Clouded Gem

Dia had confessed her feelings for Kanan and Mari before they went to Tokyo their first year. They had told her they’d give her their answer after they came back. After Aquors had shone on stage. But they didn’t shine. And Dia never got her answer.

Dia had agreed with Kanan’s reasoning, she just hadn’t predicted things would deteriorate as far as they did. Her confession got forgotten in the ensuing misery. At least by Kanan and Mari. Dia couldn’t make herself bring it up again, so she never got her answer.

She’s still not sure whether telling Ruby to give up on idols, and never talk about them again, hurt her sister or herself the most.

Next year was even worse. Mari was gone. Kanan almost never showed up at school. Dia didn’t know what to do, so she did the only thing she could. Focus on her sister, and her schoolwork. Join the student council. Live up to the Kurosawa name.

In the third year Dia finally felt like maybe she could put it all behind her. Then Chika showed up. Full of passion and drive. Wanting to start an idol club. Dia hated the little spark that ignited in her. Chika knew nothing, which infuriated Dia even more. She wanted to shut them down as hard as possible. But Chika wouldn’t give up, and Dia couldn’t quench the little flame that was yet again burning in her chest. So she decided to test them.

Somehow she found herself helping them out covertly. Passing on the Aquors name, which they accepted. Of course they would. It’s a great name.

Mari coming back was hard. It’s still hard. She’s her same stubborn, heedless self. Butting heads with Dia constantly. Dia’s aware she wasn’t the only one who got wounded when they broke apart.

Worse still is that Mari coming back was what finally made Kanan come back too. Not immediately, but eventually. Mari wouldn’t stop bugging the two of them, because that’s what Mari does. It fuelled the flame in Dia’s chest, and it hurt like hell. And now…

Now they’re in Aquors again. All three of them, in the new Aquors. Kanan and Mari seem to be getting along again. Without Dia. She has tried so hard to forget, but that has proven impossible. It stings.

Yet perhaps now she can finally put it behind her. Being a school idol again feels good. Chasing µ’s again is fun. She can finally share her love of idols with Ruby again. She will heal. This too shall pass.

Of course it’s not going to be that simple. One afternoon when Dia’s the last person in the student council room, like she often is, there’s a knock on the door. Before Dia can respond, Mari bursts into the room with Kanan close behind her. Mari is looking very confident, while Kanan looks a little more apprehensive. Dia blinks at their sudden appearance.

“Mari? Kanan? Is something the matter?” Dia asks, and puts down the papers she was reading. Is Mari here to get Dia to agree to some scheme of hers again?

“Dia! We have something very important to tell you!” Mari declares, seeming even bolder than usual.

What now? Dia thinks. Has Mari thought up some weird new live show? Is that why Kanan’s here? An underwater live? Or are they going to pitch a field trip? Seeing them together is making the flame in her chest flicker and sting again. She just wants to go home.

“Mari, I really don’t-” Dia starts to say, but she’s interrupted by Kanan.

“Dia, please…” she says, a hint of pleading in her voice. “Just hear us out, okay?” Dia isn’t sure how to respond to that, but she’s not sure she wants to hear whatever they’re about to say.

“Look, I…” she starts to say, but the look in Kanan’s eyes makes her stop herself. “Okay.” She takes a deep breath. “I’ll hear what you have to say.” Maybe it’s best to just get it over with.

“Thank you,” Kanan says with clear relief in her voice. “What we want to tell you is-”

“Yes!” Mari chimes in enthusiastically.

“… yes?” Dia is very confused. “Yes what?” What on Earth are those two on about. Mari and Kanan look at each other, then speak in unison, as if they’ve practised:

“Yes, we love you too!” they say loudly and clearly. It takes Dia a moment to process this. Then another moment. Are they saying…

No way, Dia thinks. They can’t be…. She is stunned. She has tried her best to forget, but her efforts have been in vain. She was so certain they had.

“We want to go out with you!” Mari says, confirming they are indeed saying what Dia thought they were.

