Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ The Manga Reaction ❯ Chapter 4

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Notes: This is a semi-serious attempt to write a Shiznats fic set in the continuity of the manga series.

Mai Hime: The Manga Reaction

Chie Harada watched Natsuki Kuga stride into the cafeteria, the dark blue haired young woman cutting a dashing figure as she ignored all the whispers and comments. “I feel sorry for her,” Aoi Senou murmured, the pretty brown haired girl sitting by Chie.

“She doesn’t seem to broken up over Tate choosing Mai instead of her,” Chie noted, pushing up her glasses thoughtfully. The rumor mill had been buzzing for the last few weeks over Tate finally choosing Mai, and a great deal of speculation on why was floating around.

As Natsuki Kuga collected her food she looked around for a place to sit... then blushed faintly as a familiar voiced called, “Natsuki.” Shizuru Fujino was collecting her own food, then walked over to talk to Natsuki quietly. After a moment both women took their food and left the cafeteria, still talking away quietly.

“Did you see that?” Aoi asked, blinking in surprise. Natsuki was a notorious loner out side of her fellow Hime, and it was very unusual to see her going off with someone like that

“I did,” Chie said thoughtfully. “I think I’ve found my latest scoop....”

“Eh?” Aoi blinked.

Over the next few hours Chie put her formidable network of informants to work, attempting to ferret out what was going on. Since the final battle with the Obsidian Prince it appeared Natsuki had either struck up or built on a preexisting friendship with Shizuru, but other than that facts were slim.

Yukino peered over her glasses at Chie, “President Fujino?”

Chie smiled charmingly, “I’ve recently become aware that she seems to be taking a interest in Natsuki Kuga. Do you know anything about that?”

“No, not really,” Yukino answered with enough hesitation to make Chie know she was holding something back.

“Off the record,” Chie promised, “I’m just looking into it out of curiosity.”

“Hmm,” Yukino fiddled with her glasses a bit. “You know that Natsuki joined with Haruka’s Ori-Hime group?”

“I knew that,” Chie agreed.
Dropping her voice Yukino confided, “Natsuki joined because Haruka promised her a list of all the Hime... but Shizuru went behind Haruka’s back and gave Natsuki the list early.”

Chie raised her eyebrows at that, “So that’s why Natsuki was willing to switch sides.” She frowned, “But why did Shizuru do that?”

Yukino shrugged slightly, “I originally thought it was just political manipulation.” At Chie’s questioning glance Yukino elaborated, “Shizuru knew Haruka was ambitious and having her Ori-Hime lose caused Haruka to lose face among the students.”

“You say that was what you originally thought?” Chie noted.

Yukino looked rueful as she confessed, “Shizuru isn’t scared of Haruka at all... her overwhelming win in the second election SEARRS sponsored showed that. No, I think she did it just to help Natsuki.”

Chie nodded slightly as she said, “Thank you very much.”

Next up was a fast meeting with Mikoto, tho more accurately it involved Chie bribing her with treats. The little black haired girl ate like she was having great sex, her eyes almost glittering with rapturous joy.

“Natsuki and Tate?” Mikoto said as she savored her ice cream. “When Tate told her he liked Mai, she was upset but not too upset.”

“Really?” Chie asked, watching the small girl shovel food into her mouth. ‘Where does she put it all?’ she wondered.

Mikoto nodded, “I wonder if it was because she fought Mai so much?”

“Hmm?” Chie asked.

“Mai and Natsuki were rivals,” Mikoto shrugged, “maybe once Mai was interested in Tate, Natsuki felt she had to take him?”

“You could be right,” Chie admitted thoughtfully as she ordered a extra serving of ice cream for her.

“More?” Mikoto beamed, “Chie, you’re the best!”

“Thanks,” Chie chuckled finishing up her own bowl rather guiltily.

“You’re very thorough,” a calm voice remarked as Chie left the building.

Chie turned as she politely greeted her, “President Fujino.”
Shizuru smiled slightly as she said, “Can we talk?”

“Of course,” Chie nodded, following the president through the paths and into the glower garden. As Shizuru stopped in front of a bed of white flowers Chie asked, “What would you like to talk about, ma’am?”

