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ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

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ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

Post by ShatteredHeart98 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:26 am

Summary: The carnival has passed and all of the HiME are enjoying their lives with their loved ones, but Nao's mother never returned. She has reached breaking point and won't let anyone help her, but it will take the combined power of Shizuru and Natsuki to become her unlikely saviours and stop her from doing something that she'll regret.

Sorry if it's a little cheesy or dramatic . It's old work, so I hope its okay :oops:

Losing the Way

Chapter One

Beneath the Surface


The beeping of machines echoed in my mind. Every smell made me feel sick, aesthetic hanging thickly in the air. Beneath the thick blankets was a dying life, a limp body that breathed lightly with every heartbeat.
“Mamma…” I sobbed.
Her green eyes opened, reflecting my own. “Nao? Is that you, my dear?”
I cringed as she lifted a weak arm, her hand shaking so badly that I had to grip it to keep it still. “Yeah, it’s me.”
Her paled face brightened with a smile. “I’m so glad… I knew you would come…” Her voice was so weak. I didn’t want her to loose he strength like that. I knew she had waited for me, and she didn’t need to say a thing. I sat down on an empty chair and squeezed her hand gently.
“Mamma, I got you something. Here, on the table. Can you see them?”
She turned her head to the side, her face eager like a child’s. Those eyes that dulled with every fading day had a smile of their own as she saw the bright flowers I had brought her. “Oh, honey! They’re wonderful!” She wanted to cry it out, I could tell, but her voice was no more than a rasp.
I swallowed a sob in my throat and stroked her hand lovingly in the way only a daughter could. She closed her eyes at the feeling and a tear ran down the side of her face. She knew she would die soon, but I needed her to hold on. Just hold on…
“I’m going to Fuuka Academy now, mum, just like you suggested,” I said in a quiet, teary voice. I coughed and tried to speak with strength. “It’s really pretty there. There’s a whole field of flowers.”
She lifted her head a little on the pillows to listen to me better. “Flowers… Are they as pretty as these?” She jerked her head to them, but the movement caused her to cough violently. Behind me, doctors peered into her room, but she calmed and they walked away, speaking in grim voices. I was still alarmed as she smiled reassuringly at me. “Well? Are you’re flowers the brightest of the bunch?”
I nodded, balling my hands into fists. “Yes. Yes, they are mamma!” I cried out, tears pouring down my face. I was shaking so badly that the tremors went up her arm, but she squeezed my hand back. “You can’t die, mamma…” I whispered as I let her fingers curl around my own. “I don’t want to lose you…”
The many tubes that connected to her moved and stirred as she pulled herself up and leaned over towards me heavily. I pulled her into my arms, being as gentle as I could not to break her tired body.
“I’m not going anywhere, darling… Someone would have to come and take me by force… and no one is that cruel…”

If only that were true…

Nao woke with a gasp. The tears from her dream were real, and they sank into the pillow. She stared up at the ceiling, panting and sobbing. The hand that had held her mother’s was gripping the blankets about her in a tight bundle. She felt trapped beneath the sheets, like she couldn’t breathe.
“Mamma,” she whispered. “Why did she take you away?”
She could remember everything. Her clever plans to take vengeance as her rage burned her inside. She needed a way out, a way to vent everything, and Natsuki had always been a target at the top of the list. She had been disappointed when Natsuki was too depressed to at least pretend to be suffering, but it was all short lived anyway. The woman had come, the woman who claimed Natsuki’s heart, and she destroyed Julia and thus Nao’s mother took her final breath.
“Shizuru!” Nao was suddenly wide awake. She sat up in the bed and glared across the room in all of the darkness, her tears now hot with anger. Shizuru had taken the one person left in the world that she cared for. She had taken it as though it were nothing, like snuffing out a candle. “You won’t get away!”
Beside Nao, her roommate, Aoi, was stirring. Her eyes fluttered open to the sounds of strangled sobs and cries and she realised that Nao had had another disturbing dream.
“Nao? Are you alright?”
The red haired youth jumped at the unexpected voice and turned to glare at Aoi. “Go back to sleep! It doesn’t concern you!” she snapped, gripping her bedcovers even tighter until her fists were trembling. “Just mind your own business for once!”
It wasn’t the first time Nao had dreamed of her mother. For the past weeks since her death, they had plagued her. Everytime she had them, she released her anger on everyone else. Almost all of the HiME knew to stay out of her way now, despite their attempts to get closer to her. They had all bonded, and she was outside of the group. That pain she hid inside.
“Don’t say it isn’t any of my business, Nao,” Aoi said quietly, tears welling in her eyes. She too had attempted to try and break through to Nao, but she was always attacked. “You’re my roommate. I care about you.”
Nao rolled her eyes coldly and lay back down. “Don’t even try that friendship stuff with me. I don’t care about anyone, so you’re wasting your time. Just give up like the others.” She knew that what she had said was cruel, but there was no other way to silence the girl. She was stubborn, and Nao hated that most of all. Her words were true though. She couldn’t stand anyone, especially not now since her mother had been killed.
Aoi hid the pain that the words had left her with. She was used to being treated like this, but it felt terrible. She was trying too hard to open up the girl, despite everyone telling her to give in. She wondered if it was time to let Nao go. With a sigh, she closed her eyes. “Goodnight Nao.”
No reply came, and she slept in the deafening quiet.

********
Light burned into Nao’s eyes, beckoning her to wake. She had avoided a dream this time, but the recent one from hours ago was still fresh. Dried tears cemented her eyelids shut and she had to rub them open. To her surprise, morning had come.
“Ugh, what time is it?” she mumbled, waiting for Aoi to reply. When she said nothing, Nao turned to find that her roommate was gone. For a moment she was angry that the girl had left without waking her for classes, but then she remembered what she had said to her that night.
“Oh well, she should have kept her nose out of it,” she muttered, sitting up and wincing as her muscles ached from a restless sleep. There was also a throb in her chest that she clutched at. She couldn’t deny that familiar feeling. She felt bad for what she had said to Aoi. She had never been that rude before, and she knew it had hurt her.
With a sigh, she rose from the bed. She wasn’t any good at apologies, and she didn’t want Aoi to get the wrong idea and try again to pry into her thoughts. She forced the memory of the night out of her head and managed to rid everything from her mind… except for the dream.
“Figures,” she mumbled tiredly, taking a glance at the clock. When she saw the time, she almost collapsed. She had already missed half of the first class, so she was no longer going to be only a little late.
She was going to have her ass kicked!
“Oh Fishsticks!” she growled, tearing off her pyjamas and throwing on her uniform. She skipped breakfast and a shower and even decided to go without lunch. Hastily brushing her teeth and washing her face at the same time that only a girl in a hurry can achieve, she cleaned up as hastily as she could, glanced at her timetable, and let out a moan as she realised the teacher whom was waiting for her to show was Midori whom had taken up her class as well as the others.
“Crap, hell, Fishsticks!” she swore as she gathered up her bag and ran out of the room. “Midori is well and truly going to have my head!”
It was a dramatic guess of Midori’s actions, but unfortunately she knew she wasn’t very far from the fact. As she raced through the halls she could already hear Midori’s voice, What do you think you’re doing, coming in this late? Do you know what time it is? Just get down to the principle! I’ll make sure you’re working in the church for months! Believe it or not, Midori could be seriously harsh.
Nao’s stomach flopped at the thought of acting pure all day long without being allowed to swear or bring a single whisper of darkness through the doors. “Please no there, please not there!” she gasped as she finally reached the door to the classroom. With a deep breath, she pushed the thoughts of the dream out of her mind along with the guilt and depression, and entered the room.
Everyone fell silent, their eyes switching from Nao to Midori. The tension was thick as Midori’s eyes flashed anger, but as she focused on Nao, her expression softened to the red heads surprise and she beckoned her in. “Take your seat, and try to be on time more often.”
The silence lasted as everyone wondered why Midori had not lost it at Nao for being late like she always was. Midori had been disappointed by the girl numerous times in both class and HiME matters, but since her mother had died she had been different.
Nao hated pity, and a part of her wished that Midori would just yell and scream.
“Today we are reading a novel that was written by an old friend of mine. He lent me this book for the week so we could read through it and learn from his wise words.” Midori was speaking to the entire class, but her eyes stayed on Nao. The girl looked terrible. Her eyes were puffy and hung above dark rings, and her hair was mattered and messy. She looked like she hadn’t slept for a week, and her paled face rose to return a glare. Clearly she was still being affected by whatever had been bothering her, and no recovery had been managed.
Sighing sadly, Midori decided to try and bring her back out of her shell a little. “Nao, why don’t you come up and read some pages for us?” She knew that it would anger Nao a little, but she wanted to distract her from the constant sadness she seemed to be plagued by, and besides, despite everything a punishment was still in order.
Nao held back an angry retort as she rose from her seat and headed to the front of the class where the book was passed into her hands. Midori shared a soft look of encouragement with her for a moment before leaning back against the wall.
Nao cleared her throat and began to red:

Cloud’s parted in the sky, the sun filtering through to fill the city and the people’s hearts. They woke to another day of brightness and hope, when around them darkness swirled and plagued the earth.

Nao’s unfocused thoughts began to wander as she read from the page in a lifeless voice. The dream returned to her memory, pushing straight through her mind and filling her with pain like an arrow.

The children played without any cares or worries as their parents watched them with careful looks. Only they knew of the truth and the way everything could end to abruptly. Only they knew true darkness.

Nao bit back tears as her heart ached to the point where she could barely breathe. Why did my mother have to die? She thought as her hands trembled on the book, blurring the words.

Rain began to fall, covering the streets and dampening hearts. Something has been taken from the people, something that lit them all inside. Faith had been taken, robbed from every soul.

