Well. Isn't this strange? Surely you anonymous readers must be thinking: 'Why has Kona gone and written a piece about Tate?' Rest assured dear readers, I'm not insane. I assure you. (Not yet at least) I've had this planned for quite some time. It's part of my Mai HiME future canon line (You know, the one with Kaito and Keiki? Yup. Where all the Mai cast has a FUTURE. Yup). I've wanted to write something for Tate for a while actually, so while on a kick for parent child bonding pieces (I had just drawn a comic with Kaito and Shizuru) I wrote this in ONE SITTING. Just one. It was incredible. It just all came out at once. Yeah, crazy stuff right? Editing wasn't a nightmare either, which was extraordinary.
So yeah. This is obviously a TatexMai relationship, so if you aren't a fan of the canon, you may ignore this piece if you wish. (Try as you will, it is canon after all...) It's been edited, but if there was something I missed, ignore it and all that jazz. I don't own Mai HiME clearly. SUNRISE does. So yeah. Enjoy.
My Little Girl
My little girl is my everything.
I mean, when I married Mai, I thought, yeah, this woman is going to be the center of my world from now on. It was like that for a while. We were happy. Young and just starting out in the world. Mai's restaurant was doing well, and my job teaching kendo at the local dojo was going well, and if I played my cards right I would be owning the place once the old man retired. So a baby was definitely not something I was expecting.
I mean, those words scared me more than anything in the world. I wasn't ready. We were too young, just starting to really get settled. I didn't think I could do it. Be a father. I mean-I couldn't even be a good brother without letting things get out of hand. But I wasn't about to let Mai down. I said we'd give it a shot. I'd stick by her, and we'd get through it.
It was scary. I mean, the classes, the books, the mood swings for heaven's sake. But the first time I saw my little girl on the ultra sound I knew it was okay. I'd made the right choice, because that little thing inside my wife was something we'd created and I was their father. Mai cried, I remember, but I could just stare at the screen, watching you wiggle around a little and I swear my heart must have skipped a beat. My child. My kid was alive in there and it was all so real.
The first time you moved against Mai's hand she freaked out. I mean, she dropped the plate she was washing, (Something, I should tell you, that has only happened two times ever in our marriage) and stood there in shock. Me? I thought she was going to labor. Stupid me right? I was freaking out but then she shushed me and placed my hand over her stomach, and I felt it too. A flutter. A kick. I remember I feel to my knees, (Mindful enough of the shattered plate of course) and just held Mai's stomach, awed.
"Hey there you. I'm your Dad. I'm gonna take care of you and your Mom,"
I really wasn't scared too badly after that. It all sort of fell into place. I was going to be a father, and Mai and I were gonna raise you the best we could, and love you the best we could.
The day you were born is sort of a blur for me. An early winter evening, a light snow falling. I was teaching a class when Takumi burst in-
"Mai's in labor!"
The rest is some strange blur of getting her to the hospital and rushing into this room where Mai was screaming, doctors and nurses were everywhere and I was pretty certain I'd never be able to use my hand ever again because Mai was squeezing it so hard and threatening to 'cut it off' if I ever did this to her again, and I vaguely remember trying to argue with her that it wasn't all my fault but that all ended when you came into the world.
I heard you cry first. Mai was exhausted and hardly awake, and I was so ready to be done with the whole affair but there you were, crying and waiting. The nurses were all talking, congratulating us, and somewhere in all of it I managed to hear this-
"Congratulations, it's a healthy little girl,"
When I first saw you, all wrapped up in blankets, still red from the whole affair, I swear I fell in love all over again. They handed you to Mai and I lost my heart all over again to you, and your mother. I've never seen either of you two more beautiful than that moment. Mai's smile was so calm, so happy I couldn't help but to be giddy with joy.
"Yuuichi-She's here. She's finally here,"
Mai's hushed voice, cradling you to her breast, and shushing you cries, her soft words…it's something I'll never forget. I don't remember how long I sat there listening to her whisper soft words to you, but at one point she looked at me and smiled.
"Yuuichi, you hold her now. She's your daughter too,"
I was terrified. What if I dropped you? Or you started crying? But Mai didn't let me protest because before I knew it you were in my arms, safe and sound and I never felt more proud in my life. There you were. Brand new to the world, and it was my job to protect you, make you happy.
"Hey…It's me. I'm-I'm you Daddy. I'm gonna take care of you, make sure you're happy. I probably won't be as good at it as your Mom," A chuckle from Mai at this point, "But I'm gonna try. Just for you,"
Then it happened. You opened your eyes as me. Those gorgeous lavender eyes that stole my heart and took my breath away. Such trust, such innocence in those eyes. You didn't care how wishy-washy I could be, or how much of a dope I was. I was your Dad and you trusted me.
