Only Time: Deja Vu

Chapter Four

By J. Marie


Warning!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17. I need more Tasuki pictures!! *runs off in chibi form to collect more Tasuki images like the rabid Tasuki maniac she is* He's just so damned cute!!! And so sexy!! How can he be cute and sexy at the same time?? *looks thoughtful* Oh, and the angst will start be flung into the pot in here, which will, hopefully, thicken my plot. Am I writing fanfiction or cooking a stew?


Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time

Who can say
why your heart sighs
as your love flies
- only time
And who can say
why your heart cries
when your love lies
- only time

Who can say
when the roads meet
that love might be
in your heart
And who can say
when the day sleeps
If the night keeps
all your heart

Night keeps all your heart

And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time

Who knows - only time

Who knows - only time

-- "Only Time" by Enya


Suzaku giggled, but not from his lover's lips traveling across his back. Seiryu, however, took this as a sign of encouragement, and moved down to where Suzaku's red wings joined his human form. The two Gods always seemed to enjoy lovemaking in their human forms, over their bestial forms.

Suzaku fluttered his wings in annoyance. "Seiryuuuuuuuu....... I'm trying to see into our Priestesses' world! Stop trying to arouse me!" the Phoenix God whined.

Seiryu sighed in annoyance. "And that is more important to you than me??" the Dragon God demanded, a dangerous hint of jealousy in his rumbling voice.

"Of course not. But this is really rich. You gotta see this. Nakago is going to Tamahome's home!" Suzaku cooed, kissing Seiryu softly on the lips.

"So?" Seiryu pouted.

"You know. Tamahome. Taka's son. Miaka's son. The reincarnation of Tamahome's powers, if not his soul. Remember?" Suzaku grinned.

Seiryu raised a blue eyebrow. "Your last Miko lives there?" Seiryu asked, his interest perking up. "The one Nakago tried to rape?"

"The very same, dearest. Here, I'll show you..." Suzaku smiled, and waved a delicate hand with long red fingernails. A red globe of light appeared and the center of it soon cleared, to reveal the world where their Priestesses dwell.

The Two Gods watched with interest as Nakago, whose cold expression was a bit sour, as if he'd been sucking on lemons, drove a nice blue convertible Porsche up in front a modest, comfortable house. He stepped out, wearing an iridescent blue shirt, and dark blue pants. He brushed back his blonde hair, obviously trying to decide if he should bother to stay or not. After a while he seemed to decide in favor of staying, but his expression became even more sour.

The tall blonde made it up the front steps and knocked on the door sharply four times. A light feminine voice called from inside. "Coming!!!" a woman cried.

Nakago was extremely unhappy looking by the time an auburn-haired woman opened the door. She was small, but her eyes were large and bright. The smile she was wearing faded rather quickly at the sight of her visitor. He was young enough to be her son, but a look of terror passed her countenance. She quaked where she stood.

Nakago blinked. He was used to women being attracted to him, not terrified of him. Perhaps she thought he was someone else. He attempted to give her a charming smile, though it was a bit strained due to his irritation at being here.

"Good day, honored madam. My name is Nakago. I'm here to study with Tasuki," the handsome blonde purred out in his smooth baritone, being as polite as possible.

She didn't scream. To the woman's credit, she didn't scream. She merely squeaked before her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out. Nakago caught her before she hit the ground and stared at the woman with a dumbfounded expression. He looked up at the doorway and sighed, kicked it fully open, and headed inside.

"Oh, that was good!!! That was too rich!! Did you see the look on her face???" Suzaku gasped in between fits of laughter.

Seiryu was near hysteria. "That was the funniest thing I saw since Nuriko was revealed to be a man!!! And she squeaked!! She didn't scream!! She squeaked!!!" the Dragon God laughed, tears rolling down his face.

"Oh, I have to hand it to Taiitsukun! Having our seishi reincarnated into the Priestesses' world is turning into a regular comedy!" Suzaku giggled in delight. The Four Gods loved a good laugh.

