Title: Love Novels
Prompt: 'You cannot change what you refuse to confront.' – Unknown
Fandom/Series: Love Live!
Word Count: 2718
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).
Summary: Two girls fall in love, but are afraid of what that might mean. They decide to face it anyway.
Maki Nishikino was in love, and this fact scared her. She had developed insomnia; the lithe bodied, red haired girl simply could not help but spend every unoccupied minute thinking about the girl she had fallen in love with.
She was enamored with a girl her senior in age only; she possessed an almost childish body compared to Maki’s own graceful frame, despite a difference of two years. She did admit, however, that the girl was definitely cute, having short, black twin-tails and pale red irises which gave the girl an unusual magnetism. Maki derisively thought that her senior’s mind was similarly underdeveloped. She was brash, quick to argue over even the most minor trivialities, possessed a hatred of studying and held an affinity for saccharine, bubblegum pop. Maki sighed and lamented that girl’s future prospects. Her senior still had no doubt that she would eventually become number one super idol in the Milky Way universe (whatever that meant).
In contrast, Maki was fond of Chopin and Liszt, being a dedicated student of the piano and completely diligent with her coursework. After all, she was the prodigious daughter of a renowned doctor, and she planned to follow that same path for herself. Despite their differing realities, Maki was still in love.
She loved how spirited her senior was, how she dreamed of becoming an idol because she truly believed in what idols could do; that is, put a smile upon everyone’s face, no matter how they might be feeling themselves. She knew of and admired that secret selflessness of her senior, even if her senior attempted to hide that side of herself from the rest of μ’s. Maki always saw the glint in her senior’s eyes whenever she became focused upon something. She knew that when she saw it, that everything would go smoothly, no matter how challenging the situation in front of them. Only recently had Maki come to realize how much she had depended on her senior whenever she was nervous or hesitant.
Maki loved and admired her senior, but she was much too stubborn to allow any semblance of that fact show to anyone; especially the senior she was smitten with. After all, Maki remained a fifteen-year-old girl with zero experience of what a romantic relationship looked or felt like. When she was uncertain of what her feelings towards her senior were and what they meant, she could guarantee deflecting attention from them by engaging the girl in a pointless argument, which the girl would never fail to take for some reason. Now surer of her true feelings, Maki regretted the strategy and the fact she had been childish enough to use it. She wished that she had been more honest with herself. She knew that she was in love with Nico Yazawa, but she had no idea what to do next. She groaned before clutching her pillow to her chest, her heart seemingly attempting to break her ribcage from the inside. She failed to sleep for another night in a row.
Nico Yazawa was in love, and this fact terrified her. After all, she was destined to become the number one idol in the Milky Way universe, and love scandals were taboo for idols. She mentally crossed off that thought. That wasn’t the issue at all.
She was in the thrall of a girl two years younger than her, but who carried a mature atmosphere around herself. She was tall for her age, slender, graceful in the way she moved and was very bright. She had shoulder length red hair and piercing, amethyst eyes. However, Nico knew that the younger girl wasn’t quite as developed as she looked. The younger girl was still incredibly naïve despite how sharp she was, having been shielded from the outside world by her doting parents throughout her young life. That girl still believed in Santa, for example, and was careful to prepare milk and cookies for Mr. Claus’ annual visit, even now when she was well into her teens. The simple thought of this always placed a smile upon Nico’s lips. Nico could understand why the girl’s parents spoiled her so.
The girl was always serious and unflinchingly dedicated to the things that she enjoyed. No matter how that girl might try to conceal her feelings, Nico had learned that she simply could not succeed in doing so whenever it came to something she cared about. Nico often lost herself in the expressions the girl made in those unguarded moments. The complete contentedness upon her face as the girl played her favorite songs on the piano, the look of gentle determination whenever she practiced with the rest of μ’s, the pure innocence in her eyes as she mused over how Santa could enter an electric fireplace. The closer Nico looked, the more she realized how absolutely captivating the girl could be, and that girl was objectively breathtaking before she noticed those features. It was almost unfair; there could be no doubt that the younger girl would command attention for the rest of her life, a fact which annoyed the future number one super idol slightly.
