She slips through the doors unnoticed, but somehow your eyes follow her the minute she enters. She is almost like a ghost - shimmering, growing, changing. The clothes fit her thing (though "well-endowed") frame perfectly. and there is a certain melody (even though the only sounds you hear are the soft gossipings of elderly women and the bustle of traffic in the distance) to the way she moves. This is a strange girl, who looks beautiful without an ounce of makeup (no, not even lipstick!), though the brand names hang all over her like an over adorned Christmas tree. She is stranger to you - you can barely make out a single distinct feature in her face. Nevertheless, you raise your hand just as she seems to have dimly recognized you, and hesitantly heads this way.

As she approaches you see that her eyes are the most beautiful hue of rainbow that could ever exist, and the tears streaking down her cheeks glitter like morning dew - though heaven knows how morning dew glitters, and naturally they only serve to deepen your interest in her, never mind that others who cry so devastatingly end up with blotchy noses and splotchy eyes.

"May I take this seat?" She parts her lips to speak, and all at once your heart jumps for joy at the rhapsody which could outshine Mozart, regardless of the fact that this is a fifteen/sixteen/seventeen year old girl with no knowledge whatsoever of music. Dismissing her polite, evidently-evidence-of-good-upbringing question, you wave her to the chair across you.

"I'm sorry, terribly sorry for intruding this way." she sniffs, ever so delicately that it pulls at your heartstrings, while dabbing at the corners of her eyes with a tiny, lacy handkerchief. Your sharp eyes reveal the initials M-S, sewed delicately at the edge.After being comforted and reassured that her presence serves to be of no disruption, the girl continues haltingly. "I suppose I'd better start... from the beginning. From, well, myself."

"I am Mary-Sue. Rather, I am the Mary-Sue, and I am here to look for trouble. Not here specifically, but definitely very special trouble, the type which I desperately need."

"You see, this is a precarious age for me. I need to learn, to grow... and apparently I can't do any of that - at least, not well enough - unless some trouble heads my way. You wouldn't know of any such possibility, would you?" Her young, adorable face lights up in hope, then falls. "No, I don't suppose so."

You smile regretfully and express your condolences, but she puts on a brave front and waves it all away. You can clearly feel the despair and fatigue deep within her, though, as if you were one and the same. Your curiosity gets the better of you, and you ask, "Why?"

She looks up, the tears still shimmering in her wide orbs of emotions, and glances to the side. "Why?" The word comes doubtfully from her mouth, popping like a well-formed bubble.

"Yes, why." You affirm, leaning forward. "Why look for all this trouble? Why be precarious?"

"Oh, that sort of why." She sighs, almost seeming relaxed for a moment - and it makes her beautiful. "I don't have a reason, really, but I do know how it began."

"It began with this boy. He's absolutely perfect - it's because of me, because I'm the protagonist, you see, and I'm perfect, I have to be. This boy and I, we could have met anywhere - it doesn't matter - but we meet by chance and then sooner or later, we fall in love. No matter how long it takes, or where we end up. And hat's where the trouble comes in - because without all that trouble, what do we fall in love over? So if I don't find that trouble, if I don't plunge headfirst into it without thinking, my entire life is ruined. Do you understand?"

You nod, trying to look as calm and sympathetic as possible.

"Liar." She states matter-of-a-factly. She knows, of course, the same way she knows everything else. It cannot be any other way. You sit there in companiable silence, you with your eyes directed at the slow-rising vapour of your warm beverage, and her gazing out of the frosted windows.

A little nervously, you break the silence. "Excuse me... I don't mean to intrude, but you don't seem to have told me why not. You know, like, why not leave? Why not pick someone else, someone who requires less trouble?"

She seems lost for a moment, then her eyes regain their clarity. "Oh. Oh, I see what you're getting at." She bites down on her lower lip tensely.

"Well, the thing is that, I cannot forsake this boy. It's nothing outstanding, just the fact that he was made for me." You open your mouth to protest, ready to argue vehemently about how teenage hormones muddle the mind and she hasn't seen quite enough of the world yet, but she stops you with a single cursory glance. :I know what you're going to say, and no, that's not it. I hadn't quite finished my my sentence there." She takes a deep breath. "He was made for me... literally." She adds firmly, her tone gentle but clearly confident of this fact. "It's not like I ever had a choice, or that I wanted it this way, but well, I am the protagonist, after all." Now her smile is sad and reluctant, her eyes so despondent you dare not lift your head to meet their gaze.

"No, I never wanted it this way. But she never does realise, does she?" Those sparkling rainbow eyes have taken on a determined, dangerous glint to them, now. "It's all her fault. The author. She doesn't listen, she doesn't understand, nobody ever does! I hate this! I hate being perfect! Nobody understands me!"

She has risen from her seat and her voice has risen a whole notch, the roomful of people staring at her not seeming to faze her in the slightest. Her well-manicured fingernails dig into the flesh of her palms uncontrollably, and she shoves away your touch of concern. "It's not fair, is it? It never is fair! Why do I have to be the perfect one! Why do I have to be the protagonist! I wish- I wish I was dead, then you'd all be simply overjoyed, wouldn't you!"

Spitting out every word furiously and with a last deafening cry of anguish, she storms out of the door, leaving a trail of butterflies and the scent of roses behind her, vanishing as suddenly as she had appeared. Within seconds, the silent room bursts into too-loud noises of nervous laughter and voices - anything to pretend she never existed.

Your arm, still outstretched towards where she once had been, goes limp as you lower it to your side. Sinking back into your chair, the world feels slightly unreal. What was that? Had she really left?

Should you go after her, you wonder, and for a minute it is all too tempting. But no, that notion exist with the flurry that she did. You sip at your home-brewed, mellow coffee. Pity. She was such an interesting, beautiful young girl. Just...

What has she said her name was, again?

A/N; The entire episode had originated from "I'm here to look for trouble. I'm the protagonist, you see, and..." Basically very breaking-the-fourth-wall-ish, but the idea of Mary Sues and all took a while to bloom. When they did, though, everything fell into place and wrote itself, with some awkward grammatical structures. I'm not very sure what this piece is. Subtle? Cynical? Self-depreciating? Whatever it is, it's pretty long and it started out as a voice in my head, so I'm still proud of it. (And myself, obviously.) This was so definitely worth staying up till three am to complete.