The rain pounded at the windows, making the multi-million dollar tower thrum like a large percussion instrument. I sat in the kitchen, watching my tea grow cold and listening to music, allowing a soft melancholy wash over me. Gustav Mahler’s Lied von der Erde played on the stereo, fueling the darkness within me, reaching in and drawing it out to join the leaden light from outside.
The fact was, I was missing Michiru badly. She was playing a mini-concert series in Kyoto and I had meant to join her tomorrow. The rain outside had, however, pushed back the race for which I had remained in Tokyo. Now I’d have to race tomorrow or forfeit the points on the circuit. I sighed petulantly, making the most of my bad mood. If Michiru were here, she’d leave me alone for just long enough, then insist we spend some time together, and force me out of my grim frame of mind. I could hear her voice echo in the empty apartment and laughed darkly at my own morbidity. It sometimes scares me, how dependent I am upon her light.
I paced a bit, watching sheets of water hurl themselves at the window. If the weather cleared up, even a little, I’d drive out of town and ease my mood. The thunder crashed hard, shaking the walls, forcing that idea from my mind. The soprano on the stereo wailed her hopelessness and I stood, just letting her bleakness fill me.
I went back to the kitchen, put up water to heat for a fresh pot of tea and tried to think of something on which to concentrate my mind. They call this the “monkey mind,” the uncontrollable mind, the one that wanders and jumps and randomly switches from subject to subject. It was aptly named. I was unable to find anything with which to occupy myself. I glanced in the direction of the piano, but it held no appeal for me today.
“Get a grip on yourself, Haruka.” I said out loud. I was becoming morose and it irritated me.
The water heated and I made a fresh pot, determined to find some relaxation and leisure for myself. As I was about to sit, there was a knock on the door.
I called out, wondering who would come over in such appalling weather, and headed towards the door. It opened with a jerk and an extremely wet and downtrodden looking guest stepped in. Her shoes were off, but she was soaked through to the bone. She stood in the doorway, clothes, hair and umbrella dripping profusely on the floor and smiled a bit crookedly up at me.
“I don’t want to come in any further, Haruka-san, I’ll ruin your floor.” She wiped ineffectually at her face with a drenched sleeve.
“Ko-neko-chan, I mean, Usagi,,,!” I began a bit awkwardly, “What brings you out in this weather?’
“I’m sorry to barge in on you like this…” she began to speak at the same time as I, then stopped. She laughed a bit nervously, tilting her head. “I came to cheer you up.”
“What?!” I stiffened, surprised and confused. A moment went by, then I realized how rude I was being. “Why don’t you come in? Don’t worry about the floor…” I ushered her into the living room and grabbing a few towels from the bathroom, handed them to her to towel herself dry.
When her hair and face were no longer actively dripping, I asked her to join me in the kitchen for some tea. Usagi held her arms and trying not to shiver, she nodded.
I poured from the new pot and held a cup out to her. She took it with hands that were almost steady and sat heavily. I watched her, her cheery nature warring with her dismal appearance and laughed out loud.
“This won’t do. You’ll have to get out of those clothes or you’ll catch cold.” She looked at me with a wry smile. “Come with me.” I waved her towards our bedroom.
I pulled out one of my sweatshirts and a pair of Michiru’s pants. “I’m sorry, the pants will be a little long, but you should be able to make do….” She thanked me profusely and apologized for being so much trouble. I smiled as I left her. “Ko-neko-chan, you are never any trouble.”
In the kitchen, in consideration of Usagi’s penchant for snacking, I threw together a tray of cookies and for the third time, heated some water. I wondered if I would drink a whole cup of tea at all today.
I heard Usagi enter behind me. I turned and tried not to smile at her appearance. My sweatshirt was long enough on her to be a dress, and the sleeves hung past her hands. She had forgone the pants altogether, leaving her legs childishly bare. She had rung her ponytails out, and they stuck stiffly out from her head. If it weren’t for the mature body under the clothing, she would have looked like a child. In fact, she did look like a child, her eyes large and bright, looking up at me mournfully. But there was a mocking gleam in them that was not at all childish. Disturbingly, I was not sure which one of us she mocked.
I set the tea and snacks on the table, which made her jump where she stood.
“Oh!” she cried, “I completely forgot!” she turned on her heel and bolted out of the room. She returned in a moment with a pink bunny wrapped parcel. She handed over to me with a bit of a grimace. “Mako-chan made some cookies for you, but I think they’ve gotten wet.”
