For nadie! They asked for something based off the official art of Claudine and Koharu out on a little date getting boba tea, only with a jealous Maya thrown into the mix. It's my first time writing Koharu or anyone from Seiran, so I tried my best! Hints of things from some of the lives/stage plays.
For this, Maya and Claudine are not dating. Sort of meant as 'this could happen in canon' kind of thing, as they are written in their canon, non-romantic relationship.
Disclaimer: I do not own Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight.
Jealousy, Misunderstandings, And A Third Wheel
Chapter 1. A Third Wheel
Ever since their exchange program with Seiran, most of the girls from Seishou Academy had opted to keep in touch with their new friends from the other school.
Especially considering their history, Mahiru and Suzu are now much more frequently in contact, as are Nana and Hisame, and Karen is still very enthusiastic about her number-one fan, Yanagi Sakura.
As for the elder Yanagi sister, Claudine had taken quite a liking to her upon their initial meeting.
All throughout the incident, as Koharu had blamed herself for Seiran's supposed shortcomings, Claudine had worried for her and longed to reach out. But she feared she might be a nuisance or be interfering somehow, and so she had kept her distance for the most part.
Thankfully, now that things had been mended and were looking better, Koharu was doing much better, as were they all.
Even so, Claudine came to regret not being a better friend in her time of need. In spite of how their relationship had only just been established, she feels she could have helped Koharu somehow, but she'd simply been too hesitant.
As such, Claudine longs to make up for her inactivity now that things are looking better. She had gotten Koharu's number at the very least, and with more pleasant weather on the way, Claudine opts to invite her out to a day at the mall, both to get to know Koharu better, and to offer her a day off, away from the residual stresses of the school and theatre world.
She proposes the idea to Koharu, who shyly accepts, and their date is set.
All throughout that week, Claudine's friends can tell she's in a good mood, especially when Friday comes around. Not only is Claudine more focused than usual, but she seems a bit more vibrant, too.
And of course, Maya notes the changes in her rival more accurately than anyone else.
By Friday afternoon, as their group is gathered in the studio after classes for more practice, Maya decides to inquire.
As she spins Claudine in a perfectly-executed twirl and pulls her in for the finish, Claudine's eyes are shining. Maya dips down over her until her hair spills down over her shoulders and fans out around her partner.
"My," she begins. "You seem to be in a rather lively mood today, Saijou-san. Did something happen?"
Claudine huffs softly, but she even sounds less annoyed by Maya than usual. She straightens herself up and eases out of Maya's grip.
"Nothing in particular. I've just got plans tomorrow, that's all."
Maya's eyes widen.
"Plans? Such as…?"
"Who are you, my mother? I don't need to report every little thing to you, do I? It's none of your business."
The statement is true enough, but Maya would be lying to say she isn't a bit stung. After all, Claudine always spends her weekends in the studio practicing with Maya, even if it isn't ever actually planned or expected.
No. Saijou-san is absolutely right. It isn't any of my business. She can do as she pleases.
But now that Maya has heard the response, she can't stop wondering exactly what plans her partner will be tending to tomorrow. Whatever plans they are, they don't involve Maya.
For the remainder of their practice session together, Claudine continues to shine with excitement, while Maya continues to wonder more and more deeply what is going on with her.
It gets to the point where she's curious enough to eavesdrop in the lounge after they've all showered. As she dries her hair in a towel, Maya pauses just before entering as she hears Claudine speaking to Nana.
"Kuro-chan!" Nana is saying. "Did you say you're busy tomorrow?"
"Oui. I'll be meeting Koharu at the mall. I think it'd do us both some good to get away from school for a day."
"Ooooh! So it's a date?"
"You could call it that."
And of course, not Nana nor Claudine had meant or implied it to be anything remotely romantic. But with the connotations of the word, Maya's mind can't help but lean toward such a meaning.
Saijou-san and Yanagi-san…?
She doesn't like the sinking, twisting feeling of jealousy that grips her chest in that moment, but she can't stop it either. Maya can't help but feel as though Claudine has purposefully kept her in the dark about this in order to leave her out.
And it certainly doesn't help that it's Koharu that's involved.
After all, Yanagi Koharu is, more or less, the top student at Seiran, holding a position very similar to - if not the same as - Maya's own here at Seishou.
