Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ An heir's responsibility ❯ Chapter Five ( Chapter 5 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of characters used. All are licensed to their respective owners. I am not making any money through authorship of this fic.
As was expected, since it was morning and not afternoon, Shizuru woke-up first and found herself still lying on top of Natsuki. Removing her hand from the other girl's chest she was glad no one was able to see her very rare blush…
She wasn't aware of this fact but in reality she had been pushed off several times by her fiancÃ©e who was rather a … violent sleeper.
But true to her persevering form, Shizuru climbed back on top of the girl and nuzzled her neck four times out of the five that she had been pushed off. The fifth time… the sleeping Natsuki pulled the girl over and held her close to her chest while depositing a kiss to the top of her head.
Shizuru watched Natsuki's sleeping form for a moment longer before heading over to the window to see what the day was like. Being careful not to let too much light in, she pulled the curtains open gently.
Instead of seeing the sun shining, or hearing the birds singing… Shizuru saw Nao… and heard Tate yelling at her.
With a sigh and a smile, she decided she preferred the view in bed and lay back down next to Natsuki.
“Nao! What the hell are you doing with that video camera? And why did you look like you were heading for Natsuki's bedroom window?,” Tate said as he chased his cousin around the lawn.
“Nothing! And no I wasn't!,” Nao replied, as she tried to evade him.
“You were too! I saw you!”
“Look I wasn't alright? God, any idiot can see that their curtains are shut! I was going to sneak into the house and… No I wasn't!”
“Dammit Nao, stop running! If Natsuki wakes up we'll be in trouble!”
“I'll stop running if you stop chasing me!”
“You two, stop yelling… they're still sleeping!,” said Mai as she sat on the grass with a cup of tea.
Chie and Aoi had just arrived and wandered over to Mai.
“Hey, what's going on?” Aoi asked as Chie nursed a cup of coffee.
“Oh you know, the usual,” replied Mai. “Something ridiculously Nao-centric.”
Chie looked over at the cousins running around the lawn and was about to chuckle to herself when something shiny caught her eye.
“Nao? Hey! Is that my video camera?! Give it back dammit!” she said, practically throwing her coffee cup at Aoi before running off after the redhead.
Mai expelled a sigh. “And then there were three.”
Shizuru shutting her eyes and nuzzling into Natsuki's neck caused the younger girl to stir.
`Huh? Morning… why am I awake?'
Natsuki felt the slight weight that was on top of her and craned her neck to see what it was. Realising that it was Shizuru and that the girl was very much attached to her, Natsuki blushed.
“Morning,” sighed Shizuru without opening her eyes.
“How'd you know Natsuki awake?,” asked a sleepy voiced puppy.
“Not a morning person I see, and to answer your question, I noticed your breathing speed up slightly. Am I right in thinking me being on top of you right now is having that effect?”
“Shizuru! Shh,” said Natsuki turning even redder than she was. “Bad kyoto-ben!”
Shizuru giggled again and nuzzled Natsuki's neck.
“Came out wrong!”
“Yes, I'll bet it did.”
“Natsuki, that sound is just too adorable!”
Shizuru stopped her nuzzling and got off the girl just so she could look at the magnificent being that just made the sound.
“Gun…” Natsuki said expecting the teasing to be over and the conversation brought to a close.
Shizuru just laughed and resumed her previous position.
`Gun has no effect?!,' thought Natsuki. `Uh, oh, Natsuki in trouble.'
The door opened and there stood Mr. Kuga who had the intention of waking up his daughter.
Coming face to face with another cuddling combination, he quickly turned and was about to run far, far away. Until of course, he caught a sight of Nao who was now being chased around indoors by Tate and Chie.
The other three stopped their chasing for a moment just to stare at him, the open door, what could be seen through the open door, and then back to him.
“Uncle you moron!”
“Shh you three! It's not what it looks like! I was just about to ask Natsuki if she wanted to have some breakfast with her father!”
“And what, you just forgot that she got engaged last night? And that her fiancÃ©e is still in her bed?”
“I didn't think about it! It's just so much to get used to! And look it's ok, thank God they weren't doing anything!”