"And we thought Tetsuya being Suboshi's father was funny!!" Seiryu chuckled.


"Does this belong to someone?"

Tasuki and his friends looked away from the television, which was showing a new episode of Dragonball GT. At the doorway to the living room was Nakago, who was holding an unconscious Miaka in his arms. Tamahome sprung to his feet.

"What the hell did you do to my mother???" he yelled, enraged. His other six friends also stood up, their eyes narrowing in anger. Messing with Miaka-san was one of the few things that could get them to act together.

Nakago sighed. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tamahome's father, who froze when he saw Nakago holding his wife, and assumed a fighting stance. Nakago was well-trained fighter, but certainly had no desire to fight a full-grown man like Taka Sukunami.

"I didn't do anything to her, except perhaps, prevent her from cracking her skull on her foyer floor. I knocked on the door. She opened it. She squeaked like a bird does before it's squeezed to death. The she collapsed, and I caught her. Since it belongs to you, sir, might I ask that you remove it from my arms? It's heavy," Nakago sighed, and held out his arms, offering Miaka to Taka, Tamahome's father.

Taka didn't need to be asked twice, and took his wife into his arms. He inspected her even as she stirred awake, and found she had no wounds on her. He looked up at Nakago, looking the tall blonde boy in the eye. To his surprise, he found no malice.

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!" Miaka screamed, when she awoke and saw Nakago. She clung to her husband fearfully, her large eyes going impossibly wide.

Nakago blinked again. "What is your problem, woman??" he asked in an exasperated tone of voice.

"Miaka, calm down. He's not the same," Taka reminded his wife, who was now grabbing an umbrella lying nearby and preparing to use it on the young Nakago.

"It's him!! It's him!! It looks just like him!!" Miaka screeched, waving around the umbrella dangerously.

"Whoa!! Mom!! Chill out!! This is the extra guy I was telling you about. Tasuki's new study partner," Tamahome said in a soothing voice and snatched the umbrella out of his mother's hands and gave it to his father.

Miaka blinked and stared at Nakago for a moment. Vague memories of a child Nakago surfaced in her mind, and Yui's words came back to her. She reached out and poked him with her finger. Nakago did nothing except look at her like she'd lost her mind.

"You don't remember me?" she asked.

"I'm afraid not. Should I?" Nakago asked with a raised golden eyebrow. Tasuki came up to the doorway, and the others soon followed, out of plain curiosity.

"You don't remember Tamahome?" Miaka pressed.

"Of course I remember Tamahome. We've gone to the same school since kindergarten. I confess to not liking him, and perhaps to having started more than a few fights with him, but no harm was done. Not even a scar. And I assure you, madam, that it would be beneath me to be so rude as to start a fight with someone in their own home, when I am their guest," Nakago said stiffly.

Miaka and Taka blinked. Miaka looked sheepish and grinned sheepishly. "Uh, sorry. Thought you were someone else. A bad man. But you're not bad, so it's okay... Like chocolate chip cookies?" she asked cheerfully, trying to hide her sweatdrop.

"They're fine. Is it safe for me to sit down now? Will anyone else have a nervous breakdown if I do?" Nakago asked sarcastically, eying Tamahome's family wearily. Meeting them went to explain a lot about Tamahome's oddities.

"Oh, sure. Go study and have fun... Um, dinner will be ready within the hour..." Miaka giggled nervously. Taka just shook his head.

"Uh, this way Nakago. We're watching Dragonball until my mom gets done with dinner...." Tamahome said in a strained voice, leading Nakago into the living room.

"Are you aware that your mother is mentally unstable?" Nakago asked bluntly, sitting down in the offered seat, which was next to Tasuki, his partner.

"Uh, she's normally really nice. She doesn't normally do that..." Tamahome said with a strained smile. Tasuki was snickering behind his hand before Nuriko slapped him in the back of the head.

"I hope so. She looks dangerous with an umbrella...." Nakago smirked, apparently recovering from the shock of Miaka's outburst.

