Only Time: Deja Vu

Chapter Eight

By J. Marie


Warning!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17. I received some questions and comments lately, so I will try to answer your questions. As to why Tamahome Jr. is experiencing his father's memories, please keep reading, and eventually, I will explain that, as the plot wears on. In this chapter, I will even get into a little of that. Just trust me, and all will become clear. I know what I'm doing, believe it or not. And for further information, I watched the dubbed version of the Fushigi Yugi anime. I loathe subtitles. Reading a movie makes my eye twitch. You're suppose to watch anime, not read it. And as for the quality of subtitles versus dubbed, dubbed isn't as bad as everyone says it is. The Japanese have a specific idea of what a certain character's voice would sound like, and poor little American me has another idea. I prefer the American voices. Tasuki's dubbed voice was sexy, gravelly, and very suited to his character. Tasuki's Japanese voice was.... weird. Funny, actually. It was too high-pitched, and he just didn't sound right (not to mention he talks too fast). And let's not even get into how much more annoying Miaka's Japanese voice is versus her dubbed voice. It was screechy and whiny in dubbed. It was ear drum piercing, and glass shattering in Japanese. *shudders to listen to her say "wai, wai"* It was... horrible!!!!!! *runs off screaming* I mean no offense to you subtitles-preferring-type peoples, but I just had to state my opinion there.


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


The red light was brighter than any had ever seen.

It flashed from the book, and seemed to almost envelop Chiriko in it's crimson glow the moment his finger touched the worn surface of The Book of the Universe of the Four Gods. Miaka felt a strange power in her, a familiar warmth. She stared at Chiriko, motionless, speechless, as immobilized as the others in the room.

The young man was completely silent even when his body flew back into the wall, red lightning crackling around, through, and inside his body. Chiriko's bright green eyes were completely red, burning with power. On his left foot, even through his sock, his seishi symbol, "Stretching", was glowing a brilliant red.

Keisuke felt an instant wave of guilt, although he was powerless to stop what was happening. Whatever was happening to Chiriko was his fault, and if the boy died, then that would be his fault as well. Yui was pale, her hand clutching her throat, and Tetsuya's sunglasses were slipping to the floor.

Miaka stood up, dizzy from the sudden rush of power, and her eyes caught on her husband. He was completely still, and his eyes burned red as well. The symbol of the Ogre, Tamahome's seishi symbol, was lighting up on his forehead. Miaka gasped, turning to her husband, Chiriko's peril forgotten.

Taka was in a stupor, and completely disconnected from reality. Miaka shook her husband, even as Keisuke began to sob, wondering if the sweet boy he had grown to like would die because of his earnest to learn about the book.

It was at that moment that Chiriko began to scream.


Yuiren was leaning against her pillows on her bed, frowning at the thought of being forced to stay inside. She felt so silly for what had happened. If she had been paying better attention to her surroundings, then Nakago wouldn't have had to risk his life to save her. It was embarrassing, really.

The door opened, and Yuiren looked up. She smiled wide at her big brother, who was carrying a tray full of food, and a wrapped present for her on a tray. He was grinning his big, wide grin for her.

"Hey, Yuiren, I brought your favorite!! And a present!!" Tamahome said brightly.

Yuiren opened her mouth and then her eyes grew wide as he paused, his eyes growing distant, and glowing a bright red. On his forehead, the symbol of the Ogre glowed red. The tray slipped from his hands, the food spilling onto the floor, the plate cracking as hit the floor. The present flopped upside down, and Tamahome stood motionless, as if transfixed.

Yuiren began to cry.


"........ I........"


"Nuriko. Please stop."

"But.... Hotohori..." Nuriko began, chewing on his bottom lip. He was wearing a red dress, his make-up impeccable. Nuriko had washed his long purple hair, braided it, and his rich purple eyes glittered with unshed tears.

Hotohori sighed, his long black hair rippling with the effort. He was wearing expensive clothes, as beautiful as ever. "Nuriko, you really should get your priorities straight. Just because I agree to have sex with your periodically, doesn't mean we have a steady relationship. On the contrary, while I think you're a lovely woman... man... whatever.... you're not what I'm looking for. I know I'll meet the perfect woman one day. So please stop begging me to move out with you," the youth said in his gentle voice, though it was a bit strained.

"You.... don't... love me?" Nuriko whispered, drawing back from Hotohori as if stung.

"Of course not, Nuriko. I like you as a friend, but I-"

Hotohori never finished his sentence, and Nuriko never got to shed a tear.

For at that moment, Hotohori's neck glowed red, with the symbol of the Star. His eyes filled with a scarlet glow. Nuriko's hands, which had been going to cover his face before he sobbed, fell to his sides at the same moment, as the symbol of the Willow glowed brightly on the left side of his chest, near his heart. His eyes had the same red glow, and Nuriko and Hotohori both stood as if hypnotized.

