Only Time: Deja Vu

Chapter Eleven

By J. Marie


Warning!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17. Oh wow!! Chapter Eleven!! Oh, and the story is gonna be longer than I first thought. I'm thinking 25 to 30 chapters. @ _ @ Gawd, I'm insane. * moans about never finishing her own novel* And I have no idea if Japan has pizza parlors, but again, since I don't know, I decided they do in this story. ^_^;; And all the theories about the cycle and Universe of the Four Gods are my very own, based largely on my own druidic philosophy and unhappiness with Yu Watase's unbalanced Universe. My Wiccan philosophies could not take the affront, so I fixed it. :)


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


Later that week.....


"Wow!! This place is expensive!!!"

Nakago smiled fondly, watching the redhead in front of him gushing over the expensive restaurant they were walking towards. "I'm rich, remember?" he said smoothly.

"Oh, right. But Junko said she'd never take me here. She said I already eat her out of house and home as it is," Tasuki grinned.

"Ah. And work her to the bone, as well. When are you going to start doing your own laundry, cooking your own food, and cleaning up after yourself?" Nakago smirked.

"Says the guy with his own personal butler," Tasuki said, scrunching up his face.

"And yet, I still clean up after myself, and am fully capable of taking care of myself, should I not have a butler. Without your sister waiting on you hand and foot, I should think you'd starve, and wallow in filth," Nakago chuckled.

"Uh, what's 'wallow' mean?" Tasuki blinked.

"Never mind," Nakago shook his head, and stepped inside the restaurant. It was the finest Tokyo had to offer.

Tasuki stood just behind him, looking around at all the fine decorations, done in soft pastels. "This place looks like Nuriko decorated it," Tasuki snickered.

"Nuriko would choose something more lively. This is more Hotohori's style, I would think," Nakago sniffed, telling the maitre d' of his reservations. The pair was soon shown to their seats.

"And since we're compromising here, remember you promised for dessert we're going to my favorite ice cream parlor," Tasuki grinned.

"As long as you don't dribble food down your face, that's fine," Nakago said with a small smile.

"Howsa come the food doesn't have prices on it?" Tasuki asked loudly, after a few minutes of staring at his menu.

Nakago sweatdropped. "Just pick something. I'm picking up the tab, so don't worry about it," he sighed. Tasuki was a little rough around the edges, he was finding.

The waiter came by and took their orders, and left brusquely, after eyeing them oddly. Tasuki frowned, feeling uncomfortable in this fine restaurant. He had no etiquette, no finesse. He picked up his chopsticks and began to fiddle with them.

"Why did he stare at us funny?" Tasuki asked.

"Because we're two men sitting together, in a restaurant that can be considered romantic. Why else?" Nakago asked.

"Oh, I was just checking," Tasuki said idly, looking around again.

"You don't like it here, do you?" Nakago asked with a small frown.

"Um, yeah. It's a little too rich for my blood," Tasuki said, staring at the bowl with water and rose petals, wondering if it was suppose to be eaten or not.

Nakago chuckled. "To be honest, this place has always bored me. I thought you might like it. But since you don't, where would you like to eat?" Nakago asked with a smile.

Tasuki grinned, deciding even if he was suppose to eat the water and rose petals, he wasn't going to. "Well, I know this great pizza parlor....."


Nakago had never actually been happy.

But somehow, sitting across from Tasuki, watching the redhead's antics, he couldn't help but be. Tasuki's face was covered in pizza sauce, and he kept doing the most perverse things with the stringy white cheese and his tongue. Nakago couldn't help but laugh, especially when a group of girls walked by, and stared at Tasuki tonguing his cheese.

Tasuki, ever hateful of women in general, threw a pizza crust at them, scattering the girls. He grinned, baring his fangs. "Stupid girls," he said, without any real menace, and returned to munching on pizza.

