OOC The following is a series of short story chapters I’ll release every few days that I worked on over the holidays. It serves as a retrospective and backstory to my characters Mitsuki Rumiho and Shinwa Tsurugi and covers parts of their history before being in Argo and up to now, including how they originally met.
Though I will try to stick with a chapter being added every few days, I still have some parts still to write so that may be increased time between parts eventually.
蜜気さんと神話くん(Mitsuki-san and Shinwa-kun)
Volume 1: Unseen and Unfulfilled
Chapter 1: Crack of light in the dark
It was like a different life almost, but engrained so tightly in my mind.
The young girl stared out silently from the window of the high school classroom. She was accustomed to being lost in thought, letting the sound of the others in the room talking mix into a low rumble. It didn’t affect her, it never did. She was just Mitsuki-san to them, that loner in the corner.
It was easy to see why others were put off by her silence. It came off as depressing, and sometimes when people would catch her eye, her gaze looked almost like a glare.
I often wondered if I inherited my mama’s death glare. When she wanted to get a point across, especially if I was misbehaving, she had no trouble. Though I think more often than not when I did it… it was usually an accident.
Standing at the station, she was waiting for the train to arrive. It could be said trains were quaint in an age of transporters and sky cars but they were almost lodged into Japanese culture by now. At the very least the modern Shinkansen were low friction anti-grav sleds.
Another girl ran up to the line at the waiting area, trotting in place a bit. She was wearing street clothes but Rumiho had seen the face before at school. She was in her class. Namakura Shouchi was her name?
Rumiho didn’t exactly look like her more cleaned up student look. Her hair had been nano-dyed, today it was black with a dark green highlight, and worn up a bit, making the multiple pierces in her ears more obvious.
“Oh good, I was sure I’d be late.” Shouchi said to no one in particular, though she did glance around and Rumiho just lightly shrugged. Shouchi did smile slightly at her, it was apparent she probably didn’t recognize Rumiho.
The trio of guys that approached also smiled, a bit too much as they approached Shouchi, “Hey there cutie, why in such a hurry for the train? You can spend that time with us.” One of them, the leader perhaps, said to her as they got uncomfortably close while being obtusely creepy. It was almost cliche, but it was sadly not uncommon.
Shouchi shrank a little in response, “Oh, I can’t… I was in a rush cause…. I had to meet my friend!” she said, sliding over to where Rumiho stood. For her part, Rumiho was unsure if Shouchi was just desperate or confident, maybe she did recognize her?
“Oh, this is your friend, you don’t mind us just talking right?” the lead guy said toward Rumiho, who turned her head slightly to look at him at an angle, her eyes forming a somewhat natural sharp glare. The guys all recoiled back a bit, the lead turning to them, “Actually, we all have somewhere we need to be, isn’t that right?” they both seemed to agree and scampered off.
Shouchi sighed in relief, “Thanks girl, nice death glare though… I took a gamble that you were tougher.”
Rumiho certainly didn’t like those guys, so it wouldn’t have been unwarranted, that being said… “Actually I was just trying to think of something to say…” Rumiho admits, her glare was simply accidental.
Shouchi took a minute in silence, one could almost see the three dots of an ellipses counting up above her head, “Wow… so you like, dress like that but aren’t really dangerous or anything?” she said in amazement.
“Well they were kinda pissing me off, I could have probably beat them up if I wanted.” Rumiho admits, which considering she had spent years studying Aikido and Okinawan Karate, at her mother’s insistence originally, was likely entirely true.
“Ok, stay on your good side, got it… Well having to intervene or not, thanks for that. You’re pretty cool.”
Rumiho was unused to being complimented in such a way, or really being recognized in a positive way. “I don’t know if that’s true, but you’re welcome Namakura-san.”
Shouchi nodded, paused, “Wait… how do you know my name?!” Yup, she had no idea who Rumiho was.
“We’re in the same class in high school. I’m Mitsuki.” she said simply.