She bit her lip as a tear fell down her face and patted against the page. She couldn’t hold it back, and she struggled to keep her composure. Midori strode over to take the book from her gently, but she barely even realised. She knew who had done this to her.
Shizuru
Midori grasped the book and laid her free hand over Nao’s shoulder. “Take it easy, its okay,” she said soothingly as Nao stood there in tears as the class watched on in shock.
“Mamma, why did you… why did you die?” she whispered, suddenly feeling sick to her stomach. “Why did that woman kill you?”
Midori’s hand squeezed gently. “Hold on, I’ll take you down to the-“
“No!” Nao knew the time was coming when she wouldn’t be able to take anything anymore. All of the whispered voices of her classmates, all of the worried looks and saddened eyes that stared at her. She couldn’t stand any of it. She needed to get out, she needed to find justice.
So she ran.
Midori didn’t even have time to stop her as Nao flung herself away. She shouldered the door open and sped out into the hall with the worried teacher right on her heels, telling her to stop and calm down. Nao was running blind, her teary eyes blurring everything as she stumbled right into a solid being.
Both Nao and the person fell to the ground. With an aching backside, Nao groaned and sat herself up with Midori right behind her. Her eyes were still wet with tears, but she wiped them away to see the damage she had done.
To her surprise, she found herself facing the familiar red eyes of Shizuru.
“Nao? You were in quiet a rush there,” the woman said with a smile, that same smile that played on innocence.
Nao felt her body tremble with adrenaline. She could have attacked her there and killed her like she killed her mother, but without her HiME powers, she was useless. Justice would escape again.
“Is everything alright, Nao?” Shizuru asked as she leaned forward a little. “Did you hurt anything?”
Something inside of Nao felt like it would break. Her sanity, her control, her emotions, anyone of them could have been feeling the strain, but she was too confused inside to realise which one. Another tear spilled down her face and she clenched her teeth against the searing pain of the fresh memories that staring at this woman brought on. The hatred was severe, a bright flash before her eyes, and she knew she had to get away from her. She still couldn’t face her, and her shame was enough to get her to her feet.
“Wait, Nao!” Midori exclaimed as the red head raced off again, leaving Shizuru to stare after her in shock.
“What is wrong with her?” she asked Midori, coking an eyebrow. “Is it whatever has been bothering her over the days? Did she say anything to you?”
Midori shook her head and watched Nao take a sharp turn in the hall and break into the girl’s toilets. “No. She panicked in class and took off, but when she saw you… I don’t mean any disrespect, Shizuru, but I have never seen her so angry.”
A flash of surprise flashed over Shizuru’s face, but she realised it was true. “Then there is nothing for it. I will follow her and find out what is happening. It’s about time she shared with us what is going on with her. After what we have faced together, it seems only right.”
In the toilet’s, Nao was letting everything out. She ignored the fact that there was another girl in there with her, washing her hands. As soon as she had burst through the door, the agony inside of her had torn to the surface and she fell to the floor in tears. Needless to say, the frightened girl hastened with cleaning her hands and ran out into the hall again.
“Why is this happening now?” Nao asked herself as she dragged her lifeless body over to the sinks to release the little food she had eaten over the weeks. She had held on for so long without breaking down like this, but that one little accident with Shizuru in the hall had broken her defences. She had been glaring from a distance all of this time, but she hadn’t once come that close to her again since the death of her mother.
Nao’s hands went white as she gripped the edge of the sink and let everything pour out of her injured soul. It hurt to breathe, and she didn’t want to feel that aching anymore. She felt so empty and alone…
“Nao?” The voice echoed across the bathroom and reached Nao’s ears in an instant of recognition. She turned to face Shizuru, but felt everything around her begin to waver as though the world were tilting. Her knees collapsed beneath her and she sank to the floor, sobbing and sniffing.
Shizuru was at her side with alarm printed on her face. She grasped Nao’s hair gently, lovingly, and pulled it back as another wave of sickness threatened Nao, but the younger girl pulled away at her touch
“No!” she cried stubbornly, shuffling away weakly as her usually energetic body faltered and went numb. “I don’t want your help! Get away from me!”
Being blind to the truth that Nao hid, Shizuru was both hurt and shocked that Nao held so much rage towards her. The girl was sick though, her face paled and her body became limp and useless. She was on the verge of fainting, and Shizuru was never one to stand by and watch. She reached forward with caution hands and grasped for Nao’s arms.
Again, Nao jerked back, but this time the movement was too much. The last of her strength disappeared like the final light bulb inside of her had flicked off, and she fell forwards towards the tiled floor as everything began to darken
The last thing she remembered was falling into Shizuru’s waiting arms. The arms of the enemy.

ShatteredHeart98
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Re: ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

Post by ShatteredHeart98 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:32 am

Chapter Two

Dangerous Plans


“Mamma? How are you feeling today?” Nao asked as she walked into the hospital room where her mother lay beneath the sheets.
With tired eyes, the woman lifted her weary head an inch to smile a welcome to her daughter. “Come in, dear. I’m so glad to see you.”
Nao took the same seat at her mother’s bed and kept up the beaming grin on her face for as long as she could, fighting back the pain that cloaked her everytime she looked at the machines whirring around her mother that seemed to be multiplying each day.
“How was school today?” her mother asked, taking note of the tired rings around her daughter’s eyes. “Did you see the flowers?”
Nao bit her lip and nodded. “Yeah, I ate my lunch around them.”
“Alone?”
Nao sighed.
“Dear Nao, I just worry for you. I don’t want you to have to eat alone.” Nao’s mother reached out and took Nao’s hand, squeezing it in her own. “I feel a little better today, so that means that tomorrow you have to try and make a friend.”
The sound of her words was a blessing to Nao’s ears and she smiled honestly this time. “You really feel better? Than I guess I could try,” she said with a nod. “I promise!”


Nao’s eyes opened almost willingly as another dream began to settle in. Already she could feel her heart aching and she rested a hand over her chest. When will this pain end?
“Ah, Nao, it’s good to see you’re finally awake.” Yhoko pulled back a sheet somewhere from beside Nao’s nurse bed and peered over her. “You’re looking a lot better than yesterday.”
“Yesterday,” Nao echoed in a weak voice, tyring to remember everything from the previous day. Of course, the first thing that came back was the dream and she felt her tears welling up again.
Luckily, Yhoko saved her. “You almost had a breakdown in Midori’s lesson, and you ran out of the class and right into Shizuru. After that you apparently ran into the toilets where Shizuru followed you, and after being sick in the sink you fainted into her arms.” She paused as Midori appeared at her side, her face filled with worry. “Shizuru and Midori here helped carry you to me, and you were out all night and for most of today.”
“That long? So today is…” Nao mumbled, closing her eyes to try and remember the days of the week as she forced herself to ignore the anger of falling weak in front of Shizuru.
“It’s Saturday night,” Midori filled in helpfully, but she still looked sad for the girl. “You need to stay in here for another hour at least, as well. I know you probably want to get away to be by yourself again, but you’re not well.” Midori made it obvious she knew that something was going on with Nao, but she also didn’t have the look of understanding, so Nao knew her secret was still safe inside.
“Okay,” she muttered uncomfortably. “I’ll be here for another hour, but then I’m gone,” she said rudely before flipping onto her side and pretending to sleep when in reality she was sifting through her thoughts and pitying herself for fainting in front of her enemy.
Damn you, Shizuru…

******

On the final second of the hour, Nao was getting up and dressing behind the sheet that separated her from Yhoko whom she could hear tapping away at her laptop. Luckily it seemed Midori wasn’t there who would have been chattering away, so she threw on her school clothes after she had been changed into a warmer nurse attire whilst she had been unconscious, and gathered up her bag.
“The hours up,” she announced as she stepped out in front of Yhoko with her arms crossed boredly. “Which means I’m out of here.” She started towards the door without backwards glance, but Yhoko’s urgent voice stopped her.
“Wait, Nao. What exactly happened yesterday?” she asked, swinging around on her office chair. “I know a little of it from Midori, but she didn’t know why you reacted like you did.”
Nao hesitated. She wanted to tell someone, but she was afraid of the way people would view her. She had always dealt with things on her own, and she didn’t want that to change. She hated relying on others, so she couldn’t let the words out.
Yhoko sighed at her silence. “I understand if you don’t want to say anything, but please talk to someone. I don’t want to have to see you carried in here unconscious again. You looked dreadful.” There was a real sadness in her voice that made Nao twitch, wishing again that she wasn’t so stubborn to the core.
“Sorry Yhoko, but I’d rather keep it to myself,” she said with a hint of anger in her voice that she used to tell others how serious she was. “If that’s all, I’ll be on my way.”
Knowing there was nothing more she could do without prying into business that wasn’t her own, Yhoko let the matter go. “Alright, take it easy out there, okay? And don’t forget what I said about telling someone. It’s important.”
Nao didn’t reply. She disappeared through the door and shut it hastily, heading down the hall with a tight feeling in her chest. I’ve never had something this hard to keep to myself before, she thought. It was true. She had never had a problem with fighting through things on her own. She always found a way to cheer herself up by finding pathetic males to torture, but even that wouldn’t make a difference, she knew. It was like a wound was dragging inside of her, getting bigger the more she left it unknown to others, and she didn’t know how long she could last.
Clearly the red head wasn’t in the mood for surprises. She just wanted to get back to her room and deal with Aoi’s annoying begging to know what was going on. She knew she wouldn’t cave into her. After all, they didn’t often share secrets, let alone words. She did still feel a little guilty though, but now wasn’t the time to give her the impression that she was shallow.
“This’ll still be hard though, either way,” she muttered to herself as she reached the door to her dorm and rested against it for a moment. She was still tired and decided she would go straight to bed after telling Aoi that she was fine to shut her up, but as usual, things weren’t going to go her way.
As soon as she opened up the door, she was faced with the very nasty surprise she wasn’t prepared to face.
Inside of her room were some of her fellow HiMEs: Mai was on the floor beside Mikoto, both tickling each other and roaring with laughter as Aoi was left giggling along with them with half closed eyes beside Midori, whom was looking surprisingly tense. On the second half of the couch was Natsuki, her body leaning comfortable against her.
Shizuru.
Nao shallowed down a choking fear and faced them all as their eyes lifted to her own in expectance. Mai and Mikoto looked apologetic, and Aoi looked suddenly more tired than before. Natsuki was trying to hide a scowl, but Shizuru was smiling. The most obvious expression, though, was Midori’s. She looked both disappointed and serious to the point where she actually looked like a teacher.
“Nao, we need to talk,” she said emotionlessly.
Nao’s hand gripped the edge of the doorframe. It wasn’t a discussion. It was an interrogation.
“Don’t be scared,” Shizuru said soothingly as she saw Nao panicking. “It’s going to be okay. Come on in.”
Nao’s knees were beginning to buckle. She couldn’t do this right now. She couldn’t admit it to all of them, especially not her, not her enemy.
Midori lifted her head a little as she saw the state of the girl. “You’re not going to faint again, are you?” Immediately all of them looked alarmed, and Nao backed away a little more.
“I can’t do this,” she gasped, clenching her teeth. “This is my problem!”
This time, to everyone’s surprise, Aoi spoke in her shy voice. “Nao, you need to share with us what’s happening! You’ve been so depressed and sick, it’s not just worrying me anymore! It’s worrying all of us!”
“Why!?” Nao cried, banging her fist against the doorframe in anger. “Why would any of you care?”
Mai answered as she swivelled around properly to look at Nao face to face. “We were all HiME together, and in a way we still are. We’re a team, so of course we care about you, Nao. Look at everything we did together!”
It was true, and it hit Nao in the heart, adding to the emotions that already filled it to the breaking point. But it had already broken those weeks ago, all because of the smiling woman that faced her now, trying to give her encouragement.
Nao knew what she had to do. She needed to run again. It felt like a weak way out and she wished she didn’t have to, but she wouldn’t be able to face all of them like this. She didn’t know what would happen, but it wouldn’t be good. She already felt like she was suffocating and the tightness inside of her became too much to handle. With a final glare at Shizuru that could penetrate any weaker soul, she turned and fled.
She ran through the halls without another thought filling her head. She only knew of one thing at that moment, and it was getting away from that group and those red eyes. Everything around her was a blur as she passed room after room. When she reached the stairs, she didn’t stop. She jumped the length of it, and landed before the doors of the building. Without slowing or stopping, she pushed it open and sped off into the night like a frightened animal.

