Please Save My Earth Fan Fiction ❯ I'm the One Who Waits ❯ I'm the One Who Waits ( One-Shot )
Please Save My Earth does not belong to me, nor am I making any money off of this work of fanfiction.
Warnings: shoujo-ai, mention of shounen-ai.
*~*I'm the One Who Waits*~*
I don't believe you kissed him. I really don't. Are you some kind of masochist, Enju? Or do you just not realize that when he shuts his eyes it's not you he sees?
If that's true, you're as bad as he is.
Why do you keep on doing this to yourself? He doesn't love you, he never has. He only has eyes for Mokuran-Alice-whatever she calls herself. And you--you just sit there and take whatever he chooses to give, like a kicked puppy. I guess I should have expected it; you were that way from the start.
I remember the first time I saw you, sitting in the very back of that giant lecture hall, hair over your face like a shield. You looked so alone and small and helpless; I had to take care of you. My maternal instincts wouldn't let me do otherwise.
I do have maternal instincts, you know! Jeez, just because I have a temper...
"Hi," I said. You were shocked that anyone would take the time to talk to you; you had the most adorable deer-in-the-headlights look on your face.
"Hi," you said, and I took the seat next to you and spent that whole hour insulting the professor behind her back. By the end, you had even joined in. I'll never forget what you said when she introduced the TAs.
"Oh look, Her Bitchiness has whelped pups."
I miss that Enju.
Going to college with you was probably the happiest time in my life. We were classmates, then acquaintances, then buddies. As time went on, I got more and more attached to you. How could I not? You were you.
The first time I called you my friend, we were studying in my room. Well, okay, it had degenerated into a pillow fight. I had you pinned and was tickling the life out of you.
Somewhere, amid your laughter and mine, I got the notion into my head that you were the one I had been searching for, the sister of my soul.
Sounds like a bad romance novel, huh? I don't know, sometimes our lives seem like one.
It took you a few minutes to get your wheezing under control. I held one of your hands in mine and studied it; somehow it seemed so small and fragile, though our hands were actually the same size. It was the perfect opportunity for you to get me back with your other hand, but I guess you're not a telepath for nothing. You knew exactly how serious I was.
Shu. That was your nickname for me. When I finally got around to asking you why you chose it, you blushed and said it was because you wanted something short you could say over and over again.
"Did you know that you're my best friend, Enju-chan? The best friend I've ever had?"
Your breath on my face stopped for a second.
"You...I...Damnit, not good with words. Sorry."
"T-Take your time."
"See? That's what I love about you. You always put other people in front of yourself, even when you probably shouldn't, just because you're a good person."
You blushed so sweetly, averted your eyes.
"Yes, it is true, and you know it. Never mind, you don't know, 'cause if you did you wouldn't be the way you are."
It occurred to me that I might be crushing you, so I stood and pulled you up after me. You launched into a full-scale hug, and I held you, slowly stroking your long soft hair.
"You make me happy just by being in the same room I'm in."
As the words came out I realized just how much I meant them. Every time you looked at me, I smiled. I couldn't help it. Just the knowledge that someone like you wanted to hang out with me, be my friend...it gave me the warm fuzzies. Still does, in fact.
You, being you, were already stammering out denials.
"Wouldn't I know? Hush, Enju-chan, you're as bad as those college loan officers."
You giggled and pulled away, and a tear rolled down your cheek. I wiped it off with my sleeve.
"What was that for?"
"Sorry, it's just that I'm so happy. No one's ever called me their friend before, let alone their best friend."
I blinked. It was incomprehensible to me that someone like you could be snubbed. How could anyone ignore such a wonderful person?
"You've been hanging around a bunch of idiots, Enju-chan."
We talked for most of the night, swapping secrets and sharing confidences, and eventually you fell asleep in my arms, on my bed, and I held you until dawn, and thought.
I remember it as the best night of my two lives. Do you remember it at all, Enju?