The past week Tasuki and Nakago had gotten to know each other. They talked about their childhoods, and commented on their opinions about various subjects. Nakago was pleased to find that Tasuki could even get into a philosophical discussion and hold his own. Tasuki was not stupid, despite what many thought. He was, however, a little more literal than most.

Tasuki gave Nakago something he'd never had before, and found himself craving now that he knew what it was. Affection. Even though Soi loved Nakago, she never showered him with affection. She was subservient, and always stood off to the side, waiting for Nakago to decide everything. She never spent an entire night in his bed, and certainly was never presumptuous enough to climb into Nakago's lap and demand to be petted. Soi never did these things, always standing off to the side, silently keeping her love and desires to herself. Tasuki held nothing back. When he wanted something, he would demand it from Nakago.

And Nakago liked this affection thing. He liked being held and petted and kissed and cuddled. He liked Tasuki, and enjoyed the redhead's obnoxious antics. Tasuki made him laugh. Tasuki made him smile. Tasuki made him feel. Nakago felt like he had nothing to offer the redhead, but Tasuki seemed content enough with Nakago's presence, and the blonde's witty rejoinders, and intelligent observations. And Nakago found himself returning the displays of affections: the soft kisses, the gentle caresses.

Tasuki was telling him a humorous story of how he and his friends discovered Nuriko's crossdressing fetish. Just listening to Tasuki describe things was funny enough.

And in the middle of the laughter, Nakago realized Tamahome was standing at their table, glaring angrily at Tasuki. Nakago stopped laughing, and stared at the raven-haired boy. Tamahome's girlfriend, Keiko, stood just behind him, looking a little confused.

The laughter died from Tasuki's lips.


"So, you have something, then?"

Miboshi and Chiriko exchanged glances. "Not what you were hoping for, but it might lead us to other discoveries," Miboshi said carefully.

Yui and Tetsuya sat together, quiet and introspective. They watched Miboshi intently, as if he held all the answers about their sons. Taka and Miaka watched Miboshi with trepidation, the way you would watch a poisonous snake in your bed. Keisuke and Chiriko alone treated Miboshi like a person. Keisuke smiled encouragingly at the pair.

"We have gathered some info on the Universe itself, for what it's worth. About the cycle. Somehow I think it's important. Keisuke had some of it already, but we have more," Chiriko added.

Yui turned her attention from her awakened seishi, to the intelligent Suzaku seishi. "I haven't heard any of this, so start from the top. Go slowly, so Miaka can keep up," the pretty blonde smirked.

Miboshi and Chiriko exchanged glances. Miboshi smirked, and Chiriko rolled his eyes.

"We don't know when, where, how, or why Taiitsukun created the Book of the Universe of the Four Gods, but we do know what she did. First, she created the Gods. Genbu, the Tortoise God was born first, then Byakko, the White Tiger God, then Suzaku, the Phoenix God, and lastly, Seiryu, the Dragon God. There's some confusion as to Suzaku's youth, but we believe he was born before Seiryu, mostly because the cycle begins with Genbu, and ends with Seiryu, in order of birth. After creating the Gods, Taiitsukun created the actual universe, and peopled it. But others sought out this Universe, and the demons, evil forces, and even Tenkou became part of the Universe later on," Chiriko explained.

Miboshi picked up. "The Hundred Year Cycle, which Taiitsukun created after the Universe had been in existence for a hundred years, was meant to balance out the Four Gods, to keep one from growing more powerful than another. The cycle has everything to do with priestesses and the hostilities of the countries. One part of the cycle, is the lover/rival dynamics of the Gods. She paired off Genbu and Byakko, to where they were lovers, and then after a hundred years, they became rivals, or enemies. She also paired off Seiryu and Suzaku, much in the same way, only in contrast to Genbu and Byakko. The interesting thing is that when the God pairs are lovers, their countries are at peace, and when the Gods are rivals, their countries are rivals. Only when the cycle nears change do they actually become enemies and war begins to break out, as evidenced by the war between Kutou and Konan."