******

Back in Nao’s room, Aoi was in tears. Mai and Midori were trying to comfort her as she cried into her hands, but there was nothing to be done. Nao had hurt her with her secrets, and she felt like she had to do something for her all of this time. Now she just felt weak and helpless.
“There’s nothing we can do while she’s like this,” Midori told her gently. “She needs to calm down, and when she has, we’ll try again.”
“I thought you said she was calm enough tonight?” Mai pointed out, rubbing Aoi’s back as she wept.
Midori let out a sigh and threw up her hands. “My mistake. I was sure that after seeing her yesterday passed out in the bathroom that she would be ready to spill as soon as she woke up. Guess she hasn’t reached that point yet.”
“I don’t think she will.”
All eyes turned to Shizuru as the fell into a deep thought, her thumb pressed to her chin intelligently. “It seems she is too used to being on her own with problems. We have to force ourselves into her head, or she won’t say a word, but she might lash out.” She let out a deep breath. “This is a very delicate situation when you think of who we’re dealing with.”
Everyone nodded in agreement, but Natsuki simply frowned and stared across the room.
“Something wrong, my dear Natsuki?” Shizuru asked with a touch of lust in her voice despite the situation.
Natsuki glared at her for making their relationship obvious in front of company, but she let it pass for the moment and instead asked, “Why am I helping that girl, anyway? She was rude to me during the entire Carnival and might I remind you that she also tried to kill me on more than one occasion?”
Shizuru clucked her tongue sadly. “Natsuki, you were the one who stopped me from killing her during my…” She let out a fake coughed. “Rampage, let’s just call it. Why have you suddenly changed your heart again?”
Natsuki felt an angry twitch in the corner of her eye. “I pitied her and saved her from getting killed once! It’s not like her life is being threatened at the moment!”
Another sob wracked through Aoi as the possibility hung silently in the air between them all.
“Oh, come on! She’s not that stupid!” Natsuki argued angrily as she realised they were all thinking of Nao killing herself. “Surely she has more sense than that!”
There was no time to argue about it further for the door was thrown open with such a sudden force that it shuddered on its hinges. In the doorway stood a seething Haruka before the predicably timid Yukino.
“Shizuru!” Haruka roared, rounding on the woman. Everyone knew she was serious the moment she used Shizuru’s first name. “Why aren’t you helping me deal with all of the council matters! You haven’t been in there since yesterday morning!”
Shizuru looked so bored that if she had a cup of tea before her, she would have sipped from it painfully slow. Instead, she met Haruka’s gaze with her own steady grin. “Why Haruka, I apologise for my missing presence. I am afraid that there have been events that have kept me from heading back to the council room.”
Haruka rolled her eyes and stamped a foot in the perfect mimic of a child having a tantrum. “I am sure then, that there is nothing pressing on you at the moment seeing as you seem quiet relaxed in here with a nice little get-together!” she growled, each word coming through clenched teeth.
With a shrug, Shizuru gave in. “I guess you’re right,” she said, glancing around at the group. “Is everyone okay if I leave things as they are?”
They all nodded, but Aoi looked troubled. “What about Nao? She isn’t safe out at night,” she sobbed.
“That’s true,” Midori said, but she let out a deep exhale. “Unfortunately I’m up to my eyeballs with work, and Mai and Mikoto have a catch up test to take for missing it conveniently the other day,” she said, her eyes boring into the pair as they went red.
“This late?” Aoi asked helplessly, but unfortunately it was a part of the punishment for the girls, and one only Midori would dare to pass under the principles nose. So the saddened girl looked to the remaining pair, Shizuru and Natsuki.
“I was going to go and look for her, but it seems I have to return to the council,” Shizuru said as Haruka glared at her impatiently. “Perhaps you and Natsuki could go.”
Natsuki’s eyes widened and she choked on her words. “W-what? Are you kidding me?”
“Oh, please, Natsuki!” Aoi begged, standing up and clasping her hands together. “Please come with me?”
Natsuki could barely believe the task was getting pressed into her hands when she liked Nao the least. She turned to Shizuru again, but the woman gave her an apologetic look that slowly worsened until she looked like a puppy, and Natsuki, naturally, couldn’t exist.
“Arghh! Fine!” she growled, punching a fist into the couch. “But I’ll go alone. No offence, Aoi, but I don’t think your sobbing will help us find her if she is trying to hide away.”
Aoi nodded understandingly and almost made the mistake of embracing the girl. Instead her hands fell stiff at her sides and she gave an awkward but formal bow. “Thank you so much, Natsuki!”
With a sigh, the girl flipped her dark hair back and frowned. “I’ll bring her back, but don’t expect her to be unscathed. I doubt she’s going to leap into my arms to come back.”
Shizuru laughed at the expression. “I wonder what you would do if I attempted that my dear Natsuki.”
“Shut up, Shizuru…”

******

Night had well and truly fallen by the time Natsuki stepped into the town entrance. She hadn’t bothered to take her bike as she knew that Nao couldn’t have gotten too far, but after she had realised she had wondered further than the school lawns she understood that the girl was definitely in a hurry to get away.
Now the search began, and she wanted nothing more than to get back to the school and go to sleep beside Shizuru. That meant she wasn’t going to waste time finding the annoying red head, even if it meant rendering her unconscious and dragging her back.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she muttered to herself as she began wandering the streets, her eyes scanning through the small crowds of late shoppers. “I couldn’t care less what happens to her.”
Inside, Natsuki’s stomach clenched in protest and she realised she couldn’t deny it. She wasn’t as heartless as people thought she was, for she did hope that Nao was alright, and she had been wondering about her depression over the days. When she had heard about her fainting yesterday from Shizuru she hadn’t been able to hold back a gasp and prying for more details. There was no point lying to herself anymore. She worried about her, even if it was only a tiny bit.
“Come on, bitch! Stop cryin’! Ya look pathetic!”
Natsuki turned in the direction of the yelling voice. She knew it was a thug. She had had too many run-ins with them in the past to mistake that clueless voice. A sick feeling seeped through her like poison and she followed the sound of the male’s voice.
“Get up! You’re makin’ this harder than it has to be!”
Rounding another corner, Natsuki caught a visual on the man. He was dragging a kicking form deeper into an alley, but the victim wasn’t making it easy for him. She screamed as loud as she could, swearing at the man, but there was no one around in the area to hear her.
I should help her, Natsuki thought, her eyes boring into the brutes back. She started forward into the area, her hands balling into fists, but the next sound she heard made her breath catch. It was a cry that sounded so familiar that there was no doubting who it was. “Nao!”
At the sound of her name, the girl’s head turned to Natsuki and she could see her bloodied face and the sheer terror in her eyes. Unfortunately the man wasn’t as stupid as he looked and he threw Nao behind him to face Natsuki.
“What do we have ‘ere, ay? Another lil’ student to play with, huh?” The thug bent his head back and guffawed. “It’s my lucky day!”
Natsuki struck before he had time to react. She elbowed him in the stomach, and then as he doubled over, she lifted her fist and struck him in the jaw. His head jerked back and struck the brick wall where he slumped to the ground.
Clasping at her aching fist from the man’s rock hard stomach, Natsuki let out a little moan. “Man, that hurt!” she growled, messaging it as her eyes searched quickly down the rest of the darkening alley. “Nao?”
There was no reply, so she travelled further down.
Nao was lying in a motionless heap beside a pile of trash bags. Blood pulsed down the side of her head in a thin line and her eyes were firmly shut. Fearing the worst, Natsuki bent down at her side and rolled her onto her back, being as gentle as she could.
“Nao?” she called tensely, peering down at her pale face. “Nao, can you hear me?” There was no response, and Nao had to press her fingers to her neck to make sure she was still alive. She let out a sigh or relief as the located the light throbbing of her heart, and started to slap her in the face softly, willing her to wake. Unfortunately her eyes did not open, and Natsuki was left with no choice but to sling her over one shoulder and carry her back.
“Damn it, Nao,” she muttered as she started towards the school. “You’re always causing trouble, you know that?”
Her only reply was a lifeless murmur.

