Tuesday, May 01, 2007,9:25 AM
Traveler ch. 22
22


Silence.

They couldn’t make anything else but wait.

“Miki!”

Rika’s voice shouting desperately was stuck in Aya’s mind together with the image of Fujimoto collapsing to the ground. Matsuura didn’t have time think about it, she just jumped from her place and ran towards Miki as fast as her leg allowed her. All happened so fast that she could only recall a few details…

The younger looked at Yossi, seated against a wall with her eyes closed. She had hurt her right arm, nothing serious, but enough to make Ishikawa dead worried about her for a few minutes. Aya smiled sadly. Even if that girl wasn’t her sister, they were the same… Someone brave enough to risk everything for the ones she loved…

“Take her out of here!”

Yoshizawa had knocked down with her sword one of the beast that was blocking Aya’s way. The younger was disarmed and it could have been the end. She saved her live.

But, it was worth it?

“I’m sorry, Aya”

Next to her, Maki had been in silence all the time. Someway, she knew that, what happened to Miki was eating the younger from the inside. Obviously, something was going on between them since Gottsan left Yuko’s place but Maki knew that it wasn’t a good idea to ask about it now…

“…it’s my fault. We must have returned sooner…”

“You’re ok?” asked Aya, who until then didn’t seem to pay attention.

“Just some scratches… And you?”

“I’m sorry for Ayaka” said Matsuura absently “She had been Hitomi’s friends for so many years… And Tanaka and Kusumi..., they were so young…”

“Aya, you’re ok?” insisted Gottsan “I know that Miki and you…

But, before Maki could have her answer, Kaori arrived to the square where everyone was waiting and Aya jumped from her seat.

“Tell me that you have good news”

Nakazawa was standing in front of her waiting with Aya and Rika already at her side. The taller saw the restless in their eyes and lowered her head.

“I’ve made everything I could do…”

Matsuura didn’t wait to hear the rest of the sentence and ran inside the dorms before anyone could stop her.

***

“You’re good for nothing!”

“It’s your fault!”

Why do you hate me? Can’t you see that I’m scared? That I need you?

“I’ll be always with you”

No, you won’t. Mom was right. It’s my fault. I’m the one who should be dead…

“Be strong, Miki-chan…”

I can’t. I’ve failed you again. I promised you that I’d be strong but I can’t. I tried to be like you, I tried to make this world a better place, I tried… The truth is that I don’t have your strength… I’m nothing like you.

It’s hard.

It hurts.

“I won’t forgive you…”

I know mom, I can’t forgive myself either. Not just because of her but all the other mistakes I made since then. You told me… Her sacrifice was in vain.

“I won’t forgive you if you die”

“Tan… will you stay by my side?”

Aya?

“When you’ll stop risking your life as if nobody cared about it?!”

“Now that I was going to give you a chance you have to find another way to annoy me, right? I hate you, Fujimoto”

Matsuura was trying to sound angry but her voice was going to crack at any moment. She had rushed into the room, without knowing what she should expect, and had found Miki lying on the bed unconscious, with the wound on her side bandaged and an almost unnoticeable breathing moving her chest.

“You can’t even keep a promise” she said moving slowly towards the bed “Not that I wasn’t expecting too much from someone who has seducing girls as her hobby but, God, this has been the shortest relationship ever…”

The younger seated next to her at the edge of the bed and took her hand.

“Miki, please, don’t leave me alone again…”

“It’s not your time yet, Miki-chan. Live… For me…”

“Let’s make a deal, Tan. If you keep your promise…” Aya leant to whisper in the older’s ear “… I’ll let you do anything you want with me…”

Nothing. Just the same damned silence filling the room. What the hell was Aya expecting? That hearing something like that Miki would jump from the bed as if nothing happened? So she gave up, there’s nothing else she could do and, giving Miki a sweet kiss on her cheek, she stood up and walked towards the door.

“Anything?”

Aya turned to look at the bed again, unable to believe her own ears.

