Fandom: Glass Mask (Garasu no Kamen)
Characters/Pairings: Masumi/Maya, with a hint of Maya/Ayumi if you squint
Disclaimer: Glass Mask belongs to Suzue Miuchi-sensei. The title of this fic, however, is the title of a song by Minagawa Junko.
Word Count: ~600
Notes: For yukiko07's vday drabble request YES HALF A YEAR LATE orz orz orz
Also, anyone who doesn't know about this manga, PLEASE READ IT HERE. Because it's awesome. And glorious.
“I don’t like it.”
Maya only smiled. Ayumi was always forthright, her opinions readily given at the earliest opportunity. Her confidence only sharpened with age, as did her beauty, and in Maya’s modest apartment, she outshone even the spill of sunlight on rows of polished trophies and awards which had multiplied rapidly over the years.
“Neither will your fans, when they find out,” she added, the sting of her words only softened by the compassionate glint in her eyes. Maya nodded, acknowledging the truth in her warning.
“Yes, but for now, you are the only one who knows, Ayumi-san.”
She was lying and they both knew it, too used to the lilt and pulse of acting with each heartbeat. At twenty-six, Maya’s fame could only be equaled by her rival’s, with or without the Crimson Goddess as its lynchpin. But such fame called for a heavy price; the absence of privacy was only the beginning.
There was the notoriety of Hayami Masumi too, but neither of them mentioned it—or him.
“You put too much at stake,” Ayumi pointed out blankly.
Maya held her gaze steady, like her fingers around a cooling teacup. “Some things are worth that much. Surely you understand, Ayumi-san?”
The look on Ayumi’s face was weighed by old ghosts. There were bitter scars left by their fight over the role of Crimson Goddess, since despite any friendship and closeness developed between them during their competition, ultimately there was only one victor. Ayumi had always displayed incredible maturity for a young woman her age, but a dream was a dream, and to have it wrenched from her hands had put a strain in their relationship for at least a year before she could look at Maya in the eye again without the ugly burn of envy.
“True love,” she murmured, and the pained expression caressing her face was so exquisite that for a moment Maya had to wonder at its authenticity. “I thought acting was your true love.”
“It is,” Maya beamed, almost giggling, “but he is the other half of my soul. It’s– I can’t explain it, but I cannot let him go. Not after what we’ve been through.”
If there was a logical reason as to why she had inherited the sacred role and not Ayumi, then it was her experience of that love. Crimson Goddess was about love, about understanding its meaning and antithesis, and Maya knew she had been the luckier one in this regard. Even now, Ayumi maintained her inscrutable mask, her emotions closely guarded.
“You are always a romantic,” she sighed at last and rose to her feet with a swish of blue silk. Halfway to the door, she turned around and looked at her, like a queen. “Promise me one thing, Maya. You will not fall before we stand together on the same stage once more.”
Maya could not help another smile. She remembered The Two Princesses as if she had just lived Aldis yesterday. She remembered the heavy velvet sweep of Ayumi’s acting, the ice and black fire of her Origeld, and she knew, to certain degrees, that Ayumi was also the other half of her soul—and not even Masumi could fill that space.
The next time she opened her door, it was to a warm smile and a pair of familiar arms around her slight build. Masumi whispered softly before her ears, words of longing that filled her heart to the brim, and then kissed her lips with so much passion that reminded her to a dream of red mist and plum flowers.
Then she led him to her bedroom, shyness only a ghostly ripple on the surface of her desire. Neither of them mentioned his wife or son, or her career and twice-tarnished reputation. Maya buried herself in his scent and lived for today.