******

“Oh, Natsuki! You must have been so scared!” Shizuru practically flung herself into Natsuki’s lap as she explained her story.
Rolling her eyes, the raven haired youth shook her head. “You know thugs are easy to deal with, having that low brain capacity and all.”
“Hmm… I suppose so, but you were still very brave,” Shizuru muttered as she straightened herself up and peered into Natsuki’s eyes. “I am very proud of my Natsuki.”
Natsuki had returned with Nao hanging over her shoulder twenty minutes ago, and had been greeted at the gate by Aoi and Yhoko whom both hurried her into the nurse’s office. That left her to wander back to her dorm where Shizuru was more then delighted to see her.
The feeling of Shizuru sitting beside Natsuki with her head on her shoulder was so peaceful that Natsuki was beginning to forget about the nagging worry she felt for Nao. She had been beaten pretty badly by the thug, and she couldn’t get the image out of her head. Seeing her fading distress, Shizuru took her hand and squeezed it gently to rid the last of it.
“Lay down, Natsuki,” she said gently, guiding her down so she was lying her head in her lap. “You look tired.”
“I’m exhausted,” Natsuki admitted, smiling at the comfort she found in her love. “It all feels a little better when I come back to you though, you know.”
Shizuru stroked her face softly. “I am glad I make you feel so, Natsuki. I was so worried about you out there tonight that I was going to abandon Haruka to find you.”
Natsuki snorted. “She would have killed you.”
“That is why I remained in the council office with her,” Shizuru said truthfully, running her stroking hand through Natsuki’s shining hair. “But I still couldn’t keep my mind off of you.”
A knock at the door ended the conversation that was only just heating up between the two. Natsuki scowled and stood to answer, but Shizuru caught her wrist.
“Rest,” she repeated, nodding her head at the waiting covers of the bed. “I’ll deal with whoever it is. It’s probably Yhoko coming to tell us Nao’s condition.”
That only made Natsuki want to open the door herself to learn of the girl, but she brushed the worry aside easily as she stared at he comfort before her. With a deep exhale that dragged out all of her restlessness, she collapsed onto the mattress.
“Oh, good evening, Midori. I thought you were busy with Mai and Mikoto.”
Natsuki’s head snapped up almost as soon as it relaxed into the pillows.
“Sorry to bother you this late. I’ve just finished up with the pair of them and decided that I was too tired to bother with the papers I had to fill out anyway,” Midori explained.
“I see,” Shizuru said, keeping her composure despite her time with Natsuki being interrupted. “So what is it that brings you here then?”
Natsuki was listening intently, expecting her to say that Nao’s condition had worsened or something else that played on her mind.
“I’ll get straight to the point seeing as it’s this late. I’ve just been checking on Nao with Yhoko and it seems that stress is making her not only ill, but as we saw tonight, it is also pushing her to make stupid decisions. Because of that we think she should be with someone other than Aoi who will try to pry into her thoughts when she obviously doesn’t want to open to her.”
“So what have you decided?” Shizuru asked, giving a tiny yawn that she hid behind her hand.
Midori gave a weak smile of apology which definitely had Natsuki’s attention. “We have decided that she seems to have a grudge against you, Shizuru, judging by her behaviour. Because of this, we think that it will benefit her to be under your protection over the next few days so she will cave in and let out what has caused her to be so depressed.” She finished with a sharp intake of breath. “It is your decision in the end, but I think it will definitely help her.”
Both Shizuru and Natsuki glanced at each other, sharing thoughts as though telepathically. Natsuki was the first to react in the silence. She let out an angry growl and sank her head into the pillows. Sure, she had worried, but dealing with the beast personally was a totally different thing. Still, though, she wanted her to be okay…
“Fine!” she muttered, her voice muffled but understandable. “She can stay, but she is so dead if she starts anything with me!”
Shizuru let out a small laugh. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. You would leave her as a very messy body.”

ShatteredHeart98
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Re: ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

Post by ShatteredHeart98 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:37 am

Umm, I'm sorry if these chapters are a little long. Please bare with me. Also, I apolagise if Nao, Natsuki, or Shizuru are out of character. Sorry...

Chapter Three

Breaking Point


“WHAT?!” Nao’s voice echoed down the hall from behind the closed nurse’s office door.
“Calm down!” Midori ordered, pressing her back down into the bed. “You haven’t had enough rest!”
Nao pushed her hands away and gave her a look that would kill if it was possible. “I can’t believe you came up with such a ridiculous plan! I didn’t even get a say!”
“You were unconscious!” Midori yelled back. She stopped herself from losing her temper and rested her back against the wall beside Nao’s bed. “You would have said no anyway. It’s just like you to turn down a good idea.”
“This isn’t a good idea!” Nao responded immediately, punching a fist against the covers. “How are they going to help me? I hate the pair of them, especially Shizuru!”
Midori took her chance and rushed to the side of the bed. “Why?” she asked quickly before Nao could change the subject. “Why do you hate her? Tell me!”
The words almost came out of Nao’s mouth. They teetered at the edge and she opened her mouth up to let them tumble out, but she knew that Midori would only get involved and mess things up like she always did. She would put her in with Natsuki and Shizuru even if she knew the reason, so she clamped her mouth shut and shook her head.
Sighing so sharply it was almost a hiss, Midori moved away from the bed and ripped the sheets to the side so she could speak to Yhoko.
As the pair discussed her condition and how long she would have to remain, Nao pondered about the days she would have to spend under the terrorising eyes of her mother’s murderer. It all sounded like a really bad joke, but she wasn’t laughing. In fact, she could feel tears welling in her eyes and wiped them away hastily.
She won’t win over me anymore!
Midori appeared again at the sheeted privacy door with an emotionless mask. “You’re staying here until I come to collect you again. I need to sort out some stuff, then I’m coming right back and you can get dressed and packed. There is no negotiation.” She didn’t mean to be so cold, but Nao was making it harder for not only herself, but everyone else, so with no compassion whatsoever, she turned on her heel and left Nao to her own miserable thoughts.

******

For the restless Nao, the time for her to be collected by Midori and taken to the room of her soul enemy had come too fast. She had been rolling around beneath the covers of the bed, unable to sleep despite her tired body. Instead, she had picked at the wounds from the previous night.
Bandages dressed her entire left arm from the shoulder to the wrist where the man had drawn a knife that he had hidden in his clothes. He had used this first attack to shock her, and then it was all fists and feet. Her forehead had a giant purple bruise hidden under her fringe, and her nose felt twisted and clogged where it had been almost broken. Her lip was split, her right eye was swollen, and her ribs ached from the line-up of bright red marks.
Surprisingly, though, she looked better than she had expected, and she knew that Natsuki was to thank for it. She wasn’t sure why she had saved her life, but she convinced herself not to care. She definitely wouldn’t be thanking her anytime soon, but she couldn’t help wondering if Shizuru would have done the same…
“Come on, let’s go!” Midori bustled in with a happier face on this time. She threw Nao a pair of school clothes and stood with her back to her as she changed, saying, “I’m sorry for earlier, but you really are a pain.”
Nao smirked. “Try being me and you’d understand.”
“I don’t need to be you. I just need to know what’s up,” Midori countered, her arms crossing over her chest. “I know you don’t want to talk about it to me of Yhoko, but I do think that it would do you a world of good if you tell the girl’s, or at least Natsuki. Shizuru really wants to know why you’re mad at her though, but she does have a very good idea....”
Nao could not believe her ears. All of this time they had been so busy thinking of their own happy endings that her tragedy had been forgotten. Her mother had not been returned to her which was passed off as ‘an unfortunate experience,’ but that was all. For her, her life had ceased on that very day, and all they could do was wallow in their happiness when she was left in a world that was very different.
And now Shizuru had worked it out? About time…
“So what does she think?” Nao asked, trying to sound uninterested. She couldn’t deny that it would make it a hell of a lot easier to control her emotions around her if she knew, but then again, what if she acted like it was nothing? What if she really was as cold as Nao believed she was?
Midori shrugged and shook her head. “I’m not sure what her guess is. She didn’t tell me,” she answered. “I think she was just waiting to discuss it with you, but mind you, she might be waiting for you to make the approach. After all, she wants you to work all of this out, and part of that means coming out with the truth and facing it yourself.” She turned her head a little to give Nao a smile of encouragement. “We all believe you can do it.”
Rolling her eyes at the sickening sentiment, Nao slipped on her school jacket and yanked up her bag. She wasn’t in the mood for pathetic attempts at ‘cheering her on’ though all of this. She just wanted to serve her time and get back to her own room with her own annoying roommate.
She never thought the thought would cross her mind but it did.
I miss Aoi!