The room grew silent.


"........... am.........."


"I really mean it, no da."

"Well, I had suspected as much, Chichiri, but I don't know why you're coming to me about this," Mitsukake said in his deep monotone, rumbling like a tiger. He was sitting on his bed, surrounded by anatomy books, petting one of his many cats that crawled around his bedroom.

The light blue-haired young man sighed, blowing his bangs from his face. "Because you're the only mature friend I have, ya know. I just get this bad feeling about Tasuki being with Nakago. Nakago is going to take advantage of him, and we both know Tasuki's not as tough as he acts. I keep thinking Tasuki's going to die, because of Nakago," Chichiri sighed, his handsome face troubled.

"You think Nakago would kill him?" Mitsukake asked in surprise.

"No. Not that. I don't think Nakago would kill him, but I have this feeling because of Nakago, he's going to die. I had a dream last night.... I was staring into his eyes, but they were dead. There was a puddle of blood all around him, and Nakago was holding him."

Mitsukake was silent, but not because he had nothing to say. The palm of his left hand glowed red with the symbol of Sadness. At the same moment, Chichiri's right knee glowed red with the symbol of Well. Both of them stood unnaturally still, and their eyes glowed red.

Mitsukake's cats ran from the room, terrified.


"......... a.........."


Nakago had been shown where Tasuki was by Junko, who seemed happy to see him.

"He's been kinda mopey today. Cheer him up for me. He won't talk to me," Junko had told him.

Nakago doubted Tasuki had held his peace from his older sister, and was positive she was just trying to put Nakago in the proper frame of mind to deal with her temperamental little brother. The tall blonde stepped outside from the back door, looking around for the fiery redhead.

The pretty redhead was fixing a shutter on the outside of the house, pounding away at nails with his hammer, his face in a grimace of unhappiness. His fiery red-orange hair, while not really long, was wild enough, and long enough to be pulled back messily. His golden eyes were narrowed and it almost seemed he had a personal grudge against the nails he was hammering. It was hot outside, and since Junko had forced the boy to make repairs on the house, Tasuki's tank top was tucked into the back pocket of the ratty pair of jeans he wore. Sweat glistened off his toned, yet slender body, and Nakago appreciated the sight.

The handsome blonde cleared his throat politely to get Tasuki's attention. Tasuki angrily swung away from his task, holding the hammer in a fist, and opened his mouth to scream at Junko, then his mouth closed abruptly, while his eyes widened, to discover that it was Nakago who interrupted him, not his sister, as he had thought. Nakago attempted to give Tasuki what he thought was a charming smile, while Tasuki grimaced, noting that Nakago's normally intimidating countenance only seemed to grow more intimidating when he smiled.

Before either young man could speak, both were struck speechless, for different reasons. Nakago's true blue eyes widened as Tasuki's right forearm glowed red with the symbol of Wing, and his eyes reflected the scarlet glow. The hammer slid from Tasuki's grasp, bouncing off his foot, but the redhead didn't even flinch in pain, his consciousness elsewhere.

Nakago almost felt frightened.


"....... SUZAKU WARRIOR!!!!!!!!"

Miaka flinched, her eyes sliding from her comatose husband, memories of Chiriko as a child killing himself to save her, surfacing at the familiar statement. All eyes in the room were fixed on the screaming Chiriko.

The boy's hands were raised, clasped together as if he held something, and he made a singular thrust into his own chest, as if he was stabbing himself. Chiriko gave a small cry, and began to gasp for breath, collapsing to the ground.

Tears sprung to Miaka's eyes, and she began to sob, the scene of Chiriko's courageous sacrifice replaying in her mind. The red lightning stopped its course through the boy's body, and the room went still but for Keisuke and Miaka's sobs. Keisuke cursed himself for letting the youth touch the book.

The suddenly Taka blinked.

And Chiriko sat up, shaking his head slowly, his eyes green again.

"Hey...... I'm alive!!!" Chiriko said brightly, staring at his chest, as if he expected to see a gaping hole there.

"Of course you're alive, Chiriko," Taka smiled, the only person in the room who wasn't close to a nervous breakdown. "You've been reincarnated, like I was."

Chiriko stood up, looking up from his chest, which he ascertained to be whole. "Exactly. It's most odd, remembering two different lives, isn't it? I can remember my whole life here in Miaka-sama's world, and my whole life back in the book!!! Too weird!!" he exclaimed, acting as if nothing strange had happened to him.

Taka was also unperturbed, as if he just hadn't seemed to go comatose for a minute. His seishi symbol had completely disappeared, while Chiriko's was still glowing a merry red. "I know it's weird. Especially when I try to remember that I don't have my powers anymore," Taka smiled.

