a Honkai Impact 3 fanfiction by The Overlord Bear
Summary: As Mei Raiden coped with her loss to a certain dear woman’s stubbornness, she found healing in a forgotten friend and her companions as well.
“Hey, Bronya, are you really sure this is the Sister Mei you’ve been talking about? She looks pretty…I dunno, edgy? Like always, you know? I mean, it’s been days! Or weeks! Or months! Or years? Or did we travel back in time? Or did we enter a parallel universe? I kinda remember meeting someone who kinda sounds like me…”
“Roza, be more sensitive.”
“I’m trying, Lili! You’re the insensitive one with how quiet you are! In fact, maybe this edgy girl here’s the most insensitive one! I’m gonna be insensitive back and one-up her by shutting up even more quietly than her, then!”
“That’s…a nice surprise, Roza.”
“Damn, I’d call her Miss Diaper Suit, but – Okay, already said it, so whatever. And stop giving me that look, Seele! I won’t say it again! Probably!”
It was night, so Mei Raiden was looking at the moon. She wondered how her friend…crush…lover…enemy…ruiner…whoever she was to her…was doing out there. Maybe her dear…or that woman…was glaring back, but Mei would glare back. Now former Herrscher of Thunder she may be, but Mei wasn’t going to lose to that woman’s stubbornness again.
Mei’s eyebrows scrunched up as she pictured that woman mocking her for looking so ridiculous with the children all around her. One was dead weight, one was the dead weight’s two-faced stalker, one was absurdly dumb, one was a lazy sleepyhead, and then there was some cockroach.
Goodness, now that Mei thought about it, it was like there were even more clones of that woman all around her. Talk about crueler and more unusual punishment on top of that little girl who called herself Theresa Apocalypse, granddaughter to that man who ruined everything and everyone and yet another clone to the bloodline that ruined that man and Mei, who also seemed to have a version from the Previous Era who also ruined an ancestor to that bloodline.
But right now, Mei couldn’t even muster up the strength to scream at these clones in her room and throw them out again. She couldn’t even cry, too. She just glared back at the moon, hoping that that woman would stop being such a stubborn fool who kept on breaking her heart while claiming that she was saving it.
And when Mei couldn’t see the moon again, she lied on her bed, staring into the ceiling as she languished in her emptiness. Getting up to eat and clean herself were the only other things she did, and even then, she had to be assisted by those clones of that woman. They’d be stubborn like her, of course, so Mei would be stubborn in return by going about them really slowly.
“Bronya! Seele! Why are you two so quiet!? That edgelord’s taking too long again! Does she hate us?”
“Why do I keep on expecting Roza to understand more easily?”
“I should kick her – AGH!”
Oh, Mei forgot about her punching bag again. Then again, that woman had been pretty smart the whole time, but Mei knew that that woman wasn’t going to be smart all the time. Mei knew every little detail about her, and Mei knew about her impatience. The former Herrscher of Thunder also knew that she could kick that woman’s ass, and Mei would kick that ass again and again and again…
“Again, you could use a worthier opponent.”
Just like how Mei still had some remnants of her Herrscher powers, so did the dead weight’s two-faced stalker. Mei glared at the also possessed clone who had just dragged her away from the other clone she had just beaten black and blue again, but Mei wasn’t going to fall for the bait again. That Herrscher sharing that woman’s body wouldn’t beat her again, not even in a battle of wits. Mei was smarter than that woman, after all. She was above poisonous friendships like that woman and that Herrscher had cherished and shared. Always was, still is, and always will be.
And there it was again. That woman was rubbing off on Mei too much again. Again and again and again…
So Mei went back to bed, staring at the ceiling, hoping that it would just be the moon dominating the night sky.
“Master Durandal, Other Seele always said that this edgelord here could use a worthier opponent, and all this time, I forgot about you! I’m really really sorry, Master!”
“I think I’ll have to agree with Roza here now, too, Master. We’re also worried about Bronya, you know? She always said that she was close to Sister Mei here.”
“Okay, why am I still here, you idiots? Why am I tied up, too? Am I gonna be a pinata again? ‘Cause I damn hope not.”
It was twilight, but Mei didn’t ready herself at the window because it was the new moon for now, another one of that woman’s insults against her.
“Would you like to spar, Mei Raiden? Perhaps it would help maintain your patience during the new moon.”