The group soon focused their attention back onto Dragonball, each stating his opinion loudly. Tasuki stretched himself on his area, presenting Nakago his back. The entire group all but ignored Nakago, who couldn't stand the inane dribble of Dragonball. A bag of cheese poofs were passed around, but never seemed to make it to Nakago. Tasuki seemed to forget he existed, despite the fact that Nakago's knee was only inches away from Tasuki's backside. The group conversation about Dragonball never included Nakago. He might as well not have been there.

Nakago did not like being ignored.

His jaw was working, and he was considering risking jamming his knee into Tasuki's ass just to get some attention until he caught little eyes peering at him. Nakago studied the pair of wide hazel eyes, and realized that they belonged to a young girl. A young girl who looked exactly like her mother, Miaka, only her eyes were not as large.

Nakago was bored and annoyed enough to attempt to be friendly. "Hello," he said in a soothing voice.

The eyes blinked at him, and a pretty girl revealed herself, and gave him a shy smile. "Hi," she said softly.

"I am Nakago. Who are you?" the blonde asked.

The little girl blushed slightly and stared at the floor. She couldn't have been older than nine, but Nakago would have placed her to be eight. "Yuiren," she said so softly Nakago had to strain to hear her.

"Are you Tamahome's little sister?" he asked idly. Something about her name sent a pang of mysterious guilt through his heart.

She nodded her head, and began twisting her shirt, staring at him shyly and blushing. Nakago realized the girl probably found him attractive. Instead of finding that amusing, it only seemed to make the mysterious guilt pang worse.

"That's a pretty necklace," Nakago said uncomfortably after a few minutes of silence between them. Little girls were one of the few things he knew nothing about.

Yuiren gripped it with a smile. "Thank you... My daddy bought it for me," she smiled.

"That was nice of him," Nakago said politely, as he wondered what was possessing him to be so nice. But the girl was almost pathetic in her shyness and her crush on him. And she created unexplained feelings of guilt in Nakago.

Yuiren seemed to say something before Tamahome screamed at her. "Yuiren!! What've I told you 'bout interrupting me when my friends are here?? You go away, you little brat!!" he hollered. Nakago jumped, startled.

Yuiren scampered away, looking slightly hurt. Nakago sighed, and realized he felt almost sympathetic towards her. He wondered if it was because she was his only form of entertainment, because he was getting soft, or if there was something else at work. He decided to ignore it.

Unfortunately, now he had nothing to do until dinner was ready. He certainly was not going to watch Dragonball and argue with Tamahome and Tasuki about whether Gohan or Trunks was better. Nakago sighed and pulled out his notebook, sketching out ideas for the project. He was almost relieved when Miaka-san came in, carrying trays of food.

Before Nakago could even get up to get food, Tamahome and his friends fell on the trays. The food smelled wonderful. Tamahome was telling his friends that as a girl, his mother almost poisoned his father once with her horrible cooking. None of his friends believed him. Nakago waited until the horde left with their plates, and then got his own, which he noticed was not as large as the others. He looked suspiciously at Tamahome, who indeed seem to have a very large portion on his plate. Nakago sighed and took his plate anyways, resolving to find a way to start a fight with Tamahome the next day about it.

Nakago began to eat his food before he paused, hearing atrocious slurping and chewing sounds. He looked over and saw Tasuki, who was slurping his food loudly, and chewing with his mouth open. Nakago made a face of disgust and reached out with a chopstick and poked Tasuki in the ear.

"Hey!! Whadja do that for??" Tasuki screeched, glaring angrily at Nakago.

"Chew with your mouth closed and stop slurping. It's making me ill. Who raised you? Wolves?" Nakago scolded.

Tasuki started to laugh and nudged Chichiri, who sat next to him on the other side. "Hey, Chichiri! This guy sounds just like you! Trying to turn me into a proper gentleman and everything!" Tasuki grinned, slurping his food again. Nakago's eye twitched.

"It's a lost cause, ya know. Like trying to teach Hotohori humility," Chichiri shrugged.

"I heard that," Hotohori said darkly.