******

“Alright, here she is! Freshly delivered!”
Midori brandished Nao at the door like a cheap giveaway, but the red head didn’t put a cheery smile on her face. She let it reflect the anger and betrayal she felt, but not the fear. That stayed on the inside…
“Oh, come on in, Nao,” Shizuru welcomed, stepping aside to give her room to enter. Nao trudged past with each step purposefully loud as it was filled with regret. She should have run off whilst Midori was playing escort.
The rudeness of her actions did nothing to faze Shizuru. She was well aware that her time alone with Natsuki would be intruded upon, but she too was worried for Nao’s welfare. After all, she was responsible for her mother’s death, and that was exactly the conclusion she had come to for Nao’s hatred towards her. She had always had a feeling as soon as she saw her wandering the halls like a silent wraith, but now she knew it for sure. However, it was up to Nao to come out and tell her when she was ready, or all hell would break loose.
“Sorry about this again, all three of you,” Midori said, casting a sad look over all of them. They all reflected different feelings: Shizuru looked fine with it all, calm and collected, Nao looked furious, but also scared at the same time, which was almost impossible to pick up, and Natsuki was hiding her own feelings as best she could, but irritation was definitely fighting its way onto her face. “Really, I am sorry about this, but even the principle has decided that it’s a good idea this afternoon,” she said, trying to make them all feel a little better.
Luckily, Shizuru saved her from her guilt. “This is to help a fellow HiME. Don’t worry about it at all, Midori.” She gave her a large smile which put her at ease.
“Alight then, well, take care. No killing each other,” Midori said as she headed out of the door, giving one last worried glance over her shoulder before she headed back to the nurses office, leaving the girls to deal with things on their own. She wished she could stay for longer, but she trusted Shizuru to stop a massacre from happening.
There was an awkward silence in the room as the door was shut and the three roommates stared across the room at each other. Natsuki and Shizuru shared a sad glance as they thought of their lost time together, then they looked to Nao. Natsuki looked ready to detach her injured arm, but Shizuru smiled sweetly.
“Would you like something to eat, Nao?” she asked calmly, striding over to the kitchen. “I’ve been cooking some soup for me and Natsuki to enjoy for lunch, but I could make en extra bowel if you’d like some.”
Nao scoffed and rolled her eyes. “You think soup will fix everything, huh? You’re stupider than I thought.” Nao was terrified under the woman’s sight, but she would do what she always did to hide her emotions: Fight.
“Don’t speak to her like that!” Natsuki growled, her hands balled into fists at her sides. “She’s trying to be nice, and all you can do is be rude and selfish like always!”
“Oh, that’s right… You and her have a little dyke relationship going on, right?” Nao said with a smirk, carefully avoiding Shizuru’s gaze. “No wonder you’re barking like a dog, Kuga.”
To Natsuki, Nao had stepped over the line. She stepped forward and screamed in Nao’s face. “When you’re in our room you will show us respect! Talk like that to me again, and I’ll make you regret it, Nao! Stop only thinking of yourself and living in your pathetic self pity!”
The words were a shock to Nao. She had never seen Natsuki loose it like that. She took a shaky step back, glaring at those bright green eyes that were burning with an internal fire.
“Girls, that’s quiet enough.” Shizuru stepped in between then, one hand pushing Nao back another step and the other calming Natsuki on her shoulder. “Nao, Natsuki has a point. She should be kind to us when we are letting you stay in here. Not to mention, she did save your life last night.”
Nao grimaced at the memory. “I don’t need pity,” she hissed. “That can’t help me anymore.” She felt the words of truth forming in her mouth, but she bit them back again. She didn’t need them to tell her that they didn’t care about the tragedy that had ruined her. She couldn’t handle rejection like that. Instead, she took refuge beneath her pride and held her tongue. “I’m going to bed. Don’t bother me.”
Shizuru sighed. For a moment she was sure Nao was going to confirm her reason of the girl’s depression, but it looked like she still wasn’t ready. Natsuki, however, seemed not to care and pointed behind her. “Couch,” she said simply to Nao.
Though Nao was sure the pair shared one of the two beds, she wasn’t in the mood to argue, so she sauntered over to the couch, took one look at it, and then collapsed into the cushions. Her eyes closed and sleep claimed her tired body before she could even get comfortable.
“What are we going to do with her?” Natsuki asked, pressing her thumbs to her temples as she felt a headache coming on. “I was this close to hitting her, Shizuru.”
The brown haired woman nodded her head sadly as she watched their new roommate sleeping already. “She was this close to telling us what’s been bothering her, too, and I’m sure we would have heard what we expected.”
Natsuki let out a deep breath and sat down at the table, sitting back in the chair. “I don’t understand why she doesn’t just get it off of her chest. She doesn’t understand how many people actually want to help her.”
Shizuru gave an amused grin as she started to dish up the bowels of soup. “Remember, Natsuki, that pride if a very manipulative thing. It stops us from doing things that are right, sometimes, and I believe you have your own share to deal with.”
“W-what? I would so tell people if I had a problem like that!” she exclaimed, but Shizuru just laughed.
“I don’t believe you, Natsuki.”
The raven haired girl sighed and stuck her spoon into the soup. “I wish she would just come out with it, though. I didn’t save her for no damn reason. She just talks to me like crap!”
“I know,” Shizuru muttered, remembering the rage that had flickered through her when Nao had rounded on her dear Natsuki. “I would like to say that everything will work out fine for her, but unless she speaks up to us, she will just continue to suffer.”
“She should tell you at the very least,” Natsuki muttered. “I don’t like the way she takes it all out on you. I know that you’re the one who… well, killed her mother… but she isn’t even talking to you about it.”
“Aww, how thoughtful. Natsuki doesn’t like the way Nao is treating me,” Shizuru said in a sweet voice, clasping her hand to her heart. “I am the luckiest girl in the world!”
Natsuki rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Shizuru.”
“I don’t think you want me to,” the woman countered, sliding out of her seat and leaving her soup behind as she slunk her way over to Natsuki. “You love the sound of my voice.”
“Shizuru, I’m trying to eat,” Natsuki said, trying to sound unfazed as her lover slowly rested herself into her lap. She lifted a spoonful of soup towards her mouth, but Shizuru snatched it from her grasp and fed it to her.
“Open wide, Natsuki.”
“Bite me.”
Shizuru gave a little giggle and shrugged. “Okay.”
“No, Shizuru, I was joking!” Natsuki cried, but it was too late. Shizuru bit her playfully on the hand, then hissed like a vampire and headed for her neck, the most tender part of her. The pair ended up falling from the chair and lay sprawled on the floor, the spoon of soup clattering beside them.
“M… mamma…”
Both girls stopped turned to see Nao thrashing about on the couch, clawing at the air. “Mamma… Don’t die…” she called in her disturbed sleep.
Shizuru pulled herself off of Natsuki and faced the red head. “A dream about her mother? I guess we were right after all.”
“Should we wake her?” Natsuki asked as she too collected herself. “She looks so… distressed.”
Nao’s hands claws at the couch as her dreams tortured her. She muttered ‘mamma’ over and over, her face twisting in agony as she couldn’t find her escape from the dream.
Shizuru nodded and approached her with Natsuki. “Nao,” she called, shaking her by the shoulder gently and keeping an eye on her arms that flailed out suddenly every few moments. “Nao, wake up. You’re having a terrible dream.”
But the girl remained in her nightmare.

******

“Mamma, I’m back. I’ve missed you.” Nao gathered herself at the side of her mother’s bed, glancing at the flowers on her bedside table that had begun to wither. She tried not to compare their deterioration to that of her mother’s health, but it was hard when her mother looked sicker with every passing day
Three days ago she was as white as a sheet.
Two days ago she was shaking from head to toe with extra blankets.
Yesterday she coughed with every word.
Today, she could barely speak.
“N-Nao…” she gasped, her hand lifting to take her daughter’s gently. “How… How was s-school?”
Biting her lip, Nao focused all of her strength on answering the question without falling to tears. “It was okay. I talked to another girl.” She had made the effort she had promised, however this girl was weary of her, which pained Nao to the core. It seemed that whenever she needed someone, there was never anyone willing to be there.
“T-that’s good…” her mother rasped, clasping the sheet in her freezing cold hands. Her eyes looked like they were shrinking in her head. Rings of dark surrounded them, and they were swollen and only half open.
“Mamma… Please don’t die,” Nao said gently, making it sound like a simple ask when her voice was shaking with bottled pain. “Don’t die, mamma.”
Nao’s mother gave a gentle smile, but there was a fear in her eyes that couldn’t be hidden. “N… Nao… “
It was all coming to an end. Nao knew something was coming, something that wasn’t natural.
If only she had acted earlier.


Nao woke with a start, her eyes opening to see a blurry pair of faces staring down at her. Still disoriented by the dream, she lashed out at the strangers, letting out a cry. “Don’t take her away!”
Strong hands gripped her arms and lowered them to her sides, then a matching voice called to her closely. “Calm down before you take someone’s eye out, Nao! It’s okay! It was a dream!” Natsuki yelled.
For a moment it seemed ridiculous. She had been there with her mother, and she had been dying. The thought filled her with the unending spiral of sadness that she was trapped in and before she could stop, tears were flooding down her cheeks. “Mamma…”
“Oh, Nao,” Shizuru muttered, gripping her shoulder lightly as though she would crumble. “I’m so sorry.”
That was the word Nao had been waiting for. Sorry. But she couldn’t believe it. Not after everything. It felt wrong, like a deceptive lie, and she shied away from her touch, clenching her teeth. “Don’t touch me!”
Shizuru immediately let her hand drop. “Nao, please, don’t do this.”
Nao growled, the sound so animal-like that even she was momentarily surprised. “What am I doing, Shizuru? Protecting myself? Hiding away? I don’t know what I’m doing!” The tears just kept coming, and sobs choked her throat.
Both Natsuki and Shizuru stared at her, the broken girl who had no idea what to do next. If she didn’t forgive, her suffering would never find an end.
“Nao, listen to Shizuru,” Natsuki said, hoping that for once the girl would heed her words. “She just wants to help you after what she did. She really is sorry, more than you know.”
Nao’s eyes were already going bloodshot. She took in a deep, shuddering breath so she could speak. “She can’t come back, and it’s all your fault. You killed her, murdered her, and you got away with it and I can’t do anything about it! Do you know what that feels like?”
Shizuru could feel her own eyes getting wet. Oh God, what have I done to this girl? I’ve destroyed her.
There was a silence as both Nao and Shizuru shared in pain, and Natsuki found it hard to watch as their teary eyes stared at each other on a deeper level than she could reach.
“Nao… please try and forgive me,” Shizuru said softly, sitting on the edge of the couch and shuffling forward some small inches. “If I could go back on my actions, I would have found another way to save Natsuki. I wouldn’t have killed your mother, Nao. It haunts me so deeply…” She bit her lip and edged forward again.
Nao swallowed deeply, tyring to control her emotions as best she could. She was filled with that feeling of suffocating again. She needed to get out, to escape. She wasn’t ready to forgive yet… and she didn’t think she ever would be.
“Please try to understand,” Shizuru begged, taking a chance and surprising both Nao and Natsuki as she closed the space between her and the distraught girl across from her and pulled her forward into her arms. “I am so sorry.”
Natsuki couldn’t help but smile at the scene. Nao wasn’t struggling, and Shizuru was giving her room to push back. It was like peace had finally enveloped the pair. Nao rested her head against Shizuru’s shoulder, her emotions trying to settle. She needed to know if this was the way she wanted it. If this was the moment where she would have no choice but to accept the apology.
“No.”
Shizuru lifted her head as Nao almost leapt out of her hands and ran towards the door. Natsuki reached out to grasp her before she got past but she was faster and stood with her hand on the doorknob. “I can’t Shizuru!” she screamed, her thoughts on her mother’s death and the swirling darkness that had enveloped her that day. “I won’t forgive you! I know that this pain won’t stop if I don’t, but I can’t do it! I don’t have a reason to live anymore! I might as well die!”
Nao knew that she was hysterical, but she meant every word. She was going to end it. She was going to die that day.
Both Shizuru and Natsuki watched, wide-eyed, as Nao fled out of the room.