Chiriko blinked. "Really? I have mine. Why don't you have yours? That doesn't make sense," he said, obviously trying to figure it out.

"Well, Taiitsukun said I was a normal human again, so I kept my memories, but lost my powers."

"Wait!! Tamahome! Yes, I understand! Tamahome has your powers!! After all, he is Tamahome," Chiriko giggled.

Taka sweatdropped. "You lost me. I'm Tamahome. Well, I'm Tamahome's reincarnation. My son was named after me, or rather my soul."

"Oh, your powers had to go somewhere, Taka. That's the best I can understand that without being able to confer with Taiitsukun on the matter. I don't know everything, and the ways of the Gods, and the Creator are mysterious, even to me," Chiriko said brightly.

Miaka, who had recovered her wits, spoke. "So, basically, you're telling me that not even you know why Tamahome had one of Taka, er, Tamahome, er, his father's memories??"

"Um, yes. That's what I'm saying. It doesn't make sense. Unless Tamahome has some sort of weird ancestral memory thing. Or a psychic connection to Taka. I'd really have to defer to Taiitsukun on that one," Chiriko said.

"Dammit, and me without a Taiitsukun in my pocket," Tetsuya said sarcastically.

Yui and Keisuke giggled nervously, the last to recover from the odd episode they had just witnessed. "So.... you're alright, then, Chiriko?" Keisuke asked dumbly.

Chiriko smiled. "Of course. I'm better than ever. I have my seishi powers, but this time, I'm not a helpless kid. So, Keisuke-sama, what is it you wanted me to see?" the adorable youth said, turning to the older man, who was still trembling in relief.

"T-the b-book," Keisuke stammered, thinking he had just aged about fifty years in five minutes.

Chiriko nodded and sat crosslegged before the book, which no longer glowed, but sat innocently on Keisuke's table, like any other book. The boy opened it to the first page, reading the paragraph, and frowned after a few minutes. By this time, Tetsuya and Keisuke had recovered their wits enough to gather their notes and reference material, placing it by Chiriko.

"So, what are you thinking, Chiriko?" Taka said after a while.

"I'm thinking when I go to school again, I'm going to punch Miboshi in the jaw. And knee him in the groin. I almost wish he remembered what he did, so I could hold the rat bastard accountable for it," Chiriko said calmly, his odd way of speech accenting the "i" in his words.

Taka chuckled. "That wasn't what I was asking. Now you know how I feel about Nakago. But now....." he trailed off.

"Yes, but now. Nakago saved Yuiren. I was right there," Chiriko nodded in understanding.

Taka nodded and fell silent, as both he and Miaka contemplated what could have happened to their daughter had Nakago not been there.

Chiriko turned to Keisuke and Tetsuya, glancing at the books they had brought him. "Reference materials? If you have more, I'll need them. Living inside the book gives you a completely different perspective. Anything you have, no matter how insignificant you might think it is," he told the older men.

"But what do you make of the paragraph so far, Chiriko?" Yui asked while the men scrambled around, collecting any information they had lying about. Taka and Miaka joined hands.

Chiriko's pouty lips tugged into a frown. "I think that the Universe of the Four Gods is in trouble, and I have to figure out how to help them. But the question is, am I willing to awaken the Seiryu seishi to get access to better information?"

Yui swallowed and looked down. Tetsuya stared at Keisuke's wall, while Taka and Miaka exchanged a glance.

"Nakago's a good person, way down deep. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have saved Yuiren. Even Miboshi's not so bad. Sly, manipulative, scrupulous, and selfish, yes. But evil? No. But if I awaken them, and their lives blend, like mine have, will that change? Should Nakago touch the book, would he return to trying to destroying everything in his path? Will Miboshi resort to attacking children heartlessly? Will Suboshi become a violent psychopath again? Do we really want to risk that?"

Both Yui and Tetsuya winced at the mention of their son. But neither spoke.

"No," Taka said after awhile. "We won't risk it. I forbid it. I'm not making this decision out of fear of the Seiryu seishi's powers, either. I'm doing this for their souls. Nakago almost died to save my daughter. The least I owe him for that, is to prevent that boy from having to suffer what he suffered in his past life all over again. When I held Nakago's heart in my hand, I saw parts of his life. I saw why he did what he did. I was glad I killed him, though. I didn't cry for him. I cried for who he could have been. I cried for the pain a little boy had to suffer through no fault of his own. I won't allow anyone here to allow Nakago, or any of the other Seiryu seishi to be corrupted again. They don't deserve that."

Chiriko nodded. "I agree. Which means, that you're going to have to give me some time to research everything."