Chiriko continued. "The cycle began rather simply. I believe the Gods all started out enemies, and were at each other's throats. After a hundred years, Taiitsukun had it, and created the cycle. The Priestess of Genbu, a girl from this world, which changes every cycle, as do the other Priestesses, came forth. Her presence ignited war, and Genbu and Byakko remained enemies At this point, however, Suzaku and Seiryu became lovers, their countries growing peaceful. After a hundred years, the Priestess of Byakko showed up, Hokkan and Sairou achieved peace, and Genbu and Byakko became lovers. However, Seiryu and Suzaku became rivals, and their countries as well. After another hundred years, the Priestess of Suzaku would come, and Seiryu and Suzaku were lovers again, Genbu and Byakko became enemies, and Kutou and Konan became peaceful. After another hundred years, the Priestess of Seiryu would come, her presence igniting war, and Seiryu and Suzaku became enemies, while Genbu and Byakko became lovers again. And after a hundred years, Genbu no Miko would return, and the cycle would start anew."

Miboshi piped up then. "And for some reason, whenever the cycle is fully complete, and after Seiryu is summoned by his Priestess, the memory of the previous cycle is forgotten. One of the lures to convince Priestesses to become Priestesses is the promise of "eternal peace", and any wish they desire. The truth of the matter is that only certain wishes will the Gods grant, as evidenced with Byakko's refusal to join Suzuno's wish to join her and Tatara. And eternal peace leads to stagnation, which will eventually destroy the Universe of the Four Gods. It is the cycle of love and peace, and hate and war, which drives the Universe. Normally, seishi and priestesses would never learn this information, but the cycle has been disrupted."

"By you, Yui and Miaka," Chiriko said gravely, his adorable face filled with foreboding.


"Traitor," Tamahome spat.

The raven-haired boy stalked off, while Keiko, his girlfriend, stood there looking confused. Tasuki got up, not even glancing at Nakago and ran after Tamahome. Nakago worked his jaw, and got up, following Tasuki at a distance.

Tamahome was already outside the building when Tasuki caught up to him. Tasuki grabbed the wrist of the angry boy, and spun him around. Nakago stood just by the doorway, hidden from Tasuki and Tamahome's sight, but able to see and hear everything that went on between them.

"Why... why are you so angry?" Tasuki asked, his voice trembling with hurt.

Tamahome snarled at the redhead, ripping his wrist from Tasuki's grasp. "Why? You ask me why? You been ignoring all your friends for an entire week to hang out with Nakago. Everybody, not just me. You're a damn traitor. We're your friends. I'm your friend. And you abandon us all for what? For some rich guy? I'm the one who should ask why!" the raven-haired boy growled.

Tasuki looked hurt and took a step back. "No... it's not like that, Tamahome. I'm not ignoring you. I've just been... with Nakago. I wanted to be with him, to get to know him. You're all still my friends..." Tasuki said, his voice trembling.

"How is he better than any of us? Because he's rich?? So's Hotohori! Why don't you kiss his ass???" Tamahome demanded, nostrils flaring. He felt like he was losing one of his best friends to his rival, and it stung.

"I'm not kissing Nakago's ass!! It's not like that!! It's.. different with him!! Why are you being such a jerk??' Tasuki cried, angry now as well, even though his eyes stung with unshed tears. Tamahome was not only the boy he had a crush on, but one of his dearest friends.

"Different? How the fuck is it different? You're acting like he's your goddam faggot boyfriend!!" Tamahome snarled.

Tasuki's eyes widened and he fell silent. To save face, he should be denying it, but he couldn't move his lips. He couldn't deny it. He couldn't speak.

Tamahome stared at him, not understanding Tasuki's sudden silence. "Why? Why ignore us for him? What's so special? What does he give you that any of us can't give you? You're a goddam traitor, is what you are, you stupid faggot!! I hope that prick gives you the ass-fucking you deserve for abandoning your friends!!" Tamahome cried. Keiko brushed past Nakago, hearing the conversation. The girl blinked, still confused, but frowning at Tamahome's harsh words.

