Shizuki Hitomi thought of herself as average. She got good grades in school, she didn't think she was too pretty (at least, not enough to warrant the attention she gets), and at best she only has two friends; Miki Sayaka, and Kaname Madoka. She didn't consider herself as special, or unique, just an everyday school girl trying to get by - like so many with her. If talked to Sayaka, she'll probably say something different, like, how she admires Hitomi for having so many admires, and getting love letters on a daily basis. Or how soft and gentle she is - though, nothing compared to Madoka, apparently, and she doesn't know why this bothers her - and just in general being a good friend, complimenting another.
She hates it.
What Sayaka doesn't know, is that she envies her friends. While Madoka and Sayaka are pretty, they get less attention than they deserve, and they don't know. They don't understand what's like to have to turn down every single confession, watching guys' faces crumble when they realize she was rejecting them, and dealing with the guilt of knowing it was her who caused them pain. They wouldn't, and probably would never, understand that. Not that Hitomi thought they wouldn't date, per say, but she honestly doubt either of the two would be dating while in school.
Though, there was one guy Hitomi knows she and Sayaka shares in common: Kamijou Kyousuke. She knows he and Sayaka had been friends for far longer than Hitomi had known him, and she knew that Sayaka may have a crush on him too, but...
That didn't stop her from liking him as well.
He had been so nice and kind, she muses, looking up at the sky. Talented with music, and often encouraging her to do her best in whatever she wanted to do, it was hard not to fall for him. He was different than most boys that she had known through via confessions, and maybe she was being selfish, but she thought they would work better than Sayaka and Kyousuke. But, first and foremost, Sayaka was her friend; and if Sayaka decided to confess to him first, who was Hitomi to get in the way of that?
The thought left a bitter taste in her mouth, but she swallowed it down. Instead, she looked down at her desk while repeating the same line she had been repeating to herself ever since she had met Kyousuke: Sayaka is my friend, Sayaka is my friend, Sayaka is my friend, she deserves the best.
Eventually, the burning jealously began to become a bit more controllable, and she did her best to hide her true emotions so that she would never hurt her friend. She respected Sayaka and Madoka above all else; hurting either of them was out of the question.
But I really like him, and she's not making a move. A voice in her head whined, but Hitomi ignored it, for the most part. She was just happy for Sayaka. When she gets the courage she needs to confess, Hitomi would be behind her 100%.
And then....the accident happened.
The accident that had left Kyousuke cripple, and unable to use his right hand, thus meaning he could no longer make music. Or at the very least, that the most probable outlook at the doctors had claimed; he still had the chance to recover, but it'll be very slim, and they were unsure if he'll ever recover. The news had left Kyousuke devastated, and he was left isolated in the room he'd been left in. She knew Sayaka had been visiting him since, often bringing music to cheer him up, but every day, she saw Sayaka's face get sadder and sadder. She struggled to maintain her cheerful outlook, and she looked as though she was about cry. It was breaking Hitomi's heart, but then, a part of her cheered. If Kyosuke was ignoring her, then there might be a chance for her yet.
"So, when are you going to confess?" She had asked one day after school. Sayaka blinked and turned to her.
"What? What are you-"
"Your feelings for Kyousuke." Hitomi said, in a no-nonsense tone. Sayaka scowled.
"Do we have to do this now? Kyosuke-kun is hurting." She whined.
"I'm just saying. You two have been friends for a long time, and I know you have feelings for him. It'll be a shame if someone else beat you to the punch," Hitomi said. At that moment, she could see the blue haired girl freeze, eyes wide in shock as she took in what Hitomi was saying.
"It's simple, Sayaka-chan," Hitomi stated, walking towards her. "Either you confess to him your feelings, or I'll confess mine." At that, Sayaka's eyes widen even more. "I have feelings for Kyosuke-kun, too. Always had them. But, I decided not to say anything cause I know you had feelings for him first. But, I cannot wait any longer. I like him. I want him to be mine. I'll make sure he knows, and if he decides to reject me, then go for it. But," She paused, looking at the shorter female. "I'll do the one thing you were too scared to do yourself."