I stared at her, this bundle of enthusiasm, this unbridled energy source, who stood so unselfconsciously in my kitchen. The very air around her seemed charged with life. I shook myself out of my reverie and took the proffered bag.
“Thank you,” I managed to say, somewhat belatedly.
She tilted her head and looked at me closely. “Are you feeling well, Haruka-san?”
I didn’t answer, but opened the bag and put the only-slightly-soggy cookies on the tray. Without turning to face her, I asked, ‘What did you mean, when you said that you came to cheer me up?”
She stepped up and put one small hand, covered by the excess sleeve, on my arm. Her voice was quiet, but concerned. “I know that when Michiru isn’t around you get depressed.” I looked at her hand and she let go and covered her mouth, hiding a smile. “And I had something to ask you.”
I “hmphed” at the implication that I was predictable and depressed. I knew it was true, but I’d be damned before admitting it. I could hear her giggle and busied myself needlessly with the tea. She sat down at the table and I sat, facing her, watching as she ate cookie after cookie. It always amused me to watch her eat, so joyfully, so mannerlessly, just like a child. I caught myself – I was doing it again. This girl was no child, as her lithe movements, and brilliant eyes attested. I was not aware that I’d been staring until she caught my eye and pinned it mercilessly. Again, I saw that mocking flash and was immediately chagrined.
Neither of us moved, no words were spoken for a long moment. I moved my mouth to speak, but could not. What the hell was she doing to me? Was she here to practice some new power, some ability to bewitch? I realized that young as she was, she was no longer unaware of herself. Nor was she completely calculating, either. Was this a game to her? What were the rules?
In that silence I thought of Michiru and how much I loved her. I almost dropped my head, until I heard her voice in my head. We had been laying in bed, one long, hot summer evening and she had been staring into my face. I had told her I loved her for the first time and she had responded with the same words. We had gazed long into each other’s eyes. Then she had sighed and closed her eyes, leaning her head on my shoulder. “But there is someone we will love more, even than each other.” I hadn’t answered at the time.
Several months later, after the Silence had been barely averted, we challenged this very same girl to combat, not believing her to be our Princess. Her power had defeated us utterly and we had kneeled before her. At that moment, I looked up and realized at once what Michiru had meant. Before us, shining and glorious, stood the one we would love more than even each other. It was both a horrifying and uplifting moment, as if we were confronted by a goddess. Now, in my own kitchen, that very goddess had me pinned to my seat and speechless. I squirmed like a child that was being interrogated for some trespass or misdemeanor. With a laugh, she let me go and I nearly fell backwards in my effort to escape her.
“What the hell was that?” I found myself saying out loud.
She looked at me guilelessly. “What are you talking about Haruka-san?” I shook my head and glanced at the clock. Not even a minute had gone by, maybe 10 seconds or so. I turned back to my guest who was once again eating cookies and drinking tea. I sipped from my cup and let the bitter liquid calm me. I could hear my breath rasp, as I sought to quiet my pounding heart.
Usagi looked up as the music ended. “What were you listening to? It was very depressing.”
“Lied von der Erde.” I said shortly. “What would you like to hear?”
She thought for a moment. “Something happier.” I nodded and escaped with what dignity I could muster. I had no idea what she had done to me, but I felt wrung out, as if I had fought something much too strong for me. As I reached for the CD, I saw that my hand was shaking. I placed a new CD on the player and stepped back to check for another selection. I could feel her step up behind me and I began to shake visibly.
“Haruka-san?” she asked, “what is the matter?”
“I don’t know.” I said honestly. I turned and looked down into her blue eyes, so open, so loving, so compassionate. I tasted salt and brushed my hand across my cheek, startled to find it wet. She reached up and wiped a tear away from my eye with her little bunny handkerchief. She pressed the cloth into my hands and clasped her own hands over mine.
“What are you afraid of?” she asked simply.
The words wrenched themselves out of my throat. “You. Myself. Of not being strong enough.” And I bent my head into my hands, the tears running freely down my face. She held me for a moment, until I twisted away, trying to gain some small control of myself. “Why did you come here, Usagi?” I asked, my voice uncharacteristically bitter. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Because you’re lonely.” I whirled on her, ready to tell that that was ridiculous, that she could not have known how I felt from across town. But I could see in her eyes that she *did* know, she *had* felt it.