"We'll help you by telling you all we know, Chiriko. For some reason, Suboshi and Amiboshi were reincarnated as my children. And I love them as such. They died for me once, and now I would die for them if it came down to that. Anything that can keep my sons as innocent as they are now, I will do," Yui said firmly.

"I hope things don't resort to that, Yui-san," Chiriko said sadly.


Tasuki blinked, the odd red glow disappearing from his eyes and his arm.

"T-tasuki?? Are you alright?" Nakago said in a weak voice, shocked enough to stammer.

Tasuki blinked again, his awareness returning to him. He opened his mouth. "OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!!!!! My foot!!!" he screamed falling to the ground and clutching the foot that the hammer had dropped on. Nakago sweatdropped.

"What the fuck is all this screaming about???" Junko demanded loudly, stepping out the back door, her hands on her hips. "Did you hurt my baby brother, Nakago??"

Nakago turned to her. "I didn't lay a finger on him. He dropped a hammer on his foot," he said quickly. He had no doubt Junko would happily find a way to hurt him should he have hurt her "baby brother".

"OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!!!!! I think I broke it!!!" Tasuki screamed repeatedly. Nakago wondered if he was doing it to keep Junko nearby.

"What a baby!" Junko said with a smirk, staring down at Tasuki, who was curled up in pain, holding his injured foot.

Tasuki glared up at her, continuing to scream loudly. Nakago tried desperately not to smirk, but he knew he was failing.

"Oh, fer the luvva Christ!! Pick him up, blondie, and dump him on my lounge chair," Junko said, walking over to her patio set and clearing her lounge chair.

Tasuki began to protest, but Nakago quickly and effortlessly lifted the redhead in his arms, and placed him gently on the lounge chair. Junko still had her hands on her hips.

"Take off his shoe, will ya? I don't feel like getting kicked," Junko said sarcastically.

"So it's alright if I get kicked?" Nakago asked with a raised eyebrow.

"He won't kick you. He knows how I feel about guests in my house being kicked. Take off his shoe, please," Junko smirked.

Nakago shrugged and made a move towards Tasuki, who hid his feet. "Don't let him touch me again!!" Tasuki screeched at the top of his lungs. Nakago sighed.

"Well, judging by the wet spots I found on your sheets a couple days ago, I doubt you minded terribly the first time. Now, be still, and let him take off your shoes, so I can see if your foot is broken, baka!!" Junko growled. Tasuki blushed and slid his feet out, but turned his face so he wouldn't have to look at Nakago.

Nakago smirked, and pulled the shoe from Tasuki's injured foot. Tasuki winced and whimpered. Junko bent over it, clucking her tongue like a mother hen. Nakago noted the red and purple discolorations. Tasuki's whole foot was swollen. Junko lifted it, and began to feel the bones, causing Tasuki to scream and shout in pain. Nakago wondered how much of that was show, and how much was real.

"Did he break his foot?' Nakago asked.

"Nope. But he sure bruised the hell outta it. It's all swollen and puffy. He's gonna have to stay off it for today. I'll go get you some ice for your foot, Tasuki," Junko said and left before Tasuki could protest much. The sullen redhead crossed his arms and made it a point not to even look in Nakago's direction.

"Still mad at me?" Nakago asked lamely. Tasuki turned his face long enough to favor Nakago with a fiery glare before turning his head again.

"I see. Well, you have every right to be mad at me. I hit below the belt," Nakago said carefully. Tasuki snorted.

"Last night didn't come out right. I screwed it up. Let me make it up to you," Nakago said, trying his best to sound casual.

Tasuki turned his face, his golden glare having softened slightly. "Why? Are you my stalker now? Why don't you just leave me alone?" he asked in a scathing tone.

Nakago had a million answers for that. He could be charming, he could be insulting, he could be whatever he wanted. But none of that worked on Tasuki. So Nakago decided to tell the truth. After all, it seemed to work better for him.

"I like you. You intrigue me," Nakago said simply.

Tasuki blinked, obviously not expecting that answer. He opened his mouth, then closed it. His cheeks reddened and he turned his face.

"And you like me for the same reason. Admit it," Nakago smirked.

"Fuck you," Tasuki swore, disliking being read so easily.

"Maybe later."

Tasuki snarled, but before he could retort, Junko came out, holding a bag of ice for Tasuki's foot. She was grinning smugly. "You two worked out your differences yet?" she asked idly, placing the ice bag on Tasuki's swollen foot, causing him to squeal at the sudden cold.

Nakago wondered if she'd heard the whole conversation. He suddenly got the feeling that Junko knew everything that happened in or around her house. "Not quite. Once he realizes I'm God, we'll get along perfectly," he added with a smirk.