For Claudine to suddenly be drawn to Yanagi Koharu, enough to plan a weekend excursion with her…
Maya shakes her head in an effort to clear her thoughts.
Surely that isn't the case. There shouldn't be anything to worry about.
She takes a deep breath and enters the lounge casually to greet the others.
All evening, she tries in vain to pull her thoughts and emotions out of the dark depths of jealousy and caution. She knows she can and should trust her partner.
But innately, Maya simply cannot refrain from worrying about losing something that she considers to be hers.
As such, even after she has wished Claudine goodnight and parted ways with her at their bedroom doors, Maya decides that she, too, shall be visiting the mall come tomorrow.
Considering that Claudine is always up and about very early on a regular basis for classes, she would sometimes tend to sleep in a bit on weekend mornings, just to recuperate some of the energy she had expended throughout the week.
But for today, she rises the moment the first beam of morning sunlight filters in through the curtains. Sitting up, she grabs her phone and texts Koharu to confirm their meeting time and location at the mall, then waits for a response.
Evidently, Koharu is up early as well, because Claudine receives a reply within minutes.
Excited for the somewhat unconventional day ahead, Claudine hops out of bed and goes about finding some nice clothes she doesn't have the excuse to wear too often.
When she arrives at the lounge to join her friends for breakfast, it's clear that she's dressed up a bit more than a day of chores or running errands would call for. Futaba is the first to address it.
"Whoa, someone looks fancy. No practice today, Kuroko?"
"Not today," Claudine replies. "I suppose Tendo Maya can boast about getting in more training than me this week." She turns to Maya with a good-natured, yet challenging spark in her eyes. "I won't be joining you today. But don't get too cocky."
Maya dips her head, but says nothing. Perhaps Claudine won't be joining her for practice, but little does she know that Maya will be the one joining her at the mall.
However, of course she is tactful about not being discovered just yet.
When Claudine leaves Starlight Hall and begins her walk, Maya is sure to follow her at a distance so she won't be discovered. She watches Claudine check her phone every few minutes, seeming rather excited as she texts Koharu back.
A sting passes through Maya's chest every time.
When the mall is in sight, Claudine takes off at a light jog, and Maya has to hurry to not lose sight of her.
Claudine heads for the mall's central cafe area. And within just a few minutes, Maya witnesses her scurry over to where a familiar girl is seated, waiting at one of the tables.
It's the first time Maya has seen Yanagi Koharu dressed in anything other than her uniform or theatre clothes, but it seems she also put a good deal of effort into selecting her outfit for her rendezvous with Claudine today.
The moment the two make eye contact, both Claudine and Koharu smile. Koharu stands just as Claudine reaches her.
And then Claudine does something that shocks both Maya and Koharu alike.
Claudine throws her arms around Koharu in an embrace, and Maya very nearly cries out.
But of course, Claudine doesn't know she is being followed at the moment, and she can't contain her excitement in seeing her new friend again.
"Koharu!" As Claudine pulls her into a hug, she trills her name gleefully. "Bonjour~ How have you been?"
Koharu, who is still very much not used to hugs from anyone other than Sakura, remains frozen for a moment. But once she realizes just how nice it feels, and understands just how genuinely happy Claudine is to see her, she slowly lifts her arms to return the contact.
"Saijou-san… it's nice to see you again. I've been doing well thanks to everyone."
"Tres bien!" Claudine eases back from her with a grin. "I'm sure we've both been plenty busy with school and theatre and all that. So let's enjoy ourselves today, shall we?"
Koharu blushes faintly, but a small smile forms on her lips as she dips her head coyly.
"Yes. Thank you for coming with me today."
"But of course~"
Maya remains hidden at the wall several yards away from the cafe area, catching every word of their conversation.
She doesn't like it. She doesn't like that Koharu is so happy to see Claudine, and that Claudine is even happier to see her.
But most of all, Maya doesn't like these awful feelings stewing inside her own chest, nor does she like the fact that she's sunk low enough to do something as petty as this.
But she simply can't help it. After all, Saijou Claudine belongs to her in certain ways, and she isn't willing to relinquish her to anyone, or share her.