*******

Nao could feel them all staring at her, all of the people in the town. She knew they were taking note of the tears running down her face and the bandages that covered her arms that were now bloody. It seemed the stress had opened up the wounds, but she didn’t care what they saw or thought. She just needed to get to him, to the man who would take all of her pain away.
No one asked her what was wrong or if they could help. They just let her walk through in her misery, soaking wet as rain began to pour down as it always did when things went terribly wrong for her.
She found shelter at the alley where the man she searched for was hiding. She could see the shining orange glow of his cigarette as he smoked his own troubles away, and with a deep, determined breath, she approached.
At the sound of a footfall, the man lifted his head and fisted his stronger hand that lay free from the cigarette. “Who’s there?”
Nao stood in the shadows, watching him with hawk eyes, thinking about whether or not this was the right thing to do. She was scared, that was for sure, but she needed this to end. No one would follow her out here. She was so sure of that fact that she didn’t give it a second thought.
“It’s me, Nao.” She stepped out into the light of the fading day, facing the thug from earlier. A look of confusion startled his features and she lifted up her bandaged and bloodied arm. “Remember me?”
Slowly and slyly, a smile spread on the man’s face.
“I’m all yours,” Nao said, putting her life into the man’s hands. “Do what I know you’ve wanted to do for a long time now since I killed your brother. Take my life for your revenge.”
During Nao’s many trappings of the male population, she had taken one life that wouldn’t soon be forgotten. This thug had mourned his brother and attacked her whenever she passed as he had the night before, but this time she was letting him kill her.
The opportunity was too sweet to pass up, and the thug swung his arm at her, knocking her into the black.

ShatteredHeart98
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Re: ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

Post by ShatteredHeart98 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:40 am

Chapter Four

Letting Go


Back in Shizuru’s room, both her and Natsuki were still in shock. Silence weighed heavily on them as they struggled to think of what to say or do, until finally, Natsuki broke it like shattering a wall of glass.
“What the hell was that?”
Shizuru didn’t reply, but stood slowly from her chair. She gave a small gasp as she realised how little strength she had, as though the event had drained her of it. She immediately sat back down again and stared at the door. “I think Nao just said she was going to kill herself,” she said quietly, feeling the guilt cloak her.
Natsuki held her gaze on Shizuru. “Hey, don’t blame yourself for this. It’s her choice to give this up, and you can’t control that.”
“I… I know that,” Shizuru breathed. “But we can’t let her do it. We need to go after her.” Her eyes were shining with tears. “Natsuki, she isn’t thinking straight. She’s making a mistake.”
Many things passed through Natsuki’s mind at that point. She didn’t like Nao, and she never really had, but she had saved her that night her mother had died, and recently again. She pitied her, and despite her anger towards her, she wanted to help. Still, though, could they really stop her if she was going through the pain that Natsuki knew too well?
“Natsuki? Will you come with me?” Shizuru asked, trying to look as innocent as she could to win the girl over. “If you don’t, you know I will go on anyway. I can’t leave Nao to kill herself like this, especially when she is doing it because of something I am responsible for.” The sadness thickened in her voice, and she was on her feet again to prove her point.
For a moment, Natsuki was struck. After the things Shizuru had done in the Carnival, she didn’t doubt that she would readily go after the suicidal girl, and because of that, she couldn’t possible leave her to do it alone.
“Okay, I’m coming.”