Maybe it's just that your dreams haven't reached that far back yet. Or are your dreams so focused on Gyokuran that I'm only a minor part?
Gyokuran. I hate that word. You came home to our apartment that day, that word bubbling from your lips, and all of a sudden I was second place. After a while, you introduced us; the restaurant we lunched at had a great menu, but I couldn't eat, not with the looks you were giving him, looks he wasn't quite returning. I wanted to shake you and scream, "He's not the one who loves you!"
But you were the one who loved him. I resented it, hated him for taking you away. I couldn't resent you, though, because I was in the same situation. And it took a while, but I eventually even sympathized with Gyokuran, after he fell for Mokuran and she fell for Shion.
Until he slept with you. I'll never forgive him for that.
He was using you, Enju! You were just convenient, a substitute Mokuran, and you knew it. I know you knew it; why else would you spend hour on hour crying your heart out on my shoulder?
As much as I hated Gyokuran for being such a snake, I couldn't be happy when he died, not with your sobbing in my arms. You were almost mindless with grief, which was a good thing when I coughed over your shoulder and saw blood in my hand.
I was, and still am, mortally afraid of dying. What can I say? I love life and I want to live. And I usually panic when death rears its hideous head. Not this time, though; I had to stay strong for you, you were so much more important. There was no way you'd be able to deal with both of us dying if I started freaking out.
You found out the next day. There was no helping it, I guess, everyone knew by then. You came to me that night and we held each other, completely silent.
A few weeks later, I died. I took that time to prepare you, and myself, for the end. Even though you were still so deep in mourning for Gyokuran that you could barely hear me, I told you how much you meant to me, my dearest friend, how much I wished I could have saved you from the world. That's my password, you know, "I wish I could protect Enju." I told you I was scared, and you even let me cry on your shoulder when you had so many tears of your own.
I didn't tell you the most important thing of all, though.
Before I asked him to go find you, I told him to take care of you until you or he died. I didn't want you to be left alone; you don't deserve to be left alone.
"You're in love with her, aren't you?"
I stared at him.
"How did you know?"
He smiled sadly.
"Takes one to know one, Shusuren."
I swallowed, then coughed.
"Yeah, I guess so."
"I'll go get Enju."
He stood from his seat by my deathbed and moved to the door, head slightly bowed.
He stopped for a moment, then turned around and looked me in the eye for the first time that day.
"I'll take care of her, Shusuren. I'll take care of all of them."
He left, and I took a few moments to compose myself. Then you came in, crying, and hovered near the door.
My voice was weak and raw from the coughing and blood, my throat tight with emotion. It took me two tries to get the words out.
"Can you come over here, Enju-chan?"
You tiptoed over to me then, as if I were sleeping and you didn't want me to wake. I wanted to tell you to make as much noise as you wanted, scream, yell, cry, laugh, anything at all as long as I got to hear you one last time.
When you finally reached my bedside you just stared at me, tears streaming down your face. A few landed on my arm; they were warm and, not surprisingly, wet. I guess you notice stupid things when you're about to die.
"What, have I got something on my face?"
You grinned a little, pushed your hair back with one hand and scrubbed your face with the other.
"Yeah, you've got a huge boil, and it's right..."
The tip of your finger touched the tip of my nose.
All of a sudden I couldn't stop coughing. You sat me up and held me until it passed, wiping the blood from my chin. I looked at you. You looked at me. We both knew it was time.
"Enju, I'm scared."
You pulled me to you, and I buried my face in your shoulder and cried and cried and cried. I could feel your tears on the back of my neck too.
"It'll be alright, Shu. Mokuran says we'll meet again, on KK. We can go to college all over again. Won't that be fun?"
Now I know better, but at the time I was absolutely sure you were wrong. Reincarnation just didn't seem plausible to me--I mean, an everlasting soul that is reborn again and again until it corrects its mistakes? Wishful thinking, in my opinion.