And with that, Hitomi had walked away. She knew her words stung, knew she had hurt Sayaka, but it was nevertheless the truth. They had been playing this game for months now, and now Kyosuke lost something that he loved dearly. Hitomi wanted to be the support he needed, if him rejecting Sayaka was anything to go by. She'll make sure to never repeat the same mistakes Sayaka was doing, be the person Kyosuke needed her to be. It was funny, really, just how quick they were able to click. Kyosuke might've liked music, liked creating it, but that didn't mean he needed a reminder of it. That had been the problem with Sayaka - she was doing things she thought he would've enjoyed, when really, all that did was make Kyosuke upset. He had express to her that he had felt guilty for getting angry at Sayaka when she was only trying to help, and Hitomi had let him know that she would tell her when she had the chance. Afterwards, they began chatting about different things, and Hitomi had noticed how the room began to light as Kyosuke began to smile, to laugh, a reminder of what Kyosuke use to be before the accident.
He had been in a middle of a story when Hitomi had told him. The awkward silence that followed had been painful, but she saw the blush, saw the nervous smile, the happiness in his eyes.
"I..I really like you too, Hitomi-chan." He confessed, and it felt like a weight had lifted from her chest. She was so happy, so giddy that her crush returned her feelings, that the despair she was feeling when she remembered Sayaka, and her feelings were drowned out by the more positive feelings. She should be upset with herself. She should've given Sayaka more time, should've let her get another day, and not backstabbed her like this, but to be frank, Hitomi didn't care - at least, for now. She was happy. Happy to have the one boy Hitomi cared about so much, had liked so much.
Weeks passed since, and the two were often out of the hospital room for some fresh air. Kyosuke was smiling a bit more, finally accepting his fate, and Hitomi did the best of her abilities to make him happy, telling him about other subjects he could do in case his hand never heals. They discussed many things before they reached a topic that had been bothering them - Sayaka. She hadn't visit during those weeks Hitomi had been too busy to come over. It had both of them worried, but then, Hitomi remembered their discussion - how she'd approached the blue haired female, and instantly felt guilty. She didn't want her to take her words to the heart, but she knew it had to be said. Just how long was Sakaya was going to play ignorance on her feelings? Pretend that she only saw Kyosuke as a friend? No, she convinced herself that what she did was the right - thought she could've worded it a bit better.
Night began to fall, and Hitomi decided to go visit her blue-haired friend. If she was upset by this, then it was up to Hitomi to fix it. She needed to let her know that everything is okay, and hoped their friendship was still good.
Ever since Hitomi and Kyousuke got together, things have been strained with their friendship. Sayaka rare speaks as much, and if she did, she usually talks to Madoka. It was as if she ignore Hitomi's presence entirely, though she claims they were still good friends. Yet, Hitomi could see the strain in her smile, the fake happiness in her eyes, and in knowing she was causing Sayaka pain the same way Hitomi caused pain for many of the rejected boys, it hurts. Sayaka was her best friend, she should've thought it out a little more, and instead of acting on impulse.
"Hey," She started when she finally got them alone. "Are you sure you're alright with me dating Kyousuke? You don't have to lie to me."
"It's fine, Hitomi-chan. He's happier with you, and that's all I really wanted," Sayaka said, but the sadness in her eyes told a different tale, and Hitomi was this close to losing it. "You were right when you said I should've told him. Maybe he would've been with me instead. But, I'm not going to stand in your way, Hitomi-chan. You like him, and he likes you. And that's that."
It should've been that's that. It wasn't.
At some point, Hitomi was starting to lose the connection she not only had with her friends, but also with her boyfriend. These days, all Kyousuke asked is if Sayaka was okay, or if Sayaka had said something about him each time Hitomi goes to see her. It started to make her frown, and a feeling she hadn't felt since they got together started to bubble in her stomach: Jealously. Wasn't she Kyousuke's girlfriend? Why wasn't he concern about her? Why is he talking about Sayaka all the time? She had told him she was okay. Wasn't that enough?