She waits until they've both gotten on line together to get drinks at a boba stand, then brought them back to their table to enjoy. Maya then vacates her hiding spot and saunters up to them as casually as possible.
Presently, Koharu is telling Claudine about the next play Seiran is planning to put on, and Claudine is engrossed as she listens.
"It's one of the many versions of Cinderella," Koharu is explaining.
"Ah, now that you mention it, I think I'm familiar," Claudine says. "The ending is a bit different, no?"
"Yes," Koharu nods. "In this version, Cinderella-"
"Ah, what a coincidence." Maya interjects as she walks up to their table, plastering a pleasant smile across her face. Both Claudine and Koharu look up in surprise.
"Tendo Maya!" Claudine blurts. "What are you doing here?!"
Maya replies cooly.
"I simply found myself with no training to be done today. As such, I decided to venture here to the mall in hopes of passing the time. It's quite lucky the two of you were here as well."
As the shock fades, Claudine finds herself being washed through with a sense of disbelief and doubt.
Like hell she 'just so happened' to be here today… She's always training on the weekends, whether I'm there with her or not. Even if she doesn't spend her free time practicing, she hardly - if ever - comes to the mall by herself…
Claudine eyes Maya warily, even with a bit of anger. She knows right away that Maya is doing this on purpose.
"Why you... you really are a stalker, aren't you?"
"Pardon?" Maya says innocently. "It is merely coincidence."
As for Koharu, she is equal parts shocked and flustered to have Tendo Maya appear so suddenly in front of her on a casual day off. She clutches her boba cup a bit tightly and dips her head.
"Tendo-san, it's nice to see you."
Ever since their encounters upon the stage, Koharu hasn't been certain about how to conduct herself around Maya elsewhere. While they were allegedly equal in status at their respective schools, she can't help but feel the Stage Girl Tendo Maya still outranks her overall.
Likewise, Maya isn't inclined to let her guard down around Koharu either. Ever since Koharu had revealed Maya's true motives for allegedly transferring to Seiran - that of course being that she wanted to test Claudine's skills - Maya has become a bit rueful of her.
And now, with Koharu blatantly taking Claudine from her on their precious day off, on a day Claudine would always spend with Maya…
Maya regards her rather coldly.
"Hello, Yangai-san," she says. "What brings you and Saijou-san together today, if I may ask?"
Koharu hesitates a bit.
"Well, you see-"
"Actually," Claudine cuts in. "I believe I already told you it's none of your business, Tendo Maya."
Maya looks down at her haughtily.
"Oh, but it very much is my business, Saijou-san."
Claudine growls softly.
"You are so-"
"Ah, Saijou-san?" Koharu says. "Why don't we have Tendo-san join us today? Since she happens to be here as well."
Koharu proposes the idea innocently, whereas Claudine knows Maya had intentionally set herself up to crash their day together. But Claudine doesn't want to upset Koharu or make things any more awkward than they already are. So with a deep, sharp huff, she relents.
And so Maya seats herself right beside Claudine on her side of the table, clearly making a statement. Claudine glowers at her, but continues pleasantly discussing things with Koharu over their drinks.
From then on, it's a bit of a tense and awkward day at the mall.
When they have had their fill at the cafe, Claudine suggests they meander around the mall to amuse themselves. When they walk, Maya is certain to place herself at the center of the group every time, making sure to separate Claudine and Koharu.
Whenever the three of them choose a store to go into, if Claudine ends up browsing items close to or with Koharu, Maya plants herself between them as well.
And while Claudine is genuinely trying to enjoy Koharu's company, Maya always has a chilling sort of smile to send Seiran's top student.
Thankfully, Koharu never seems to be put off by it or take any offense at all, but Claudine certainly doesn't like the way her partner is acting.
She deliberately tries to brush Maya off at times, because this was supposed to be her day with Koharu. Claudine sees enough of Maya on a daily basis, and she doesn't want Koharu to feel sidelined because Maya had 'unexpectedly' joined them today. More than anything, Claudine is concerned about Koharu's feelings, since she had been looking forward to this excursion and some time away from the stresses of school.
So Claudine puts in extra effort to show Koharu a cute outfit she spots, or recommends her some hair products or snacks in the stores they visit.