“You know…” said Miki again with her eyes still closed and breathing heavily “…it’s really an…noying to have to be half dead to get some at…tention from my girlfriend…”

“Who said anything about girlfriends?” asked Aya crossing her arms and trying to act cold.

“You… Before…”

“I didn’t…”

“You did it” cut Fujimoto with a wide mischievous grin on her lips.

The younger, even if she was trying to deny any kind of feeling that could make her look concerned, was at the verge of tears. She saw Fujimoto bringing her hand to the wound with a hurt expression on her face. When the sharp pain seemed to stop, Miki opened her eyes and stared at Aya, who had lost the battle and had already a tear rolling down her cheek.

“I love you too, Princess”

***

“She did it before” stated Nakazawa trying to calm down the rest of the girls “Fujimoto’s stronger than all of us together”

Then, Konno appeared followed by Kaoru. They knew that it wasn’t the best moment to tell the news but maybe, after what happened, it was better for them to leave as soon as possible.

“Yoshizawa-san, the Traveler, I think it works”

Yossi walked towards them. She’d almost forgotten about it.

“You’re sure?” she asked.

“Well, I repaired the loose piece that I found but we can’t be sure until we try it” answered Konkon, leaving the machine in Yossi’s hands.

The singer stared at the Traveler for a moment and then turned to Rika, as asking her what she should do. Yossi wasn’t sure anymore…

“So wonderful was your life back there?”

“I can love you the same way… even more…”

What to do? What’s the best? To leave when half of the girls where wounded, knowing that she could help? But if she stayed…, what would happen to the people in her own world? There weren’t any physics rules for that kind of things? Wouldn’t she break the Universe’s balance or something? Her career, the group, Rika… What’d happen if she stayed?

“Go home”

The voice was firm.

“But you asked me to stay”

“I was selfish and blind” Ishikawa was standing next to her, masking the pain in her heart with a soft smile “I can’t make you stay when there’s someone else waiting. This isn’t your place, Yocchan”

“But…”

“She’s right”

Everybody stared at Aya, who has returned from the rooms more relaxed and approached to Yossi slowly. All the jaws dropped when the stubborn Matsuura surrounded the older’s neck with her arms and held her.

“Don’t stay…” she said in a barely audible voice that only Yoshizawa could hear “I couldn’t stand to see you die again…”

Yossi wasn’t able to find any word. Aya moved away from her before she could react and, taking Kaouru’s hand, pushed her towards the singer. The girl looked at Yossi and the older saw the restless in her eyes. She couldn’t let her go alone, not now that she knew how dangerous could be the worlds she’d still have to visit before being able to return home.

“Ok. Let’s go” she finally understood what was the right thing to do and put the Traveler around Kaoru’s wrist.

She wanted to do it fast, even if in her heart she wanted the machine to fail and be forced to stay there, but her finger didn’t dare to press the button. Seeing that, Ishikawa walked towards her and gave Yossi one last kiss, while her hand was searching the taller’s hand.

“Thank you” said Rika before letting her go “At least, we finally can say goodbye”

Yossi felt Ishikawa’s finger over hers just a second before the girl moved away. Then, it was all white again.

***

“It’s a pitty…”

“What?” asked Kaorin turning to her leader.

“She was really good with the sword…” then Nakazawa turned to Rika and Aya who were still looking at the spot where the travellers had been just seconds ago “You two are ok?”

The youngers stared at each other for a moment and then nodded at Yuko.

“We’ll be ok” answered Rika with a sad smile “At least we know she’s alive”

“Oh, talking about that… Aya, how’s…?”

“I think she’ll live” Aya rolled her eyes remembering her little conversation with Fujimoto and replied the leader guessing what Nakazawa was going to ask “She ask me to give you a message”

“What?”

“Seventeen”

Everbody, even Aya, didn’t have a clue about what that message could mean but Yuko began to laugh out loud.

“That deserves a party!”



To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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