*******

Night time had settled and the city lit up. Laughter filtered through the streets and echoed around the buildings as people entered from every side. It was bustling as usual, but two people there weren’t present for the prices or the experience.
Natsuki and Shizuru were feeling the pressure as they swung through the city-goers. Natsuki remembered the way to the alley, so she led them both confidently through the streets and crowds. She was filled with a new determination, and she found herself surprisingly nauseous as she thought about Nao’s life hanging in the balance.
She could already be dead. We could be too late.
“Natsuki? Are you feeling alright?”
Shizuru’s worried red eyes were piercing into hers. She looked just as sick as the raven haired girl felt, her face pale and tight.
“I’m just…” Natsuki trailed off, not wanting to admit her feelings, but unfortunately, Shizuru was as sharp as she always had been.
“I’m worried too,” she said, gripping her hand lightly. On a normal occasion Natsuki would have pulled her hand away and blushed shyly at the staring eyes of others, but this was not one of those normal occasions. She squeezed back and let her fingers tie in with Shizuru’s.
“That idiot had better be alive,” she muttered angrily.
The streets were packed as they neared the alleyways where the popular shops were located. Natsuki shoved through people, politeness being something that weighed on time. Shizuru was also feeling the panic as time passed by, and yanked Natsuki sharply to the sides as more people poured into the flow.
Finally they were free, and took to the side alleys that were damp and dark like tunnels. It was a network, like spider trails that all led to the heart where the spider would be with the thug. Natsuki’s fear fed her memory and she raced through the echoing narrow alleys with Shizuru at her heels.
“Are we close, Natsuki?” she asked as she glanced at her phone for the time. “It’s been at least half an hour since she walked out.”
Natsuki wanted to cover her ears. She hadn’t realised they had been searching for that long. “We need to hurry,” she said quietly.
Shizuru nodded in agreement and chewed on her nails. Don’t you give up, Nao. Just wait a little longer. We’re coming to stop you…
Again, the sound of the thug’s voice came to Natsuki before she actually saw him. He was guffawing so loudly that it amazed her that she hadn’t heard it earlier. Chasing after the sound with Shizuru, they came to the corner of the alley and waited against the wall of the empty building that stood tall on the left hand side.
“Hey! Give me a yell when you’ve broken her bones! I’ll deal the finishing blow!” he called from the back of the alley in the shadows. “Don’t kill her without me!”
A voice answered, but it sounded too far away to hear. However, the thug laughed again, wheezy but boisterous.
Shizuru clenched her teeth and sucked in a deep breath. “This isn’t good. Sounds like there are more than one. Are you ready to take them on, Natsuki?”
“Are you kidding me?” she replied with a smile, giving her partner the thumbs up. “I’m always ready for a fight.”
Shizuru’s mouth curved into a humoured smile. “Of course, how silly of me to forget. Alright then, let’s get Nao out of there.”
The pair jumped into the alley together, side by side. They advanced on the thug who stood at the end of the stretch of shadows and rubbish, and as they neared his eyes widened in surprise.
“You!” Natsuki growled, standing close enough to breathe into his face. “Where is Nao?”
A twisted grin broke over the man’s rough features as the words sunk in. “The little red-head, right? Hmm… let me see…”
“Where is she?” Natsuki roared again, grasping the thug by the shirt and pressing him against the brick wall. “Tell me or I’ll break your neck!” It wasn’t often she got this angry, but Nao was in danger because of this idiotic man who thought he had the right to beat girl’s to their death.
The giant man only laughed down in her face and stared her down. “You think you can save her, huh? What are you really here for? That girl told me that no one would care if I killed her, not that it even mattered.” He was laughing like a madman now. “She’s got about five minutes until every bone in her body is broken, then I’m going to-“
Shizuru’s fist came out of nowhere, cutting of his words and connecting with his cheek with a loud smack. He stumbled back into the wall with a hollow gasp, then collapsed as his head rang and his cheek bled from a thin split in the skin.
Natsuki stared wide-eyed at Shizuru. “That was…”
“Fantastic?” Shizuru offered, but she wasn’t smiling. She rubbed her hand and her eyes flicked to a place behind Natsuki where the back wall had been broken at the bottom. From inside came the faint cries of Nao as she was brutally beaten.
“We have to hurry, Shizuru. Come on.” Natsuki caught her arm and they bent to crawl through the hole. Spider webs caught at their clothes which they found ironic to the situation, but the cries of Nao’s agony were enough to pull them through the musty tunnel that stretched on for metres.
“What’s this?”
Natsuki turned to glance over her shoulder at Shizuru, squinting in the dark. “What’s what? Do you need help?”
Shizuru shook her head, her eyes wide and staring at her hand. “Blood, Natsuki. It’s blood.”
The breath in Natsuki’s throat caught and she coughed heavily to hide it. Blood coated the ground beneath them in dark stains. Are we too late?
The tunnel broke off after another few moments and they emerged hurriedly into a wide hall. There was only one door at the end past all of the blank bordered walls that were smeared with more crimson. It was enough to alarm them both, and they ran through without thinking about the noise they were making. The door swung open at their approach and they stepped into the only room of the building.
“Nao,” Shizuru gasped.
The red-haired girl lay on the floorboards, her arms outspread and her eyes tightly closed. Blood stained her shirt across her stomach and pooled around her. Above stood a thinner man than the one outside, her hands shaking in excitement as he held onto a bloodied knife. He laughed gleefully as he lowered it towards Nao’s throat. It seemed he was getting ahead of himself.
“Don’t you dare!” Shizuru’s voice boomed and the room echoed it to every ear. The knife-wielding man dropped his weapon immediately and turned to face the woman, his eyes disoriented as though he had just come out of a trance.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Nao’s voice was weak, but it came true enough to Natsuki and Shizuru. They turned to her with a mix of relief and impatience. She croaked again, taking in a deep, shuddering breath. “Leave me here to die!”
“Not a chance,” Natsuki growled back, rounding on the man as he regained his blood-thirsty senses and reached for the knife again. She kicked it away from his hands, then launched at him, her fists striking him until he fell to the floor.
As Shizuru edged closer to the shaking Nao, her eyes straying naturally ever few moments to Natsuki’s fighting skills. Despite the situation, it seemed her love affairs wouldn’t cease.
“What the hell’s going on!” Another thug had stepped out of the shadows and raised his mighty fists above his round body. Three cigarettes hung out of his mouth as he thumped his way towards Shizuru. “Want to spoil our fun, huh? Stupid woman!” He swung at her and she was knocked back into Natsuki’s waiting arms.
“Oh, Natsuki,” she gasped, opening her eyes and going red as those emerald irises stared down at her own in concern. A wet cough broke into their flaming moment and they were reminded that Nao was dying beside them. “I’m alright. Keep him away from Nao,” Shizuru said urgently.
Natsuki nodded, rested Shizuru down, then faced the giant of a man. “Don’t you ever touch her again!” he roared as the anger inside of her exploded. This man had not only hurt a fellow HiME, but he had attacked her soul mate. She dodged his reaching fists with ease and lifted her own to his jaw. With a resounding crack, he collapsed, a trail of blood leaking from his mouth.
“Natsuki!”
Shizuru was crouched at Nao’s side, her hand pressed to the bleeding wound on her stomach as the girl struggled under her touch. “No! I need to… die…”
Natsuki approached quickly and fell at her opposite side, feeling defeated as the blood poured out of her like a leaking tap. “Hold still, Nao! You’re only making it worse!”
The girl wouldn’t listen and wormed out of Shizuru’s grasp with her fading strength. “You don’t know… You don’t know what you… you did to me!” Her sight was fading, darkness rimming the edge and obscuring everything. Her emotions never dulled, though, and she was full of rage.
Nao, you brought me more flowers? How wonderful!
Tears welled in her eyes at the sudden memory and she fell onto her stomach, panting. “Mamma!”
You made a new friend? Tell me all about her!
Shizuru and Natsuki were at her side again, both trying to gently get her onto her back. They spoke to her, calming words that tried to soothe her pain, but she could only hear her mother as her senses began to fade.
I’ll be here for as long as you need me. I want to see you grow up, after all, my Nao.
“Mamma… don’t go…” She whispered the words with all of the strength she had left. Her stomach no longer hurt. She was completely numb. Her mother was nearby, she could feel her. “Where are you… mamma?”
Suddenly, her face burned. She sucked in a tiny breath, realising that she hadn’t taken one in some time. Another sting raged on her cheek, then she heard Shizuru yelling her name. A third slap brought her to her senses again and she blinked to clear the haze.
Natsuki had her hand poised to hit her again, but she took in a deep breath and coughed it back out as the pain returned, the memories and voices retreating.
“Oh, thank goodness,” Shizuru gasped, her eyes brimming with tears. “We thought we’d lost you for a moment, Nao.”
Natsuki’s eyes didn’t leave the girl, as though she would at any moment begin to pass again. She couldn’t deny the fear she had felt, and chewed on her lip in embarrassment.
“You shouldn’t have done it,” Nao croaked, her throat burning and her head throbbing. She felt like she would be ill, and her hand lifted to press again the deep cut on her stomach. “Looks like I’m screwed anyway…”
“No!” Shizuru clenched her teeth and glared down at Nao. “No more giving up, Nao! You have no idea how worried we were, both of us, Nao. And the rest of the HiME are frightened as well. Nao, don’t you see?” The tears fell down her face as she gripped Nao’s shoulders and dared to shake sense into her. “People are here for you, and you need to let them in! I’m here for you, Nao! Let me help you! Let me say… that I’m sorry…” Everything she had done weighed heavily on her shoulders, and she was letting it all go now.
Nao’s eyes widened as she stared at the woman through her hazy vision, the woman with red eyes that had always seemed so evil, so strong. She recognised the anguish on her face, the plead, and the desperation. “Shizuru…”
“She’s right,” Natsuki admitted, lowering her head in shame. “We all care for you no matter how much of a brat you are. You need to forgive Shizuru, Nao, or you’ll be alone forever, and I know that isn’t what you want. Inside, no one wants that.” She clenched her fist, and again Nao felt like she was looking in a mirror. They both felt her pain. Suddenly she felt like they were right.
I want you to live, Nao. I want you to move on, no matter what happens.
She had almost forgotten those words that her mother had said only a day before her death. It had been locked away in the darkness, but now it echoed in her mind and she couldn’t stop the sobs. “I’m so… sorry…”
She could hear them vaguely now as the fog arrived again, but she wouldn’t let go. She reached her hand out and felt Shizuru offer her own. She took it and held onto it as though it were her life-force.
“We need to get her out of here,” Natsuki said quickly, already bending forward to help Shizuru lift her. “The school is closer. Yhoko can help her.”
Nao felt her weight lift and felt like she was floating. She was floating away to her mother, but she didn’t want to leave yet. She had so much to say…
“Nao? Can you hear me?”
The red-haired girl twitched at the sound of Shizuru’s voice. She could feel the rattling of a rough road beneath and realised she was in a car and she had passed out sometime before. The vehicle jerked her around as she lay on the back seat, but it seemed she had a soft comfort beneath her head.
“Just hold on. We’re almost there. Just a little longer.”
Nao forced her heavy eyes open and found herself staring up into Shizuru’s worried face. Her head was in her lap as they both occupied the back seat. Across from them, Natsuki was in the front seat and staring back tensely.
“We’re going to be here for you, Nao,” Shizuru said as she grinned down at the limp form. “Whatever happens, me and Natsuki will take care of you, but especially me. I will give you the comfort that your mother no longer can.” She swallowed a guilty snivel and bowed her head.
For the final time that night, Nao felt her eyes filling with tears. Her body begged for her to rest, but before she let her eyes close to sleep, she managed to mutter the words she had been wanting to say for a long time.
“I forgive you, Shizuru.”

******

Upon arriving at the school, Nao’s condition had seemed to become better. She woke as soon as the car stopped and no longer had to be carried. She was hoisted up between both Shizuru and Natsuki, but she was determined to make it on her own.
“Don’t try so hard, Nao,” Shizuru said gently, taking her arm and wrapping her own around her back. “Baby steps until you’re better.”
“What are you… a babysitter?” Nao scoffed, her insult barely more than a raspy groan.
Shizuru stifled a laugh. “No, I’m taking care of you like I said I would, now take small steps or we’ll have to carry you again.”
This time Natsuki laughed. “By the way, you need to lay off the food, Nao. You aren’t the lightest of people.”
Nao narrowed her eyes at the two girls, but she knew they were tyring to lighten the mood. She was still dying, and all three of them were fearfully aware.
Without warning, Natsuki stopped and stared, her eyes bright.
“What is it, my dear Natsuki?” Shizuru asked, deliberately calling her the name that she used behind enclosed doors before they ran into anyone who would dare pass it on.
With a smile, Natsuki pointed ahead of them. “See, Nao? We were right. You’re not alone in this.”
Following her gaze, Nao lifted her head and almost fell away from Shizuru’s tight grasp. Ahead of them assembled at the gate were the rest of the HiMEs, waiving and crying, then rushing over to help her through.
“Is she going to be alright?”
“So much blood, I feel sick!”
“Who the hell did this?”
Nao tried to scowl at the tight group, but it changed into a relieved blush. So it’s true, I do mean something to people. These HiME, they really care.
With the entire HiME force behind her and undoubtedly on her side, Nao was rushed into the empty night corridors where Yhoko rushed out and collected her. She could barely remember being laid down on nurses bed, and nor could she get a clear picture of Yhoko prodding her with medical instruments, but she knew one thing.
True to their word, Natsuki and Shizuru stayed with her the entire time.

ShatteredHeart98
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Re: ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

Post by ShatteredHeart98 on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:43 am