“Princess.” The word came to my lips and I sank to one knee, not even knowing what I mean to do. Was I waiting for her command, or was I offering her my fealty? I had no idea. I no longer was in control of this and I no longer had any desire to be.
Usagi walked over and put her hand on my head, which was bowed. “How can I cheer you up, Haruka-san?” She leaned over me and lifting my chin, kissed my cheeks. I looked up at her and let myself be pinned once again by her eyes. This time I didn’t try to fight it, allowing her to see into my soul, all my fears, all my wishes. Even my feelings about her. Michiru had seen them clearly, but I had never admitted the truth of her intuition. I should have known better.
I could feel her arms reach around my neck and pull me in, her lips laid gently against my own. She was warm, vibrant. I could feel my blood pulsing in my head, and a rush of excitement sped down my spine. Usagi let her lips linger against mine for a long moment. She said something I could not hear and my eyes closed.
When I opened my eyes once again, I could not see anything at all. I panicked for a moment and tried to clear my eyes by blinking, but something impeded my sight. I reached to remove the obstacle, but my hands were immobilized. I could feel a soft surface against my back – I was laying naked on my bed. Not the futon I had used when I lived alone, but the low, soft bed I shared with Michiru. I tried to free my eyes, but a soft hand soothed me and a voice spoke calmingly, right against my ear.
“Please stop fighting me, Haruka-san.” I could feel her breath tickling me and I turned towards her voice. “Trust me.” I didn’t think I had much of a choice, but then, I knew as a certainty that I did. The choice was mine. I chose to trust her.
Her lips passed over my own and I reached for her, but she was already gone. I wondered how I had gotten here. I couldn’t remember, surely we must have walked, but why did I remember flying? A hand caressed my face so gently, then disappeared. Another hand touched a leg. The sensations lingered on my skin after the hand had passed. Then her lips came back to mine, and one hand moved through my hair, crushing my face to hers. The other hand stroked my arm, neck and shoulder. I relaxed backwards and allowed her to carry me away with sensation. Then I felt an odd tickle on my leg. It wasn’t a hand, but it moved up to my thigh with a steady, but light touch. I could not identify…I gasped slightly. Usagi had parted my lips and her tongue found mine. I reached for her, cursing my bound arms. She held me, bruising me with her mouth and I fought to get at her, but I was held fast. Her arms gripped me tightly and pulled my bonds taught, her stroking becoming deeper, more demanding. Then I felt it again, a whisper of a touch along one leg, then the other. Then a soft breeze passed over my body. Usagi broke our kiss and I fell backwards.
I knew she was still next to me, I could feel the warmth from her body. She let one hand graze my breast, followed by a warm mouth. I moaned and threw my head back. I could hear her laugh a little, then repeat the gesture. A strange change in the air occurred, then a soft blanket, warm, yet incredibly fine, was drawn over me. It ran along my sensitized skin, tickling, caressing and finally embracing me. With a sudden shock, I could feel feathers against my arms, my torso and my legs. My skin shuddered with the sensation.
Usagi laughed once again and pulled me close to her using her wings like arms. My bonds were taught and my body arched. Usagi laid herself above me, then eased herself onto me slowly, fitting our bodies together. She continued to caress me with her hands and her wings teased at me, tickling my neck, then an ear, then a leg. I began to moan uncontrollably, surrendering myself to the unfamiliar, ethereal sensation. Usagi began to kiss me, so softly that at first I was not sure I could feel her. Then more firmly and finally, once again, drawing me in and crushing our bodies together. I had to remind myself to breathe or I would black out.
Usagi shifted and I felt the stroke of feathers once again against my legs. She moved off of me and I whined, but was cut off as the wings began to caress me, touching inner thigh, moving up my legs until it withdrew just before it reached the junction between my legs. I cried out, but the cry changed as the feathers tickled my nipples. Usagi licked one, then the other, rolling them around her mouth and biting them lightly. I began to beg her for…what? I didn’t know, but she did. One wing moved over me, running lightly through my pussy, then again.