With a sigh, Hitomi forced herself not think about the questions. Kyosuke was Sayaka's friend, after all, and it was only right for him to be concern. When was the last time Sayaka even talked to him? About a month ago? When he was still in the hospital? No wonder he keeps asking for her. If Sayaka wasn't hurt by their relationship, then she would've been talking to Kyousuke more. It was obvious this still bothers her, so maybe Hitomi could do something to make it hurt less.
"Oh Sayaka. You don't have be this way." She mutter to herself, staring up at the ceiling in her bedroom. She prays that Sayaka comes around a bit more, so it no longer feels like she was losing her best friend.
But in a lot of ways, she might already have.
Things did not get better, as Hitomi had hoped.
Sayaka still wasn't talking to her, to Kyousuke, and now there was this tension in the air whenever they were around each other. Sayaka refused to look at her whenever Hitomi asked her a question, and whatever plans she had that involved both Sayaka and Madoka joining, it turns out Sayaka already had plans of her own and already had invited Madoka - but not her. Her chest seemed to squeeze together, as if she's just been punched, when she realized what was happening...
Sayaka was trying to exile her from her life.
No, no, no. This can't be happening! Hitomi thought, gripping her pencil in a tight squeeze, looking over her shoulder at Sayaka. The blue-haired female paid no mind to her, focusing on their teacher instead. Now, Sayaka wasn't known to be the A student like Hitomi or Mami, or even a B- student like Madoka, but Hitomi knows Sayaka; knows how she is in class, and while her grades aren't on the borderline of slipping, that didn't mean Sayaka listens to every lecture ever been taught. She knows Sayaka would be bored to death.
I'm losing my friend. I'm losing my friend. My friend doesn't like me anymore, she doesn't need me, she's abandoning me. Hitomi bit her lip, and she was so close to snapping - her pencil, her mind, she didn't know. She just wanted everything back to the way it was. I'm so sorry, Sayaka-chan.
"I'll break up with him, if that makes you happy." Hitomi said, stopping Sayaka in her tracks as school was finally let out. The shorter of the two paused, and for a moment, Hitomi thought she'd finally had her friend back, but Sayaka only turned her face halfway, her blue eyes no longer sparkling life and joy, but cold understanding and a bit of indifference.
"And...why would you do that? Doesn't he make you happy? Make each other happy?" She asked.
"But you're not happy! I want my friend back! Even if it means giving him up for you!" Hitomi said, but Sayaka merely shook her head, a low, bitter, chuckle escaping her.
"Is this a joke to you? Do you think it's funny to play with people's emotions like this?" Sayaka asked, but before Hitomi could respond, she was already talking again. "First you threaten me to tell my crush, who's been my best friend since we were in diapers, that I have a crush on him, and if I didn't, you would've gladly stole him away from me. Then, not only was I not given the chance to, but you went and decided to tell him anyway on the same day you'd threaten me. Then, you have the sheer nerve to ask if I was okay after the damage has been done, and you know what? I'm ironically happy for you. You was able to heal Kyosuke when I couldn't, and all I ever wanted was for him to smile, to love music once again, and since he's all-so happy for you, and like you enough to date you, I guess I am at peace with that. And now, now, you're telling me, you'll break up with Kyosuke - break his heart - all because of me? Because of our friendship?"
"...." Hitomi looked at the ground, tears threatening to spill over as she bit her lip. She didn't realize how bad that sounded until after it's been said, out and in the open, all to hear. "...I just want us to be friends again. Why are you making this hard?"
"I'M making this hard?! Do you know how hard it is to sit there, and watch you both making stupid, loving doe-eyes at each other?! When I know that could've been ME?!" Sayaka yelled, turning fully around to face Hitomi, glaring, blue eyes full of tears. "You don't get to tell me what's hard, Hitomi! My heart's broken because of you! Because of him! But I've come to accept that maybe we weren't meant to be, I'm slowly starting to heal, and now you've gone and ruin it by telling me such...such bullshit!" Hitomi gasped, eyes wide, and instinctively took a step back. She never, ever, heard Sayaka curse before. She didn't know if she could. "You love him Hitomi. Don't ruin what you have just because we aren't cool."
