Kushina was Mikoto’s best friend in the world, so when Mikoto came back after visiting relatives from the main branch of the Clan with tears in her eyes when they were sixteen, terrified by the way they had looked her over like a horse they were considering for purchase, Kushina came up with a plan.
“We can say you’re dating me!” Kushina slung her arm around Mikoto’s waist, a move more protective than casual. “I’ll scare them all off and we can make fun of the stuffy prigs while we eat all their food!”
“It’s crazy.” Mikoto shook her head, hands twisting together in her lap. “This isn’t going to work, Kushina.”
“Trust me!” Kushina grinned with all her teeth on display, taking Mikoto hands with a firm grip as she looked into her best friend’s eyes. “The old prunes won’t say boo to you after I’m through with them!”
That had been two years ago. Mikoto and Kushina were looking at colleges now, already planning to be roommates. By now, Mikoto had been ‘dating’ Kushina for so long no one bothered trying to introduce her to ‘eligible young men’ any more. The guilt Mikoto harboured over monopolizing Kushina’s time was growing larger. Conversely, the reasons for keeping up the dating charade were growing thinner. Once they got to college, Mikoto was going to encourage Kushina to look for a real date. It was not fair to Kushina for Mikoto to use her so selfishly any longer than was actually needed. Kushina deserved to be loved for real.
That was a consideration and a conversation for the future though. For now, Mikoto had yet another party being thrown by one of her innumerable relatives to get through.
“Mikoto! Do my eyeliner like this!” Kushina held her phone up in front of Mikoto’s nose, bouncing in excitement. “It’ll look so great!”
“Okay, hold still!” Glancing at the photo, Mikoto carefully dipped the liquid eyeliner so that the lines would stay clean. Switching colours, Mikoto pursed her lips as she flicked the brush to draw out the wing. “There you go.”
Kushina opened her eyes, gem bright and gleaming as she beamed at Mikoto. The two-tone winged eyeliner sharpened Kushina’s eyes, gave them a sultry cast. Mikoto swallowed hard as her throat went dry, heart thumping in her chest.