“Don’t play dumb now,” Shizuru looked amused. “Are you looking into me, Natsuki or both of us?”

“A little of both,” Chie acknowledged. She kept a casual stance, knowing how dangerous Shizuru could be. While just a mild mannered student she welded incredible influence with her grace and charm, as well as her ability to manipulate things behind the scenes.

“And why is that?’ Shizuru wondered.

Chie weighed how best to answer that. “I’m not close to Natsuki,” she admitted, “she doesn’t let people get close. But I admire her, and I was concerned with how hurt she was after Tate chose Mai.”

“And you’re worried about Natsuki?” Shizuru sounded almost amused as she continued, “So am I, because I can see a side of her few ever do.”

“Oh?” Chie asked curiously.

Shizuru gave her a thoughtful look as she asked Chie, “How would you describe Natsuki Kuga?”

Chie thought about it a moment, “She’s very self sufficient, tough and capable.” She smiled in a slightly self-mocking way as she finished, “Natsuki’s a nearly legendary lone wolf who stalks across campus.”

Shizuru actually chuckled softly at that, her red eyes dancing with ill-concealed mirth. “I think Natsuki would be very amused to hear that,” she noted.

“So who is she really?” Chie asked, feeling just a bit stung my Shizuru’s reaction.

“I won’t tell you all her secretes,” Shizuru answered her mildly, “but Natsuki conceals a lot of herself.” A sad smile, “You call her a loner but haven’t you seen her reach out to people like Tate, Mai and Mikoto?”

“Hmm,” Chie nodded slightly as she admitted, “I hadn’t thought about it that way.”

Shizuru looked off into the distance, her expression showing her focus shifting to events in the past. “Because of who she is,” Shizuru admitted softly almost to herself, “Natsuki is my most precious person.”

Chie’s eyes widened as what should have been obvious finally occurred to her. “You’re in love with her,” she said softly.

“Yes,” Shizuru admitted as she turned to meet Chie’s eyes and continued firmly, “just like you are with Aoi.”

Opening her mouth to deny it Chie stopped herself, knowing that is she did she’d be lying. ‘Oh she is good,’ Chie thought, studying Shizuru respectfully. Feeling a flash of sympathy she gently asked, “Does Natsuki share your feelings?”

“I don’t know,” Shizuru shrugged a bit awkwardly, “Natsuki is still getting over Tate, after all. I hope with time....”

“I know how that feels,” Chie agreed, remembering her long courtship of Aoi. So much time they had spent carefully searching out the others feelings, each of them afraid of the potential for rejection.

“It’s not easy,” Shizuru agreed. They both stood there a moment silently, lost to their thoughts, then Shizuru looked Chie in the eye and asked, “So, will my pitiful tale end up on the rumor mill?”

“You’re not pitiful,” Chie answered forcefully.

“Thank you,” Shizuru smiled, “well?”

“No, it won’t,” Chie promised. She smiled to herself as she shook her head, “Too bad, it would have made a great story, too.”

“Sorry,” Shizuru chuckled. She looked thoughtful a moment then asked, “Have you heard the latest about Nao?”

“What?” Chie asked curiously.

“It seems...” Shizuru leaned forward and began to whisper into Chie’s ear.

Chie looked at Shizuru in shock, “Nao’s whole slut thing is an act?!”

“She had a check up with Dr. Yohko,” Shizuru nodded impishly, “and I saw the doctor’s notes. Still a virgin.”

“This nearly makes up for losing your story,” Chie admitted, her thoughts already racing as she considered how much fun this rumor was going to be.

“Glad to help,” Shizuru laughed.

Chie paused a moment, thinking. “And this’ll let you avenge Nao’s run in with Natsuki, too,” she mused, “remind me not to underestimate you, President.”

“Have a nice day,” Shizuru winked.


Notes: My original plan was a fic featuring Manga Shizuru courting Natsuki, but the idea of a Chie investigation grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. *lol* I’m not sure how in character it was for Shizuru to open up like that, but I suspect she figured the only way to get Chie to kill a story on her and Natsuki was by offering the truth.