However, Nico was more worried about how the younger girl felt about her. The girl was so serious and so cute that she couldn’t help but tease her constantly. The girl also looked adorable whenever she was annoyed, which served as further motivation for the petite brunette. Nico thought that her junior had become slightly flustered and more argumentative with her recently, and she hoped that it was simply her imagination. The small heart of hers would probably stop pumping if she had actually caused the younger girl to despise her. Nico was in love with Maki Nishikino, but she was afraid of being hurt from finding the younger girl’s true feelings. She cursed her lack of strength as she lay face down against her pillow. She too failed to sleep that night.
The tall, blonde girl with cold blue eyes finished listening to her cute, red haired junior. She was slim, yet well developed in their two years’ difference, and wore an especially gentle expression upon her face. This was because Maki had finally turned to the most reliable person she knew in an attempt to ease the pain emanating from slightly left of centre in her upper chest. ‘Eli, what should I do?’ Maki’s voice was exasperated. The blonde paused to think before asking a question of her junior.
‘Do you think Nico likes you?’ Maki gave a blank look. She hadn’t properly considered that thought beforehand. ‘You guys have almost nothing in common, and you’re always arguing with each other. Sometimes it’s like you can’t even stand each other, let alone be in love with each other.’ The burning sensation flared furiously across Maki’s chest. She couldn’t breathe properly and began to feel faint. That was how they had looked like to everyone except her, and the realization was unbearable.
Maki had been so preoccupied with her own feelings that she had never thought about those of the girl she had fallen in love with. She had been naïve and self-centred and she began to resent herself. Worse than resenting herself, however, she couldn’t find an answer as to why Nico would like her, no matter how desperately her brain searched. This was simply overwhelming for the girl who now learned how childish she had been, and she began to cry hysterically.
Eli Ayase softly held the distraught girl against her warm body. She would spend a long while carefully dabbing the residue which gently seeped from the eyes and nose of the red haired girl as her arms clung around Eli for support. Many minutes passed before she would regain her composure, but a dull ache now remained throughout her body. ‘Eli… I don’t think that Nico likes me.'
The blonde petted Maki’s delicate hair. She knew that the young girl had aged too much in too short a period of time, but there was still a long way for her to go. ‘Do you know that?’ She quietly asked the fragile girl, who tilted her head upwards slightly in response. The pain in her body pulsed slightly, but she could still answer the other girl with a whisper. ‘There’s no way she could like me.’
Eli sighed softly, feeling immense sympathy for the younger girl. ‘Has Nico ever told you how she feels?’ Of course she hadn’t, and Maki confirmed this with a small shake of her head. The blonde asked again, ‘You still love her, right?’ Maki blinked once before nodding her head gently. Eli again brought the young girl’s body against her own. ‘Then you have to learn how she really feels.’ Maki didn’t understand what she meant, but that was fine for the moment.
Eli remained with the girl until Maki decided to return home. She was exhausted and hurt, but she still couldn’t stop thinking about Eli’s words.
‘Eli, help me.’ The petite brunette began begging the blonde, who held a distinct feeling of déjà vu. Unlike Maki, however, this girl wasn’t naïve enough not to think about the feelings of the girl she had fallen in love with. Nico simply didn’t know how Maki actually felt about her.
‘Nico, what do you think about Maki?’ Eli asked the girl for verification, which was quickly received. ‘I told you, didn’t I? I love her.’ ‘Okay, and have you ever told her?’ Eli knew the answer beforehand. Eli sighed, this time out of slight exasperation with the older girl, even though she could understand and empathize with her. ‘You’re afraid of finding out how she actually feels, aren’t you?’ It was more of a statement than a question. Nico was flustered; the blonde had scored the bullseye. ‘I-I can’t help it!’ She stammered slightly, before continuing, ‘I don’t know what I’d do if she actually hated me.’ The brunette suddenly looked incredibly fragile. Eli couldn’t help but give a small smile. This was a rarely seen side of the usually proud girl. She gave the small girl a soft slap across her cheek, as Nico simply looked at Eli in bewilderment.
‘Nico, even if I wanted to tell you how Maki feels about you, there’s no way that I’d know. You know how that girl is…’ That didn’t sound like a lie to Nico. In fact, it seemed perfectly reasonable, despite not being completely true. Eli only considered this a white lie. Whilst she knew that Maki Nishikino was, in fact, in love with Nico Yazawa, she didn’t know her specific feelings, and why she felt that way towards her. It was a matter of semantics, but that was acceptable enough for the blonde haired girl.
