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my heart, on fire

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Nobara was the first thing Mai had wanted in so long. 


Mai had some desires, of course, but nothing had made her feel so alive as Nobara. Pinning her against herself, a gun to her thigh and a warm back to her chest, Mai remembered the feeling of whispering in Nobara’s ear, how she shivered ever so slightly.


Maybe it was slightly embarrassing that it was the dramatic, brash and perpetually-angry-at-her Nobara that Mai was attracted to, but it didn’t matter. 


Mai was used to being in the shadows. Of Maki, of her classmates, of the Clan. Desperate to prove something but always overlooked. Abandoned at every turn. Mai was chasing nothing. She didn’t have Maki’s passion or Miwa’s kindness, or anything, really. Mai was at Jujutsu Tech because Maki was.


And that stupid, stupid Nobara was obsessed with Maki.


Trailing her like an idiot, smiling at her words, blushing at her prowess, trying to spend time with her in any way she could. Nobara, in all her glory, was reduced to a soft fool around the older Zenin twin. 


I want someone to look at me like that.


Maki, Maki, Maki. It’s always Maki this, Maki that. Even though she’s a forever fourth-grade, even though Mai has suffered just as much for just as long.  


I hate you. 


So when Mai pushed Nobara up against a wall and pushed her lips onto hers, it felt deserved. Nobara tasted like fire and spice and summer and it burned in Mai’s gut. She tasted like everything Mai had ever wanted.


It came after another heated argument about nothing, where the insults grew more and more personal until they were staring each other in the eyes, neither willing to back down in some insane test of arrogance.


The sun was setting, casting an orange glow over the campus. Nobara’s hair burned like flame, and Mai wanted to settle in the ash. 


Mai bit Nobara’s lower lip, heat running through her. But Nobara pushed back and pushed Mai off of her body, arms extended in front of her. Mai stumbled backwards, mind reeling from the kiss. What the hell was she doing? 


Had she even kissed back?


They stood, chests heaving, facing each other. Mai stared at her. Nobara’s eyes were wide.


Then they narrowed. Nobara caught her breath, stood up straight and stepped forward from the wall. Her expression was unreadable, maybe something between pity and hatred and disgust and intrigue. 


“Maki-san’s a hundred times better at kissing than you.”


Mai had no snarky response, no biting retort. Nobara had taken all the fire from her, snuffing her out.


Nobara then turned, brushed the nonexistent dirt from her skirt and walked away, her back to Mai. Mai could only watch as her silhouette grew smaller in the distance.


Abandoned, again.


Mai looked at her hands. They were trembling. She almost laughed, a giggle bubbling in her throat. 


Serves me right. I’ll never be Maki. Thanks for reminding me.


I've never been wanted.