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MEI-CHAN: Finally Awake

FIC: Duty (Mei-chan, PG13)

Title: Duty
Author: alianora
Fandom: Mei-chan no Shitsuji
Rating: PG13
Summery: Her orders were frequent and careless, expecting him to follow through in an instant without hesitation. (Shiori/Rihito, Mei/Rihito)
Warnings: Non con mentioned, unequal power dynamics



Mei is easy to watch over. Her needs are simple, and she frequently forgets that he is there to do whatever is needed, whatever is desired. It's easier to do things herself, she says. Or she forgets she's supposed to ignore him standing behind her, and twists around to whisper questions to him about her next test, or what sort of dress she should wear to the latest party. She blinks up at him behind her glasses, and he leans down to answer her.

It is a different thing then being her butler - Shiori-sama's butler. Shiori-sama always knew he was there, always kept him in her sight, and always remembered that he was a butler. Her orders were frequent and careless, expecting him to follow through in an instant without hesitation. And he had.

Seeing Shiori-sama getting weaker and weaker in body had hurt. He had tried so hard, struggled to be her strength and the support she would need. And he was so accustomed to taking her orders, that he didn't consider that some of them could be..wrong. How could a butler's lady be wrong? He was there to fulfill her needs. It wasn't until she had reached for him that first time, drawing her wet fingers across his face as he was helping her out of the bathtub, his eyes politely averted from her bare body, that the first clang of wrong sounded inside his chest.

He had stepped away, covered her with her silk robe. Never mentioned it.

Neither did she.

But his duties began to take on more personal tasks then he was comfortable performing. She gave every order with a gentle smile on her face, and her eyes never left Rihito's.

She could no longer button up her dresses, even the ones that closed in the front. Her hands drooped on the fastenings. She stopped wearing undergarments- said putting them on and taking them off was too taxing. Needed his full support to get into and out of the bathtub daily. He turned his face away, but he couldn't turn away from the touch of her skin under his fingers.

Clang went that warning inside of him. His heart hurt. This was not how a butler and a lady's relationship was supposed to go. Yes, things sometimes happened between a butler and his lady, but it was not spoken, and, Rihito guessed, the butler usually had more of a stake in it.

Rihito learned to perform his duties as unemotionally as possible. He had thought it would help, but it had no effect. A cup of tea heated a degree imperfectly would leave her flying in a rage, tea service smashed and his shirt stained. After a sandwich made with all of her chosen selections was returned to him in pieces, carved out with a pair of manicure scissors, for taking too long to make, and being away from her side for too long.

He began to hide the knives, and rushed through any duties that took him out of the room.

Sometimes she was lovely and perfectly normal, chatting quietly with him as he pushed her chair smoothly along the garden path, and he would relax. This time she'll stay well. She will get better.

In the middle of one night when she came to him, brazenly walking into his small room unclothed - hips too slender to be attractive, sickly pale skin glowing unnaturally in the dim light - she gave more orders. Unexpected and unwanted, but she was his lady. What was he supposed to do?

He followed them.

And she curled up possessively around him after, and lovingly whispered, "Mine, always mine," in his ear, and he had closed his eyes and wished he had the strength left to cry.

He left the next day. Rihito wished he could say that he approached Hongo-sama with dignity and explained the situation, but he didn't. He packed up the few things he had of his own - two small changes of normal clothes, some toiletries - and walked until he found a bus station. He left behind him the only world he had known, and the small S badge he had taken such pride in obtaining.

These were things he couldn't bring himself to tell Mei. She had forgiven Shiori-sama for everything wrought upon her, and Shiori-sama was getting treatment. He worried, sometimes, that Shiori-sama would get better, and would try to apologize to him, or to Mei for him, but Shiori-sama was not the type to apologize. And sometimes, Rihito still felt like he could have done things differently, done things better, and then Shiori-sama would never have become sick.

Mei was asleep on her desk, drooling into her text book. She would not even allow him to knock on the door while she was bathing. She insisted on laundering her private things herself. She bullied him into taking time off to sit in the sun with her, or to play chess with Kiba.

And sometimes he had to stop himself from reaching out to her warmth and light, from breathing in her smile. From holding her in his arms as he thanked her over and over again, for being strong and brave enough to support his weaknesses.

END

Comments

thank you!
YES. I like this, I like it a lot.