“They weren't?,” asked Nao.
“Really?,” Chie also wanted to know.
Tate shook his head.
“Of course they weren't. They just got engaged, sheesh you girls are just so perverted…,” he trailed off as he noticed no one was paying any attention to him anymore.
Chie and Nao were leaning against the wall with their heads poked around the doorframe and the camera pointed at the two on the bed.
`Distraction!,' Mr. Kuga thought and took the opportunity to run away.
Natsuki, who's brain had just registered what just happened outside her door, gently rolled Shizuru off and sat up quickly.
“Oh, crap,” said Tate.
Chie pointed at Nao before running away.
“Sooo, have a nice night ladies?,” the redhead asked with a sly tone.
“Sheesh, ok ok, I get it, you're moody,” Nao said.
She was about to walk off when her `I'm about to say something stupid' look again graced her features.
Unfortunately Tate was too late to smack her in the head and Nao's mouth couldn't be stopped from expelling stupidity.
“I take it you're moody because a certain Miss Fujino kept you up all night?,” Nao said as she shook her head.
“What a naughty little Natsuki.”
During the next five minutes, Natsuki was somehow bestowed with the ability to wield the power of divine wrath and brought down fire and brimstone upon her cousin.
In the aftermath, Tate, Mai, Chie and Aoi had to join forces just to be able to peel Nao off the floor, and Shizuru had to wrap her arms around her wolfy just to try and ease the frown that had embedded itself in the younger girl's forehead.
Neither Shizuru or Natsuki would probably like to admit it, but it was probably Mr. Kuga's startling and continuous proclamations of `Mayonnaise on toast!!' that saved Nao's life.
The group now sat at the Kuga's large breakfast table and ate silently.
Nao was holding ice on her forehead and was smiling stupidly as if in a trance…
“Bullets… bullets flying everywhere…,” she said.
Mai glared at Tate and wanted to shoot off into an `I told you so' style rant about leaving Nao to take her life into her own hands.
Mr. Kuga, who wanted to dissipate the tension that hung about the room decided to tell the whole group what he had planned to tell Natsuki over their badly planned father-daughter breakfast that was supposed to take place that morning.
“So,” he began. “Is everyone ready for the party tomorrow tonight?”
`Hmm, that was odd,' he thought. `Why did my voice make it sound like I thought they already knew about it…'
“Party?,” asked Natsuki suspiciously.
In her head, `party' usually meant `let's all go to karaoke and make Natsuki sing all the songs she doesn't want to'.
The way Mai's eyes lit up conveyed the fact that she too came to this conclusion.
“Don't worry Natsuki, it's not karaoke,” Mr. Kuga said.
Tate rubbed a disappointed Mai's back.
“Actually, it's something a lot more formal.”
“No frills!,” Natsuki said immediately.
“No, no frills, but something nice though alright? And please, nothing leather. Mr. Fujino called this morning and said that he would like to formally announce your engagement.”
“Dinner at your house?” Natsuki asked Shizuru.
The older girl shook her head and placed some more `mayo on toast', or rather `slice of bread under bottle of mayo' in front of Natsuki.
“Party at a hotel ballroom,” Shizuru said as she sipped on a cup of tea. Natsuki's friends smiled as they noticed she was pointedly using the cups Natsuki had given to her last night.
Mr. Kuga watched his daughter's simple and easy interaction with Shizuru and also smiled at the couple.
`Thank God this turned out well,' he thought.
Just seeing Natsuki's new fiancÃ©e try to calm her during the `Nao shall die', fiasco calmed Mr. Kuga's heart.
If it had been anyone else other than Shizuru Fujino, there would have probably been a lot less `trying to calm Natsuki down' and a lot more calling the police… or the military.
After breakfast Shizuru told the group that she had to steal Natsuki away for a lunch date with her friends.
Well, what she actually said was: “I'm going to have lunch with Miss Kikukawa-Suzushiro, I think you've all seen her before?”
The rest of the group looked at her sheepishly, obviously she had caught onto their attempt at playing `spygame.'