I was straining my bonds, I could hear them creaking with the effort of holding me. Usagi opened me with one hand, while her other hand teased my breast. I was panting now, no coherent words could be heard, but my need was obvious. Usagi entered me easily and began to fill me. She shifted once again and let one wing drape itself across my chest, just to torture me. The feathers got into my nose and mouth, but also laid across my breasts, warm and soft as a blanket. I gladly breathed in Usagi’s wings, while she pumped her hand into me.
When her tongue touched me, I though my head would explode. I could feel my eyes roll back into my head, feel my body force itself upward. Her tongue dug into my slit, then drew up and across my clit. I yelled, and dropped back as she left me. Again, then again, she teased me and finally, agonizingly, she began to lick me with a steady rhythm. In a very short, too short time, my body became rigid and I came with a groan, calling her name. She kept licking me until I asked her to stop. But before she left me, she kissed my clit, then, leaving her hand inside me, kissed me on the lips.
We lay like that for a while, and finally she reclaimed her hand. My shoulders were aching and my ankles sore from the bonds. I was just about to ask to be released when she spoke.
“You can open your eyes, if you want.”
I opened my eyes to see her only a few inches away. Her radiant blue eyes staring directly down at me. I lifted one hand to feel my face and it came away with no effort. I brought both hands in front of me, but no marks were to be seen on my wrists. I looked at her in wonder.
“How?” I asked, bewildered.
She shrugged, trying to supress a grin. “Trade secret.” I looked at her, she was naked, but no signs of the wings were to be seen. She smiled mischieviously and her eyes reclaimed my attention.
“You had something you wanted to ask me?” I remembered her saying that a long time ago.
“It’s been taken care of.” she waved away the thought. I furrowed my brow in consternation. I felt completely bewildered. She continued. “I simply wanted to cheer you up.” I found my facial muscles and framed a doubtful smile.
She laid her body against mine, curling up into my shoulder. One hand traced my collarbone. “Minako-chan came to me and told me what you and Michiru did for her.”
Where was this leading?
” And so did Rei-chan, Ami-chan, and Mako-chan.”
I didn’t answer. My body felt light, as it hadn’t in years. Not since before I knew I had a destiny, a power or a Princess. I found it hard to concentrate on her words.
“They said that you had graciously given of yourself, given them something that they needed. None of them know about the others, you know. Only I do.” She smiled sweetly at me and I smiled back, knowing all about girls and their secrets. “I’ll admit, I was incredibly curious, too, after all that they told me. So, I thought you might like someone to give you something that you need.” Her eyes sparkled with impishness.
“You have. Thank you.” I found my voice at last. She kissed me on the nose and bounced out of bed. I watched her slip my sweatshirt over her body.
“I have to go now, Haruka-san. Thank you for taking care of my friends. I’ll just get my clothes from the bathroom.” She turned away from me.
“Wait!” I called. “What about….what about you? Isn’t there anything you want?”
She smiled at me over her shoulder. “Yes, there is. And I have a date with him in about two hours. I have to get home and change.” She winked at me and left the room.
I dressed, and paced in the living area until she came back out from the bathroom. The rain hadn’t stopped, but it was much lighter. I handed Usagi her umbrella. I bowed formally and she laughed at me, but bowed back.
“Cheer up, Haruka-san. Tomorrow you will win that race and Michiru-san will come home the day after.”
I smiled at her words. “The world is really very simple when you speak like that.” I said.
“The world is really very simple.” she said enigmatically and walked out of the door. She called over her shoulder, “Thanks for the tea!”
I stood in the doorway and waved after her. “Thank Mako-chan for the cookies.”
“I will!” And she was gone.
I went back into the apartment and turned on a few more lights. I turned on the CD player and the light-hearted strains of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in D minor filled the room. I took a book off of the shelf, sat down and began to read.
As darkness finally covered the gray city, there was a noise at the door and Michiru walked in, unexpectedly. I stood, dropping my book and with a small cry, she came over to me. We embraced tightly and kissed.
She laid her head against my chest. “I missed you. I didn’t want to play without you there to hear me.” I heard the uncertainty in her voice, the unwillingness to burden me and I tilted her face up to see me.
“I wanted to hear you. More than anything else.”
“I told them I wasn’t feeling well, but that I’d return for tomorrow’s concert.”
“I’ll go with you, after my race. I wouldn’t miss one of your performances for anything.” I looked down into her blue eyes, and felt incredibly happy.
We kissed again and I lead her into the bedroom. We made love then, and slept, limbs entwined with one another’s, like a perfect dream.