But of course, to Maya, it appears that Claudine is becoming particularly close with Koharu. She begins to fret that Claudine truly does plan on replacing her in favor of Koharu.
After all, Yanagi Koharu is not only beautiful and talented, as well as the top student at Seiran, but she is also someone new. She is someone refreshing and exciting for Claudine, someone outside of Seishou, where she already knows everyone.
And as such, a very fine mess is created.
Maya feels she is slowly losing Claudine to someone else; to someone just as skilled and charming as she herself is. But where Maya had been deceitful and dishonest about running into them today, and had rudely inserted herself into their day together, Koharu has been nothing but pleasant and kind.
It makes Maya realize her mistake and her own unpleasant actions in her selfish act of jealousy, and as such she only comes to believe Claudine has all the more reason to turn to Koharu over her now.
For Claudine, it is a similar misunderstanding that plagues her.
With how ardently Maya is pushing her way between Claudine and Koharu, it becomes apparent that the two of them are rather well-matched for one another. Maya challenges Koharu to a few arcade games, which they both excel at, and overall they end up tying their matches. When Maya tactfully asks Koharu about various scripts and plays, Koharu always has educated and exemplary answers for her.
And in Maya trying to knock Koharu down a peg, she has only succeeded in making Claudine be the one to feel inadequate.
After all, Tendo Maya and Yanagi Koharu are the top students at their respective schools. Claudine could never possibly hope to surpass either of them, especially not if they become an item. What if the name most-often coupled with "Tendo Maya" was no longer "Saijou Claudine," but "Yanagi Koharu" instead…?
In essence, the day becomes a silent war amongst Claudine and Maya, and their inner selves, with an innocent and oblivious Koharu in between them.
Neither Maya nor Claudine want to lose their precious rival to Koharu. Even though Koharu never had any intention of taking anyone away from anyone else.
The hours at the mall drag on. By now, each of them has a shopping bag filled with a few items picked up over the course of their outing.
Koharu is on her second strawberry boba smoothie of the day, happily sipping at her straw as she wanders along beside the other two, unaware of their internal plight.
However, Maya and Claudine are quite miserable by now, each dejected by so many rampant thoughts and their own possessive nature.
With tensions running high just below their skin, it was only a matter of time before something burst.
Presently, Maya is still determined to show her superiority, and thus she challenges Koharu to a simple dancing game at the next arcade they pass by. Koharu accepts, requesting that Claudine hold her drink for her in the meantime.
Maya begins the simulation, intending to show off her most impressive dance skills, in order to both impress Claudine and to put Koharu in her place.
But as Maya and Koharu begin, expertly following the flashing lights and executing each and every movement perfectly, Claudine's confidence sinks to the pit of her stomach.
These two really are perfect… Perfect at what they do, and perfect for each other…
She hates this. Not only does she feel as though she's inadequate for either of them, but she also feels as though she's lost her friendship with Koharu to Maya. And that she's lost whatever relationship she had with Maya to Koharu.
She can't bear these thoughts anymore. Before long, she's helpless in holding them back.
Her sudden outburst startles both of them. Koharu slips slightly and misses a step, grabbing onto the support bar to catch herself. As such, Maya ends up with a better score just as the dance finishes.
But she suddenly doesn't care for the numbers anymore. She whirls around to find Claudine ruffled and very clearly in distress. Maya's chest tightens.
"I said that's enough!" Claudine glares intensely up at her, eyes burning with fury and tears. "We get it, all right? You're perfect, Tendo Maya. That much is clear, and it always has been. In fact, you're too perfect to be with someone like me, isn't that right?"
Maya is taken aback. She'd been trying to impress Claudine, not upset her.
"You know-" Claudine snaps. "I'm not even sure why you showed up here today, Tendo Maya. It's not like you were invited to come with us."
She just wants her to go. She wants to be away from Maya. She can't stand to be near her anymore - since she'll clearly never be good enough…
Maya is stricken by her words, and the concern she'd felt for Claudine now boils into anger.
"Yes, that's right," she snaps back. "I wasn't invited to accompany you today. In fact, I am never invited to do anything with you beyond schoolwork and theatre practice, am I, Saijou-san? When you care to do something fun, I am not the one you reach out to, isn't that right?"