"Michiko…" Mai's voice broke through my haze when she reached out and stroked your face, "Little love, your name is Michiko,"
Raising you was a learning experience. I learned how little girls throw tantrums, and were much harder to deal with than boys. I thought I knew kids from teaching kendo, but raising a child was something else. But you were my little girl, and I wasn't gonna let you down.
"Papa-I wanna learn to dance!"
You were four when you said that to me. We were watching TV, a dancing program on, and I knew it then and there, your eyes sparkling and your mouth slightly agape, that you'd found something you'd love forever, like kendo for me.
"Really princess? You wanna dance?"
"Un! Yeah Papa, yeah!"
I'd laughed and picked you up in my arms, holding you close as we 'danced' to the music playing on the screen. Your laughter was like bells, and I wished moments that that would never end.
"Papa, how was I? Did I do good?"
Your first dance recital was the spring of next year. I practically dragged everyone I could to come see my little girl come and dance. Just so everyone could see how well you could dance.
"You were the star of the show princess,"
I scooped you up in my arms again and you laughed that little laugh again-the one I would do anything to hear.
When you started going to school it was difficult for me. Mai too, since she clucked and fussed with your dress and hair up until it was time for you to go. You tugged on my pants leg and looked up at me with all the trust in the world.
"Papa, do I look good?"
"You are gonna make everyone else in class jealous at how good you look princess,"
You squealed and hugged me and ever since then on the first day of school you would always ask me how you looked, and I'd answer the same, every time. Perfect. Beautiful. Amazing. Natsuki made a comment one day about how I was wrapped around your finger, and when I think about it now, it was probably true. I would do anything for my little girl. Anything to make you smile.
It was only a matter of time before you started looking at boys. When you did I knew I'd get in trouble. No one was perfect enough for you. None of those boys could possibly do everything right for you. None of them deserved your love. The first time you came home crying about a boy I wanted to rip the kid to pieces. Mai calmed me down, talked to you and left me out of the whole thing. I got to hug you after you talked, feeling just about as helpless as you-I mean, how could I make you smile?
"Any boy makes you cry again, send him to me and I'll make him pay, alright Michi?"
A smile, and a watery laugh.
I should have known who you were stuck on though. Ever since you were kids you were attached at the hip. You were always looking at him. I knew him. I'd taught him kendo, I was his almost-uncle pretty much. I remember the day before Valentine's Day in your second year of middle school was when you told me.
So, who're you making chocolates for Michi?"
"Oh! Tou-san! Well, you know, you, the twins, Kana-kan…" she trailed off, blushing, "And you know…"
"Kaito. I'm gonna make him some really nice chocolate this year. Because all those other girls are giving him honmei choco this year and I don't want to lose out to one of them!" You turned to me, eyes blazing, "I'll beat them out on taste for sure,"
I'd swallowed, and smiled, "Course you will princess,"
When I'd told Mai she laughed it off, saying she and Shizuru had known for years. Years? No way. There was no way my little girl had been in love for years without me knowing. And yet, I found myself seeing it more and more. The way you acted around him. The way you giggled and blushed. It made me sad. You were all grown up. It wasn't so simple as going to recitals anymore and giving you flowers at the end to make you happy and laugh. You were a teenager and slipping through my fingers.
It scared me. My little girl couldn't be leaving me all alone so soon. Yet, she was. Your first date with him was one of those days I won't forget. I was ready to catch him before he came to the door and warn him about breaking my little girl's heart, but you came fluttering down the stairs first, excitement personified.
"Tou-san, how do I look?" You twirled for emphasis. I couldn't lie to you.
"Like ten million yen. You'll knock him off his feet,"
You'd squealed and hugged me tightly, kissing my cheek in thanks. I could only hug back, and wish you to have a good time while he waited outside for you to join him. My rules on breaking your heart would have to wait.
It got worse after that. He'd come over for dinner, and even though I'd known him forever, suddenly he was the enemy. He was taking my little girl away and that was not okay. Mai scolded me after the fifth time I had grilled him.
"Yuuichi enough-You're making Michiko feel terrible and Kaito-chan feel unwelcome here. Let Michiko be happy with him! Stop trying to break them up,"
I couldn't willingly hurt my little girl if I wanted to. So I stopped. I tried to act like this boy wasn't stealing my little girl from me. But he made you happy. So I couldn't hate him. But I was upset that he was taking my job away from me.
The day you went to university was even harder.