"But he doesn't need humility! He's just so beautiful it wouldn't suit him!" Nuriko cooed, practically drooling over Hotohori, who took the compliment as his due.

"For the love of little apples, why don't you just zip him open and suck him off right now, Nuriko?" Tasuki asked snidely, grinning through his food.

Before Nuriko could leap across the room to strangle Tasuki, Nakago slapped the redhead on the back of the head so hard his chopsticks went flying. Nakago's eye stopped twitching.

"If I could teach Ashitare manners, then I can teach you manners. Number one. You will not slurp or chew with your mouth open in my presence. Number two. You will not speak of sex or sexuality during a meal. It's beyond rude. Number Three...." Nakago ordered, realizing that he had everyone's attention and stopped. To his surprise, everyone seemed to agree with what he had done to Tasuki. Except for Tasuki.

"Yeah? What's Number Three, your majesty?" Tasuki growled, rubbing the back of his head as he collected his chopsticks.

"I'll get back to you on Number Three and any other coinciding rules about your manners as we work together. I will not be partnered with a rude, obnoxious young man," Nakago said arrogantly.

"Too late," Nuriko said amicably, as everyone tittered.

Tasuki turned red in the face, looking enraged. "Why's everyone gotta pick on me??" he demanded.

"Because you're an idiot, ya know. Now eat your food," Chichiri said fondly.


"But why do ya gotta go and execute me fer cryin' out loud???"

Nakago favored the pretty redhead with disdainful glance. "Because, if you're the leader of bandits, it's my job as General of the Empire's armies to do so," he said simply.

All of Tasuki's friends were absorbed in their own projects. The discussions ranged from engaging, like Nuriko's and Hotohori's discussion on how the Imperial Court would dress, to almost hostile with Tamahome and Chiriko still arguing about who was going to who's sidekick. Only Chichiri and Mitsukake seemed to be getting any real work done. And somehow, references to each character almost became references to themselves. It wasn't "my character" so much as "I" now.

"But why???"

"Because bandits rape, steal, and murder."

"So do armies and their Generals."

Nakago gave Tasuki a look impossible to describe. Why couldn't he have been given a partner that was more submissive? Only Tamahome was more bullheaded. "Yes, but they're not raping, stealing, or murdering anyone in their own country," he sighed.

"Well, my bandits wouldn't be raping or murdering no one. We might beat some jerks up, sure, and get into some brawls of course, but we wouldn't outright murder anyone. And raping peoples is just wrong. So mostly we'd just be stealing," Tasuki shrugged.

"What sort of bandits are those? I've never heard of bandits that didn't rape or murder people," Nakago argued.

"They're my bandits! They do what I tell 'em, cuz I'm the toughest one of 'em all. See, I'll be called Genro, which means 'phantasm wolf'. I ran away from my evil sisters. All five of them. And the old bandit boss took me in cuz I'm cool and everyone likes me. And I grew up powerful and tough and strong and shit. I has these talismans, see, and-"

"This has nothing to with our discussion. And the fact remains that regardless of your real actions, rumors will spread and unease will settle over the land if the population thinks they will be robbed. So the Emperor would send his own armies and his trusted General, me, to hunt you down, to set the country at ease," Nakago interrupted.

Tasuki, who was never a fan of being interrupted, glared at Nakago. "But why the army? Wouldn't he have a police force or something?" he asked. Tasuki was showing signs of intelligence that Nakago had never suspected in the fiery redhead.

"Back in those days, martial law was in place. The army was the police force as well. And if the country is at war, or near war, then bandits would be considered an even bigger threat," Nakago said with authority.

"Okay, but then shouldn't you be fighting the war, not hunting me down?" Tasuki's intelligence was almost frightening Nakago, and he wondered if he'd completely underestimated his new partner.

"Near war, then. And you're suspected of treason."

"Would I at least get a chance to clear my name, if I'm caught?"

"You'll have an interrogation, of course. You'd have to be very convincing."