Tasuki shivered slightly. That statement did not sit well with him. It reminded him of those odd memories and dreams he would get. Junko laughed, tending Tasuki's bruised foot.

"Alright, champ. You are officially restricted to laying around while I serve you hand and foot today. Oh wait, that's what we do everyday," Junko said sarcastically. Tasuki grinned. Nakago chuckled.

"Well, would you like to hang out, listen to him bitch and moan about his foot, and maybe watch some movies?" Junko asked Nakago.

Nakago smiled to himself. Junko was really trying hard to get them together. He wondered why. "I would be honored," he said drolly.

"I love how everyone talks about me in front of me like I'm some retarded child. Howsa come you don't ask me if I want him to stay? What if I wanted him to leave, huh?" Tasuki bitched loudly.

"Of course you want him to stay. I don't have to ask you anything. Practically every emotion you have is plastered across your face. Nakago, pick him up and put him on the couch. I'll start lunch," Junko said amicably and headed inside. Tasuki began to swear under his breath.

"If you really want me to leave, I will," Nakago offered.

Tasuki sighed, grumbling some. "You piss me off a lot, Nakago. But sometimes, I just get the feeling that there's more to you than just some arrogant, smug little rich boy. Alright, I admit it, I kinda like you. Just don't piss me off again, or I swear, I'll personally beg the teacher to be partnered with Tomo, and I'll never speak to you again as long as I live. You're on probation!" Tasuki said through his fangs.

Nakago smiled seductively. He really did like the way light would glint off Tasuki's odd little fangs. It turned him on. He leaned down in Tasuki's face, grinning wickedly. "Kawaii," he said simply, flicking out a tongue and brushing it against Tasuki's fangs, startling the redhead and causing his fangs to recede. Nakago snickered and gently lifted the redhead in his arms, carrying Tasuki to the couch as ordered.

Junko, who was peeking through the curtains of her kitchen window, grinned to herself.


"So tell me blondie, how'd an American boy like you get in Japan anyways?" Junko asked bluntly. They were half-watching a movie in Junko's living room.

Nakago sweatdropped. He could see where Tasuki got his tact, or rather his lack there of, from. "I was adopted," he said simply.

"Wow. There's a lot of details in there. He almost told us his whole life story," Tasuki said sarcastically.

Junko was still staring at him curiously. Nakago sighed. He never really talked about himself, but now he had Tasuki and his older sister waiting expectantly for him to do so. He was a private person, but neither the redhead or his loud-mouthed sister were. Junko smirked after a minute, realizing that Nakago wasn't talking.

"Alright, I'll tell you about myself first. I was born in America, even though both my parents were from Japan. When I was ten, my parents divorced, and mom went back to Japan. I stayed with my dad until I was eighteen, when I got a call that said my mom had died of cancer, and I had a three-year-old little brother who needed someone to take care of him. The bitch never called me to tell me she was dying, never called me to say she got pregnant again, and that I had a little half-brother. When I got here, I found Tasuki living with my aunt, huddled up in in a corner of the little room she gave him. She's a bible-spouting bitch, and he's terrified of her."

Tasuki was frowning, his arms crossed. His foot was lying on the coffee table, with a bag of ice on it. "I ain't scared of nothin' or nobody, 'cept for her! She's as fat as an elephant, and always made me pray for forgiveness for my sins, just cuz I would accidentally knock her shit over! I think she needs to pray for forgiveness of the sin of gluttony," Tasuki growled.

"Imagine me, all of eighteen years old, saddled with this little redheaded kid that looks nothing like me, cuz my mom decided to shag some American. He had to be fed three times a day, taught how to take a bath, potty-trained, cuz yes, my mother never got around to that. I went from America, where I was free and happy, to Japan, where I was some little kid's new mommy. It took a while for me to get used to Japan. I mean, I may be pure-blooded Japanese, but Japanese is my second language," Junko said.

Nakago chuckled. "I'm pure-blooded American, but English is my second language," he offered.

"Hey, now we're getting somewhere!" Tasuki grinned.

"So why were you adopted by Japanese people, anyways?" Junko pressed.

Nakago stiffened, but then he sighed. "My parents wanted the novelty of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired child. For Japanese people born and bred, they're remarkably American-ized. I was another step towards being more American," he said in a chilling tone.

Tasuki frowned. Nakago's life didn't sound like it had a whole lot of love. Junko also frowned, thinking along the same lines. "Do you know who your real parents are?" Junko asked gently.

"My mother died shortly after I was born. She was sickly from what I've been told. I have no idea who my father is. I assume I must have one, since I doubt I'm an immaculate conception," Nakago said dryly.

"Hey, that's my line!" Tasuki complained.