In my mind, this was my last chance to tell you how beautiful you were, how sweet and kind and wonderful and generous, and how much I loved you for it. How much I wanted to grow old with you in my arms, to have us die together, snuggled in a warm bed with a soft down comforter.
Instead, I coughed up blood onto your lab coat.
My vision faded quickly; I remember thinking that wherever death took me, I would be happy as long as I could see you again.
Would it be selfish of me to hope that my death pained you almost as much as Gyokuran's? I guess it would, but I can't help it, I need to be as important to you as he was, and the only place it'll happen is in my own mind.
The next thing I was aware of was a bright light, and the sound of a baby's cries-my own. Everything was blurry, I couldn't tell what was going on, up until the minute I was laid in arms that cradled me with care.
"It's a fine, healthy girl, Kokushou-san. What will you name her?"
I looked up at the face of the woman I realized was my mother. The first thing that registered was that she reminded me of you. I would look like you when I grew up. Then she spoke, and it was gentle and quiet, not quite your voice, but with the same feel to it.
"She's pink and delicate, like a cherry blossom in spring. Her name is Sakura."
That was when my moon-memories failed me. I lived out my childhood with a sense of loss, as if I desperately needed something that wasn't there--but I didn't even know what that was. I was sad, moody, and angry almost all the time, and dreadfully afraid of germs for some reason. My parents were patient, but they had no idea what to do with me. Understandable, as I didn't know what to do with myself either.
I didn't know what was going on, why I acted that way when I had no reason to; all I knew was that I needed and had been denied.
Then, I remembered.
At first, it freaked me out. Usually in my dreams I just float around without a body and watch random events play themselves out before me--no logical progression, no real identity, and a different set of characters every time I fell asleep. These dreams, though--the moon dreams--they were clear, and logical, and in them I had an identity--Shusuren--and, finally, a name for what I needed.
It made my depression worse. How could I possibly be in love with someone from a dream, someone I could never meet in real life? Would I be doomed to spend the rest of my life searching for her in vain? And why a woman? Did this mean I was a lesbian?
It was too much for a 13-year-old girl to handle, so I put those questions away for later--or, rather, I tried to. They haunted me during the day, and at night came the dreams. Always the dreams. I dreamt backwards, you know, started with my death, then went on to the sickness, and so on; by this time Gyokuran had died and I was holding you as you screamed out your grief.
Since I couldn't escape them, I decided that I would focus on a different aspect of the dreams, not the people in the base but the area around them. I joined my school's astronomy club to learn more about the moon, Shusuren's graveyard. As an end-of-the-year treat, we joined up with another school for a trip to an observatory.
That trip was the best thing that could've happened to me.
On the way back, it was raining; our bus skidded and crashed. And, for once, my panicky nature did me some good.
"Nonono, I don't want to die! Help me Kami-sama, Buddha-sama, Sarjalim-sama!"
A boy who looked to be about my age pulled my hands from my face. He also looked to be pretty ordinary, aside from being completely calm, but I wasn't about to tell him that. He said something, but everyone was screaming, and I couldn't make it out. I shook my head; he shouted in my ear.
"You know Sarjalim too?"
I stared at him, stunned, then nodded.
"Do you dream of the moon?"
I shouted back.
"Is there a woman named Shusuren in your dreams?"
He pulled me into a hug.
"Yeah. I'm Hiragi."
Dobashi Daisuke, aka Hiragi, our fearless leader. Without him, I might never have identified my past life for what it was. Somehow, he had already figured it out, or maybe it was just wishful thinking on his part that turned out to be correct. Whatever. It doesn't really matter now. What was important was that I knew I wasn't crazy.
And I knew that you had actually existed. That you did exist, assuming you had also been reborn. I could meet you, and we could talk and get to know each other again, and maybe this time I'd have the courage to touch you the way I wanted to. Maybe this time Gyokuran wouldn't come in between us.
