Only Time: The Sacred Power

Chapter Twenty-One

By J. Marie


Warning!!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17 (for the moment, but the rating is subject to change). Okies, had to take a bit of a breather, and let my X-Men muses run around. See what happened is that Cyclops showed up and blasted away Tasuki, who was previously holding all my muses hostage. After a while, Tasuki was able to make a comeback and he and Cyclops now have an uneasy truce and have agreed to share the muses. So here you are!


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


They were really starting to piss Tamahome off.

Tasuki and Kouji. Kouji and Tasuki. He would be surprised if someone said they even went to the bathroom separately, the way they were going lately. It was as if Tasuki had forgotten all about Nakago in favor of the reincarnation of his past life's best friend. They were inseparable, and it made Tamahome sick.

Tamahome sighed in his tent, listening to Tasuki and Kouji's drunken singing across the camp. Tasuki had many skills, but singing did not seem to be amongst them. Tamahome winced when the redhead hit a high note. One of Hotohori's looking glasses cracked, and soon his gentle voice became shrill and whiny while trying to convince the former mountain bandits to shut the fuck up.

Tomorrow they would come to the Kutou/Konan crossroads before Mt. Taikyoku. Emperor Boushin said that they would finally meet Empress Nurong of Kutou, and reunite with the Seiryu Seven. From there, they were to go to the Hokkan/Sairou crossroads and meet up with the Byakko and Genbu Seven and their respective royal companions. Tamahome couldn't wait.

Maybe when Nakago showed up, Tasuki would detach himself from Kouji.

Tamahome couldn't put his finger on it, really. He just couldn't say what it was about Kouji that bothered him so much. But everything about the dark-skinned youth irritated him, from his laugh, to the way he always was touching Tasuki somehow. It just bothered Tamahome immensely.

The sound of something crashing caused Tamahome to emerge from his tent. Outside, Tasuki was making a drunken spectacle of himself.

Tasuki was crawling on the ground, his face saturnine with drunkenness. He was laughing loudly, heading away from the tent. Kouji laughed, but to Tamahome's surprise, the former bandit was far from drunk. A rather calculating smile flitted across his handsome features and he bent down to grab Tasuki from behind. Tasuki was half-dressed and Tamahome watched with mild alarm as Kouji went to continue undressing Tasuki.

"Hey, are you guys alright?" Tamahome said loudly, narrowing his eyes at Kouji. Kouji's eyes widened in surprise and he instantly backed off from Tasuki, watching Tamahome very carefully.

"Fine, fine. He's just a little drunk, is all," Kouji said, his voice not sounding as cheerful as it normally did.

"A little?" Tamahome asked, his dislike of Kouji growing even more. Could it be that Kouji was trying to take advantage of the soused redhead?

"Hey, Tama!!" Tasuki cried, throwing his arms around Tamahome's waist and nuzzling his crotch.

"Hey!!! Get away from there, you little ecchi!!" Tamahome cried, beating Tasuki away from his groin.

Tasuki fell back, giggling incoherently. "I really like saki. I should like some more when I can see straight again!" he laughed and fell dead silent.

Tamahome bent down beside his friend, wondering if Tasuki was alright. The redhead seemed to be fine, sleeping like a baby with a stupid smile on his face.

"He's going to have a mother of a hangover tomorrow. Maybe you should let me take care of him?" Kouji suggested, sounding very sly.

Every instinct in Tamahome's body screamed at him not to trust Kouji. He shook his head vehemently. "That's alright. I'll take care of him. It's my seishi duty," he said evenly, meeting Kouji's gaze, and discovering that his eyes were very cold. The Kouji he remembered was very warm, almost compassionate.

"If you're sure..." Kouji said, looking irritated.

"Very sure. Good night, acolyte," Tamahome said shortly and hefted his friend's weight up and carried him back into his tent, not even glancing back at Kouji.

Tamahome dropped Tasuki into his bedroll, who began to snore loudly. Tamahome sat beside him, frowning. Something wasn't right about Kouji.

Something was just downright wrong about him.


Tasuki, indeed, had a mother of a hangover the next day.