I really loved how you explored the dark side of unquestioning loyalty. That was glossed over a fair bit in the series, but Rihito's thoughts make perfect sense here (the way he hears the warning bell but doesn't heed it straight away, it's just so ingrained in him to follow orders/believe in his lady) and the contrast between Shiori and Mei was presented perfectly. I think my favourite parallels were him not even wanting to touch Shiori and fighting to stop himself from reaching for Mei, mmmm.

Gorgeous, as usual, and DO WANT MORE MEI-CHAN FIC. ♥
YAY!

I really think there was a lot to go into about the relationship between Rihito and Shiori, and WHY he quit as a butler. And then he didn't go back to Shiori, so what was he doing in between time that he left Shiori and Mei needed a butler? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

and thank you!
Okay, I know I'm not supposed to find it unbearably hot and feel sorry for Rihito and sympathetic - and I do! - but I also find it UNBEARABLY HOT. When you expressed all that interest in the rlationship between Rihito and Shiori way back when I couldn't help but think YES. Now that is a power struggle I am interested in!

The little details of your words; the clang of Rihito's heart, the physical sickliness to match Shiori's mental sickness. That she would be annoyed because of an order that took him away from her for too long-!

Please do write more of them because it's lovely in that perfectly scary way <3
hee! i dont find it hot so much as i find it FASCINATING. What tipped Rihito over that edge to leave Shiori? What happened between them? And she is so so creepily overattached to him that SOMETHING had to have happened between them - she had to have stepped over that line sexually and emotionally and i WANT TO KNOOOOW.

thank you for your comments on the details! i really wanted it to be more..visceral, so it's so nice that you caught them!
Urgh, I remember you talking about it and had thought I'd saved notes about it (I have a file vaguely named "To-Do Writing" with a lot of people's fic wishes in it!) and a possible plot/scene to pick out and write with but it's gone!

Hopefully with another rewatch (or a million XD) we can work out just what happened between them, because it is fascinating!
I knew you'd write this sooner or later. It was as creepy and heartbreaking as I expected.

Unexpected and unwanted, but she was his lady. What was he supposed to do? just about gutted me. Poor Rihito. He tries *so hard,* and he has not outside frame of reference for what's happening--of course he gives into Shiori. I'm glad that he had the strength to leave her in the end, and that he found Mei.
i knew i would, too, I just couldnt get the feeling right until last night!

Rihito did try SO HARD, and while I dont think the slow sinking and the awareness of what was going on really came through, I hope some hints of it did.

and he's a butler, and he's so proud of his training, and he's SO YOUNG. how would he not give in to Shiori? how would he be able to resist?

thank you!
guhh, your mei-chan fic always makes my day. perfection, of course. i love any exploration of crossing the line between being a butler and being something more, because of course it's never -just- a lady and her butler; they must, it seems to me, always become something more, whether a best friend, a surrogate parent or brother, a soulmate, a lover, a carer. i love how you showed that rihito wanted to get away from her because he knew she was mentally screwed up, but that he still wished he could have saved her and prevented it. and always, mei and rihito, rihito and mei. &hearts
aww, thank you!

and yes, it can never be JUST a butler and his lady - I imagine at some times or another in every butler/lady relationship that they hit all of those something mores.

Rihito will always blame himself somewhat. he should have noticed, he should have been able to help - he was her BUTLER.

thank you!
*SNUGGLES RIHITO-KUN*
*snuggles you*
omg mei-chan fics <3 it's good to know that people are still writing fics for this fandom (although i havn't seen any around for a while)

i confess, i've been a silent reader of your fics from before and i really love your writing, you convey so much in your writing

i love mei & rihito and i desperately wish there would be an SP or something :(
Oh, I still have a few in the works, and anenko and fsop either just posted or are working on some, too!

thank you so much! i love writing, so im very glad you enjoy it. :)

THERE NEEDS TO BE AN SP. NEEDS.
i'm glad that there are authors still writing, i must find the fic comms that you all post your fics to XD

i've been waiting for an SP for so long...but i guess there's not a big chance of one :(
everything of all three of ours ends up at brokemycaps usually. :)
hearts
it's lovely
thank you!
I wanna huggle Rihito in this one. The poor guy.

This was lovely. ♥
thank you! I..pretty much always want to hug Rihito, so I understand the feeling. :)
NICE ^^
I like the ending..it's too sweet ^^
ARASHI: Sho and Aiba - Laugh

October 2014

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