Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ Mai Hime: Answers and Questions ❯ Chapter 2

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

Mai-Hime: Questions and Answers
Chie Harada pushed up her squarish glasses as she strode along the walkway into the gardens, the black haired young woman pausing to look around her warily. Feeling satisfied that she wasn't being followed she continued on, slipping between the shrubs into a private corner of the sprawling flower beds.
"Chie," Aoi Sano looked up at her with one of her sunny smiles, her long brown hair flowing down her back. In front of her beneath the shade were their two bento boxes, spread out on top of a blanket for them to sit on.
"Sorry it took so long," Chie smiled as she sat down gracefully, "I got distracted."
"Oh?" Aoi looked amused as she picked up her lunch.
"Natsuki and Shizuru were having a little... talk not far from here," Chie explained cheerfully, "I had to duck around them."
"What were they doing?" Aoi leaned forward eagerly.
"Talking at first," Chie related, "then they kissed."
Aoi sat back, shaking her head as she murmured, "I guess you were right about them."
"It's a gift," Chie said modestly.
"You were certainly right about me," Aoi reached out to gently lay a hand on Chie's.
Chie clasped that hand gently, squeezing a little. "And I'm glad," she agreed.
Aoi giggled softly, "Do you remember when we all had to leave and Mai said she could fall in love with you? I nearly blurted out something right then."
Chie chuckled softly, "I noticed, it's why I reminded her about Yuichi then."
"So you think Mai and Mikoto...?" Aoi asked.
"Maybe," Chie made a uncertain gesture, "I think they care about each other a lot, but I don't think it goes any farther than that."
Aoi sighed, "If so, poor Mikoto."
Chie nodded, thinking of the obvious affection that Mikoto bestowed on Mai, affections that in her eyes at least seemed far more than friendly. "We'll keep an eye on her," she mused, "and if we can help..."
"Fair enough," Aoi agreed. She deftly stabbed a piece of sausage, "Say ahh."
"Ahh," Chie opened her mouth and chewed happily on it.
"So how's Yukino?" Aoi asked as she ate her rice.
Chie munched, "Still pining over Haruka, of course. I wonder if she'll ever get the courage up to tell her how she feels?"
"You know it isn't that easy," Aoi chided her.
Chie looked off in the distance, her expression thoughtful, "I suppose you're right. I was certainly scared stiff when I asked you out."
Aoi actually looked surprised, "You're kidding, right?" She smiled, "You certainly seemed confident at the time."
"All an act," Chie smiled back wryly as she remembered, "that was a major scared witless moment for me."
"You know me pretty well," Aoi said softly, "you knew I'd say yes."
"I hoped you would," Chie grinned. She scowled cutely, "Remember, that was only days after you clamped onto Mai's little brother and wouldn't let go."
Aoi chuckled, "He was cute and I like cute things."
"Well, yes, I remember your reaction to Mikoto too," Chie conceded.
"And I may like cute," Aoi took her hand once more, "but I love you more."
"Me, too," Chie leaned forward to kiss her gently. Off in the distance they heard the warning bell and both cursed softly.
"Looks like we have to go," Aoi finished off her lunch and got up, the two cleaning up with simple efficiency. "See you later tonight?" she asked with a smile.
"Please," and Chie kissed her again before they bolted back to class.
In another part of the facility a young looking woman gazes out the window, looking out at the gardens and the warm sunlight. Her light purple hair cascaded down her back, her fine clothes suiting the surrounding building's fine furnishings.
"Miss Kazahana?" the soft voice asked respectfully.
Mashiro Kazahana turned in her wheelchair, smiling up at her companion. The pink haired woman had a sweet smile on her face, her green eyes soft and gentle as she gazed down at Mashiro. "Yes, Fumi?" she asked.
Fumi Himeno hesitated, the young lady in a maid's uniform seemingly unsure. "You've been very quiet," she asked gently, "are you all right?"
'She knows me so well,' Mashiro thought to herself fondly. "Just thinking," she answered honestly, "wondering if there had been anything else I could have done." A pensive look, "If I hadn't let myself be called away from Fuka...."
"Don't do that to yourself," Fumi said to her gently, "you had to answer that request for a meeting, and there's no way to know if your presence during the early days of the Festival would have made any difference."
"I could have at least told them more of the truth," Mashiro sighed.
"They weren't ready," Fumi answered, "if they had known earlier... I don't know if it would have helped or made things worse."
Mashiro reached up to take Fumi's hand, squeezing it in her smaller ones. "Your faith astounds me," she murmured, "you were a captive of the enemy for so long, forced to serve... how could you carry on like that?"
"Because I knew you would save me," Fumi said firmly, "and I knew that people like Mai Tokiha, Natsuki Kuga and the others wouldn't let them win."
Mashiro squeezed her hand, smiling slightly, "And I think it was your faith as much as anyone's that sustained me, too." She looked amused, "I remember how gleeful Nagi was when Mai came... I wonder if he knew she would be key to beating him?"
"I doubt he'd have been that eager," Fumi sounded like she was fighting a laugh. She paused a moment, "Have you decided if you're going to tell them about their powers?"
Mashiro looked thoughtful, "I don't know... right now they think they're free of the burden of being HIME. Do I have the right to tell them that's not true, that the only things that are gone are the Orphan and Childe?"
"I'm sure you'll make the right decision," Fumi said sincerely.
"No," Mashiro shook her head, "I think that decision to tell may be yours, Fumi."
"Eh?" Fumi looked startled.
Mashiro looked up at her with a sad expression, "With the Festival over for good Nagi and my time here is done. It's time to leave this world to the decisions of the HIME."
"But..." Fumi looked heartbroken as she knelt beside Mashiro to look into her eyes.
"If we stay it's possible the cycle may begin all over again," Mashiro said gently, "and I don't want to see that happen."
"I don't want to lose you," Fumi said softly, tears in her eyes.
Mashiro leaned forward to kiss her, a soft brushing of their lips. "And I don't want to either," she agreed, "but I won't let others suffer for my selfishness."
Fumi cupped her face in her hands, kissing Mashiro gently. "Before you go, could we...?" she asked softly, a blush to her cheeks.
Mashiro smiled through her gently falling tears, sounding much older than her years as she said, "I'd love to."
Notes: This fanfiction is set just after the 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.... The Chie and Aoi pairing is mostly fan based, but I liked it and decided to slip it in. I'm also tossing in a plot thread for a continuation, maybe, depending on how ambitious I get.