"You and Tasuki do have something in common after all. Neither of you have any clue who you're real father is. My mom, and I ain't ashamed to say it, was something of a whore. She'd spread her legs for almost any guy who'd ask. My father married her because she got pregnant with me. And divorced her for sleeping around on him. From what I've gathered, she had no clue who Tasuki's father was either. She loved fucking American men," Junko said bitterly. Tasuki was silent.

"You're still angry at her for leaving you," Nakago observed.

Junko snorted. "Yeah. She did it twice. I never got to say goodbye either time. But at least she left me this brat. I'd be lonely without him," Junko smiled and ruffled Tasuki's hair, causing him to protest loudly.

Nakago worked his jaw. It was stupid to be jealous of Tasuki for Junko. Despite Nakago's riches and the personal freedoms his parents gave him, it seemed Tasuki had everything he wanted. Junko loved Tasuki. Tasuki loved Junko. The only person who loved Nakago was Soi, and her love was more adoration and worship, not real love, like the love of family.

"Awwwww....... " Junko giggled, noting the look on Nakago's face. "Do you want me to mess with your hair, too, Nakago?"

Nakago blinked. "What?"

Junko giggled, trying to lighten the moment. She whispered something to Tasuki, and within a minute, Nakago was tackled and pushed over on the couch, his long golden hair being tousled and ruffled by Tasuki and his older sister.

"Hey!! Stop!!! My hair!!" Nakago complained, finding himself laughing, he sat up, causing Tasuki to slide onto the floor, wincing as his foot was jostled. Junko got behind Nakago, and seized his hair in her hands, and then held it up like she was giving Nakago pigtails.

"Look, Tasuki!! Pigtails!!" Junko shrieked, and Tasuki burst into laughter. Nakago shook the small woman off him, throwing her into one of the other chairs, where she landed, giggling, on the cushion.

Tasuki took his bag of ice, opened it, and flung it all over Nakago. "See?? I told you he was the Ice Man!! Now I got proof!!" Tasuki giggled, pointing at Nakago.

Nakago sighed. "Infantile pranks. Juvenile dispositions. Immature actions," he sighed, standing up with great dignity. Tasuki and Junko blinked. Why was he getting all huffy?

Then Nakago suddenly grinned wolfishly, and grabbed Tasuki, picking him off the floor. With the other arm,. he picked up Junko, who had only just started to run. Both of Nakago's captives were shrieking in false protest. He ran for the nearest bathroom, and pinned Junko to the wall, freeing that arm to turn the water on cold. He then promptly tossed brother and sister under the freezing water.

Tasuki sputtered, his bright red hair flattening against his head. Junko's black make-up began to run under the water. Nakago looked quite pleased with himself. "Ya jerk!!!" Tasuki yelled at Nakago.

Junko elbowed Tasuki, and gave him a meaningful glance, and after a minute, the brother and sister reached out and pulled Nakago into the tub as well, soaking his expensive clothing, and mussed blonde hair. Nakago sputtered and squirmed, surprised to have been able to be pulled in.

He'd never had this much fun before in his whole life.


"I thought she said she could last longer than either of us?"

Tasuki glanced over at his sister, who was curled up in her chair, sleeping peacefully, her long black hair strewn over her face. "She's a goddam liar. Junko's the first to go to sleep, and the last to wake up," Tasuki chuckled. He was lying on the couch, his foot propped up, with a new bag of ice on it. It was already looking much better and the swelling had gone down.

"Well, I thought she'd be able to stay awake for the Record of Lodoss War marathon. We're almost through," Nakago shrugged. He was sitting in Tasuki's favorite chair again, only with permission.

"We've both seen 'em all, a million times. It's not like she's missing anything," Tasuki shrugged, yawning.

"Well, we have to go to school tomorrow, so I suppose I'd better get home. It's already 3 am," Nakago said quietly. He didn't say anything else. He'd learned his lesson. He was going to let Tasuki stop him, if Tasuki wanted him to stay.

"Yeah... But it's so late..... You could always stay in my room. I mean, we take the same bus and everything," Tasuki said, his fangs shyly peeking out beneath his upper lip.

"True," Nakago said in a even tone, and managing not to grin. The cynical part of him wanted to know when he would grow bored of Tasuki, like he did of all his lovers. He ignored it. No sense on dwelling on tomorrow, when he had today.

"I'd even let you sleep in my bed, as long you kept your hands to yourself," Tasuki offered, and Nakago could see him blush even in the dark room.

"Are you sure you want me to keep my hands to myself?" Nakago asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Um, well....... Look, I don't want to do certain things..." Tasuki sighed, blushing deeper.

"Whatever you're okay with, I'm okay with," Nakago said gently. Where did this side of himself come from? Since when did he care about another's desires?

