Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ Mai Hime: Answers and Questions ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or concepts from Mai-Hime, I'm just borrowing them for awhile. If you have not yet seen the end of Mai-Hime this entire fic is a spoiler, so please stop reading now. Newtype vol 3 #7 and vol 5 #1 were both used for reference, though any mistakes that slipped through are my own.
Mai-Hime: Answers and Questions
Nagi jerked as he heard the outer door slam open, then he heard a familiar and quite angry sounding voice yell out, "Nagi!"
"Oh hell," the blue haired young man moaned, then moved to run away. But before Nagi could try to escape the chamber both young women burst inside, the black haired girl swiftly pinning him against the railing forcefully. "Natsuki-chan, Mai-chan," Hagi smiled as endearingly as he possibly could at them, "your not Hime any more, does that mean you can't hurt me?"
"I may not be Hime," Natsuki Kuga said as the black haired woman smiled down at him dangerously, "but that doesn't mean I can't beat you black and blue."
"Or worse," Mai Tokiha added, her orange hair falling into her eyes as the busty young woman glared at him.
"What can I do to help you?" Nagi asked, giving in as gracefully as possible.
Very reluctantly Natsuki let him go, looking at him with a decidedly wary expression. "When we Hime fought amoung ourselves," she said quietly, "all of us... acted strangely."
"Mikoto, Nao, Yukariko, and even me," Mai quietly agreed, "it was hard to think straight and my emotions seemed to get the best of me too easily." She fixed him with a glare and demanded, "Was that your doing?"
"Sounds more like PMS," Nagi quipped only to visibly wilt under both their glares. Quickly he said, "It wasn't my doing!"
"So what was it?" Natsuki glared.
"The red star," Nagi admitted, "it needed to drive you to war, to make you eliminate each other and your Childe until there was only one left."
"So the things we did under it's influence..." Mai murmured, thinking of some of the harsh things that were said and done, "it wasn't us?"
"Not exactly," Nagi shook his head slightly, "it exagerated your emotions, yes, but it all still came from within you."
"And we should believe you?" Natsuki asked him warily, still keeping a tight grip on thr front of his shirt, putting choking pressure on his throat.
"Ask Mashiro if you don't believe me," Nagi said to them with as much calm as he could muster, "she'll confirm every word."
"I think he's telling the truth," Mai put a hand on Natsuki's shoulder.
"Maybe, but I still want to beat him black and blue," Natsuki muttered as she let him go, still standing near enough to pummel him if needed.
"Besides," Mai added as she looked at Nagi thoughtfully, "I think he's lost his powers, too. He's no threat to anyone, anymore."
"I'm harmless," Nagi admitted reluctantly.
"You'll never be harmless," Natsuki said grimly but she turned away, the two young women leaving much more quietly than they had come.
Nagi sighed, gingerly rubbing at his throat where she had nearly throttled him. "Life was so much easier when I could send the Orphans out after them," he grumbled.
Mai and Natsuki quietly walked away from the building, the breeze gently stirring both their hair and their matching uniform skirts. "So do you want to go see the director, Mashiro Kazahana?" Mai asked her softly.
Natsuki shook her head, "No, I think I believe him." With a smile she admitted, "I guess I just wanted to scare the little creep a little."
"I can sympathise with that," Mai agreed with a wry smile. She looked over at Natsuki as they paused beneath the trees and asked, "Were you hoping that Shizuru's behavior was caused by that?"
"Partially," Natsuki said quietly, silently debating what she should tell Mai. They had been through a lot together, from starting out as near enemies to fighting together against Sears and finally the battles amoung themselves, and through all of it Mai had become a steadfast friend.
"If you don't want to talk about it," Mai said compassionately, seeing the clear confusion on her friend's face.
"I do," Natsuki smiled slightly. Taking a deep breath she said, "I found out that Shizuru is in love with me."
"Like how I'm close to Mikoto?" Mai said tentatively.