Tamahome had meant the insult merely as a rhetorical statement. He held no real malice towards homosexuality, and if he had known Tasuki's feelings, he wouldn't have said it. So the raven-haired boy stared at his friend, and his expression softened suddenly when he realized he was making Tasuki cry.

Nakago couldn't take it anymore. Why didn't Tasuki stand up to him? Why did Tasuki just stand there and take it? Tasuki never took anybody's shit, except for Tamahome's. Why?

Nakago blinked.


He had experienced sudden onslaughts of memories of his past life before.

But never the memories of another.

But what Nakago saw in his mind's eyes, in the space of a second was not him.

He saw Tasuki.

He saw Tasuki being overwhelmed by water.

A poisoned river overwhelmed the redhead, poisoning his soul, twisting, changing and unleashing buried feelings deep within Tasuki's soul.

Tasuki loved Miaka like a sister.

Maybe he even loved her as a woman.

But never would he have tried to force himself on her. To come between her and Taka.

But the river poisoned his soul and Nakago saw the redhead on top of her, ready to rape the struggling, crying girl beneath him.

But Taka came.

And Tasuki loved Taka/Tamahome, as a friend.

Maybe he even loved him as a man.

Never would he have seriously hurt Taka. To keep him away from Miaka.

But the river poisoned the redhead's soul, and Nakago saw Tasuki beat mercilessly, and taunt his dear friend, who climbed up the stair, not only to save his love, but his friend.

And the love. The friendship. It saved Tasuki's soul. He overcame the poisoned river. And he was willing to die to prevent himself from ever hurting his friends, his loves, ever again. And indeed he attempted to do just that, but miraculously, the redhead survived.

And his friends forgave him.

But when they left him, Nakago saw the redhead hunch over, his golden eyes filling with tears of remorse and guilt. To think of what he almost did.....

Never could he fight Tamahome ever again. Never could he insult his friend by hurting him again.

Tasuki had already done enough, in his mind. He had no right to ever fight back.

The punishment for his almost sins, was to take whatever Taka/Tamahome dished out. Be it friendship, forgiveness....

... or pain.


Nakago blinked.

Only a second had passed.

Tamahome stared slack-faced at the crying boy, confused. He was angry, but he didn't mean to hurt Tasuki so grievously. Tasuki tried to regain his self-control, and wiped at his face, prepared to turn away.

But Nakago wasn't going to let this go on.

He couldn't.

Nakago never acted impulsively. Ever. But on emotional reflex, the blonde came out, and walked brusquely to Tamahome, grabbing the smaller youth by the shirt and lifting him off the ground.

Both Tasuki and Tamahome stared at Nakago in shock. The blonde's eyes were narrowed in anger. He turned his icy blue orbs on Tamahome. It wasn't right, and he felt it to his very marrow. It wasn't right to make Tasuki cry. He had suffered enough. And Nakago knew, knew that whatever Tasuki had done was not even close to the sins of Nakago’s own past life.

"Apologize," Nakago hissed.

Tasuki swallowed, touched. He reached out and put a hand on Nakago's forearm. "Nakago.. don't... let him go...." the redhead whispered.

"Not until he apologizes for hurting your feelings," Nakago said, his tone softening slightly for Tasuki's benefit.

Tamahome swallowed. He was bewildered. But he hadn't meant to hurt Tasuki that badly. He had been angry, and didn't know what he said. "I... I'm sorry, Tasuki..." Tamahome said, gasping slightly. Why was Nakago suddenly so protective of the redhead?

Nakago dropped him, staring down at Tamahome with a look of icy rage. "Don't you ever call him stupid again. Or use the word 'faggot' in his presence. Ever. Or I won't play games with you Tamahome. I'll fuck you up, don't doubt that," the blonde hissed.