"But I want us to be cool! You are my friend, Sayaka and I miss you! Tell me what I have to do to make us right again!" Hitomi begged, tears falling from her face.
"You know what you can do to make us right again? Just stay away from me, since breaking hearts is all you're good for." Sayaka spat out, turning on her heels and walked away. Hitomi watched her go, her face crumbling in distress, tears pouring down her face, and sobs echoing the almost empty hall. She didn't realize that Mami had been in the hall, watching the event unfold until she felt long, gentle, but firm arms wrap around her, pulling her into a hug.
"I really don't think breaking up with Kyosuke-kun is a good idea, Hitomi-chan," She said, stroking the green-haired girl's back in soft, repeated, circles. "Sayaka-chan has sacrifice her love in order for you two to be together. If you broke up with him, it'll be waste."
"Kyosuke misses her too," Hitomi sobbed. "He wants her back just as much as I do," Maybe even more. She thought bitterly, realizing that the boy of her dreams might be harboring feelings for the blue-haired girl. She wanted to laugh at this entire mess.
"She'll come around, eventually. But for now, let her be." Mami said, but all that did, was break Hitomi even more.
I take it back. I'd take it all back.
They were getting new students, Hitomi realized, but she couldn't find it within herself to care. Not since the big blowout event that had happened some days ago, with her friendship with Sayaka on the rocks. Surprising enough, Sayaka seems to be in a much better mood since then. She took note how often she was smiling, legit being cheerful as she always been - before Hitomi started dating Kyosuke. She also noticed the small rift between her and Madoka - how the pink haired girl would much rather spend time with Sayaka than Hitomi herself.
The thought caused her to put her head down, her hair shadowing her face.
It seems as though Hitomi was losing her friends, one-by-one. Granted, she didn't have much friends to begin with, but still: Madoka and Sayaka were two, closest, closest, friends she's ever asked for, and now... Now everything was falling apart, right in front of Hitomi's eyes.
"Class, I would like to you to meet our new students: Akemi Homura, and Sakura Kyouko." Said their teacher. Whispers started to fill the room as they took in the two girls; one with long, black, pigtails, wearing glasses that seems too big for her face, and a purple headband that seems diamond-crusted or at least gem-crusted, given how they shine. She looked a bit nervous, judging by the wobbly smile, purple eyes bright and lovely - but a bit shy, like her personality seems to be. The other, Hitomi had to curl back, had long, scarlet red hair tied into a ponytail held by a purple-black bow, her uniform a bit crooked; but it was her eyes that made Hitomi squirm.
They were a bright amber, reminding Hitomi of honey, but unlike the black hair's, they were a bit intimidating - they held a spark of fire, challenging anyone to say anything about her or to her. Hitomi had never seen such confidence, not even with Mami, whom Hitomi knows most people know her because of her confidence and sometimes motherly personality. This was different. This was the confidence who could fight fire with fire if she has to.
Something about that made Hitomi annoyed.
That's when the girl's eyes landed on someone in the back, and when Hitomi looked behind to see who it is, her mouth dropped.
Sayaka was smiling at her, giving her a small wave, and Hitomi could hear a small snort coming from the redhead. When instructed to take their seats, said redhead immediately went to the seat next to Sayaka, who's grin widen as the girl rolled her eyes, but something about that was more affectionate than it was annoyed.
Hitomi's guts squirmed even more.
She really did not like this girl. And she really didn't like how Sayaka was comfortable with her.
It was until lunch came around when she noticed that the table she, Madoka, and Sayaka normally sat was empty sans Kyosuke. Glancing around, she spotted her friends at another table - along with the redhead and black haired girl. Hell, even Mami was sitting there, and she wasn't sure just how close Madoka or Sayaka was to her. She, herself, knows that she occasionally speaks to Mami when she needed guidance, but that was the only time. Did they decided to make friends while Hitomi had been busy with Kyosuke? Why was she being left out like this?
Frowning, Hitomi made her way to her table, her heart lurching when she heard Sayaka's laugh from across the room.