Maya steps off the platform and whirls around, not wanting to look at her. Or is it just that she doesn't want to show Claudine her expression when she is feeling so wretched? Either way, she doesn't make eye contact.
"Very well. You've made your feelings quite clear, Saijou-san. Enjoy your date with Yanagi-san."
With this, Maya hurries off without looking back.
She'd brought this upon herself. She knows it's her own fault.
It's her fault for imposing her feelings on Claudine, and for interfering with her meeting with Koharu.
It's her fault for being so possessive and greedy, to the point where she ends up pushing away the person she wanted to keep closest to her.
It's her fault for being so foolish, helpless, and blind to other people's feelings, and for imagining hidden motives and intentions that never existed in the first place.
As Maya runs off, Claudine watches her and feels as though the entire mall is sinking beneath her feet.
This is all wrong. It isn't what she wanted to happen, even though, with how she reacted just now and shouted, she can't blame Maya for misunderstanding her and running off.
Claudine only has herself to blame. She had mistrusted Maya from the start today, and then continuously ignored her in favor of Koharu.
Of course the whole point of this day was to make Koharu feel included and accepted, and to let her know she had a friend in Claudine.
But Claudine realizes now that she could have been more considerate of Maya's feelings; being Claudine knows her better than anyone else in the world, she also knows just how jealous Maya tended to get. She could have been a bit less harsh with her, and yelling at her just now certainly hadn't helped anything.
It's all a big misunderstanding. She sees that now.
"Honestly… that woman…"
Claudine turns back to Koharu, who is still worried and shocked. Claudine offers her hand and helps her down from the platform, then returns her drink to her.
"I'm sorry, Koharu. Today was supposed to be about you, but somehow Tendo Maya and I have made it about ourselves… We really are partners, aren't we? I'm just as selfish as she is."
Koharu offers a faint smile and shakes her head.
"Not at all."
"It wasn't right of us to have this childish squabble amongst ourselves," Claudine sighs. "And now we've gone and made a huge mess. I'm sorry. I just wanted you to have fun today, but instead now it's ended up like this… I should have been kinder to herm too…"
"It's all right," Koharu says, and her eyes gleam with honesty. "I really did have fun today, Saijou-san. I got to shop together with you and Tendo-san, and I got to play games and discuss theatre and the things that I love. Actually… I think it was the most fun I've had in a while."
Claudine perks up a little bit.
"Really? Tendo Maya and I didn't ruin it for you with our nonsense?"
"No." Koharu shakes her head. "If I'm being honest… I didn't even know anything was wrong until now… I thought the two of you were enjoying yourselves as much as I was. I guess I was a bit oblivious."
"No, I'm glad we didn't dampen the mood for you." Claudine takes Koharu's free hand and gives it a squeeze. "But I really am sorry. I have to go find her."
"Of course. Please go, Saijou-san."
"I'm sorry," she says again. "I promise we'll make it up to you properly. Both Tendo Maya and myself."
"All right. Then I'll look forward to it next time."
Claudine's heart twinges. Even though she and Maya had created such a dramatic fuss, Koharu is still willing to forgive them and give them another chance. And she even had fun today.
Claudine eases her into a brief embrace, which Koharu returns with her free arm.
"Saijou-san, please make up with Tendo-san. And please tell her I'm sorry for any misunderstandings I might've caused today."
"You didn't do anything wrong," Claudine says. "I can promise you that much. It's just that Tendo Maya and I can both be equally bull-headed and tunnel-visioned sometimes." Claudine steps away from her and offers one last apologetic look. Koharu just smiles and nudges her forward.
With this, Claudine turns and hurries off after Maya.
Once she exits the arcade, the mall spreads out all around her in every direction, bustling with crowds of people. But Claudine just goes where instinct takes her, trusting her gut. She knows Maya well enough, and is so attached to her most of the time that she doesn't even need to think about which way she might've gone.
She takes off, not bothering to check into the stores as she goes. Rather than hide in one of them or leave the mall altogether, she assumes Maya had found refuge on some quiet bench somewhere to lament and collect herself.
Claudine scours her surroundings for such a spot. Sure enough, within minutes, she spots a lone bench off to the side of the building, nestled in the corner opposite the bathrooms. A girl is hunched over there with her face in her hands.