“Would you all like to come along to meet her and a couple of my other friends?”
The group thought back to Haruka and since they were all filled with visions of the blonde screaming and engaging in extensive arm-waving activities, they all mumbled some sort of quick apology.
All except Natsuki who felt that as she had promised Shizuru her support and partnership, such lunch dates had to be endured.
`But,' she thought. `Like hell I'm going alone.'
Locking eyes with her cousin Natsuki gave her a `you owe me' look.
Nao raised an eyebrow and pointed to the part of her head that was under an ice-pack as if to say `So? You tried to kill me.'
Then Natsuki gave Nao a simple but perfectly formed smile that was meant to convey one meaning and one meaning only. `Yes I did… and I can do it again.'
“Ok, so Shizuru got any good looking friends you can set me up with?,” Nao asked.
The cousin's wordless conversations were completely unbeknownst to her.
“I may have one or two that could interest you,” she said.
Natsuki's other friends who knew how to read their silent language a little better had decided to physically distance themselves from the cousin's general location.
Friends or not, for Tate and the girls, it was safety first.
When it was time to leave for lunch, Mr. Kuga insisted that Nao, Natsuki and Shizuru take his car along with one of their drivers.
“It's important to make a good impression at these things Natsuki,” he said.
“I understand father,” she replied.
Needless to say, Natsuki was planning on taking her bike anyway.
Thinking Shizuru was going to be riding in Nao's S.U.V, Natsuki was surprised to find the girl leaning on her bike when she and Nao were finally ready to leave.
Shizuru was ready first as she didn't have to endure one of Mr. Kuga's speeches.
Natsuki, got the `no guns, no fighting, no guns, no insulting important people and no guns' talk.
While Nao got the `no breaking other people's hearts because you're bored and no winding Natsuki up' talk.
Mr. Kuga really loved driving these speeches home with a nice pat on the shoulder and his usual closer: “Make me proud.”
Needless to say, Shizuru was waiting a while.
“Excuse me Kyoto-ben,” Natsuki said as she approached Shizuru. “It seems to me that you've taken up posing next to my bike.”
Shizuru stood up straight and ran her hand on the bike as she had done back at her estate.
“Oh is that right? What's the matter, my little mayonnaise puppy doesn't think I look good on the bike?”
Nao tried to stifle a laugh as Natsuki turned red.
“Seriously guys, you should really try not to call each other those things in public.”
“Nao!,” called Mr. Kuga from inside with a warning tone.
“Right, right, no winding up Natsuki,” the redhead said as she stalked off to her S.U.V.
Turning her head, she raised her eyebrows at Shizuru.
“No it's alright, I think I'll ride with my Natsuki puppy,” Shizuru said.
`Ok, ok, self control,' Nao thought. `… must not…' … “Awwwwwwwwww Natsuki puppy!”
`Damn, lost self control again.'
Mai, who had been watching by the window along with Tate, Chie and Aoi, ran out of the house and pushed Nao in the direction of her S.U.V.
“Drive away please,” she instructed before going back inside the house.
Nao shrugged and for once, did as she was told and pulled out of the main driveway.
“Wait wait, is it really safe for you to be riding with me?,” Natsuki asked. “Have you even been on a motorbike before?”
“Miss Harada said I could,” Shizuru said matter-of-factly.
“It's Chie,” the girl in question yelled out. “And uh… no I didn't!”
Natsuki rolled her eyes.
“Alright alright I'll just go get my spare helmet and jacket.”
“You mean these?,” asked Shizuru pointing to the equipment laying down on the other side of the bike.
Natsuki shook her head and smiled.
“You knew I wouldn't argue.”
“What kind of fluffy puppy says no to her fiancÃ©e?”
“Not this kind apparently,” Natsuki replied as she watched Shizuru put the jacket on.
When the girl started fiddling with the helmet straps, Natsuki came over to help her.
Cough.. “Kissher!” Cough.., someone from inside the house was obviously trying to tell her something.
Natsuki did her tomato thing and tried to ignore the people standing by the window.
Cough.. “Kissheryouchicken!” Cough…
“Dammit will you people just…”
Shizuru planted her lips on Natsuki's cheek and left them there.