Mei gave the strawberry blonde woman – another arrogant destroyer of everything and everyone – beside her another glare from the side, and she stood up, making that glare full-focused.
“I’ll use my bare hands and feet,” the strawberry blonde woman continued, seemingly unfazed by Mei’s attempt at intensified intimidation. “You’ll use a standard-issue katana.”
“Hand me my weapon already, Durandal,” Mei felt her mouth spout with her hoarse voice.
“I’ll just call Rita to prepare the arena,” Durandal answered, taking out her phone without breaking eye contact. “And you can call me Bianka. Or whatever derogatory name you wish, even.”
“That stupid maid can join, too,” Mei added, feeling that woman pushing her into cocky and blazing rage again. “I can take you all on.”
Mei received no worded answers from the others in the room there.
And of course, Mei went back to bed thoroughly defeated again, disarmed and twisted and pinned until she had no more strength to move herself. She was carried back into bed by that woman’s clones for some reason, though. Probably sadistic reasons again.
“How long have you been here?” Mei asked after waking up the clone clinging to her one morning.
“Three months and twenty days, Sister Mei,” the clone answered.
“How have you been here for three months and twenty days?” Mei asked back. “I don’t remember anyone sleeping in my bed aside from myself. And why are you calling me ‘Sister’? How am I a sister to my lover? Are you trying some sort of perverted roleplay right now?”
“You are very much not yourself at present, Sister Mei,” the clone droned on. Did that woman…her lover…Did Mei’s lover…sister…friend…whatever…ever sound that cold? No, that woman didn’t sound like that when she was truly acting cold. It was too cold, like it was a piece of everlasting winter. This was not Kiana Kaslana.
And then Mei noticed the darker gray. The hair wasn’t in the twin drills Mei had been used to, but the darker gray clued Mei in on whom she was talking to.
Now why did the normally emotionless Bronya Zaychik look so teary? She was all facts and logic, right?
Bronya started crying into Mei’s chest. Mei didn’t know what else to do but embrace her back.
Mei didn’t even know how to respond to Bronya’s smile after the latter finished crying.
“You shall be okay, Sister Mei. We who remain shall continue to do our best.”
Mei didn’t know how to respond to that too.
“Okay, Sister Mei.”
“You should just throw the towel, Seele. Miss Diaper Suit’s probably just so full of herself that she’ll think she won all by herself.”
The two-faced stalker then handed her controller to the cockroach, though somehow, there was no glowing redness in those glaring eyes.
“I’ll show you how it’s done, then!” the cockroach smirked, and then she just slouched back on the floor beside Mei, pointing a droopy finger after selecting a random character. “Come on, pick your character and start the match, you big baby!”
Truly, she was such a brat. Just like always. It was cute, but it was also infuriating. Bronya should teach her a lesson like always, though for some reason, the quiet snarker was unable to be present for what the cockroach called “another babysitting session.” Something about having to help handle some twins.
Still, Mei went on with the match, hoping that the unrepentant brat beside her would still give her some sort of fight.
But the brat didn’t. None of their characters were moved by any player. The two-faced stalker stood behind them, hands held together in front of her as she looked on with a grave expression.
Eventually, it became too much for Mei.
“Why aren’t you making a move?” Mei asked. She knew she had more violent tendencies lately, but she also believed herself someone who didn’t smack anything that moved. “I thought we’re going to fight.”
“Didn’t you get what I was saying, Miss Diaper Suit?” the cockroach sneered. “You just want someone to throw the towel, right? Like, lose on purpose to you? And I’m pretty sure that I’ve been doing pretty good at that, considering how much the nurses love me!”
“I haven’t lost all of my honor to stoop that low yet, if ever, you cockroach,” Mei growled. Of course that woman would taunt her like a child. That’s what Mei always was: some fragile thing to be coddled until the end of time. “And speaking of which, why haven’t you been fighting back whenever I beat you up? Are you just trying to piss me off even more by guilt-tripping me?”
“You know, I’m getting gladder that I don’t remember your name that well, Miss Diaper Suit,” the cockroach then stood up and walked away. “Fuck this, I’m out! Your move, Seele!”
Mei turned back to the idle fight screen, where the characters had already gained damage thanks to stage hazards. The two-faced stalker took the empty spot beside her again, controlling the character and going for another fight once again.
So the two fought and fought without uttering a word to each other until Mei got tired of it and went back to bed.