"I can be convincing," Tasuki grinned rakishly. His fiery red hair fell in his eyes almost seductively and Tasuki blew it out of his face, only for it to fall back in a few seconds. His golden eyes remained fixed on Nakago's, with the slightest challenge to them. It was almost endearing.

Nakago reassessed his opinion of Tasuki. Not knowing the redhead very well, and having little conversation with him before, Nakago had assumed Tasuki to be a hot-headed idiot, who didn't know when to shut his mouth. But after three hours of conversation about their project, and exchanging ideas, Nakago realized that Tasuki was quite intelligent. Clever, even. He was just loud, obnoxious, and lazy. And he put forth no effort in something that didn't hold his interest, like school. But in something that interested him, like this project did everyone, Tasuki put his heart and soul into it. And he fought for his stance, not backing down easily. Nakago almost admired Tasuki's stubbornness, and his passion. Nakago could be stubborn, but never passionate.

Nakago let a small smile creep on his lips. It appeared there was something worth effort, after all. Tasuki was certainly beautiful, not as stunning as Hotohori, or pretty as Nuriko, but he had his own beauty. A sort of sultry cuteness. An odd combination. He was sexy and adorable at the same time. Unlike the graceful Hotohori, effeminate Nuriko, or handsome Tamahome, Tasuki had an underlying sexual magnetism to him that intrigued Nakago.

Nakago enjoyed being intrigued.

So even as he continued to argue about minor details on their project with Tasuki, he began to formulate a plan to make the pretty redhead his newest possession.


Tasuki knew right when homeroom started that Nakago was up to something.

He wasn't exactly sure what it was. For some reason, Nakago had been reseated by him in every class. It almost unnerved Tasuki. He missed the comfort of Chichiri sitting next to him. Chichiri now sat next to Soi, who gave Nakago longing glances that would have embarrassed anyone else. Tasuki wondered why Nakago had moved, but thought it best not to press the issue.

Nakago was a very attentive student, and every time Tasuki tried to sleep or goof off, Nakago would give him an almost threatening glance that kept Tasuki awake. He didn't even dare try to peek under Suboshi and Amiboshi's table with Nakago next to him. The humiliation would never end.

And the odd thing was how Nakago's leg kept bumping against his. Tasuki found it disturbing. At first he thought nothing of it, but by third period, it was an almost constant thing. It apparently didn't disturb Nakago, who acted like their legs weren't even touching. But it bothered Tasuki. Every time he shifted in his seat to break the contact, it almost seemed Nakago went out of his way to have their legs touch. Tasuki licked his lips, wondering if he should say something.

It wasn't so much that he didn't want Nakago touching him. Tasuki was more worried that he might start to like it. Nakago was, without a doubt in Tasuki's mind, the most beautiful man he'd ever seen. But Nakago was also one of the coldest, and meanest people he knew. If Nakago noticed that Tasuki found him attractive, Tasuki knew he'd be ridiculed for the rest of his life. The thought that Nakago had somehow found out that Tasuki was gay, and was now trying to humiliate him was a possibility that Tasuki could not discount.

Instead of risking a vicious tongue lashing from the cold blonde by saying something, Tasuki shifted again, moving his thigh as far as possible from Nakago's without moving. This time, Nakago made no move to reestablish contact, apparently wrapped up in the arithmetic lesson that Tasuki was studiously ignoring. Tasuki breathed a sigh of relief. Why couldn't Nakago be just a little uglier?

A pencil rolled across the floor, coming to rest past Tasuki's side of the table. "Oops. I dropped my pencil. Would you be so kind as to retrieve it for me?" Nakago asked calmly, glancing over at where it lay for a moment. His voice sounded flat.

"You use a lot of words just to ask someone to pick up your pencil, Nakago," Tasuki sighed and turned to the side, bending over to pick up Nakago's pencil. He sat up just in time to catch Nakago's eyes snap quickly away from his ass. Tasuki wasn't sure, but the barest hint of a smirk seemed to be on Nakago's sensuous lips.