Eli asked another question. ‘You’ll still love her, even if she hates you?’ Nico gave a few seconds thought before answering. ‘Yeah.’ The small brunette trembled slightly. Eli clasped Nico’s thin hands together between her own. ‘You know, not knowing someone’s feelings can hurt someone just as much as when they find out.’ Nico didn’t understand what Eli meant.
She continued, ‘I know Maki’s been doing a lot of crying lately.’ Nico was shocked. She hadn’t noticed that, even with how closely she watched that girl. Knowing that caused a knot to form in her stomach. ‘So I think you should talk to her. Even if you do get hurt, she’s hurting enough already, and I know you can do something about it.’ Eli smiled. ‘You do love her, after all.’
Nico prepared to open the door leading to the school rooftop. She held her phone in one hand, preparing to call Maki to meet her there and finally confess her feelings to her, even if it meant that she would be hurt in the process. She took a deep breath and opened the door. She was quite surprised to see a familiar looking girl looking pensively at her own phone a few metres away. She had to ask, ‘Maki, what are you doing?’
The red haired girl gave a startled turn towards Nico. ‘Ehhhh?! Nico, what are you doing here! I haven’t even called you ye-’ Nico was bemused. She asked, ‘Maki, were you were planning to call me here?’ Maki blushed furiously out of embarrassment. Nico’s heart eased as she gave her first smile in recent memory. She had nearly forgotten how cute her junior could be, given the ongoing turmoil in her mind. She didn’t think about why Maki wanted to call her here.
Nico was still nervous, still afraid of being hurt, but she was now determined to confront those fears. No matter how Maki felt about her, she had resolved to find out her feelings and help her in any way she could, because she wanted to do something for the girl she loved. She didn’t know what it was that she could do for her, but she believed in Eli and placed her faith in her.
Maki anxiously twirled the locks of her hair with her finger. She had been naïve. She was expecting to be hurt. But she confronted those feelings regardless. Even if the pain would be unbearable for the rest of her life; even if she would come to resent ever feeling this way, she would still find out, because she was in love with the girl who stood before her. She didn’t really understand what Eli said to her before, but she knew that she could trust her. And so she spoke.
‘Nico… I love you.’ Maki’s heart suddenly became much lighter. ‘Even if you hate me, I’ll always love you. Always. So…’ That was the most the girl could manage, as she fell to her knees in tears.
Nico stood in silence, being completely stunned. What had just happened? Did the girl she love really confess to her? Did that girl think that she hated her? Why? Wasn’t it other way around? She quickly realized that none of this mattered, because the girl she loved was crying in agony in front of her, and she couldn’t accept that. She also dropped to her knees before embracing her junior. She gave her answer.
‘I love you too, you know?’ Being the girl's senior, she was determined not to cry in front of her. ‘All this time, I’ve loved you so much.’ The red haired girl looked directly into Nico’s eyes, still crying. ‘Really?’ She asked so innocently, so relieved, so different from the usual Maki. That wasn’t fair, Nico thought, as a tear escaped from her eyes. ‘Yeah.’
Maki had received the one answer which she had never expected. She didn’t know what to do next, but she found the warmth of the girl she loved to be the only thing she needed right now. She pressed their bodies closer together.
Nico decided to ask Maki about why she had been crying later. Right now, there was something that she could do which seemed to comfort the red haired girl. Being held tightly against the other girl’s body, she consoled the girl with her own light squeeze in response, before softly stroking the smooth red hair behind her head.
Eli watched on unnoticed from the doorway, with the same gentle smile formed upon her face. She knew how difficult it could be to be honest to oneself, and she was proud that the girls she cared deeply for had come through unscathed. She silently closed the door to leave them in private, as she suspected that they would be there for a while. She was thankful that she just had to give some advice, because she herself was in love with another girl, and she was working up her own nerve in the meantime.
She saw a familiar looking face awaiting her at the foot of the staircase. The girl had long purple twin-tails, green eyes and a large bust. ‘Elicchi?’ The girl asked in surprise, wondering what business the blonde had at the rooftop prior. Eli now decided to take the advice that she had given.
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