"They look happy," Kyosuke said, his eyes on Sayaka. Hitomi followed his line of sight to see Sayaka landing her head on the redhead's shoulder, smiling, blue eyes twinkling like they should be. The redhead seemed a bit annoyed, but like before, with the eye roll, this seems to have some sort affection behind it - kind of like Hitomi was with Kyosuke.
"Yeah. They do." She answered.
"That's good. Sayaka always look so pretty when she's happy. Just...kind of wish she was happy over here." Kyosuke said with a bit of a pout. Hitomi could feel the anger boiled inside of her at the comment. She wanted to sneer, to tell him that she's his girlfriend, and that he should be happy with her.
But Hitomi was tired. So damn tired. She was starting to hate herself more and more, as she watch her friends - her, two, little friends - drift away from her, and there wasn't anything she could do about it. She wanted to cry again.
I want things back to the way they were before.
It's only been three weeks since the two new girls had shown up, and finally, finally, there was a breakthrough.
It had taken a lot of tears, awkward silences, and intense atmosphere, but finally, they were okay. Hitomi and Sayaka were okay.
Of course, that didn't mean Sayaka had completely forgiven her - her smiles were no longer as pretty as they could be the moment Hitomi steps into the room, she was no longer praising her as she did when Hitomi was still single and was receiving tons of confessions and love notes. Sometimes, it felt like Sayaka was forcing herself to stay in the room when Hitomi, deep down, knew she wanted to leave.
The things between them weren't okay - far from it - but Sayaka was slowly getting over it, and allowing Hitomi back into her life.
The green haired would've been happy about this, if it wasn't for the fact that the new student - Sakura Kyouko - was hanging around, following Sayaka like a shadow. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but something about the redhead bothered her, about the way she carried herself. She has seen her and Sayaka interact with each other; playful fighting, real fighting, teasing, and how the two would always bump heads, and she didn't understand. How could they be friends if they act like they couldn't stand each other, playful or not? Of course, being a teased wasn't new to Hitomi about Sayaka. She has seen the way she interacted with Madoka, and how she always claim her to be her wife. The statement always left an uneasy feeling in Hitomi and though she had said that girls can't love girls, what any of them failed to realize, was that Hitomi partially believed that. It was wrong of her to judge, she knew it, but the idea of two girls being like that made her uncomfortable and so she choose to ignore it. Besides, with Madoka, Hitomi realized that Sayaka was only playing, joking around by claiming another girl to be her wife.
It's different with Kyouko.
It didn't seem like the air of two friends joking around, but more heavily rivalry with just a smudge of suppressed feelings?
But that can't be it. Sayaka barely knows her. Hitomi thought, walking towards the rooftops of the school building, where the others were probably waiting for her. Yet, from the first day as Hitomi could recall, Sayaka didn't seem at all that surprise when the teacher announced the two students. Instead, she had smiled and waved at the redhead, as if she had been her friend for a long time. Impossible. Sayaka only has me and Madoka as a friend. If she knew that Kyouko girl, she would've mentioned it. Right? She wouldn't keep it a secret. Hitomi shook her head, and just as she open the door, she could hear the voices of her friends - plus two more.
"Madoka, he's adorable!" That's Sayaka, squealing. She could hear Madoka giggling.
"I know. I found him when I was walking home the other day. Poor little guy must've been starved since he was injured." She said.
"What the hell is it anyway? It looks like a fox." Kyouko said, and Hitomi frowned at the language.
"I don't know, but he's adorable. I want one. Kyouko-chan, let's get one."
"Like hell we will! And besides, didn't Madoka just said she found him on the streets? I've never seen an animal like that before! Where the hell do you think he came from? What's his species? The type of food that he eats? His natural habitat? All these questions and none of them have answers!"
"Maybe he's a rare species, one of his kind. If that's the case, then you're truly lucky, Madoka-chan!"
Not able to take the commotion anymore, Hitomi slowly slid the door open and spotted the group sitting on the ground, their lunch beside him. In between Homura and Sayaka sat Madoka, who was holding something in her lap. Hitomi gasped as her eyes landed on it.