"Thank you," Nakago said primly as he took the pencil from Tasuki's grasp, not bothering to turn and make eye contact, but letting his fingers caress Tasuki's as he took it. Tasuki shivered slightly. He didn't know whether it was because the touch frightened him, or excited him.

"Uh, you're welcome... I guess..." Tasuki said nervously. The last thing he needed was to spring a boner just from Nakago touching his fingers. Maybe it was just his hormones that were causing him to take everything out of context. Because Nakago surely wasn't attracted to him.

The lunch bell rang and Tasuki, even during the day when the teacher was lecturing about word problems, had never been so grateful to hear it. He practically ran out of the room.

And missed seeing Nakago smirk seductively after him.


"Are you okay, Tasuki-chan?"

Tasuki looked up from his chocolate pudding and found his best friend, Chichiri giving him a worried look. His brown eyes always seemed so warm and affectionate. Nothing like Nakago's cold and disdainful blue.

"Uh, sure. Kinda. Well, not really. Actually, I'm pretty weirded," Tasuki sighed. Tamahome was arguing loudly with Nuriko about something to do with his hair. The rest of Tasuki's friends had taken no notice of Tasuki's sullen mood at lunch, except for Mitsukake, but he never asked.

"Wanna go outside?" Chichiri offered.

"Not really. It's not important. I just really need to get laid is all," he sighed and then sweatdropped, realizing what he'd just said.

Chichiri blinked. "Um.... well..... I can't help you there, ya know," he said in an odd voice. Tasuki realized that Chichiri might think he was hitting on him and a second sweatdrop appeared.

"Oh... It's not that.... It's not you, don't worry.... It's, um, other people..." Tasuki giggled nervously, waving his hand in hopes of relieving any of Chichiri's worries.

Chichiri's eyes wandered purposefully over to Tamahome, who Tasuki had confessed to having feelings for. Tasuki shook his head. "No... not him. It's just that I'm seeing things where things aren't. I mean, it couldn't be that. My hormones are making my brain work overtime," Tasuki grinned sheepishly.

Chichiri chuckled. "That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. But since your brain is dormant most of the time, it might be the only chance it has to actually work, ya know," the blue-haired boy grinned impishly.

"You're so funny, that I forgot to laugh," Tasuki said through a forced grin.

"That's old. We used to say that in elementary school... But anyways, if you want to talk, you know I'll listen," Chichiri smiled.

"Nah. It's not that important," Tasuki sighed. The last thing Chichiri wanted to hear about is how horny Tasuki was. Or how miserable he was at the fact that he was already sixteen and still a virgin. He hadn't even messed around yet, for the love of God.

Tasuki thought foresaw his future for that night at lunch.

Let's just say it involved stealing some more of his sister's new Final Fantasy VIII Seifer x Squall adult yaoi doujinshi and leave it at that.


The final bell rang, dismissing school for the day. Tasuki was relieved beyond words. Nakago's thigh had been constantly in touch with his throughout the day, but that was the least of his problems.

During fourth period, Nakago had dropped a paper on Tasuki's lap, and picked it up, his hand brushing Tasuki's crotch as he lifted his paper. For some reason the normally graceful Nakago, who'd never so much as fell off the monkey bars as a child, was awful clumsy that day. Tasuki had been forced to cross his legs and picture Ashitare naked to prevent himself from developing an erection.

At fifth period, Nakago had kept stretching his long arms, showing off his muscular chest through the thin material of his school uniform. Tasuki had to practically tear his eyes away from Nakago, to prevent himself from drooling. And Phys Ed was the absolute worst.

As if watching Nakago work out, shining with sweat, his beautiful body outlined through his PE uniform wasn't enough, Tasuki was forced to see Nakago naked. Well, forced to watch was not quite true. Forced not to watch was more like it. And when Nakago obviously ran his eyes over Tasuki's naked body, a small smile curving his lips, Tasuki was close to pulling out his hair in frustration.

Tasuki forced himself to stop watching Nakago when the beautiful blonde went to wash his genitals and silently turned his shower water cold as could be. If Nakago would just stop looking at him like a lion would watch a gazelle, and return to his normal cold arrogance, Tasuki would have been okay. But Nakago's eyes seemed to have lost the ice of cruelty, to be replaced with the fires of lust.