“… Holy crap! Wait wait wait…” she said looking at her strongly with a squint, imagining the face of the girl she knew had that name. The hair was brown instead and down hiding her ears when she was in class, obviously no piercings as that was not allowed in their school. “Wow… you are so different outside of school.”
“Well they do enforce uniformity pretty harshly. Not even Starfleet is as strict.”
“Really? They have uniforms too.”
“Not always the same ones… Though I haven’t figured out why they sometimes change.” Rumiho said with some uncertainty.
“You know people in Starfleet or something?” Shouchi asked. Why was she so invested? This was weird.
“My father is an officer.”
“Oh neat! I bet he’s like a big time space hero!” it was not clear if Shouchi was being serious.
“I don’t know about that… I only get some stories from him anyway. We don’t exactly talk much normally since he’s never on Earth.” Rumiho explained. Shouchi nodded slowly.
“Sorry to hear that… um… say how come I’ve never seen you talk before in class? Actually, I don’t know if anyone has.” she wondered.
“No one ever really says anything to me. They probably think I’m just a creepy weirdo loner.” Rumiho says with a shrug.
“They won’t know you aren’t if you never say anything.”
“What makes you think I’m not?”
“You could have just ignored me and walked away when those guys came after me. Maybe you didn’t mean to freak them out but you aren’t creepy, you’re actually pretty cool.” Shouchi said confidently. The statement sent a shock wave through Rumiho. No one had directly said something like that to her that wasn’t related to her already.
I used to think I had to be alone. I was unseen and avoided. I never really thought I should have had to go out of my way for others to like me. They either did or didn’t, and the latter was what I was used to being the norm. Shouchi wasn’t an outsider, but against all my preconceptions, she saw me as a real person.
I didn’t expect her to continue to talk to me, but maybe that meeting made an impression. She started talking to me at school. It wasn’t anything fancy, but we talked. It was nice. Not everyone felt the same though.
The other girl approached Shouchi outside the school. Koiko probably. It wasn’t something Rumiho kept track of usually.
“Hey Namakura, what’s up with you hanging out with Mitsuki so much lately?” Koiko asked Shouchi. Neither knew Mitsuki was around the corner. She stopped when she heard the conversation start.
“We started talking recently, is all. She’s interesting.” Shouchi said, thinking nothing of it.
“You might want to keep your distance. She’s always such a loner, and kinda depressing. It won’t do you any favors hanging with someone like that.” they explained. Rumiho deflated from her hidden position. She figured it was too good to last. She only wished if things had to go back to the way it was anyway it would have been easier to just not have sampled something different…
“Ow! What was that for?” Koiko asked after Shouchi had flicked her forehead with a finger.
“Cause you’re being silly, silly people get flicked. Why do you think she’s always alone? You don’t even know her. Is this some social order thing? I never really bought into that stuff, but I can tell you that if there is one thing I’ve learned from reaching out to someone different than me, it’s that a little kindness can go a long way.” Shouchi smirks.
“Not everyone deserves kindness.” Koiko said, perhaps just annoyed at the attack.
“Maybe not, but I can determine who does better if I talk to them first, so don’t worry about the distance with my friends.” Shouchi says walking off.
Rumiho was in a whirlwind of emotion. No one even knew she could hear them, and she was defended anyway. She never even considered she deserved that before. In what felt like an out of body experience, she realized for the first time she wasn’t really alone.
Having a real friend really was something that drastically changed me. I didn’t have to change who I was for others, and I didn’t. Not really anyway, but interacting with someone who cared did open me up some. Not entirely, it would take something far more substantial to fully break the surface level of the iceberg that was my true self. Shouchi gave me the confidence to interact more. Most others only spoke to me cause she already was, and none ever really were as close. From the summer of my 2nd year of high school when that encounter happened, to the end of my 3rd year when graduation happened, I wasn’t so alone.
The darkness I lived in was comfortable, it would always be part of me, but there was something inviting about the shine that had broken into that void. Before I knew it, I wanted to bathe in that light, and reflect it to the world. I didn’t have to be unseen, and I’m glad I wasn’t.
Sometimes, you never know when you might become the light someone else needs.