It looked like an animal, but not any animal she's ever seen. The body was white, completely, sans for the red-pink markings on its fur coming out of its ears and a large O-shape on its back. Its tail was long and bushy, kind of like a fox's tail (thus, the comment of looking like a fox - and if it is, Hitomi never heard of the species), though its body's figure reminded Hitomi of a cat instead. Another thing that caught Hitomi off guard was its eyes.
Red. Like blood. Like there was something sinister lurking in them.
"I don't know if I like him or not," Homura said. Ah, the voice of reason. Hitomi thought.
"Hmm? Why you say that, Homura-chan?"
"I don't know. I keep looking at him, but there's something in my gut that's telling me that he's dangerous."
"What? This little guy? Aww, you're worrying too much, Homura-chan!" Sayaka said, lifting the animal-thing from Madoka and lifting it up higher above her face. She smiled at the fox-cat, who only stared at her. It also unnerved Hitomi that the fox-cat never blinked once. "He's cute. Let's call him Kyubey."
"Because he reminds me of a small, white version of the Kyuubi."
"You brat! You took that from Naruto!"
"So what if I did? What are you going to do about it?" Sayaka asked, smug as Kyouko glared at her.
"Watch your fucking language."
Sayaka giggled as she passed the fox-cat - now named Kyubey, apparently - back to Madoka and began running as Kyouko began chasing after her. Mami and Madoka just giggled at their antics while Homura smiled, though she wasn't looking at them. Hitomi narrowed her eyes when she realized that the black haired girl was looking at Madoka instead.
An uneasy feeling crept up in her stomach, and balled her fist. So much more happier with them. She thought, and before she could stop herself, she was already going through the door and walking towards them. Her presence didn't go unnoticed, and the girls' heads snapped to attention, Kyouko and Sayaka ending their game as they stared at her.
"Hey, Hitomi-chan! Glad you can make it!" Madoka said, smiling at the girl. Hitomi smiled and nodded, taking a seat next to Mami. She could feel three people staring at her with such intensity, she wonders if she ever, truly, belonged in the first place. Ignoring it, she turned to the pet in Madoka's hand.
"Is he yours, Madoka-chan?" She asked. The grin on the pink-haired girl's face widen.
"Probably, if my mom would let me keep him that is."
"Yep. Poor little guy was nearly starved when I found him, so I decided to nurse him back to health." She said, smiling brightly as she began to pet Kyubey. Hitomi nodded, and silence fell between the group, though not as thick as it had been.
Hitomi swallowed her tongue. We're talking now, so it isn't too bad. Just wish we were as close as we had been back then.
Later, as school was finally released, she was stopped by Madoka.
"I'm really glad you two made up. It was kinda awkward having to be in the middle of your fight." She said, smiling nervously up at Hitomi. She wanted to tell Madoka that they haven't made up yet, that there was still some tension between the two, but she couldn't break the girl's heart like that. After all, if this was bad on Hitomi, she could only imagine how bad it must've been for Madoka. "Has Sayaka-chan talk to Kyousuke-kun yet?"
"I think she's talking to him now." Hitomi said, not quite sure how to feel about her boyfriend talking to their use-to-be-ex-friend. "He's really excited to meet the rest of you."
"The rest of us? Oh! You mean Kyouko-chan and Homura-chan!"
"And Mami. Which reminds me, how do you guys know her so well? I only talk to her on occasions." Hitomi said, and Madoka gave her an impish smile.
"I...I talk to Mami a lot, actually. Even more so when Sayaka-chan started to avoid you. I just never told either of you, sorry." She said, and for some reason, Hitomi felt like somebody had punched her in the gut. She could've sworn she's never seen Madoka hang around with other people, that Sayaka and her were her only two friends....
"When did this happen?"
"Usually when I need help with homework and she can help me," Madoka said, stuttering nervously. "But when it's not about homework, I have found that Mami-chan is a cool person to hang out with, and easy to talk to. She's just so kind and openly to everyone, it's kind of hard not to like her." She smiled at Hitomi. "She could even rival you, Hitomi-chan."
Hitomi let out a weak laugh.
"Right. Rival me."
She's never going to get back in Sayaka's good grace, is she?