Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ Beginnings, Yukino & Haruka ❯ The Beginning, Yukino ( Chapter 1 )

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I watch my Haruka-chan walking along in front of me like always, with an air of absolute confidence about her movements. I feel a familiar emotion well up in my heart, watching her like this. I don't know what to do about this feeling I have, a feeling I don't know if she'll ever be ready to know about…

When did it start, this feeling?

Was it when we first met? When she swooped in like some magnificent prince out of a fairytale, rescuing me from those boys? I remember it like it was yesterday...

"Hey squirt, me and my friends want to ask you some questions. Why do you always stay by yourself over here, huh? Is it 'cuz you don't have any friends? Yea, that's it, nobody wants to be friends with a weirdo like you." I remember his mocking laugh, and his little cronies echoing it behind him. I didn't even know why he was here. I didn't want to be talking to him, I just wanted to play alone by the jungle gym like I always did. I wanted to be by myself, to play pretend and not be alone. When I was alone, I could be with anybody I wanted, I could go on adventures with the people from my stories, I could be anybody I wanted to be. I didn't just have to be little "weirdo" me, but then these guys had to come and take that away from me. I remember the tears welling up in my eyes, and running down my young cheeks.

"No, I just... I mean, I have lots of fun over here by myself, an---"

"Yea, I bet you do, all alone without any friends. You think being by yourself is fun? You are stupid, aren't you? Stupid, boring, friendless, what's your name anyway? Wait, don't tell me, it doesn't matter, a little weirdo like you doesn't need a name. Little weirdo playing by herself every day." And again with his derisive laughter, echoed seconds after by the others.

"No! My name is Yuki--" I tried to tell them, thought that maybe if they knew my name, they would stop.

"Little dumb boring weirdo Nobody wants to be friends with the weeeeirdoooo." The wouldn't listen, and I felt more tears come. Why couldn't they just leave me alone? What did I ever do to them, I just wanted to play like I always did. They kept on teasing me, and teasing me, and I didn't do anything but sit there, and cry. Being the bullies they were, this only encouraged them to keep going, of course. Finally, just when I was about to give up and go run away. When I was going to find a little corner to be by myself in, to try and read one of my books and to forget about who I was and be a hero instead, for just a little bit anyway, a miracle happened.

"HEY! What are you guys doing to her!?" This girl ran up to us, and I couldn't help but marvel at her. It didn't matter about her size, or age, or scuffed knees, or the bear she held in her hand, not to me. She looked as brave as the most courageous prince I'd ever read about, and as pretty as the most beautiful princess. She walked right up to me, this wonderful look of care in her bright violet eyes, before turning to my tormentors, golden locks swinging behind her.

"What's going on here? Huh, you better tell me!" She wasn't afraid of those boys at all, not like me. She was big, and strong, and brave, and wonderful.

"Why should we? It's none of your business! Why don't you just go away little girl, go play with some dolls or something." It was the leader boy again, and for a split second I was afraid my champion was going to do just that, was going to go away. But then she did something I'll never forget. She marched right up to that boy, and stood nose to nose with him... well, nose to chin, he was a little taller. She looked up, and stared him strait in the eye.

"Why don't you go away! I don't like bullies like you stupid boys! Why don't you go eat some mud or some other dumb thing that boys do." He actually looked a little scared, I don't think anybody had ever talked to him like that. But, with his friends behind him, he wasn't going to back down to a girl.

"You can't talk to me like that!" He finally yelled. My savior just snorted, and she actually laughed. Even though he was a few inches taller than her, she suddenly seemed so much bigger than him.

"Yea? What are you gonna do about it?" And she pushed him over. I could have jumped up and cheered, if I wasn't still entranced by her. The boy was shocked, and landed on his behind in the grass, his friends trying to pick him up.

"Well? Do you still wanna stay here, or are you gonna leave before I get mad?" The girl walked back over towards me, and turned to face the boys once more, like she was my protector. The boys all looked angry, but they looked scared too, they didn't want a fight with this girl, they just wanted to pick on poor little me. They looked back at me, and I couldn't help but bury my face in my hands once more. She looked each of them in the eye, and then pointed her hand to the side.

"Well then go! Get out of here! Get lost you creeps, you morons, you bullies!" And after a few moments hesitation, that's what they did. As I heard them start walking away, I felt safe enough to look again. I remember it so clearly, seeing my tormentors turn and run like little puppies with their tails between their legs, all because of this magnificent hero that came to my rescue. Then she turned towards me, still looking angry with those boys, bright eyes flashing like lightning. But as she looked at me standing there with the remnants of tears still on my eyes and face, those eyes softened in a way that I will always remember, and always treasure whenever I get to see it.

"Hey, are you okay?" I could only kneel there, basking in her attentions. I knew I was staring at her, and that I should be answering her question, but I couldn't think of anything to say. We stared at each other for a few moments, and she started to look a little uncomfortable, so she finally said.

"Um.. okay then. I'll see you later maybe, I hope you won't let guys like that bother you again." And she started to walk away. I panicked, for a reason I didn't even know back then, and scrambled to my feet, running after her.

"Wait! Thank you very much for saving me from those boys. You were great!" I smiled up at her, wanting to make sure she knew just how much I liked her and what she had done for me.

"Eh, thanks, um... what's your name?" We were both standing facing each other now, her looking just a little bit down to meet my eyes, because she was taller than me.

"My name is Yukino, Kikukawa Yukino." I folded my hands before me, and bowed slightly.

"Okay then. Thanks Yukino, I was happy to help. I don't like bullies. My name is Haruka, Suzushiro Haruka." She offered a hand, and I took it shyly. We stayed in contact a few moments.

"Well, glad to meet you Yukino, maybe we'll see each other again some time?" And she started to go once more. Without really meaning to, I found myself trailing her. I didn't even feel like I needed to say anything, it felt so natural to just follow along behind her, my quick little steps silently echoing her determined stride. She turned her head.

"Er, Yukino, are you following me?" She asked, but she didn't really seem at all off-put about it, just asking a question. I couldn't think of anything else to say, so went with the simple truth.


"Um, I heard a little bit of what those boys were saying. Do you really not have any friends to go play with?"

I shook my head.

"Well, I don't really either. Do you want to be friends?" She said it so simply, so effortlessly, she couldn't have known that she just made my little five-year-old dreams come true. I smiled really big, and nodded my head.

"Yes, Haruka-chan, I want to be friends."

"Okay, we're friends then. Let's go play."

"Okay, Haruka-chan."

She started walking again, and I found myself naturally finding a place just behind and to the side of her. We walked through the park that day, and so many others past that. We played like any childhood friends, and she was always there for me. I never had to worry about being picked on or teased or bullied again, because from that day on, she was always with me.

So, was that when it started? Was that when I first started falling in love with my Haruka-chan? Was it so simple as that, so simple as she being the noble hero that swept me, the poor damsel, off my feet and carried me away to a castle where she wouldn't let anybody hurt me again?

Whatever it was, there's no doubt about it: I love my Haruka-chan, and I won't let her down. I hear her call my name, and I snap out of my reverie; it's time to go do our duty, and I have my part to play.

I run forward to catch up, and smile at her. I laugh inwardly as I see her exasperated expression. I wonder if she's really so concerned about her duty, or if she was worried about me. Don't worry Haruka-chan, you've always been there for me, and that's how I always want it to be. We walk across the grass, eleven years from that time, and I can't help but think of that little girl from so many years before. I look fondly at the woman she grew to be. Still so full of that childhood faith in truth, and honesty, and justice... I always want to be with her, to help her make as much of that world a reality as I can, for all she's done for me.