Cutscene: Whispers in the Dark

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Masumi's feet made no sound as she slipped up the dorm stairs, silently making her ascent towards the proper floor where she shared a dormroom with Minagi. She *really* didn't want to see the other girl at all, and in fact for the last several days, she'd been leaving early in the morning and only returning extremely late at night to avoid having to deal with her jealous roommate -- who had tried more than once to find another time to confront her, but to no avail. She was too quick, too perceptive, too silent.

And she was tired of dealing with Minagi. No. She was tired of dealing with /all/ of them. It was nothing short of *exhausting*, dealing with their ugly jealousy, and she should have realized that's what was happening earlier. They were jealous of her brilliance, her grace, her good looks, her ability to so effortlessly draw people to herself. Why /else/ would they all keep acting like there was something wrong with her? Even Kasumi, who she hadn't seen in months, treated her like there was something *wrong* when they talked in the cafe only a few days ago.

Yes, she should have realized it sooner, the svelte girl decided as she got closer to the right floor. It just *hurt* to think they would all turn on her like that, when they had been so supportive before school started! But anymore, they just wanted to tear into her to make themselves feel better. They had seen just how amazing she really was all through this first term at school, and their defenses were kicking in. Maybe it wasn't even their fault that they reacted that way. After all, they could ~hardly~ help it if they weren't as incredible as she was.

Masumi came to a stop just in front of her room's door, extending out her senses to test for the by-now very familiar sensation of Minagi's Resonance. Once again, she didn't want to be here at all, but her damn headaches were only getting worse, and she'd let herself run out of the pain-killers she kept in her purse. It was careless of her, but she was only amazing, not perfect, after all~. A faint smile crossed her full lips at that thought, coinciding with the knowledge that Minagi was not, in fact, inside the dorm. Perfect.

She slipped quickly inside, closed the door behind her and then flipped on the nearest light switch. As she crossed over to the medicine cabinet, she suddenly found herself feeling extremely...angry. She stopped briefly to cast her azure eyes around the dorm -- this was ridiculous! This was /her/ dorm, too, not just that bitch Minagi's! Why the hell should /she/ be the one creeping around, having to stay out all day and rearrange /her/ schedule just to avoid having to listen her roommate's whining? If she couldn't deal, that was *her* problem!

"Where the hell does she get off acting like there's something wrong with me, anyway? /Me/!?" she found herself suddenly snarling aloud, giving a voice to the sudden anger. "Jealous, stuck-up bitch," she continued, finding the release intoxicating. Why should /she/ be the one avoiding /them/? /They/ had the problem! "Hinata, too!" she raged to herself, wincing sharply as a too-familiar pressure started building behind her eyes. Goddamn headaches. She needed those pain-killers.

"Ooh, Masumi," the girl began in a falsetto imitation of Hinata's voice. "I'm going to tell you ~all about~ how much I love you, and then make horribly-veiled jabs at what an *awful* person you are!" Her voice dropped back down to normal, her irritation and anger only growing as her headache did, slender hands fumbling to get the bottle open as quickly as possible. "Bitch!" she snarled suddenly, but couldn't help but to let a small laugh out afterwards. "Guess I shouldn't be surprised someone like her couldn't even be *subtle* about it."

She quickly shook out three tablets and dry-swallowed them, going beyond the recommended dose, even as her hands starting to shake again as the headache got progressively worse. Letting her anger out only seemed to make it worse, not better, but what the hell, she'd been holding it all back for way too long. "And Hitoshi, where the *hell* does he get off acting like I'm not *good* enough for him, huh?" she snapped out, whirling around as she continued her tirade that only she was around to listen to. "I'm way better than he'll *ever* be."

The girl tossed off her heels into the corner and began pacing, waiting, just /waiting/ for Minagi to come back so she could let that bitch have what she deserved. And then she'd make sure the rest of them knew exactly what she thought, too. "And Shirou! I should have known with him from the start!" Her hand curled tightly, perfectly manicured nails digging into her palm as her fist trembled. It felt like someone was taking a sledgehammer to the inside of her head. "Thora's been jealous all along! Ff, not *my* fault she's ugly as /hell/!"

The pacing quickened, becoming a little more frantic. Suddenly, she spun around to the mirror, which reflected back perfectly gorgeous features. The smooth, soft lines of her face. Curves in ~all~ the right places. Full, inviting lips. Clothing and makeup artfully employed to accentuate all her most desirable features. "See!" she exclaimed after staring for a long time. "How the *hell* do they keep acting like there's something wrong with me, huh?! Huh?!" she half-shrieked, both her frenzy and the headache starting to reach a fever peak.

"There is NOTHING wrong with me!!"

The scream echoed across the empty dorm room as Masumi pivoted back around with an abrupt ferocity, eyes brimming with a sudden release of hurt and frustration and pain and betrayal. One slender hand reached up to wipe the tears away before they could ruin her makeup, but they kept coming. How could they /do/ this to her? How could they act like they were her friends, get her to open up, and then stab her in the back as soon as she did!? All of them! Every single one of them! It felt like a knife in her heart and an explosion behind her skull as --

Her blood ran cold as her mind suddenly registered the movement she had seen in the mirror, just out of the corner of her eyes before she'd turned fully around. It ran even colder as a soft but insistent voice whispered delicately inside the empty dorm room, its silver tones playing across her ears with all the gentleness of heaven and the damnation of hell.

"Oh...but isn't there?"

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