“Sorry we kept you waiting so long,” Kanan says, her tone a mix of embarrassment and relief.

“But now you have our answer!” Mari says brightly. “So… … Dia?” Dia is shaking.

“How…” Her hands are balling into fists. She can feel her nails pressing into her palms. “How dare you…” Dia says in a low voice.

“Dia?” Kanan sounds concerned.

“How dare you!” Dia shouts as she slams her fists on the desk and stands up, glaring at them both. They regard her with shock. The flame flares, burning at her insides.

“How dare you do this to me now?! Why now?!” She can feel herself vibrate with rage. “I was finally starting to move on! Putting this behind me! And now this?!” She throws her hands up in the air, sending some papers from the desk flying. “Why would you do this to me?!” Her tears have started flowing, and she can’t stop them.

“Dia, what are you saying?” Mari says, her earlier boldness and confidence gone. She reaches out towards Dia.

“Don’t touch me!!!” Dia says and slaps Mari’s hand away. “Do you know how long I’ve waited?!” she yells loudly, and they both flinch. “Well, I’ll tell you! Nearly two years! I was sure you’d forgotten! I was ready to move on! And now you just… you just…” she’s sputtering, unable to get the words out.

“Dia, we’re-” Kanan tries to say something.

“No!” Dia interrupts her. “No, you don’t get to… don’t you dare… don’t you…” A sob breaks through, and she tries to get control of her breathing. “Don’t you know… how lonely I’ve been?” It’s getting hard to see them through the tears, so she turns away, facing the window.

“You left me…” she says, her voice starting to crack. It’s overcast today, so the weather is just grey. Not the pouring rain that would have seemed appropriate. “You b-both left me… I had to keep going… I di-didn’t have a choice…” She hugs herself tightly. “And now you just…” Her rage has burned out, and now there’s just pain and conflicted feelings.

“Dia, we’re…” Kanan tries, pausing to see if she’ll get interrupted again. “We’re very, very sorry.”

“We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but…” Mari speaks up, her voice a little shaky. Dia turns halfway back towards them.

“Why?” she asks them. “Why couldn’t you have… forgotten, and just… left me alone…” She feels very small all of a sudden.

“Because we love you,” Mari says honestly.

“And we want to make up for past mistakes,” Kanan says firmly. They both look so determined, in spite of Dia’s outburst.

“Why…? I was doing…” Dia can’t complete that sentence. She wasn’t doing fine.

“Dia, do you… hate us now?” Mari asks, and Dia turns her head to look at the both of them. Part of her wants to say yes, but she knows she can’t. She could never.

“No… I love you…” she says, smiling weakly through the tears. Her heart hurts. “I will always love you…” She hides her face in her hands and sobs quietly.

Kanan walks over and gently hugs Dia. Mari joins soon after. Dia doesn’t resist.

“I missed you both…” she whispers. “So much…”

“We missed you too. And we truly apologise for making you wait,” Kanan says in a gentle voice.

“It was hard…” Dia says, leaning against them. “But I… I-I did my best…” Mari starts stroking Dia’s head.

“We know,” she says. “We know you did.” She’s trying to sound comforting.

“I was so lonely…” Dia says, and swallows some gulps of air.

“We promise to never leave you again,” Kanan and Mari say together, though not as coordinated as earlier. Dia finally lowers her hands, and sees the other two have tears on their faces too. She returns the embrace as best she can, and pulls their cheeks against hers.

“Never?” she asks quietly, starting to worry whether this is just a dream. There’s a break in the cloud cover, and a few rays of sunshine come into the room. They feel warm against Dia’s back.

“Absolutely,” Mari starts.

“Never,” Kanan finishes.

“You better not…” is the last thing Dia is able to say as she tightens her grip on them. Finally the flame in her chest is only a comforting warmth.

They hold her for as long as she needs.

~Wulf

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Posted on June 2, 2017, in Fiction, Storytime and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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