"I lift my eyes to the sky, to the planet turning.
For you, I'll be good
and I'll wear a red ribbon.
From the distance, alone
I watch for someone to call my own.
How long till I exchange emptiness for love?"
Minako's voice broke, and she shot to her feet, instantly on the alert. She relaxed only slightly when she saw Yaten standing just a few feet away, his chin cupped in his hand and his eyes laughing at her. He thought she was too stupid to notice, but she saw. He was always laughing at her.
Minako smiled like a ray of sunshine forcing itself through her gloom and sparkled at him. "Yaten! I didn't hear you come up."
"Clearly," he drawled, leaning back on his heels. "You would have supported from the diaphragm if you had."
She pouted. "I wasn't singing to impress anyone."
"That's what I just said."
She stuck her tongue out.
He reached forward as if he'd pluck it from her mouth, but she drew it back in playful retreat, still grinning at him. Yaten shrugged as if this exchange meant nothing to him and entwined his fingers behind his neck. "Seriously though. It's a good song. Sad though."
She waved this observation off as if it was no consequence. "It was just stuck in my head."
"Depressing song to have stuck in your head."
She giggled, tossing her hair in a way she knew was especially fetching. "Tell me about it."
He narrowed his eyes at her. "I think you've been depressed for awhile."
She felt heat prickling on the back of her neck, leeching forward to stain her cheeks to rose. But she just kept laughing, kept sparkling, kept tossing his concern away. "Yaten, I had no idea you were watching me so closely! Just because I don't like it when the teacher scolds me doesn't mean I'm sad."
Yaten reached forward and grabbed her wrist, pulling her forward with such sudden violence that she choked on her laugh. His green eyes weren't mocking her anymore; they seemed to smother her, to rage at her. "Don't do that," he demanded.
Minako knew she should probably get her back up and pull herself away. She knew she should be offended and take the high road. Her mind told her this was the right thing, but her body demanded this contact, however frightening it became, so she held her ground. "I don't know what you mean."
"Don't treat everything like a joke."
"You're one to talk."
His own cheeks began to darken, but she knew better than to think he was embarrassed. "I take plenty seriously!"
"Not me," she accused, falling too easily into the argument and having no time to regret her words. "You never take me seriously at all."
He rolled his eyes, a gesture she was far too familiar with not to bristle at. "Stupid girl. You don't let people take you seriously. You just giggle and flutter your eyelashes and play the flake. Then you have the gall to wonder why you're empty and alone."
She swung her arm back to slap him, but he caught her other wrist before she could. She had to grudgingly be impressed with his speed and power, but she knew if she wanted to get away, one well-placed kick would do the job. But Minako wouldn't risk showing her skill for fear of being found out unless she absolutely had to. She struggled ineffectually, playing the damsel, and then snarled at him, feigning more frustration that she felt at being trapped. "You don't know me at all."
"Of course not," Yaten snapped. "You're too busy acting like someone you're not."
She turned away, not out of shame but to keep from spitting in his face. It was currently the alternative to kicking him, and while it would have been infinitely satisfying, she doubted Yaten would forgive her for it. Even now, her ambition ruled.
"If that's true, then you don't know who I really am," she hissed. "And then how do you know that I'm not like that? How do you know that I'm not just having a bad day?"
He glared at her and then shoved her away. She was too light on her feet not to stumble, and too full of sudden pride to pretend. "If that's true, then I'm disappointed."
She rubbed her wrists, sure that they would bruise, and said, "You wouldn't be the only one."
He snarled something intelligible and then began to stalk away from her. She was about to turn her nose up and flounce away herself, when he stopped and turned, the tempest still in his peridot eyes.
"For what it's worth," he snapped, "I think I know the person you're hiding. And I like her better."
Minako glared at him evenly. "No. You don't."
She could tell he wanted to argue until they both couldn't speak anymore, but he left her. He probably had an appointment. He was famous after all, and he didn't have time for anyone or anything but that.
She had a bitter taste in her mouth.
"My love will never change but
becomes more like you and
is in your name, I'll stand in your name..."
Her voice broke again. Her knees did not hold her up. She sank back down, pulled her legs up to her chest, and she cried.
She decided not to wonder why.