Claudine rushes to her, slowing her pace when she's just a few feet away.
Maya is whimpering and muttering softly to herself, wiping her eyes. Claudine approaches and pauses to stand in front of her. Maya notices and lifts her face, which has quite the miserable expression painted on it.
"You really are an infuriating woman."
Maya blinks and wipes her eyes again, sniffling.
"Yes… I suppose I am."
"But then again, I guess I can have my moments as well." Claudine softens her gaze a little and lets out a sigh. "I'm sorry."
"Eh?" Maya shakes her head. "Not at all. Saijou-san… I should be the one to apologize. After all, I-"
"You're the one who ran off crying," Claudine reminds her. "In this situation, it definitely feels like I should be the one to say sorry."
"No, Saijou-san…" Maya blinks up at her, and now realizes that Claudine seems to be on the verge of tears. She's just as upset as Maya had been, if not for slightly different reasons.
Maya makes space beside herself on the bench and invites her over. With a dip of her head Claudine sits with her.
"You were right," Claudine says. "I've never invited you out to do anything before, Tendo Maya. But that isn't because I don't want to hang out with you. It's just because you're always so focused. You follow a disciplined schedule. You're the top student, after all. I feel anything we could do together would have to be related to theatre. We could go see a play or a movie or a concert, but when I think of something like going to the mall, you aren't the first person that comes to mind. That's all it is. I didn't mean to leave you out or anything…"
Maya shakes her head, reaching out to rest her hands over hers.
"No. You need not apologize, Saijou-san. I very much overreacted today… To have gone so far as to listen in on your conversation with Daiba-san to figure out what you were doing today… it really was underhanded of me. And then for me to follow you all the way here and intrude on your day with Yanagi-san…"
"So you did eavesdrop."
"Yes. I'm very sorry." Maya bows her head fully. "I simply… I was curious as to what you could've been doing today that was more important than our usual weekend training together. But you're not required to practice with me every time. You're free to do as you please. I simply…" Maya keeps her eyes on her hands in Claudine's lap, unable to lift her gaze. "Shamefully, I must once again admit that I am a very jealous and greedy person… I couldn't bear the idea of losing you to someone else…"
"Losing me?" Claudine raises her voice a pitch in surprise. "What's this all of a sudden? Since when are you losing me to anyone? I just came to the mall for a day!"
"Precisely," Maya sighs. "That is all it was today. And yet, my thoughts ran rampant and wouldn't rest. As such, I ended up ruining your time with Yanagi-san."
Claudine shifts her hands beneath Maya's, turning them over to press their palms together.
"I wouldn't say anything was ruined. Thankfully, Koharu didn't seem bothered at all by our silly little argument. If anything… I thought I was the one losing you today…"
"Eh?" Now it's Maya who raises her eyebrows in disbelief. "Why ever would you think such a thing?"
Claudine looks at Maya's blouse and her hair, anywhere but her face.
"Because… you… both you and Koharu are so amazing… You're both top students, you both know everything there is to know about every play and dance and performance… Listening to all those conversations you had today just reminded me of how I'll always be one step behind you. Koharu is someone much better suited to stand at your side, don't you think…?"
Maya's jaw drops for a moment. She'd been so caught up in her own misgivings that she'd never noticed how Claudine had been feeling equally as miserable until now. Maya clasps both her hands more tightly around hers and squeezes.
"Saijou-san… you're mistaken. I… I'm sorry… I was being far too selfish… I never thought my actions today would make you feel that way." She lifts Claudine's hands up a bit, seeking her attention. When Claudine finally lifts her face to meet her eyes, she sniffles. Maya reaches up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear.
"Saijou-san? Please accept my sincerest apologies. It was never my intention to mislead you like this, as I'm sure it wasn't your intention to do such things to me. It would appear we're both foolishly prone to assuming the worst on our own, wouldn't you say?"
Claudine sniffles again, nodding her head and allowing her cheek to brush against Maya's hand.
"Yeah… Your idiocy has been rubbing off on me."
"I suppose that could be the case." Maya smiles, inching closer to her on the bench. "However, Saijou-san? Please understand that I would never accept anyone other than you to stand at my side. To me, such a person doesn't exist. There are no other options. It can - and will - only ever be you, Saijou Claudine."