For two years Hiragi and I compared dreams. He started to compile a database of all our memories of our home planet. I didn't see the point; the planet was dead, and the only people left of that race were now human. We also searched for you and the others, though we didn't have any success, obviously.
Then there was the day the phone call came.
"Sakura-chan, phone for you!"
I rushed down the stairs and tried to snatch the phone from my father, who held it above his head, smiling at me.
"It's that Dobashi boy again," he said, his smile growing wider. I could almost hear the wedding bells ringing in his head.
"He's not my boyfriend, Dad!"
"Sure he's not."
I sighed and tapped my foot, hands on my hips, until he handed me the phone and left.
"Just remember, sex is always better in person."
Blushing, I put the phone to my ear.
"Shusuren? It's Hiragi. Do you read that sci-fi magazine Boo?"
"No. My own life is sci-fi enough. Why do you ask?"
"Listen to this: 'Do you dream of the moon? My best friend and I have been sharing the same dreams for about two years now, and recently another friend had a similar dream. The dreams take place in a research base on the moon, and there are seven scientists that live there. The weird thing is that each of the people that have had this dream have taken the parts of different characters. My own character is named Enju.'"
Enju. You were here. In Japan. Oh, Sarjalim! I was so shocked I didn't even hear who the other two were. It wasn't important. Of course I wanted to see them again, but you...
"Hi-Hiragi, does it say where we should send replies to?"
"Yeah. Some guy in Tokyo named Nishikiori Issei. But don't worry about it; I already sent a letter."
"You sent it before you called me? How dare you!"
The conversation degenerated from there.
Sunday was the day we had agreed to meet. When we got to the station that day, I was so nervous I was shaking.
"What's wrong, Shusuren?"
"N-Nothing. I'm going to head to the ladies' room for a minute."
"Alright. We'll wait for you here."
I bolted. As soon as I made it to the restroom, I locked myself into a stall and hyperventilated. What if you had forgotten to come? What if I embarrased myself in front of you? Usually I didn't care, but this chance with you was too important to screw up. What if you weren't anything like the dear friend I fell in love with a lifetime ago?
What if you were exactly the same, and still in love with Gyokuran?
Eventually I calmed myself down and went to the sink to wash my face. Of course, when I got my handkerchief out, my hands were so shaky I dropped it. Ugh! Can you imagine the types of things that had to be on that floor? The little icky creatures? I wasn't going to get my face anywhere near that!
"Oh, I dropped it."
"Here. You can use this."
I whirled around--when had someone come in?--and there was a girl with pale skin and long dark hair offering a handkerchief to me. She somehow looked familiar, even though I had never seen her before. Actually, she reminded me a lot of you, with her quiet voice and general niceness.
After we had both freshened up, we left the restroom and, surprisingly, started heading the same direction. It was a little awkward. We kept looking at each other out of the corners of our eyes, then looking away; I started wondering if this was one of the people Hiragi and I were meeting.
I gave a little nod in her direction. She returned it. Then I looked up, and there was Hiragi standing with two almost-familiar-looking guys. All three called in our direction.
If these were the guys we were meeting, then that meant...
I spun to her, shocked. She was one of us! Maybe she was you! You were there, walking right beside me, and I hadn't noticed!
They ran to us. When they got there the girl immediately left to stand near the guys. Shy, too, just like you. Hiragi started introducing us.
"Shusuren? They're here. This is Nishikiori Issei, also called Enju."
So that was you. You were pale, you had dark hair, you were cute, and you were a guy.
You were a guy? Why? I allowed myself a moment of hope--maybe you were a guy to make it easier for us to be together? Maybe you had heard my final thoughts and come to the realization that you loved me too?
"And this is Ogura Jinpachi, also called Gyokuran."
My heart shattered. Of course you'd be reincarnated close to Gyokuran. He was always first: first to die, first in your heart. Always.