Chapter Five

By Your Side


Nao was back again, in her old room, with her old roommate. As soon as she had opened the door, Aoi had flung herself at her, crying in her ear and telling her she thought she had been killed. Nao hadn’t flung her off, but the boundaries still stood and the girl vowed to never do it again.
Now there they were, having a normal conversation without Nao biting her head off.
“Wow, that was awesome!” Nao cheered as another bloody head bounced along the paved road on the TV screen. “This guy knows what he’s doing!”
Aoi was on the couch beside the blood thirsty Nao, shivering and cuddling herself as the night came in around the. It was midnight, to be exact, and to celebrate Nao’s speedy recovery, they had rented her favourite ‘blood and guts’ movie.
“How long does it have to go?” she moaned, pulling her arms about herself tighter.
“Why, are you scared?” Nao teased, reaching over and poking her in the only inch of her ribs that she could see through her self-embrace.
Aoi jumped at her couch and scrambled behind it. “N-no! I just, uhh, like it better when I know how long a movie has to go!”
“Then why are you behind there?” Nao asked, peeking over the side at her with a sly smile. “And why are you shivering?”
“It’s cold, and it warmer behind here!” Aoi replied, holding her head high.
Nao sighed and turned back to the TV, saying, “If you’re that scared, go to bed.”
Aoi turned to look across at the room where the beds were. Shadows covered the path and the room was pitch black. She shivered again and leaned her back against the couch. “I-I don’t want to go alone.”
There was an awkward silence. Aoi was sure that Nao would yell at her and tell her to stop being such a sook. That was what she usually did, but to her surprise, the red-head flicked off the TV.
“Alright, I’ll go to bed too. All of the really gory parts have already gone anyway.” She pulled herself off of the couch, her teeth clenched behind her lips at the embarrassment of taking pity of her roommate.
“Oh, thank you, Nao!” Aoi squealed. “But please, don’t force yourself to go to bed because of me!”
Nao shrugged and headed towards the bathroom. “My stomach hurts a little anyway,” she said, poking at the thick bandages beneath her pyjamas that wound around her stomach. “Yhoko told me to get a lot of rest, so I suppose I should listen to her for once.”
“Okay, if you’re sure,” Aoi said, eagerly getting up now and venturing over to the beds. She wasn’t afraid when Nao was there at her side to protect her. Since she came come back in that week ago she had been different, kinder, softer. Although she hated it when Aoi told her so, she also seemed to be a little proud of herself and always had to fight to stop herself from smiling. Aoi could see it, even if Nao covered it up to her best ability.
She flung herself into her bed and pulled the covers over herself as Nao cleaned up in the bathroom. The other HiME girls had also stopped being afraid of her and embraced her in the group. All of the anger and mistakes had been forgotten, and it wasn’t just Nao who had transformed.
Being a gossiper in the teenaged world at the school, Aoi couldn’t help herself. “Hey Nao?”
The girl grunted from the bathroom in permission for her to continue.
“I was just wondering,” Aoi began, trying to form the question in a way that couldn’t make her companion mad. “What’s up with Shizuru?” Might as well go with bluntness.
There was silence for a moment, then Nao’s surprised face appeared in the doorway. “What do you mean?” she asked will a little frost in her voice.
Aoi swallowed deeply and immediately sunk back under the covers. “N-nothing!” Even though Nao had turned over a new leaf (to some extent), Aoi was still dead scared of her when she spoke like that.
Nao watched Aoi intently for a few moments, noting the fast breathing despite her attempts to pretend to be asleep. Sighing, she slid into her own bed and lay with her eyes open. “Shizuru… is taking care of me now,” she said without being able to stop herself.
Aoi’s shoulders tensed in surprise at the reply and she turned over to face Nao with widened eyes. “And you let her? I didn’t think you two were…” she hesitated, not wanting to make the subject even more uncomfortable.
“You thought we hated each other?” Nao offered.
Aoi shrugged. “More or less.”
“We did… but she taught me an important lesson.” Nao closed her eyes as she thought of the feeling that had filled her when she had told Shizuru that she forgave her for taking her mother’s life. It was as though her heart had bloomed like a flower. Instead of feeling weak like she had expected, she was warmed to the core. She felt free, and she could finally grasp that she wasn’t alone.
“She taught me a lot of things, actually.”

*******

When morning came, Nao was late to wake up. That had not changed at all. Aoi was left poking and prodding her until she finally opened her eyes.
“Come on, you have class, Nao! You’re going to be late!”
Nao was filled with dread. She had Midori first, and despite her new liking for the group that included her, when she was teaching her, everything was back to normal.
“I’ll drag you if I have to,” Aoi persisted, crossing her arms and sighing down at the lifeless form before her. “Midori won’t be happy, you know.”
“I know, I know, but…” Nao bit her lip as she straightened herself up in bed. She had been planning on something since she had come back to the school, something she hadn’t done in some time. “I needed to do something today. It’s more important than a few lessons.”
There was a pain in Nao’s eyes that struck Aoi. She instantly knew it was about her mother. She always got that look of distress whenever she was thinking about her. “Do you want me to come with you?” she asked her carefully.
Nao released a breath, tyring to sound normal where her heart was pounding in her ears. She was always nervous when she thought of her mother. It also reminded her of the time when she had nearly died, and she clutched at her churning stomach. “Thanks, but I think I can handle this.”
“Well, if you’re sure, I guess I’ll see you tonight.” Aoi gathered up her schoolbag and headed to the door, but Nao shot up and caught her wrist. Startled, Aoi jumped back with a gasp, but Nao was red with embarrassment and looked like she was about to be sick.
“Aoi,” she began, lifting her eyes to face the girl across from her. She managed a smile, small at first, then it turned up into a grin. “Thank you for sticking by me. I’ve wanted to say it for days, but it was too hard.” She smirked. “You know how I am.”
Aoi beamed and nodded her head. “I sure do. Stubborn as ever.” She winked at new her friend and clapped her on the shoulder hesitantly, something she had never imagined she would be able to do. “Good luck today with whatever it is you have to do, okay?” she said kindly.
Nao’s eyes were tearing up again and she wiped at them, turning her head away. It happened all of the time now. She knew that she was lucky in many more ways, and embracing it brought on a lot of emotions. “Yeah, I’ll see you tonight,” she said shakily.
Aoi disappeared into the hall, leaving Nao to prepare for her own day. She opened the draw at her bedside table and pulled out the hidden bunch of flowers that she had kept in there the day before. Being caught holding something like that would be the end of her developing social life, so she found this time perfect for sneaking out with it and taking a walk down to the cemetery.
She was about to leave, but the flowers that she held tightly were so bright and beautiful that she remembered the first bunch she had brought her mother. These she had picked from the school garden, just like her mother had wanted, and today she would rest them by her grave.
She steadied herself and left the school grounds, making sure she was alone as she slipped out of the gate and hurried along the street. She was determined to do it today before she convinced herself out of it again. She was nervous, visiting her mother with a new view of things, and it had been so long. She felt terrible, but it was time to repent for all of the anger and her absence. She had been too busy seething in her hatred for Shizuru and dying in her pity that she had neglected her mother’s grave.
“I’m sorry, mamma,” she muttered to herself as she approached the gothic graveyard gates. “I’m here now. I’m better than I was before.” She pushed them open with a piercing squeal and stepped onto the pampered grass, her eyes searching for the grave that she had seen only twice before.
When she found it, she almost cried then and there. It was a black tombstone, old and cracked. With the money she had, it was all she could afford, and it stirred her deeply when she was reminded of the poor quality.
Don' worry, Nao. I’ve been waiting.
Nao was sure she had imagined her mother’s voice in her head, but she chose to convince herself she was really speaking to her, and replied. “Yes, mamma, I’m here. I’m back, like I said I would be.”
She stepped up to the tombstone and sat at its side, careful to avoid the softer stretch of grass that lay before it. She rested her hand against the grass, letting a loose tear escape. Her mother had died on that fateful day because of one woman, but Nao had learned to forgive, and now that anger was forgotten. Her mother was dead, and it couldn’t be reversed. Nao was ready to accept that, and she sealed her mind to the fact as she placed the flowers before the stone.
“My, they are a pretty bunch, aren’t they?”
Nao’s head spun around to see Shizuru approaching, her love interest, Natsuki, at her side. Both of them were wearing casual clothes, clearly skipping school such as her. But why were they here?
“You don’t look happy to see us,” Natsuki pointed out, smiling teasingly. “Don’t tell me you’ve sheltered up again!”
Nao rolled her eyes and turned back to her mother’s grave, pressing a finger to the cracks sadly. “Nah, I’m over that stuff. I just wanted to come down here and see her.” She opened her palm over the stone and felt her warmth take away the cold. “I haven’t come here for so long.”
Shizuru relaxed in the grass beside her and pressed a hand to her back as she let out a strangled gasp, trying to control her guilt.
“You’re mother would be glad you’ve come, Nao. She would understand,” Natsuki said as she stood beside Shizuru and gazed down at the grave. “We’ve both come to give our respects as well.”
“Mainly me, though, to repent,” Shizuru added, pulling out her own bunch of flowers from a bag that slung across her back. Nao turned in surprise as she saw the bright sunflowers. They were as pretty as her own.
“Is it okay?” Shizuru asked as she held the flowers next to hers, hovering them above the second ring of water.
Nao chewed on her lip, thinking hard about whether she was willing to let this happen. They had been through so much, her, Shizuru, and Natsuki, and she trusted them with her life. Shizuru had already repented, as far as she was concerned.
“Yeah, it’s fine, Shizuru. You don’t need to ask for forgiveness anymore. I forgive you.” Nao said.
“Ahh, but does your mother?” Shizuru asked. She faced the tombstone again and rested her hands in her lap, taking a very proper position. “Please forgive me for what I have done. The times we went through affected us all, and true love made me lose my sense of justice and rightness. I hurt many people, and destroyed many lives. I ask that you forgive me for these sins like your daughter, Nao, for I have my own deep scars for what I have done, and if I could change everything, I would go back and save all of those lives, including yours.” She kept her composure calm and collected, but Natsuki and Nao saw her eyes glisten as they stayed on the crumbling slab before her.
A moment of silence enshrouded the cemetery as Shizuru placed the flowers beside Nao’s and they both shone in the sunlight together. She then bowed her head until her hear brushed the grass. “I will take care of your daughter with every bone in my body. I will be her shield and her sword.”
“Both of us,” Natsuki added, giving Nao a glimmer of a smile. “I wasn’t completely innocent too, so I should pitch in.” She shrugged nonchalantly, but her feelings were deep.
Lifting her head, Shizuru let a single tear roll down her cheek and patter into the soft grass. Straightening herself up, she stood with Natsuki and held out a hand to Nao. It was an offering of so much, of protection of hope, faith and friendship, but mainly, it was a symbol of their willingness to stay together and leave the past as the past.
Nao vowed that she wouldn’t ever close herself away again, and that she would never allow herself to be so cold and hateful. She was a different person now, and she was proud of who she was. Without a single moment of hesitation, she took Shizuru’s hand.
“I’ll come back again next week, mamma,” she said as she turned back to glance over her shoulder one last time. “And I won’t be alone.”

The End

Thank you for taking the time to read my fanic. I hope you all enjoyed it. Umm... I hope that all of the characters were portrayed properly and that it all made sense.

ShatteredHeart98
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Re: ShizNatNao comfort/friendship fanfic

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