Mitsuko’s Dream/Epiphany of Love
(For Felix, of course, like, duh)
Mitsuko lay on the padded floor, staring at the wall of the tent, which was brightly illuminated by the moon. Felix was curled up against the cold, facing the opposite wall. Noticing that he was not the only one still awake, he turned his head to face his seemingly distant companion.
“Good night, Mitsuko,” he said as warmly as he could-which was not much, given the fact that the vent hole Mitsuko had cut earlier in the tent was letting in cold drafts from the windy night.
Had Mitsuko been listening, she would have probably told him to call her “Mitsuko-CHAN!!!!!” But give the circumstances, she was deep in thought, her surroundings and the people in them tuned out.
After a moment, Felix, realizing there would be no response, turned back over and closed his eyes, asleep in a matter of seconds, as usual.
LATER THAT NIGHT
Felix was awoken by movement next to him in the tent. He thought it must have been Mitsuko getting up, and complained “It’s rather early to be getting up for a-” before he realized that he was talking to himself-Mitsuko was breathing slowly, deeply-she was asleep.
Felix turned on his side, now facing Mitsuko’s moonlit end of the tent. Yes, she certainly was asleep, but still stirring nonetheless.
He watched her tossing and turning in her troubled dreams for a moment before realizing that she was mumbling. He couldn’t quite understand enough of what she was saying to form any kind of idea of what she was going through in her mind, but he knew it wasn’t good.
He also noticed something moderately frightening-Mitsuko’s katana, normally surrounded by a white or green haze, was glowing black-emitting darkness in the intense moonlight.
It took on a slightly redder hue as the disturbed girl began moaning and groaning in what sounded like pain.
He watched this, contemplating what he should do.
She is quite irritable when I wake her up before she gets up by herself…
Suddenly, she began shouting incomprehensible things in what Felix now reasoned to be one heck of a nightmare.
I can’t just sit here and watch this…
He began slowly shaking her awake, quietly calling her name.
Without warning, she sat up, unsheathing her katana and pressing the blood-red blade up against Felix’s neck. He looked into her eyes for a moment, terrified, but noticed something strange-the green irises of her eyes were gone, overlapped by the fully dilated pupils.
They stared into each others’ eyes for a moment before Mitsuko’s eyes returned to their normal state, the katana taking on its usual white glow.
She blinked. After a moment, she looked around, seemingly refreshing her memory of where she was. She looked again, suddenly realizing that she was holding Felix by his head with a blade inches away from killing him.
She released her grip and sheathed the sword, blushing.
“I – I – I’m sorry,” she said, abashed. “I – I was-”
“You were having a bad dr-”
Mitsuko, pupils again dilating, lashed out again with the blade, glowing a fiercer red than before, again pressed against his neck.
“I was not,” she said darkly, in a voice Felix had never heard her use.
She held him there for a moment, before apparently realizing just how much she had terrified him, and returning to normal, again sheathing the katana. She looked at the ground in front of her, then to each side, thinking, mortified. They were both silent for a few minutes.
Finally, Mitsuko spoke.
“I need to go outside for a while, get some fresh air, the stuffiness of this place is killing me,” she said and, avoiding eye contact, sat up and crawled out of the tent flap.
Felix sat silently and watched her silhouette shift around the tent, sitting down on the crest of the ridge overlooking the frozen lake.
He watched, confused. But after a moment his body reminded him of his fatigue, and he was forced to roll over to sleep.
EVEN LATER THAT NIGHT
Felix was awoken a second time by a strange sound-that of sobbing, coming from outside the tent. He rolled over to see Mitsuko’s figure outlined on the tent wall by the moonlight, still sitting, head down. He reasoned she was the source of said crying, and silently sat up and slipped out of the tent. His attempt at a silent approach was foiled when he stepped too heavily onto the snow outside the tent, and the subsequent crunch alerted the emotional girl of his presence.
She gasped and quickly dried her eyes with her right sleeve, careful to do so inconspicuously, then pretended to be looking at the stars.
“You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re crying,” Felix said, giving up on the “mysterious approach”.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mitsuko lied.
“You aren’t a very good liar; you did wake me up, after all. Kind of hard to miss,” Felix pointed out.
Felix sat down next to her, looking her in the eyes.
“I’m guessing you’re crying over that guy you were telling me about earlier. The one with the rifle?”
Mitsuko nodded, and whispered something Felix couldn’t hear.
“What was that?”
“Ao… his name was Ao…” her eyes began welling up with tears once again.
“He saved my life… twice… the second time, I lost him…”
“Ao-kun, please don’t go! There’s got to be some other way around this! Why can’t we go out there and fight them?” Mitsuko begged. Ao reached behind his back and pulled over his rifle, holding it in his right hand so that the barrel pointed at the ground.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” he asked, grinning.
“But we have to go out together and face them!” Mitsuko half stated, half pleaded.
“No. You cannot fight these people. I cannot risk losing you. I find you… interesting.” Ao grinned again.
“So I shall go out and keep them busy while you escape. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve escaped the clutches of the Ryuu.”
Remembering Ao telling her about the night his family was killed by the Ryuu, Ao being the sole survivor, Mitsuko nodded, as tears ran down her cheeks.
“Promise me you’ll come back,” she begged.
“I’ll come back, I promise,” Ao winked.
BACK TO PRESENT
“And after that, they… took him. Right in front of me, they overpowered him,” she sobbed, looking down.
“And what happened after that?” Felix asked cautiously. Mitsuko looked forward, her katana beginning to take on a redder hue.
“I killed them. All of them…” she said in a familiar tone-the one she had used earlier that night, fractions of an inch from killing him.
After seeing her actions earlier, Felix had not too much trouble imagining Mitsuko doing such a thing. But the other side of her-the darker side. Not this fragile, brittle creature he saw in front of him now.
“And that’s when I dragged myself into town… and then…” she looked him in the eye, tears running down her cheeks as they had before.
“And then… I met you. And you… saved me,” she said.
Felix tried to dodge around the subject.
“You know, I understand what you’re going through. You see, I had a brother, and one t-”
He was interrupted when Mitsuko suddenly leaned over and kissed him on the lips. He was not expecting this, and for a moment was unable to respond. But after a few seconds, he was able to recover and respond appropriately-which, of course, meant embracing her and returning the kiss just as, if not more, passionately.
This lasted for a few minutes at the very least, before the two finally gently pushed each other away. Mitsuko looked away for a moment, embarrassed at what she had just done. Felix did the same.
Finally, they turned and faced each other again, but this time, Felix stopped Mitsuko as she leaned in for another kiss.
“What about this Ao guy?” he asked.
“What about him?” Mitsuko countered, too absorbed in the moment to feel any sorrow for him.
“Aren’t… weren’t you two… uhh…” Felix was unable to find the correct words.
“He’s fourteen years older than me and looks two years younger,” Mitsuko pointed out.
“Oh. Either way, I suppose you’ll just have to make due with me,” Felix joked. Mitsuko giggled at this for a moment, before they embraced again…
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