Claudine feels a rush of emotion welling up behind her eyes. Hearing those words from Tendo Maya's lips has made her indescribably happy, almost embarrassingly so.
"Fine…" she mumbles. "And you… you'll always be the only one I chase after, Tendo Maya… It could never be anyone else."
Maya, too, feels more tears coming on.
"That makes me immensely happy to hear, Saijou-san."
They both come closer at the same moment and open their arms, pulling each other close and wrapping them in a soft embrace.
"I'm sorry for yelling," Claudine mumbles. "I could've been a bit more welcoming to you today."
"There is no need for you to apologize." Maya brings her a little nearer. "I was the one in the wrong for listening in on your plans and following you here. I had no place to do such a thing, and no place to challenge Yanagi-san to such petty contests in order to try and prove myself over her. I was being childish and insensitive."
"And I could stand to invite you out sometime," Claudine says. "It doesn't always just have to be training and stage-related things for us. We can go to the mall sometime too, or the park, or wherever. I'll be sure to set a date for us as well sometime in the future."
Maya nods, closing her eyes and keeping her close for a moment, letting the rest of the world fade away.
"Once again, I apologize. For being such a greedy woman, and for causing such a scene. I'll need to apologize to Yanagi-san as well and make it up to her."
"I'm sure she understands," Claudine reasons. "After all, you and her are very similar. I'm sure she's known those sorts of feelings before herself."
"You may be right." Maya is silent for a moment, content to continue her embrace with Claudine for as long as she can. "There is just… one more thing I must apologize for."
"What is it? Just get it off your chest so we can put this behind us."
"Saijou-san… I apologize for not trusting you. At one point, I truly did think you might be tossing me aside in favor of Yanagi-san. And such thoughts aren't fair for me to think - not to you, nor to her. I understand today was merely a day between friends for the two of you, and yet… I did not put my faith in you. Some part of me believed you might abandon me. I didn't trust you, nor did I think fairly of Yanagi-san."
"If that's all it is, then you're forgiven." Claudine eases back just a little, until she can meet her eyes again. "You don't have to worry about losing me. I would never be able to accept anyone else as my rival and the person I want to accompany. Whether I like it or not, I'm stuck with you. It will always be you, Tendo Maya. No one could come between us if they tried."
Maya dips her head.
"I am glad that feeling is mutual between us. If we share the same jealousy, at the very least it is reassuring to know we share the same solidarity in each other as well." Maya smiles, then pulls her into one more hug. "Thank you for putting up with me, Saijou-san."
Claudine huffs, but doesn't refrain from squeezing her back tightly.
With all the misunderstandings behind them, they ease apart.
Claudine texts Koharu and apologizes once again, explaining everything to her. Koharu is very calm and understanding.
And when Maya asks permission for Claudine to give her Koharu's number, Koharu agrees.
Claudine and Koharu set up another date for the following weekend, and Maya is set to have a date of her own with Koharu the weekend after.
And on the weekend after that, Maya and Claudine decide to set up a proper date together as well - one that has nothing to do with theatre or training or anything like that.
Claudine invites Maya to a day at the park, shopping around town and visiting cafes and little stores. Maya has never been more excited for anything in her life.
With everything cleared up between them, everything set right with Koharu, and all the necessary apologies made and accepted, Maya and Claudine exit the mall together side by side.
A/N: I hope it didn't feel too rushed. It was just meant to be a little thing, a jealousy spat of the two most greedy, selfish, and possessive girls in the Starlight franchise.
I could definitely see something like this happening in canon, minus a bit of the drama and gayness. I feel, if anything, Maya might express some jealousy toward Claudine and Koharu going out sometime, Claudine would catch wind of it and tease her, but then reassure her she'd never 'leave' Maya.
I almost feel bad for sidelining Koharu in this as well, though she is the 'third wheel' in the title ahah ;~; One day I will write her in her own proper story.
While it was always meant to be a Mayakuro oneshot, Koharu was used as fodder to fuel their fire. But I wanted to make sure Claudine addressed hers and Maya's selfishness and apologized to Koharu so she wouldn't feel unimportant. Though Claudine always seems to have Maya on her mind and around her, she would make sure that anyone else felt important and appreciated too.