a mock salute. "Aye, aye, captain."

She smiles again, before giving him a hug. "Thank you. Mayushii's very happy."

"It's..." He looks up, away, feeling embarrassed again. "It's nothing."