Tasuki sighed. "Alright.... Well..... Um... I guess we should go to bed," he said in a nervous voice, and turned off the television. Nakago wondered how Tasuki could go from wanton to nervous so quickly.

"I'll carry you, so you don't mess up your foot on the stairs," Nakago said and picked the redhead up in his arms, heading for the stairs before Tasuki could protest.

In her supposed "sleep", Junko smiled to herself.


Tasuki came out from his shower trembling slightly.

He was angry with himself. Why was he acting like this? Any sane gay man would eagerly hop into bed with Nakago. But Tasuki was acting like a woman, reluctant to give up her virginity, unsure if it was to her true love or not. Was Tasuki being stupid, or feminine in his desire to have his first time mean something? It drove him crazy.

Nakago was in his room, sitting on the bed, holding a picture of Junko holding Tasuki in her arms at age four. He looked sad, almost, staring at the picture. Tasuki licked his lips.

"Why the long face?" he asked gently.

Nakago looked up at him, and Tasuki was surprised to find real emotion in Nakago's blue eyes. He set the picture back on Tasuki's dresser reverently. "You're very lucky, Tasuki. Very lucky," he said softly, and Tasuki could almost watch the ice visibly cover the depths of the blonde's eyes.

Tasuki swallowed. "Why? Why am I so lucky?" he pressed. Delicacy was not his strength.

"I'll go take my shower now, if you don't mind," Nakago said abruptly, and turned from Tasuki, heading into the bathroom. Tasuki sat down in his bed, sighing to himself. He exchanged the towel wrapped around his waist for a pair of boxers and shirt. Then Tasuki lay back on his bed, pondering the mystery that was Nakago.

Nakago fascinated him. He was like an onion. Once Tasuki peeled back a layer, there was another waiting to be peeled. He was overbearing, dominating, smug, selfish, and a perfectionist. Everything about him should have put Tasuki off. But it seemed to only make him want to peel off another layer of the onion that was Nakago.

After a while, Nakago came out in a towel as well, the water running down his back and chest. Tasuki tried not to stare. He wouldn't be having as many problems with Nakago if the blonde had the decency to be a little uglier.

"Am I allowed to sleep in the nude, or must I wear clothing?" Nakago asked, smirking slightly. Tasuki couldn't decide if Nakago's smirk was endearing or annoying. Maybe both.

"I haven't said-" Tasuki began before he was cut off.

"I know you haven't said. But I detest clothing while I sleep, and anyways, I don't have a change with me. But I don't want you to blush so bright all night I can't sleep from the red glare off your cheeks."

Tasuki sighed. "Fine, whatever. Sleep naked, I don't care," he grumbled, his eyes glued to Nakago's shapely body as he dried himself off quickly, and sat down on the bed. Tasuki reached over and turned out the light, deciding that seeing a naked Nakago might be too much for his hormones to handle.

"Out of curiosity, Tasuki, why did your arm start glowing red this morning?" Nakago asked after a few minutes of silence in the dark.

Tasuki was silent. "Did it?" he asked idly.

"I'll say."

"I don't know, but it felt like part of me had woke up. I felt so calm and Zen today," Tasuki said in an odd voice.

"I noticed. You were very calm, for you at least. Almost subdued, I'd say."

"Well, now we're even. My arm glows red and your forehead glows blue."


The young men fell silent again, both filled with their own thoughts. Neither said anything, unsure of what to say. They both had so many thoughts.

"Why do you like Tamahome?" Nakago finally asked.

"Why do you like him?" Tasuki snorted.

"Hmph. He's nice to look at. But I don't really care for his personality. But he reminds me of someone. Personally, I find his father more interesting. And you?"

"Well, he's nice to look at, like you said. But I like his personality. He's compassionate, he's friendly, he's boisterous, he's awesome. I dunno. I always liked him, I guess."

"So I'm not your type then?" Nakago chuckled.

"I didn't say that. You're..... You're like an onion," Tasuki said, resorting to the metaphor.

"An onion?"

"Don't ask. I might explain," Tasuki said darkly.

Nakago began to laugh. When it wasn't at someone else's expense, Nakago really had a nice laugh. "That's why I like you, Tasuki. I don't know how you do it, but you make me laugh. It's funny how we've known each other practically our whole lives, and not really known each other."

"Yeah. But I'd like to get to know you better. You're an interesting bastard if nothing else....." Tasuki said lightly.

"I shall take that as a compliment. But I have another question for you. When are you going to get over Tamahome?" Nakago pressed.

Tasuki was silent for a moment. "I don't know. I try not to think about him, but it's hard," he finally answered.

"Would you like to forget?" Nakago purred, and Tasuki felt a hand rest on his back, rubbing gently. He knew things would get to this part eventually. Nakago was nothing if not a determined bastard.