“What do you want from me?” Mei frowned at the childish clone that called itself the new Overseer of Schicksal, the organization that ruined everything even more. The former Herrscher of Thunder also put effort into ignoring the stupid maid pretending to be a mannequin behind the childish clone.
The childish clone seemed to cringe, but she went on with what seemed to be another one of those irritatingly determined looks. “I just wanted to say that you’ve been doing better lately, Mei, and that I’m glad about it. Rita also wants to say the same, but she knows that you won’t listen to her.”
“Who would?” Mei asked back, sneering. “She’s just a stupid maid making everything stupider.”
The stupid maid only closed…her probably sole eye. Maybe she was blind on the other. As expected from the stupid maid.
And then the childish clone took a deep breath. “Again, I’m sorry, Mei. For everything.”
“You told me that before again and again and again,” Mei was quick to answer, bitterness still ready to stab at a moment’s notice. “You think I’d expect much good from that eventually?”
“Yes, I do,” the childish clone sharpened her eyes and hardened her tone. “I could just keep you locked up like this forever, but I’d rather be mocked over believing that you can be who you really should be again than be praised like that stupid old man of mine was. That’s how I believe I should atone for everything I let happen, and I don’t even know if I’m really right or not.”
“Well, let me make it easier for you, then, because I already know who I should be. You remind me about that every damn day, too. I’m a loser, a failure, a liability, a mistake, everything that’s ugly in the world. And this life of mine is the hell I deserve. Just keep going, then. You’re doing a great job again.”
Again, there was silence in the room. Silence and sadness.
And then the childish clone took it lower. “What’s my name, again, Mei?”
Mei already knew the answer, but she wasn’t letting it out her mouth. She wouldn’t give that woman the satisfaction again.
“You know what, I’ll answer it myself,” the childish clone continued, crossing her arms and putting on a smug face. “I’m Theresa Apocalypse, Overseer of Schicksal, granddaughter of and successor to Otto Apocalypse.”
The monster in front of her should’ve been cut off, but the stupid maid had Mei twisted and pinned again before she could reach it. Still…
“IF IT ISN’T KIANA IRRITATING ME, IT’S MONSTERS LIKE YOU!” Mei yelled her throat out again. “YOU ALL MADE ME LIKE THIS! IF YOU REALLY WANTED ME TO GOOD, YOU SHOULD’VE NEVER LET ME BE BORN!”
“I feel the same way, being the monster I was born as,” Theresa Apocalypse answered, face back to sadness. “I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t exist if the Honkai didn’t exist. But we exist, and we just have to make the best of it, Mei. We can be better. Maybe you’re an exception, but I like following the rules, and I dearly hope that you follow the rules.”
Again, Mei was feeling even hollower than usual, tears leaking out her eyes as she felt like another pile of junk to be pushed around and piled on even further. At that point, the stupid maid let her go, too.
“I miss my niece, too, Mei,” Theresa said as she turned her back on Mei. “But somehow, I chose to learn from my losses, even back when I lost her mother. I don’t exactly know how that works, but I believe that you can do the same. Let’s go, Rita.”
And Theresa and Rita left, leaving Mei alone with her jumble of thoughts and emotions again.
“Bronya, Seele, Rozaliya, Liliya, and Sin Mal.”
Eyes on each person matching the name. Pace change as she would pry each girl off her body and their bodies. Bronya would have her eyes open like she had been sleeping with such eyes. Seele would quietly whimper and then wryly giggle. Rozaliya would groan and whine technique names and battle declarations. Liliya would just keep on sleeping. And Sin Mal would violently resist until she was tied up with the sheets.
As the reality of those five girls’ newly formed habit of sleeping over in her room set in on Mei, she also started growing a habit out of prying them off her. Following that was recognizing them as the individuals they truly are: girls who were not Kiana Kaslana.
Again, Mei shook her head as she shook off those self-destructive thoughts again. Having thought about it some more again, she also realized that the Kiana she loved probably would be sad and angry at her darling senior acting as dumb as her and trying to be another Kiana clone.
Another little giggle escaped Mei, then, feeling silly but not discouraged, especially since she could imagine Kiana being all cute with happiness if she saw her darling senior cheering up.
And then Mei giggled a bit more as she saw herself in the mirror, also imagining herself braiding her hair like Kiana. Her beloved would definitely be flustered at the very least, thinking it rude but also beautiful, and then the both of them would laugh at the strangeness of it all.
“Let me help, Sister Mei.”