… “Grow up… ok what are you doing?”
Of course her fiancÃ©e couldn't speak as her lips were other wise occupied.
Natsuki's brother and friends gave each other `was that you?' looks. When they all shook their heads at each other, all heads turned to Mr. Kuga who was walking away with a chuckle.
Natsuki removed her now flame-coloured cheek from the girls lips and planted the helmet on her head.
“I hope you're not thinking of making a habit of that,” she said.
“Ok, next time I promise I'll warn you first.”
With a last head shake, Natsuki mounted the bike and waited for Shizuru to get on behind her.
“Hold on ok? I don't want you getting hurt.”
Shizuru was about to release another teasing comment but as she noted the sincerity in Natsuki's tone all she could do was smile.
“Don't worry Natsuki. I trust you.”
When they pulled out of the driveway Tate and the girls crowded around Chie's phone.
“Aww they're just so cute together!,” said Tate.
Mai gave him an odd look.
“There are three girls here,” she said. “And the one guy gets to say that line?”
Chie shook her head at Tate and put a hand on his shoulder.
“The sooner you get married to Mai, the sooner your dad can breathe a sigh of relief,” she said.
Tate laughed. “Hey, I'm pretty sure that kind of thing isn't much of an issue in this family. My sister just got engaged to a girl.”
By this time, Nao had been on the road for considerably longer than Natsuki and as expected, had managed to get herself lost.
`Dammit. I really should have written down that address…'
About fifteen minutes later, Shizuru and Natsuki dismounted the bike in front of a classy looking French cafÃ©.
Natsuki looked the place up and down.
`Dammit, it doesn't seem like this place serves mayo on their muffins and I forgot mine.'
Expecting Nao to already be inside, Shizuru took Natsuki by the hand and entered the cafÃ©.
Natsuki immediately recognised the blonde she had seen before, but now the girl looked quite different… scarily calm even.
“Ah Shizuru,” the girl said as she stood. “This must be… uh, not Tate Kuga.”
Natsuki bowed and smiled at the girl who seemed to be using some invisible radar to find out whatever she needed to know about her.
“Haruka, this is my fiancÃ©e Natsuki Kuga.”
Shizuru looped her arm around her puppy and smiled at her friends.
“Natsuki, this are my friends Haruka and Yukino Kikukawa-Suzushiro and Reito Kanzaki.”
“It's an honour to meet you all,” Natsuki said.
“Wait, wait, wait. Did I miss something important?,” asked Haruka. “I was under the impression you were to marry Tate Kuga.”
“Haruka…,” Yukino said soothingly, trying to get the girl to do anything except for make a scene.
“Yes well,” Shizuru said while still smiling. “Obviously there has been a change of plans.”
“Obviously,” said Reito as he smiled warmly at Natsuki. “Miss Kuga, why don't you come sit here by me.”
Natsuki smiled back at him and was about to go over… until she figured out that she was still attached to Shizuru.
“Now, now, Miss Fujino, don't you try and keep her all to yourself now,” Reito said with a smile.
Shizuru let go of Natsuki's arm and instead held her around the waist.
“I'm sorry to disappoint you Mr. Kanzaki but that's exactly what I plan on doing.”
Reito and Yukino laughed.
“Congratulations on your engagement Shizuru,” said Yukino.
“I must say you look very happy together,” thought Reito aloud.
“Of course! Natsuki here is my little wol..”
Natsuki was about to cover the girl's mouth when a handy interruption came around by way of Haruka's annoyed sounding statement.
“Fujino, I thought you said we were meeting your fiancÃ©e and her cousin. We haven't been stood up have we?”
“Hmm, you're right Haruka. I think I'll go and wait outside for Nao… coming Natsuki?”
“No, hold on Shizuru, it's alright. We'll take care of her,” said the blonde.
Shizuru nodded, let go of a rather nervous Natsuki and headed off to the cafÃ© exit.
Yukino kept stealing glances at Haruka to see if she was showing any signs of impending violence. Even Reito seemed rather uneasy as he wondered what the blonde was up to.