"No," Natsuki said wryly, "like how you're with Yuichi, I think."
"Really?" Mai blinked in surprise.
"I still haven't decided how I feel about it," Natsuki admitted.
Mai smiled at her faintly, "Do you... feel the same way about her?"
"I don't know," Natsuki said with a irritable shrug. She frowned a bit as she conceded, "It's obvious I care for her, my ability to summon my Childe was based on that, but I don't know if I can return those feelings."
"It can't have been easy for her to confess to you," Mai mused softly, thinking of how hard she found it to speak of such things with Yuichi.
"No, it wasn't," Natsuki agreed, remembering how Haruka had confronted them with Shizuru's feelings, nearly gloating over discovering the president's secret. 'Of course that blew up in her face,' Natsuki recalled.
Mai noted the time and frowned, "I'd better get back, I bet Mikoto is fainting from hunger by now." As Natsuki chuckled at that comment Mai continued, "I think you should at least talk to Shizuru about it, you owe her that."
"Maybe so," Natsuki frowned as Mai raced off. The black haired young woman made her way through Fuka Academy, striding across campus with determination, standing apart from the other students as usual.
The buildings around them bore the scars of battle, walls having fallen, windows broken and streets damaged, all because of the battles between Hime and the aftermath, the war againced the power that created them. But the campus was renewing itself, students returning even as repair crews bustled to make everything right again.
Without really intending to Natsuki found herself in the gardens, the sweet scent of flowers waftig around her as she paused, reaching out to caress a golden flower. 'I met Shizuru here the first time,' she remembered, smiling fondly.
"Natsuki?" that familiar voice asked.
She turned and Natsuki could feel herself smile, even without intending to. Shizuru smiled back, the tall brown haired woman's eyes warm with caring and just a bit of amusement. "I was going to come by the student council room later," Natsuki said quietly.
Shizuru walked over to where Natsuki stood, both women quickly enveloped by the sweet scent of the flowers. "Good," she said quietly, "I was hoping you would." She looked around them, clearly also touched by common memories as she murmured, "You aren't going to try to crush the flowers again, are you?"
"No, I'm over that," Natsuki gently reassured her. 'Thanks to you,' she realized, gazing at Shizuru thoughtfully. She had come to Fuka filled with anger, driven by the thought of vengeance for her mother, and hadn't cared about anything else. Shizuru had come across her and for whatever reason kept reaching out, staying in Natsuki's life and slowly chipping away at her angry shell.
"Natsuki?" Shizuru asked softly, bringing Natsuki's eyes to her face. "When you were at my home, whatever Haruka may have thought she saw," her eyes glittered with anger for a moment, "I just lay with you then, nothing more."
Without thinking about it Natsuki reached out, gently taking Shizuru's hand and squeezing it in her own. "I know," she said softly, smiling at her warmly. " Shizuru...?" she hesitated.
"Yes?" Shizuru asked, reaching up to hold Natsuki's hand in both of hers.
"I don't know if I can love you," Natsuki said then admitted, "I'm not even sure I understand the meaning of the word. But I'd like to try, if you'd let me."
"That's all that I ever wanted," Shizuru said softly, tears glittering in her eyes.
Shizuru leaned towards Natsuki a bit then stopped, giving her a chance to back away. Instead Natsuki moved to meet her, their lips touchig in a gentle kiss. Without intending to her hands slid around Shizuru, holding her close as the kiss deepened and lasted.
"Sorry," Natsuki finally murmured as they seperated, "I got carried away."
"You can carry me away anytime," Shizuru murmured, then smiled as Natsuki blushed.
Notes: This fanfiction is set just after the final battle in the final episode of Mai Hime but before the last wrap up scenes where we found out what happened to each character. It's an attempt to resolve a few issues I had with Mai Hime, including why nobody grilled and/or beat up Nagi over his role, as well as why everyone acted so strange in the final storyline. The "red star" theory is mine, not something from the anime....