"I can't go outside. The sun is out there," Tasuki groaned when Tamahome tried to rouse him.

"It's your own damn fault you have a hangover, Tasuki. If you hadn't gotten drunk with Kouji last night, you wouldn't be suffering like this," Tamahome lectured, instantly being sucked into the paternal mode. Despite the fact that he was in his son's teenage body, his mind was still the thirty-four year old father.

"I don' wanna wake up!!" Tasuki whined, curling into a tight Tasuki ball beneath Tamahome's blankets.

"You'll be able to see Nakago today," Tamahome offered.

Tasuki lowered the sheet a bit and stared at his friend with large golden eyes. "Nakago...?" he asked hopefully, sounding childish.

"He'll be there with the rest of the Seiryu Seven and the Empress and Princess Royal of Kutou They sent the Princess' handmaiden, a redheaded girl named Baoling, to meet with us. Emperor Boushin sent Kouji along to do the same," Tamahome said, not bothering to hide his glee that Kouji was gone.

Tasuki looked thoughtful, staring absently at Tamahome's chest. "What if...what if Nakago doesn't like me anymore...?" he asked sadly.

"Nonsense. He adores you. Now get up, or you'll never see him again," Tamahome sighed.

"He adores me? You think so?" Tasuki asked brightly, a smile creeping across his pretty face.

"I know so. Now let's go!"

Tamahome had to help Tasuki to the river to wash up. The sunlight made Tasuki cringe and hide. Tamahome was able to locate a pair of sunglasses in his son's clothing, and he loaned them to Tasuki, who was very grateful.

They made it to the breakfast tent, though Tamahome wondered how he managed to do so without pounding Tasuki's head into a rock. The whole walk consisted of Tasuki whining about how much his head hurt.

There was hardly any food left, thanks to Miaka. Tamahome grabbed what he could and split it between himself and Tasuki, glaring at his wife, who grinned sheepishly in response. Tasuki looked like he was going to vomit at the food, and gave it back to Tamahome, visibly turning green around the edges.

Tamahome took it gratefully, having been upset at the small portion Miaka left them. He went to take a bite of his food when a flash of red hair caught his eye.

It had to have been the Kutou Princess' handmaiden.

She was sitting at the table in front of Tasuki and Tamahome, but Tasuki hadn't noticed her yet. She sat with Hotohori, the Emperor and the Prince.

"Ah, yes, Princess Liangnai looks forward to meeting you again, your highness," Baoling giggled to Langrui. She was very cute, and quite pretty. Everything about her reminded Tamahome of a female Tasuki, at least physically.

Langrui frowned at her, looking greatly annoyed. While he looked very much like Hotohori, his grandfather, only with dark blue eyes, his features seemed far more harsh and austere. "Of course she does. I'm sure the thought of kicking me in the groin again has brightened her existence immensely," he hissed.

Boushin sighed and glared at his son, who remained impervious to any sort of good mood. Langrui, Tamahome had discovered over the past few days, was not only rude, but stubborn, bad-tempered, opinionated, and perhaps the best doctor this side of Mitsukake. Tamahome was almost positive there was a softer side to the harsh, stern Langrui, but had yet to discover it.

"Actually, Nakago-sama has improved her mood greatly. He is a great man, who can teach temperance to one even as willful as my mistress," Baoling said slyly, and Tamahome was instantly reminded of Kouji for some reason.

"Nakago-sama??" Hotohori asked in disbelief. Tasuki's attention was diverted from moaning into his arms to staring at the table in front of him at the mention of Nakago's name.

"Well, Nakago is Empress Nurong's sire. And she's not likely to let anyone forget it, either. But you have nothing to fear from her or her daughter. Nurong is as honorable as any one I've ever met, perhaps more so. Though I have doubts about Nakago's 'greatness'. One of my and Nurong's greatest disagreements tend to be over our fathers," Boushin observed.

"Nakago had children??" Hotohori asked incredulously. Tasuki gasped and his eyes widened as large as they could go. Tamahome's spoon fell from his hand, his food forgotten.