Tasuki hurried out of the shower when he was clean, quickly dressing himself. Not even two days ago, Nakago could have wilted Tasuki's raging hard-on with his cold glare. Now Nakago was causing the raging hard-on.

Confusion swept through Tasuki's mind. He disliked Nakago. All his friends disliked Nakago. He'd always disliked Nakago. But raw, naked physical attraction was clouding his mind. He wasn't use to Nakago acting almost... seductive?

It couldn't be that. Oh, no. Tasuki was just letting his sexual fantasies rule his reality. Nakago was just being himself. Tasuki was taking everything the wrong way. Nakago couldn't like other men, for one. Soi was his girlfriend. And Nakago couldn't be attracted to someone like Tasuki, for two. Tasuki wasn't beautiful like Hotohori, or pretty like Nuriko. He didn't even have Tamahome's masculine beauty. He was just himself. Sure he was good-looking, but that never seemed to attract anyone else. Nobody had ever taken an interest in Tasuki before, man or woman. Why should it start now? No one wanted him, no one loved him.

But... he was a man, too.

The thought seemed out of place in Tasuki's head. He couldn't attribute anything he was feeling to his present. It more like a buried memory, half-forgotten. A memory of not being loved. Of not being wanted. Of being left alone.

Because he was worthless. That had to be it. No one wanted Tasuki because he was just an idiot.

All his thoughts and feelings darkened, as if Tasuki had just unleashed a poisoned river that was deep within his soul.


Nakago's plan was working beautifully.

Nakago was enjoying his little mindgames, but his eyes caught Tasuki's expression as the redhead dressed. He was actually lost in thought (Will wonders never cease?) and he seemed frustrated. Nakago could easily attribute that to his own actions throughout the day. If Tasuki hadn't been sexually frustrated by now, Nakago would have been failing in his plan. And then Nakago caught a dark, troubled look on Tasuki's face. He's seen Tasuki happy, excited, angry, indifferent, and annoyed, but never had he seen the irrepressible red-haired beauty with such a dark look on his face. It was melancholy, and full of a quiet anger, the kind that is directed at one's self.

And Nakago finally realized as he slowly dressed himself, that Tasuki, despite his loud bravado, didn't seem to think much of himself. Perhaps he had at one point of his life, but that part of the redhead had been replaced with self esteem as low as the Los Angeles River in the middle of a drought. Tasuki seemed to be discounting Nakago's subtle come-ons as pure fantasy. It was as plain as day on his face.

Nakago became even more confused. What dark little secrets was Tasuki hiding from everyone? Why did someone as outgoing and as beautiful as Tasuki was, have no romantic interests by now? Even if he was a homosexual, as Nakago suspected from the way Tasuki watched Tamahome last night, surely Tasuki could have easily found himself someone to experience pleasure with. He could have sought it.

But instead of seeking relationships, Tasuki seemed to hold back, like a dog who had been beaten too many times would hold back from meat offered to it, for fear of being hit. It was almost like there was a dark undercurrent of self-hate and self-doubt underneath the fiery, yet compassionate young man named Tasuki.

Nakago blinked. He wondered how he knew this. How could he know this? Just from a facial expression?

But it was in the back of his mind. Like someone was whispering things to him he shouldn't know. A memory half-forgotten. How could he know these things? And most of all, why should he care?


Keisuke Yuki was studying the Book of the Universe of the Four Gods. He had been studying it since his little sister, then Miaka Yuki, now Miaka Sukunami, had been drawn inside the magic of it's spell, into the other world, over seventeen years ago.

It was the same tired script. He'd read it a thousand times, and actually experienced it more than a few times.

The book was glowing. He noticed it. Keisuke blinked.

"What in the world?" he asked aloud, into his empty bedroom. He still lived with his mother.

It was blinking red. Then blue. Then purple. Then blue again. Then red. Then purple again. The random color of the glow from the book dazzled Keisuke's eyes.

