Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ Mai Hime: Answers and Questions ❯ Chapter 4

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Mai Hime: Questions and Answers
Part Four

Nao Yuuki paused, her red hair falling into her eyes as she paced across the room she shared with Aoi Senou. With a sigh the slim young woman sat down at her desk, taking out a pad and a piece of paper.

“Dear Mother,” Nao started to write, then slowed to a stop.

In the aftermath of the festival, her mother had been restored to consciousness along with the healing of Nao’s wounds, a wonderous yet also perplexing event. While her mother was roughly the same Nao had aged several years, and had experienced things that had changed her in many ways. So now they were both adjusting, finding their way back together past the barriers of time and, in Nao’s case, secrets.

“I have to admit,” Nao wrote, “when Sister Yukariko went to you with her nun idea, I was a little annoyed. I don’t like feeling like I’m being manipulated, especially by that well meaning nun, but surprisingly I’m enjoying the work.”

“Heh,” Nao chuckled softly, remembering her fellow nun Miyu Greer’s rather direct style in advising students. Of course Nao’s own helpful suggestions could largely be considered rather un-nun like, too.

“Yukariko is also insisting that I go see a psychiatrist,” Nao wrote reluctantly, “she seems to think that I’m suffering from some unresolved anger issues. The sister is quite a kind woman, and I think that she wants to believe the best of people, a admirable trait considering her own bad experiences.”

Nao sighed softly, thinking back to some of her encounters with the nosy psychiatrist. To say that the woman was probing was a gross understatement, in fact she often felt like a bug under a magnifying glass. To the woman’s credit she did seem to know her stuff, and was helping Nao deal with the anger she still felt towards men in general over her mother’s injuries. Men, and another source of rage too.

“Natsuki, whom I’ve mentioned to you before,” Nao wrote, “came up again at my latest psychiatric session.”

Another regular topic of discussion was Nao’s feelings of anger towards Natsuki Kuga, even going into the revenge ‘fantasies’ that she had. She didn’t discuss the events of the Festival with the doctor, of course, but by describing her encounters with Natsuki as dreams they were able to deal with them, somewhat.

“I think I’m beginning to understand the roots of my rage towards both her and Mai Tokhia. You see,” Nao hesitated in her writing then continued, “we’re all three of us orphans, but how each of us dealt with it was wildly different. Natsuki inherited wealth sufficient for her needs, Mai took on the role of a parent for her brother and I found myself pennyless after the initial hospital bills, doing what I had to, to survive.”

Nao was tempted to erase the last part about herself, but she also knew her mother needed to understand who she was now, both good and bad. She looked away from the desk to gaze out at the sky, seeing the tree branches swaying with the gentle breeze, then with determination returned to her work.

“I don’t blame you for what happened,” Nao added, “I know enough now to understand some of what went on then. But the attack on you changed me, not just in making me manage on my own but also in teaching me about human nature. All our supposed friends scattered after lingering a bit, no helping hands were extended and no help offered. If it taught me anything, it’s that human kindness is overrated.”

“The only good thing,” Nao added after swallowing past a tightness in her throat, “is that I also learned that I could be strong, too.”

“I’m home,” a feminine voice called out in warning as the door opened. Nao looked up from her writing to see Aoi Senou enter, her long brown hair shining against the lighter tones of the school uniform.

“Welcome home,” Nao said as she put the paper she had been writing on in her notebook, “how was your day?”

“Not bad,” Aoi bounced cheerfully, “apparently Natsuki and Shizuru were caught committing an indecency in public.”

“What, again?” Nao asked as she fought back a laugh. Apparently the infamous couple were now firmly in their honeymoon stage of their relationship, and were having a hard time maintaining their discretion.

“Yes, apparently Reito, Haruka and Yukino walked in on them,” Aoi revealed, her eyes dancing with amusement.

“Heh, I wonder if that closet case Haruka got a nosebleed seeing that,” Nao said with a wicked little smirk.

“Oh?” Aoi looked curious.

Nao hesitated then shrugged slightly. “You’ve heard the stories about Haruka following Shizuru around like a puppy,” she noted, “not to mention her supposed reaction to learning about Natsuki and Shizuru.”

“You think she wanted Shizuru for herself?” Aoi asked curiously.

“Maybe not consciously,” Nao said, unaware that she sounded almost like her psychiatrist, “but yeah.”

Aoi smiled, “You mind if I pass that on to Chie?”

“As long as you keep my name out of it,” Nao smiled back.

Aoi sat on her bed across from Nao’s as she said tentatively, “Ah, Nao....”

Nao smiled wryly, “You want me to make myself scarce for a few hours?”

Aoi clapped her hands together and beamed, “Oh, could you?”

“You’ll owe me one,” Nao laughed at her roommate’s over the top gestures. She hesitated a moment then got up, “In fact, I can head out in a few minutes.”

“You don’t need to go so soon,” Aoi said gently.

“I wanted to head over to the hospital anyway,” Nao waved it off as she went to the closet to get some casual clothes to change into rather than her uniform, “Mom’s in rehab today, and that can be pretty rough on her.”

Aoi hesitated, “Do you think she’s up to some company? I know Mai and the others liked meeting her last time we all went.”

“Maybe in a few days,” Nao said as she changed, “I’ll check her schedule.”

“What time do you think you’ll be back?” Aoi asked.

“I’ll be out till nine,” Nao grinned impishly, “I’ll try not to be early. I’d hate to interrupt you and Chie again.”

Aoi fought back a fierce blush as Nao walked to the door and said, “I’m sorry you had to walk in on that.”

“I’m not,” Nao winked as she closed the door behind her, “it was quite educational.”

“I’m never going to live that down,” Aoi sighed as she flopped back on her bed.

Nao headed out with a spring in her step, her tight skirt clinging to her hips and white blouse gleaming. She liked teasing the basically good natured Aoi, it was good innocent fun for them both.

Seeing two figures walking close together in the afternoon sun Nao grinned as she stalked up behind them, “Isn’t this charming?”

“Nao,” Mai squeaked, the bosomy orange haired girl whirling around.

Mikoto reacted without thinking, the smaller black haired girl pulling her hand free from Mai’s she spun and leapt, tackling Nao to the sidewalk in a fierce move. “You know,” Nao said as Mikoto pinned her, “I don’t usually let girls do that to me on a first date.”

“Huh?” Mikoto blinked in confusion.

“Thanks Mikoto,” Maui gently tugged her back, “but I don’t think Nao means any harm.”

“Sorry Mai,” Mikoto looked sheepish.

Nao got up, brushing herself off. “No, I’m sorry,” Nao said wryly, “I should know better than to startle a martial artist.”

“You all right?” Mai asked.

“Nothing hurt but my pride,” Nao said as they began walking again. “Now if Mikoto were only older....” Smoothly Mai bopped her on the back of the head and Nao yelped, “Ow!”

“Mai, what does she mean, older?” Mikoto asked innocently.

Mai blushed, “I’ll explain later.”

“Is this one of those sex things?” Mikoto asked suspiciously.

“I’ll just leave you two to chat,” Nao smirked.

“Gee, thanks a LOT,” Mai muttered as she wondered how she was going to answer Mikoto.

“Have fun,” and Nao jogged off.

To be continued...?

Notes: The last (?) Of my character bits on Mai Hime, hopefully. I find myself oddly fascinated by Nao, so I wanted to examine her a bit. Yes, she’s more cheerful in here than in the anime, but I think getting her mom back might do that.