"And Sakaguchi Alice, also known as Mokuran."
We all headed over to Hiragi's after that and talked. Turns out you thought the dreams were just that, dreams. Dreams you shared with Gyokuran. Of course, they were all dreams of the moon, none about college or grad school or any of the time you were really and truly mine.
I sound bitter, don't I? Well, I am. I think I deserve it. You think you've got patience, Enju? That you've waited forever for Gyokuran to come to his senses? That no one else has ever suffered as you have? I know you think that sometimes, and it really ticks me off.
I've got news for you, Enju: I've been waiting for you since before you met Gyokuran. That's an extra seven years, for your information.
Seven years. Why didn't I say anything? Stupid, stupid Shusuren! All those years I could've told you, and maybe, just maybe, we could have had something, because now that I look back on it I think you might have said yes. Or maybe you would have said no and fallen for Gyokuran anyway, but at least I could have moved on, instead of staying fixated on you.
But I haven't. Knowing me, I probably won't.
And also knowing me, I'll never tell you. I know you've got a guilt complex, Enju. If you knew just how much you hurt me every time you brush me off for him, you'd tear yourself apart from the inside. I can't do that to you. So I wait for you to notice me, just like you wait for Gyokuran to notice you.
He doesn't see you that way, Enju, especially now that you're a guy. It's Alice/Mokuran he wants, has always wanted, not a beautiful shy little telepath who used to be my best friend and is now his.
Damn you, Gyokuran! Did you have to take her friendship away, too? Do you know that the reason she's a guy is so that she can be your friend without male/female complications? Would you care if you did?
That's what gets me angry, Enju. How could he throw you away like so much trash? You love him, and he knows it, and he just pushes you away. He goes scampering off after someone who will never be his. And I'm here again to pick up the pieces, hurting because you're still looking at him, not at the one who's trying to put you back together.
…It's not his fault, I guess. It was your choice. That's what hurts the most. It was you who chose to fall in love with him. It was you who chose to make him the center of your life and push me to the fringe.
It was you who followed him to that horrible base. And, like a puppy on a leash, I followed you.
I'm such a hypocrite. How can I be mad at you when I'm in the exact same situation? At least you told Gyokuran how you felt. I couldn't even manage that. I let you slip through my fingers, because we were both women and it wasn't "socially acceptable."
Socially acceptable. I hate those words. It seems that no matter how hard I try, I can't free myself from them. For much of my life I thought I was a freak because I loved someone. Even here on KK, love is considered an abomination if it doesn't fit society's view of "normal."
How stupid is that?
But you're a guy now. If I told you, and you said yes, we'd still be normal. Acceptable. It would be a lot easier than what you're trying to form with Gyokuran.
What you will never form with Gyokuran. He pushed you away and wiped his mouth off. Is that enough of a hint for you, Enju? Can't you take a look around and notice something else besides him?
Can't you notice me?
Damnit, why can't I say anything? Why? All I ever do is sit here and rant about how I wish you'd just give up on Gyokuran and how much you're hurting me and how I wish I could kiss you, just once. I never do anything about it!
But you did. You told him. He knows. And he's rejected you, and you can move on. If you choose to.
Would it be so wrong of me to rejoice? To be happy at your heartbreak, when it could lead to something that would bring both of us joy? I feel bad about it, but I just can't help it. You've been the focus for my life for so long that any chance I could possibly get gives me thrills.
I won't say anything right now. You're probably torn up inside; to ask anything more of you would be selfish and insensitive. I'll just be your crutch, the one you can cling to for support whenever you need it.
I'll always be there for you, Enju, even if I'm not the one you want. I'll pick you up when you fall in love, I'll soothe away your tears, I'll even tell you when you're being stupid if you ask me to. For lifetimes, if that's what it takes.
I'll wait, Enju. I have all the time in the world, and Sarjalim never lets true love go unrewarded.
Notes: originally posted at fanfiction.net in 4/02.