The pages he had been reading fluttered slightly. Then they rapidly turned, as if an invisible hand was turning them.

To the first page.

The text went blank. Miaka's story, Taka, then Tamahome's story, and everyone else’s adventure in the book was swept clean. Erased. The book was ready for a new story. Perhaps a new reader. Another Priestess perhaps?

Keisuke watched as kanji magically appeared on the first page. A paragraph. In Japanese no less. Modern Japanese. It stopped at the paragraph and refused to go any further. Keisuke almost felt as if the book was waiting. Waiting for the right reader. But who?

The still handsome man read the paragraph carefully, studying each word for any secret meaning or clue it gave him. Did it want a new Priestess? Or something else? He remembered the original first paragraph by heart.

"This is the story about a girl who got the seven seishi of Suzaku. She obtained omnipotent power and made every wish come true. The story itself is an incantation. Whomever finishes reading it, will receive this power. As soon as the page is turned, the story will become reality and begin..."

But no longer. The new paragraph read a little differently.

"This is the story of a girl who got the seven seishi of one of the Four Gods of the Universe. The story itself is an incantation, breathing life into a world created, but no less real for it's creation. As soon as the page is turned, the story will become reality and begin. The girl always changes, but the seven seishi of each of the Four Gods stay the same. Every hundred years, a new girl will enter the story, changing the cycle and maintaining the precious balance of the Universe of the Four Gods. Should ever the story be read by more than one person at a time, then the balance shall be disrupted and Universe of the Four Gods will be torn asunder, and evil shall surface from within, corrupting seishi, and losing great evils across the land. Only the most powerful of the seven seishi of each God may restore the balance, with the most sacred power of them all."

Keisuke swallowed. There was only one thing he could think of to say at a time like this.

"Oh, shit."


Nakago shook the odd thoughts that had been entering his head. He would go on with his original plan. Why should Tasuki's feelings be of any import to him? They were Tasuki's problems after all. Nakago would just take what he wanted and be on with his life.

He waited until the dark look passed Tasuki's countenance, and sauntered near the redhead.

"Hello, Tasuki," Nakago purred. Tasuki looked up from tying his shoelace and gave Nakago a cautious look.

"It seems we need to arrange another study period. Perhaps tonight?" Nakago asked casually. Tasuki was licking his lips nervously, his eyes not able to meet Nakago's.

"Sure, whatever. But Tamahome isn't gonna have guests again tonight, so I'm going to either have to dirty your home, or disturb you by bringing you to my house," the redhead said bitterly. Nakago blinked. Could Tasuki really be this sensitive? The beautiful hothead was far more complicated than first thought. Again he wondered why it mattered.

"I suppose it would be best for me to be disturbed rather than have my own home dirtied. We can study at your house," Nakago said lightly, trying to make a joke about it.

Tasuki didn't laugh. In fact, he looked dead serious. He stood up fully and picked up his backpack. "I'll have my sister roll out the red carpet. We'll even bring out the throne for you to sit on. See you at five, then," Tasuki said in an odd tone, his sexy voice becoming almost gravelly. He walked out of the gym without a backwards glance. Actually, stalked was more the word for it.

Nakago blinked. The bitterness, and the slight hurt on Tasuki's pretty face didn't escape him. He noticed everything. And he had a contingency for every plan. But Tasuki's reactions surprised him, even confused him. Tasuki had seemed so tough the day before, and now he seemed so vulnerable. Was everything about the young man a contradiction in terms?

And what would happen to Tasuki's precarious self-esteem while Nakago seduced him and then cast him aside, like he did all his other lovers? Would he crumble away into dust? The odd look in Tasuki's eyes, the dark, serious brooding look, almost disturbed Nakago. It was odd. For a man who'd never had a shred of compassion for other human beings before to be disturbed about some troubled teenage boy's issues. But there was something new in him. Something that whispered all the horrible things that would happen to Tasuki if Nakago continued with his little plan.

For the first time in his life, Nakago doubted himself.


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