Nadeshiko clearly remembered the day she died. What was most peculiar about this day was that her body didn't die on this day, only her name did.
Rather, it was Nagihiko's body that died with her name.
It was a rather horrific thing to see. Her twin brother was dying, but yet she had to act like the one in the hospital bed gasping for air was actually her. The tears she had shed weren't for Nagihiko, they were for herself. She was dying.
Rima had looked incredibly upset the whole time, but she wasn't on the brink of total collapse like she would have been if she had known that Nagihiko was the one convulsing on the bed. Tears were slipping from her eyes, falling down her cheeks and splattering to the floor, but it wasn't as worse as it could have been.
Nadeshiko, on the other hand, had completely lost it. She wondered if she was acting out of character for Nagihiko, but she didn't really care. She couldn't stop herself from sobbing, from throwing herself at Nadeshiko side and wailing loudly. Surely Nagihiko wouldn't make such a spectacle of himself, surely he would retain a little bit of his composure, but she couldn't stop herself. She didn't care if anyone got suspicious from her reaction; her brother, her best friend, was dying, and she was the only one who knew it.
Nobody seemed to be questioning her reaction though; they all just looked incredibly saddened by it.
That day, the day when "Nadeshiko" died, she knew it was too late to go back. She was going to have to live the rest of her life as a man.
But she didn't think she really cared at that moment. At the moment the heart monitor stopped its frantic beeping to cover the room in chilling silence, as the nurses who had been frantically running around stopped, looks of resignation on their face, she couldn't care less about Rima or this dumb act she was putting on, she didn't care that her name was now Nagihiko.
All that mattered was that her brother was dead.
The memory of this day haunted Nadeshiko for a while. Every time she closed her eyes she would see Nagihiko's face, would hear his dying plea to her.
It really hurt, but she understood. Because Nagihiko loved Rima more than life itself, and although Rima was sad right now she wasn't devastated. She was going to be alright… at least for a little while.
Upon Nagihiko's death Nadeshiko had to step fully into his role, which meant selling most of her possessions and moving in with Rima (although she couldn't be acting as though she was moving in, or else Rima would be incredibly suspicious).
It had been weird, watching the moving vans take away all the stuff she had bought over the years, but she had been able to save some things, things that she took under the guise that they held sentimental value to her.
Nadeshiko had never been in a long-term relationship before, so upon entering Rima and Nagihiko's, er, Rima and her apartment, she was a little lost. It was just all the little things that confused her: which toothbrush was hers, the blue or the green? Who usually made the coffee in the morning? Was she to sleep on the left side of the bed, or the right?
Fortunately for her, when she spent ten minutes looking through all the drawers in the bedroom before managing to find her socks, Rima blamed it on her depression over "Nadeshiko's" death.
There were lots of other complications with the current situation beside that, though. There was also the fact that Nadeshiko had a female body.
Maybe during the day she could get away with it, but it was harder at night. She had resorted to compressing her chest at all times, even while sleeping, which definitely was an uncomfortable feeling (she was just grateful that her chest wasn't that large).
Apparently Nagihiko usually slept shirtless as well, so that proved a little awkward at first (she had said that she was too cold, which was a little unconvincing when she woke up in sweat in the middle of the night). Additionally, she had to be careful that when Rima touched her she didn't feel the compression bra she wore or her chest (which no matter how hard she tried to bind, she would never be able to completely erase).
What was worse, because Nadeshiko looked so distraught all the time (partly due to Nagihiko's death, partly due to the stress of having to watch her every movement) Rima probably felt like she had to comfort her, so she had been rubbing and patting her back, pulling her into hugs, much too often for Nadeshiko to be comfortable with given the current situation.
It was just a matter of time until she was found out, Nadeshiko knew it. But as long as possible, she would have to keep the charade up. She would have to watch her back, wake up early so that Rima wouldn't catch her changing, take extremely brief showers whenever Rima left the house, and be careful that she didn't leave any feminine products lying around the bathroom (which would have been extremely hard to try to explain).
