Normally, I don't write fanfiction since it's really not easy (and not all that fun, for me anyway) to write within the constraints of someone else's world. Hell, even real authors make continuity mistakes, even in a series like Harry Potter that you know has an army of editors and all the resources of a big publishing house behind it. But today I got stuck on a particularly long, boring conference call at work, and I somehow found myself thinking about Shakugan no Shana II coming up this fall, and the end result was I wrote the (very) short story below.
It's short, so you won't lose a huge chunk of your life, but I'd still recommend you only read it if you're bored--ideally, bored and on the clock, so you can actually get paid to read it.
Shakugan no Shana: Eki no Goutan
Shana walked along the embankment by the river with Yuuji under a dull gray fall sky, her heart beating fast as she walked by his side. It was getting colder this time of year, and Shana was wearing the light green dress Yuuji's mother had given her, but surprisingly she didn't feel the cold much today.
"It really does look like fall now," Yuuji said, noticing a row of maple trees by the river, where all their leaves had turned a fiery red. "November already...it'll be Christmas before we know it."
"What's Christmas?" Shana asked, looking up at Yuuji. Yuuji looked over at her--with a light afternoon breeze blowing her long, dark hair behind her, and with the dress she was wearing, he had to admit she was cute. Not that she wasn't cute normally, but somehow she was even cuter today. He had a brief vision of Shana dressed up in a red Santa outfit with an extra-short miniskirt, but quickly put the thought out of his mind before he got a nosebleed.
"It's a holiday where people exchange presents and...er...couples go and..." Yuuji asked.
"Play hide the salami?" Shana asked suddenly, and Yuuji nearly fell over.
"Salami?" Alastor asked. "Why would you hide salami, instead of putting it on a sandwich--"
"Shana--where did you hear that?" Yuuji asked, turning bright red. Shana looked away, feeling a little embarrassed.
"Nowhere--it's just something I saw online," Shana said, turning red herself.
"I told you Urban Dictionary was nothing but trouble," Alastor said.
"Urusai, urusai, urusai!" Shana yelled. "It's not important, just forget I said it!"
"Ah--I believe I understand now," Alastor said, in his deep, serious-sounding voice. "The salami refers to a man's--"
"Alastor," Shana whispered menacingly, holding him close to her face and giving him a look that would make most people instantly soil themselves in fear. "If you don't want to be wrapped in a used maxi pad and flushed down the toilet, then SHUT THE [beep] UP."
"Y-yes, ma'am," Alastor replied very quickly.
"Did you say something?" Yuuji asked.
"No," Shana replied with a smile, and Alastor made a mental note never to piss off Shana.
"Anyway...it's um...a holiday where couples will...go on dates, things like that," Yuuji said.
"And who usually asks the girl out on a date?" Shana asked.
"Well...the guy does. Usually," Yuuji said, looking over at Shana and not sure where the conversation was headed.
"What if the guy's an idiot," Shana said, glancing at Yuuji before looking away, "and he keeps getting too close to a girl with freakish watermelon-sized breasts, and doesn't have the spine to ask a girl out himself."
"Ah...well...in that case..." Yuuji said, laughing nervously.
"What if he doesn't realize there's a girl right next to him who wants to go out on a real date, a date that doesn't involve swordfights, or training, or anything like that," Shana said, turning a darker shade of red from embarrassment, but plowing ahead anyway, somehow more confident than usual. "What if he's thinking he doesn't want to hurt either girl he likes by not making a decision, but he's really just hurting both of them more by drawing it out. What if--"
Shana stopped as Yuuji moved in front of her, putting his hands on her shoulders, and she looked up into his eyes, which were more serious than she'd ever seen them before.
"Yuuji..." Shana said, the intensity of his gaze making her heart pound in her chest.
"You're right," Yuuji said, taking a deep breath. "I'm sorry...I should have said something before...I've been meaning to for a while now...but I could never find the right time. I don't want to hurt Yoshida-san, but...the truth is...I love you. I don't know when, but for a while now...I just can't imagine being with anyone else. I--"
Shana stretched up on her toes, tears of happiness and relief in her eyes, as she answered Yuuji's confession with a kiss.
* * * *
Back at Yuuji's house, Chigusa looked at the two-liter soda bottle on the table and winced.
"Ah--I spiked that for the party and forgot...I hope Yuuji and Shana didn't drink too much with lunch," she said, picking up the bottle and noticing it was half empty. She poured a glass and took a sip--maybe she had put too much sake in.
"Oh well...maybe this will move things along a little," she said with a half-smile, putting the bottle, which was about 30 proof, back in the refrigerator.
* Eki no Goutan = Liquid Courage