Tasuki stared at Nakago in shock. He didn't know how to feel. He was hurt by what Tamahome had said. But he felt he deserved the insult. But here was Nakago, defending Tasuki. Never before had anyone defended him like that. And to be defended by a man as cold as Nakago... But Tasuki felt defensive of Tamahome as well. He didn't ever want Tamahome to be hurt.

"I'll be waiting in the car, Tasuki," Nakago said in a chilly voice and swept past the smaller boys. Tasuki licked his lips and looked at Tamahome. Tamahome gazed back, straightening his shirt.

"He's my friend.... maybe more. You're right, I am a faggot, Tamahome. I like boys. I always have. But you guys are all still my friends. You're still my friend. I love you all, and not like that. But Nakago needs me. You don't. None of you need me. But he does," Tasuki said softly.

Tamahome hung his head, swallowing. Keiko stared at him and began walking away, feeling ignored, and disgusted by Tamahome's words. "I'm... really sorry, Tasuki. I... didn't know. I'm not..." Tamahome trailed off, feeling uncomfortable.

"I know you're not. You're not a homophobe. You're not gay. You're not a bad person. It's okay, Tama. Don't worry about it," Tasuki smiled, although it was strained.

Tamahome looked up, about to say something else, but Tasuki was already walking away, headed in the direction of a blue Porsche.

Some days you really feel like an ass.


"By reading the book together? That's how we disrupted the cycle?" Yui asked, frowning deeply.

"Yes. The book is a spell meant for one girl, and one girl only. Any male reading the book will just read the latest tale of the Priestess, as evidenced by Keisuke and Tetsuya. Because you both read it, Suzaku was forced to bring you both into the book. But only one girl could be his Priestess, which is why you went back, Yui. However, that allowed his rival at the time, Seiryu, to bring Yui back as his own Priestess. The Beast Gods, like any beast, are creatures of instinct. They helped disrupt the cycle as much as the pair of you did. And that's why everything is falling apart. The reason the Seiryu seishi were evil was because as the cycle was disrupted, and their souls were corrupted. No seishi is inherently evil. Our duty is to protect, to serve, and to fight for righteousness," Chiriko said darkly.

"We need to find a way to discover what this sacred power is, and how to empower the four favored seishi with this. But we're not even completely sure who Genbu and Byakko's favored are... You see our problem...." Miboshi sighed sadly.

"Lack of data," Chiriko said mournfully.

"But your information might help us. 'Sometimes to reach the end of the path, you must return to the beginning.' " Yui said, smiling softly at Miboshi.

Miaka started awake at the reproachful elbow of her husband, who frowned at her. She grinned sheepishly. Tetsuya was silent, and fiddled with his sunglasses thoughtfully, wondering if he could avoid bringing his sons into this. Keisuke bit his bottom lip, hoping his family would remain safe.

"A wise saying," Miboshi smiled at Yui.

"Oh, yeah, who said that anyways?" Chiriko asked absently.

"Miboshi did," Yui smiled.

"Knowledge tempered by wisdom. What does that mysterious sentence that only you and Miaka can read say now, Chiriko?" Tetsuya asked.

"It's not just us. Anyone who has been inside the book can read it, even Miboshi and Yui. But now it says 'Earth must be tempered by Wind.' An allusion to something concerning Genbu and Byakko's seishi, I would imagine," Chiriko said.

"Alright, and we know next to nothing of them. But I have one more question, Miboshi. Tell me. Tell me that you conquered your evil. Tell me you're nothing like you were. Tell me the evil is purged," Tetsuya said fervently, thinking of his son, Suboshi, and the sins he committed in his past life.

Miboshi swallowed and hung his head. "I cannot. I do not remember enough of my past life. Even though I was awakened, I was awakened with the memories I had before I died. Even in the book, in the body of the child monk, I remembered little of my past. Either all the transference of my psyche through all the other's bodies damaged my memories... or...." he trailed off.

"Or?" Tetsuya pressed.

"Or I chose to block them."