"You think that would make me forget?" Tasuki asked sarcastically, rolling over to face Nakago. Nakago's hand rested on the redhead's stomach now.

"No. Maybe. Depends really," Nakago shrugged, his naked body now only inches away from Tasuki. Tasuki was beginning to feel warm.

"Sex is supposed make me forget Tamahome? Letting you fuck me is suppose to make me forget someone I care about?" Tasuki asked, his golden eyes narrowed in irritation. Nakago was far too presumptuous.

Nakago sighed. He withdrew his hand from Tasuki's stomach and rolled over again. Once again, in an effort to be seductive, he had found the exact wrong thing to say to Tasuki. Why was it that Tasuki was the only person in the world that he had no idea how to handle?

"I messed up again. I didn't mean it like that," Nakago sighed.

"Then how did you mean it?" Tasuki asked, his voice raising slightly.

"Look, I was just trying to change the mood, and I chose the wrong thing to say. Forget about it. I thought you wanted me, but then when I get close, you act all huffy," Nakago said crossly.

Tasuki sighed. "Because I don't know what I want. I got hormones, too, but I don't want my first time to be with-"

"-me," Nakago finished, his voice icy again.

"-someone who doesn't give a flying fuck about me. Maybe I am acting like a woman, but I don't care. That's how I feel. I want it to mean something at least. It's stupid, but then again, I am supposed to be an idiot," Tasuki finished for himself.

They were both silent in the darkness for a long time.

"It's not stupid. It's what makes you different from everyone else I know," Nakago finally said.

Tasuki didn't answer in words, but instead wrapped his arms around Nakago, resting his head on Nakago's chest. "Thanks, blondie," he said.

"For what?" Nakago asked in surprise.

"For saying something I think ain't stupid," Tasuki smiled.

" 'Ain't' isn't a word, but you're welcome," Nakago chuckled, resting a hand on Tasuki's silky red hair. Nakago wondered how someone that was supposedly so uncouth, could have such silky hair, and such soft skin.

"You said you were okay with whatever I wanted. So I just want to stay like this. With no comments about how fucking feminine it is to want to be held," Tasuki said, sounding childish.

"It's not feminine. It's human. And it's fine. Though I am a little disappointed," Nakago said softly, stroking Tasuki's hair.

"Careful, blondie. I might start to think you're a caring human being after all," Tasuki giggled.

"Just don't tell anyone. I have a reputation as the Ice Man to protect, remember?" Nakago chuckled.

The pair soon fell silent, and fell asleep in the other's arms.

They dreamed of a phoenix and a dragon meeting in the sky, and entwining with the other.


Suzaku was curled around his lover, Seiryu, watching the mirror that showed him Tasuki and Nakago sleeping in much the same way.

The Phoenix God sighed contentedly, and stroked his lover's muscular chest. Seiryu purred slightly, his hand running across Suzaku's red wings. "Two of my seishi are awake now. Chiriko is examining the book. He might be able to discover the meaning, but he would need help from his counter seishi. Chiriko is knowledge, and he needs wisdom to counterbalance him," Suzaku said, looking up into the Dragon God's handsome face.

"I shall arrange for a dream to motivate Miboshi to find the book then," Seiryu said. He was a god of little words.

"Do you think he will discover the sacred power?" Suzaku asked, blinking his red eyes.

"Miboshi?" Seiryu asked in mild confusion, blinking his blue eyes.

"No. Nakago. He is the one we are worried about. The corruption of your seishi still affects their use of the sacred power even now that evil has been purged from their soul. I am worried. He does not seem like he will ever discover the sacred power," Suzaku said in concern.

Seiryu's eyes drifted over to study the mirror, and the content look on Nakago's face as he slept beside Tasuki.

"Have faith in the seishi who holds the symbol of Heart on his forehead. In the heart of a man lies the dark river that can poison his soul, but it also holds mankind's greatest salvation. Nakago has had the poison cleansed of his soul, now only he need find his salvation," Seiryu said with confidence.

"And by finding his salvation, we shall find ours," Suzaku whispered and snuggled closer to his lover.


The nyan-nyans no longer laughed, or danced, or sang.

The green-haired sprites stood still, and stared over the horizon of their world with troubled expressions. For they watched a rock begin to fade and disappear from Hokkan. It was only a small rock, but the way it faded, as if erased, seemed to trouble the nyan-nyans.

One of cute creatures approached their creator, Taiitsukun, who sat on her chair, watching her mirrors, her haggard, ugly face troubled.

"It's begun, Taiitsukun," the small nyan-nyan said softly.

A tear sprang to the old woman's eye and streamed down her face, slowly.

"I know," Taiitsukun said sadly.

"What should we do now?"

"Wait for the seishi to awaken. And pray they do so quickly."


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