“Miss Kuga, why don't you come take a seat,” she said as she gave the one next to her a pat.
“Please, just Natsuki,” she said without moving from her standing position. `Geez, why is she looking at me like that? I feel like I'm being disciplined.'
“Natsuki then. So Natsuki… what exactly are your conventions with our Miss Fujino?”
“Intentions dear,” Yukino offered.
“Intentions I said.”
“Uh… well marriage actually,” Natsuki replied.
“Right,” Haruka nodded. “Good answer. And how did you first meet?”
“Well funny story actually… you see I was sitting on this park bench...”
Yukino gave Natsuki an apologetic smile before she interrupted.
“Come now Haruka I'm sure they met in the traditional fashion with their parents present at a traditional tea ceremony.”
“Uh,” Natsuki started. `Well I did give her tea cups.'… “Yes, there was tea,” she said vaguely.
Reito nodded at her encouragingly.
“Hmm, next question,” said Haruka.
`Geez, has this girl got a list or something?,' thought Natsuki.
Haruka took out a list.
Yukino cringed a little and Reito scratched his head.
“Ahem, alright. If Shizuru had an important meeting coming up, what would be the best way in which you helped her prepare?”
Reito and Yukino sat on the sidelines, each hoping Shizuru would return soon for the sake of her fiancÃ©e.
“You can't answer that? Ok… How about if an important business associate was coming over to your estate, how would you ensure that things went smoothly?”
Natsuki stared at her blankly. `Hey, what's with these questions?,' she thought.
`Uh oh, now she sounds mad.'
“Ok listen the next one is very important,” said Haruka who was quickly losing her patience.
“When Shizuru is engaging in a hostile take over of a company...”
Haruka was interrupted by Natsuki's bored sigh and she was not, really, really not amused.
“Kuga! What the hell are you doing? I'm trying to make sure you're good enough for that bubuzuke woman and you're not even listening to me! Just give me the right answers so I'll stop worrying!”
Natsuki sighed again and looked the girl in the eye.
“Haruka, if you want the right answers then ask me the right questions. The ones you're asking are stupid and unnecessary. She must have a million other people who can help her with that stuff.”
Haruka visibly fumed.
Natsuki was also nearing the end of her tether. `Why is everyone in her family so difficult to deal with? Caring enough but geez…'
“Kuga! Stupid and unnecessary? I think not! You're going to be married to her and…”
“And? Ask me the right questions dammit! Like what I'm gonna do for her when she gets sick, or what I'm gonna say to her when she's feeling down, or what kind of things I'm planning on doing for her for our anniversaries.”
Shizuru's three closest friends stared at the younger girl sitting before them.
“Or how I'm gonna make sure I never, ever make her cry and how I'm gonna vow to make those who do pay their dues. This may not be what you want to hear Haruka but I swear to you, I'm going to be her fiancÃ©e first and her business partner second.”
The blonde squared up to Natsuki and stared into green pools.
“Apologies Kuga. You're not a moron afterall,” she said simply.
Natsuki blinked a few times before wondering what the heck just happened…
`Is she… smiling at me?,' she thought.
Haruka sat down and did something she had never before done in public, she relaxed and putting her head on Yukino's shoulder, became wife first.
“Very unexpected Natsuki,” said Reito who was clearly impressed.
Yukino nodded vigorously.
“And don't mind Haruka over here,” she said. “By saying that you're not a moron… well in Haruka language, that pretty much means welcome to the family.”
The blonde nodded silently.
Natsuki laughed a little, thankful that, that little interrogation was over.
“Well Mrs. And… Mrs. Kikukawa-Suzushiro, Mr. Kanzaki, I suppose I should say welcome to mine. Now if you'll all excuse me a minute… I'm going to go check on my fiancÃ©e.”
`Dammit, I really wish Shizuru's people were easier to deal with. I find myself making these impromptu heartfelt speeches at some alarming rate…'
AN: And that ladies and gentlemen, was chapter five. Thanks for the reviews! They're very much appreciated, I hope you all keep them coming! And of course that you all enjoyed this chapter!