Nakago pulled into the driveway of Tasuki's house. The entire car ride had been filled with uncomfortable silence.

Nakago damned himself. He was getting emotionally involved with Tasuki. That was not a good thing. It left Nakago vulnerable to Tasuki. Too vulnerable. He should leave. He should break it off before it got too serious. But unlike with Soi, Nakago couldn't just push Tasuki away.

He wanted the redhead's companionship too much to push Tasuki away.

"Are you angry at me again?" Nakago finally asked, as Tasuki stared blankly at his house.


"Why won't you speak? Normally, you never shut up," Nakago said, trying to sound cold and indifferent.

"You shouldn't have threatened Tamahome like that," Tasuki said flatly.

Here it came. Nakago gripped his steering wheel so tight, his knuckles turned white. He had dreaded it. Tasuki was going to push him away. For daring to threaten his precious Tamahome. Nakago had known it from the moment the redhead got in the car. Oh, the irony of cold, icy Nakago being abandoned by the fiery, passionate Tasuki.

"But... thank you. That... meant something to me. Nobody has ever done anything like that for me. Expect for Junko, but sisters don't count, I think," Tasuki smiled wanly.

Nakago turned to look at Tasuki. There was no anger in Tasuki. Only a warm smile, with fangs barely peeking out. And golden eyes filled with passion. Nakago found himself smiling back.

What was wrong with him? Where was his ice? His self-control? His disdain for others? His selfishness? What powers did Tasuki have, to ensnare Nakago like this? To leave Nakago vulnerable?

But he couldn't resist him. Never had anyone looked at him with such open warmth. From Soi, only guarded love. From his parents, cool patronization. From his friends, awed respect. But from Tasuki, Nakago got warmth, passion, emotion. Foreign, yet enticing.

"Stay the night with me, Nakago," Tasuki asked, his eyes pleading, his hand resting on Nakago's arm.

For the first time in his life, Nakago was incapable of refusing someone, even if he wanted to, which he didn‘t.


Everyone was gone.

Chiriko gathered his notebooks, cleaning up the mess he and Miboshi had made of Keisuke's room. The honey-haired man put books back on the shelf, glancing periodically at the cute boy in his room.

Keisuke sighed. Part of him felt guilty for being attracted to someone as youthful as Chiriko. But the attraction was undeniable. It was also driving him crazy.

Keisuke felt possessed of the need to confess his attraction to the boy. Almost positive he would be refused, politely, but firmly, but yet, he had to say it. He had to get it off his chest. And the smallest part of him hoped his feelings were reciprocated.

"Um... Chiriko?" Keisuke asked tentatively.

The boy stood up and turned to him, a wide smile on his face. "Yeah?" he asked.

Keisuke swallowed and found himself staring at his shoes, as nervous as a teenager. "I... I... have something I need to tell you..." he said anxiously.

"Alright. So tell me," Chiriko shrugged, watching the older, taller man expectantly.

"Um... I know that I'm old enough to be your father... And I know this may sound a little odd to you... but I...." Keisuke sighed. It was not coming out easily. He never took rejection well, and he felt he was going to be rejected.

"Yes..?" Chiriko urged, smiling slightly, a little too knowingly.

"I.... um... well, you see. I'm rather fond of... Well, not in a paternal way, and see I....."

"Oh, brother, I'm going to be a virgin forever if I wait for you to spit it out," Chiriko sighed, shaking his head sadly.

"Eh?" Keisuke asked, blinking rapidly. Did Chiriko...?

He didn't get to complete that thought, or much of any other thought that night, because Chiriko pounced him, and the pair floundered into Keisuke's bed.

Not that Keisuke was complaining, mind you.


"Ah-ahh-ahhh!!" Tasuki cried as he came, his body arching against Nakago's.

The blonde came only a few short seconds later, rocking into Tasuki deeply, a soft, deep moan escaping his lips. Tasuki panted into his pillows, squirming slightly, as Nakago was on top of him and he was on his stomach, and being suffocated by his own pillows.