“Let me help, too, Sis. And leave this to us, Sister Mei.”
Then came Bronya and Seele, twisting and knotting Mei’s even longer hair more carefully than its owner did. Again, Mei put her hands down, smiling with closed eyes as she let her dear friends do the work.
Suddenly, there was that slow and gentle pinching that massaged her body part by part again.
Looking over her shoulder, Mei saw Rozaliya doing her self-appointed work, giving a thumbs-up and a grin as well. Liliya was also leaning on Rozaliya’s shoulder, mostly asleep.
There was also some rumbling on the bed behind them, but they didn’t pay that much mind.
Looking back at the mirror, Mei then saw the ridiculous sight of herself in braids once again. No matter what sort of style her roommates in all but name made them in, Mei couldn’t see herself rocking any one of them. Kiana, sure, but thinking about it some more, the maturity Kiana had gained would make such a style look weirder on her now. Maybe that was also why Bronya stopped wearing her hair in twin drills.
So after they all admired Mei’s more childish look for a few more seconds, the oldest in the room declared:
“I’d like to have a haircut.”
“Don’t even think about it, Rozaliya.”
And Mei, Bronya, and Seele laughed at the other Seele’s warning and Rozaliya’s pouting.
“Maybe Rita would be willing?” Mei then asked, earning surprised looks. “I know, I’ll have to apologize to her, too. I’ll beat her for real in an exhibition match, though, of course. Don’t worry, I won’t kill her.”
Again, there was laughter.
Then Mei noticed a smiling Theresa peeking from the quietly opened door to her room illuminated by the morning sun.
Mei smiled back, and then she felt an added layer of warmth sliding down her cheeks again, tears which she let flow again for a bit.
“Sister Mei. I had compiled our pictures from our Academy days before the Otto-Serpent War. If you wish to hold on to the compilation, then I would like to offer it to you, but if not, then I would like to continue my affectionate storage of the compilation.”
“In other words, Sis wants to look through this album with you at the very least if you don’t mind.”
“There’s this big-boobied woman who also used big swords like ours! She’s all cool and stuff! I think I’m gonna look like her someday, considering how I’m growing!”
“Hey, you were staring real good at that glasses lady too, Lili! We really should learn martial arts sometime, and I’m sure that Master Durandal can teach us that too!”
“What am I here, chopped liver? Oh, hey, spandex and diaper suits. Who even likes that stuff?”
Mei had been cleaning with her roommates one day when Bronya came in with a big book. And now…
“You know, if I were still crazier,” Mei told Bronya, “I probably would’ve beaten you up for taking these photos away from where I remembered them being.”
“I’m sorry, Sister Mei,” Bronya bowed.
“But I’m not that person anymore,” Mei continued. “And I don’t want to be that person again. Kiana wouldn’t like that, right?”
“You’re right, Sister Mei,” Bronya looked up with determination, and then a smile. “Kiana Idiotka wouldn’t like that.”
“Hey, what about Rozaliya Idiotka?” Rozaliya barged in.
“As usual…” Liliya put a palm over her growing smile.
“So thank you very much again, Bronya,” Mei continued with a bow, also making Rozaliya and Sin Mal bow to keep them from barging in and making noise any further. “You truly are a dear friend, and I don’t think I can ever say that enough.”
Bronya’s response to that was to hug Mei. And of course, everyone else joined in, with Sin Mal dragged along by Rozaliya.
“You’re all a pile of junk!” Sin Mal yelled again.
“We’re a precious pile of junk, indeed,” Mei followed up. “And I should get to cooking again.”
And then there was the click of a camera from outside the opened door to their room.
“Before you forget again,” Rita smiled as she lowered the camera. “Now, shall we prepare our dinner?”
Agreement resounded throughout the room, and they all left.
Mei left last, switching off the lights as well.
She also smiled and winked as she pointed a finger gun to the full moon beyond her room’s window.
“I win again, Kiana.”
Then she left with a giggle, picturing her beloved giggling back again.
Author’s Note: Considering Mei’s changes of allegiances as well and some good feedback on “Butterfly’s Flapping,” I recently started imagining how she might be right after Kiana saves the world. Also, I still haven’t gone back to actually playing HI3 (and I still haven’t even played Genshin some more). But I guess I’ve grown some considerable the attachment to them girls and their stories. Oh, and I was considering writing a scene with them being St. Freya teachers, but I now feel like that should be another story for another time, if there is such a time.