"Bye tou-san. I'll see you soon," You kissed my cheek, hugged me tight, and I had to walk out of your new apartment and feel like I'd just lost something a part of me. Which was stupid, since you came home for dinners half the week and still helped in Mai's restaurant. This was okay. I adjusted. I did. It was that one day you came back, nervous and with him that scared me.
"Tou-san, Kaito wants to ask you something really important, okay? So, please don't be mean, alright?"
I agreed, and when you left we talked. Man to Man. It was sobering, and upsetting. But I saw it coming.
"I want to marry your daughter Tate-san,"
The title sounded strange on the lips of a kid who had called me 'Yuuichi-oji-san' for so long, and I had crossed my arms trying to look menacing, daring him to come up with a reason why I should let him marry you.
"I promise I'm going to love and protect her with everything I've got. No matter what. I know we're young and all…But I'm sure. I want to be with Michiko for the rest of my life,"
His face serious and honest, and his words made my resolve crumble. HE was the same as me. He wanted what I wanted for my little girl, and I knew he could do a better job than me, because a father may be important, but a lover is a different could be there for you when I couldn't anymore.
"I give you my blessing"
You came to me a week later, in the dead of winter, just like the day you were born, with snow falling outside the window. We sat on the couch together, sipping hot chocolate like we used to when you were young and would go out and play in the snow.
"Papa, Kaito asked me to marry him," your hushed voice, and the way you looked at the ring on your finger told me all I needed to know, "Papa-Papa I said yes," you turned to me, worry in your eyes, and yet with a happiness so great I was overwhelmed. "Are you okay with that Papa?"
I had nodded, laughing. When you hugged me tightly, I shook my head, holding you close. I cried.
"Oh Papa, don't cry. It's okay, I'm still your little girl,"
Yet you were slipping away and moving on. You didn't need to waltz in the living room, or for me to give you a standing ovation at your recitals, or tell you how good you looked on the first day of school.
It's your wedding day. My little girl's wedding day. The tuxedo I'm wearing is so much less comfortable than the one I wore when I married your mother. Mai, and Shizuru, and everyone is bustling around, trying to get you ready. It's your day Princess. I'll just sit back and wait for my part so I don't get in the way.
He comes up to me before the ceremony is close to beginning and I can see he's nervous. He's scared. I was too. I can relate. I clap him on the back and we lock eyes.
"Make her happy, you hear?"
We shake hands, a silent pact, and he walks off with his mother, being ushered to the alter so we can get started. The bridesmaids line up and the groomsmen stand at ready. I go into your room, and I fall in love with my little girl all over again.
You're beautiful, and today, you're shining. You turn to me, a small smile on your face, as you stand.
"Papa, how do I look?" you ask me and I smile at you, eyes already shining with tears.
"Perfect princess. You're the star today," I go to you, kissing your forehead, mindful on the makeup, "Look at you. You're shining," you laugh, a watery, quiet laugh, and you hug me tight.
"Papa, can we dance?"
So we dance, swaying lightly in the dressing room, and even though I know later tonight I will do this again, this one will be the dance that will stay in my mind forever. "You'll be perfect princess. He's lucky to have you,"
"I know, I'm lucky to have him too," you laugh, pressing your face to my chest, hiding, "I love him Papa. So much,"
You look up at me, those lavender eyes shining with unshed tears of joy, "I love you too Papa. More than anything,"
My heart catches in my throat and I have to fight the tears, "I love you too Princess. You're always gonna be my little girl, alright?"
"Yeah. Hey Papa?"
You take my arm as we walk outside and get ready.
"Hold me tight, or else I might fall."
I laugh quietly, and squeeze your arm, "I won't let you down,"
You smile, kissing my cheek, "You never have before. Thank you Papa,"
I can feel the tears sliding down my cheeks and you shake your head, "Don't you start crying Papa. This is happy. So smile!" you whisper, and the wedding march begins.
"It's okay. They're happy tears. My little girl is get married today. I'm happy to be here with you for it. Always."
You smile at me, all at once the little girl I first met so many years ago and now the beautiful woman you are today.
"Always Papa. Always."
And I walk down the aisle with her for the last time, holding her up and supporting her for the last time before handing her away. It's bittersweet, and yet I couldn't be prouder.
"Hey there you. I'm your Dad. I'm gonna take care you always, and I promise I'm gonna make you happy, alright? Always."
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a Daddy's Girl. Because I am. It sort of comes with being a tomboy I think, but other than that, I've alwys been close to my dad, so I think that sort of spilled over into this a bit. But in a good way and all that jazz. So yeah. Reviews are lovely as always and help me focus on the next piece I'm wiriting. (Currently I'm working on the next One shot for Our Shining Days! Which is nice. But yeah, reviews would be a treat. Thank you as always for reading I am forever grateful. Truly. Until next time!