Nakago rolled the pair over, so that they were on their sides, and he could remain inside Tasuki, a sensation he enjoyed. He petted and stroked the redhead in his arms, kissing the back of Tasuki's neck and ears. Tasuki sighed contentedly, his hands stroking the hands and arms entwining him.

Tasuki closed his eyes, and though sleep hovered near him, it did not overtake him just yet. He felt content and lulled by Nakago's embrace, warm and happy. They had known each other all their lives, yet they didn't. And over the past couple weeks, they had gone from having almost no contact, to... lovers?

Is that what they were? Lovers?

Tasuki wondered how he felt about Nakago. He considered him a friend now, certainly. A lover, at least on his part. He liked Nakago. He found himself caring about Nakago. He had sympathy for the other boy's lack of love in his life. Was there more to it than that?

Tasuki questioned himself. If things turned out that he would have a permanent relationship with Nakago, for the rest of his life, would that make him happy? Could Nakago make him happy? Tasuki wasn't sure. But the more Tasuki got to know Nakago, the more he felt himself care about Nakago, think of Nakago. He felt a kinship with Nakago, an odd, strange, contrasting kinship.

Feelings. Tasuki wasn't sure of his feelings for Nakago, but he knew he did indeed have feelings for the tall blonde. At times, Nakago seemed almost like a different person when he was with Tasuki. Most of the time, he was like ice. And then sometimes, like now, the ice melted and Nakago was a warm blue sea that comforted Tasuki, despite his fear of water.

Nakago was strong where he was weak. Nakago was clever in a way Tasuki was not. It was like he completed something in the redhead that Tasuki didn't know needed completion. And Nakago gave Tasuki the attention he secretly craved, and the feeling of being desirable.

Maybe he shouldn't dwell too much on his feelings right now. They confused Tasuki, and other emotions: residual dislike and rivalry from most of their life dwelled there still. A part of him was still almost fearful of Nakago. Of Nakago's wrath, of Nakago's cold dismissal. A part of him feared he would wake up to discover the blonde missing from his arms, leaving Tasuki forgotten and ignored.

Tasuki feel asleep, his emotions whirling about his heart, conflicting and confusing. But Tasuki knew one thing for sure.

He didn't want Nakago to leave.


Chichiri woke up to the same nightmare of Tasuki's death by Nakago's hand.

He brought his breathing under control, and banished the ghostly feeling of loss. The blue-haired boy got up, going to his bathroom to wash the sweat from his brow. Chichiri stared at his reflection for a long time, trying not to think of the nightmares. It was only jealousy manifesting oddly. That was all.

He couldn't convince himself of that, no matter how hard he tried.

In his mind's eye, a memory flashed into being. A memory of another best friend. A best friend he held by the arm, trying to save from drowning. But a log came, gashing into Chichiri's face, destroying his eye and scarring his handsome face.

And the friend, whose name escaped him, fell from his grip, falling to his death.

And Chichiri saw Tasuki, falling away from him, the same look of surprise and betrayal. How to stop it? How to stop the death?

A dream. It's only a dream, Chichiri. You're being superstitious.

But what if he was wrong, and Chichiri lost another best friend?

Chichiri rubbed his left eye and wondered why he could see out of it now.

But it was just a stupid thought. He never lost an eye. He never lost a best friend.

It was just jealousy. That's all it was.

Wasn't it?


Inside the Book, a troubled expression creased Taiitsukun’s haggard brow.

Even with the forbidden knowledge, the seishi were far, very far, from awakening. Now, perhaps, the Mysterious Play, was working against her. But even though the seishi were not awakening quickly, they were still closer to discovering the sacred power than Taiitsukun even hoped, and yet, they didn’t even realize it. Taiitsukun had reason to hope.

But time was her enemy now, for not only were rocks disappearing, but bushes and trees were fading away as well.

Time was running out, slowly, but surely.


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