What she was most thankful for, above anything else, was that Nagihiko and Rima had made a vow to remain abstinent until marriage, and did not have to deal with the issue of refusing sex from Rima (which the real Nagihiko would surely have never done).
Even though he current situation was hard, it wasn't unbearable. She could make this work.
But for how long?
Nadeshiko knew the day when Rima asked to finalize the wedding date would come, but she didn't expect it to be so soon. Only three weeks after "Nadeshiko's" death did Rima bring it up.
And she really hadn't expected the blonde to be so casual about it either.
"So, when do you think we should have the wedding?"
Nadeshiko froze where she sat, her fingers looped around the handle of a cup of coffee and a paperback book held firmly in the other hand. She looked up slowly, leaving the safety of the printed word behind as she brought her eyes up to meet her fiancee.
Rima looked completely nonchalant about the whole prospect, and was shoving bacon into her mouth as passionately as ever. Oh god, what should she do? Nagihiko was always really excited about the prospect of the two having a wedding, but Nadeshiko really wanted to put the event of as long as possible because having a wedding meant having a honeymoon, and having a honeymoon meant having sex. And having sex meant… well, Rima definitely wouldn't think she was Nagihiko after that.
"Hm, whenever you want to," Nadeshiko muttered, trying to look as though her indecisive response was due to her interest in the book, not because she was internally panicking inside.
"Well, when Nadeshiko passed away-" A pang in Nadeshiko's heart, "It left me thinking; what would I have done if that was you, and you had died before we were married? What if I would never get the chance to be your wife? That would kill me."
Nadeshiko didn't want to hear this, she really didn't. Because what Rima was describing wasn't a "what if" scenario, it really was her life. She was living out her worst nightmare and didn't even know it.
"I want to get married on the fifth of April. I already looked into the venue we were thinking of and it's free, and I called Amu and she said she and Ikuto could make it. Apparently she thinks-"
No, this was much too soon. The fifth of April was just four weeks from now! Nagihiko had been pressuring Rima to finalize a date for the past year and she had always said when she was older, when she was ready for kids, but now she was just jumping into it headfirst! At this rate, their charade wouldn't even keep up a full two months!
"What's wrong? I thought you'd be excited?" Nadeshiko glanced up from the spot on the table she had been staring at to see Rima eying her suspiciously. Well, she was always very observant, wasn't she?
"I am! I'm just a bit tired, that's all," Nadeshiko tried to smile, but knew that Rima would not buy it; it was much too stiff, her lips were much to weak. Her eyes were much too dark.
But Rima just chalked it up to her sadness over "Nadeshiko's" death and gave her a small smile, a smile Nadeshiko knew she didn't deserve, before reaching across the table and patting her hand.
"It's okay; I know it must hurt. I'll take care of all the preparations, so just take it easy, alright?"
Nadeshiko wanted to smile, she really did, but how could she lie to Rima in such a way. "Thanks sweetheart. I love you."
"Love you too," Rima smiled, standing up before leaning over the table to peck Nadeshiko's lips with her.
Every time Rima kissed her Nadeshiko couldn't stand it. Not because she didn't want to kiss Rima (no, it was actually kind of nice) but because Rima thought she was kissing Nagihiko, and would probably never want to kiss her.
Rima grabbed her plate and dropped it in the sink before leaving the room, calling out behind her, "I'll see you tonight!"
Nadeshiko heard the jingling of Rima's keys as she grabbed them off the hook and stuffed them in her purse (the purse Nagihiko had bought for her).
As the front door slammed shut and Rima left for the day, Nadeshiko just laid her head down on the table and cried.
A/N: I should be updating this every other day for the next week or so.
Oh, and if you like this, please review. Lately I haven't been getting many reviews at all, and while I will never say "No update until X reviews" or something like that, I would greatly like to know someone likes what I write. Otherwise, what's the point in working on it?
Please take a moment, if just to say "I like it" or to tell me how you think I can improve. Thanks. :)