"The Lady Soi of the Seiryu Seven bore him a daughter in secret, and left her in the care of the remnants of the Hin tribe. Nurong claimed the throne as a child, raised to lead the country after Nakago and the former Emperor's death," Boushin explained.

“Unbelievable,” Hotohori said in amazement.

"Nakago-sama was reincarnated, and he is a great man. He is as kind and gentle as he is great," Baoling said in Nakago's defense.

"Is she talking about the same Nakago I know?" Tasuki whispered in irritation.

"How would you know how kind and gentle he is?" Langrui snorted, frowning at the girl. Tamahome wondered if Langrui got the same odd feeling about her that he had. Langrui also seemed to intensely dislike Kouji.

"A lady should never say how a man pleases her. Nakago-sama has graced me with his affections," Baoling blushed. Tamahome caught her glancing slyly at Tasuki as she said this.

Tasuki made a sort of squeaking sound and Tamahome's jaw dropped open. Even Tamahome credited Nakago with better taste than this silly girl before him.

Tasuki stood up abruptly and ran from the tent. Tamahome watched him run.

This was unbelievable. Even though they were separated, would Nakago betray Tasuki's trust like that? Tamahome felt sure that Nakago had feelings for Tasuki after his display when he was reawakened. Was he wrong about Nakago?

Would Nakago really hurt Tasuki like that?


"The reincarnation of Tasuki's best friend..."

Acid dripped bitterly from Nakago's every pore as he glared hatefully at Kouji, the Konan messenger. He crossed his arms, and towered over Kouji, who did not look terribly impressed, despite Nakago's size.

"Yes. It was good to see my ol' buddy, Tasuki back. Things are so different now between us," Kouji grinned, his eyes glinting oddly.

Liangnai, who stood beside Nakago in much the same position frowned at the youth. He had arrived early in the morning with tidings from the Konan party. For some reason the Suzaku acolyte did not sit well with her at all. She didn't trust him, not one bit. He reminded her of Baoling, her sly handmaiden.

"Different. How nice," Nakago hissed, causing Liangnai to glance sharply at her grandfather. She was smart enough to figure out that this Tasuki person must be the man who Nakago cared so deeply about.

"It's like old times! Me and him having way too much fun! But we were just friends back then... Now it's different," Kouji shrugged nonchalantly. Liangnai frowned. The conversation had very quickly veered from tidings from Boushin and Langrui, and to this Tasuki person. And it was Kouji who led the conversation.

"How different?" Nakago growled, leaning into Kouji's face, his ocean blue eyes flashing in anger.

"Jeez, what are you? Some kinda pervert? None of your business how it's different!" Kouji said hotly, but he wisely took a step back.

"Are you fucking him??" Nakago thundered, and Liangnai jumped at the venom in his voice. Nurong, who had been sitting off to the side, frowned deeply.

"Acolyte, please join the others in the breakfast tent and help yourself. I'm sure you are tired after your journey. We shall break camp in an hour," Nurong commanded, cutting the conversation short. Kouji scampered away, but Liangnai didn't miss the smirk on the dark-skinned youth's face.

Nakago simmered angrily, not bothering to apologize for his outburst. He merely stormed from the tent, practically running over Soi in the process.

"What's his problem?" Soi asked sourly, brushing the dirt from her clothing and watching Nakago's angry retreat.

"His lover has been reunited with an old friend. And apparently, they are no longer merely friends," Liangnai said stiffly.

Soi's brows furrowed. "I find that hard to believe. Tasuki is in love with Nakago," she said.

"Then why would the messenger allude to something otherwise?" Nurong asked, sighing. She did not care for the Konan messenger at all. There was something off about him.

"Good question, my daughter. Very good question."


The meeting was awkward.

Boushin and Nurong greeted each other as old friends, but their soon-to-be-wed children merely stared stiffly at each other. Nakago and Soi stood beside Nurong, as Hotohori and Nuriko stood beside Boushin. The entire time the royal families chatted, Nakago shot angry glances at Tasuki, while Tasuki shot equally as furious glances at Nakago.

Kouji was conveniently hanging off Tasuki, as Baoling conveniently hung off Nakago. Both acolyte and handmaiden seemed very pleased with themselves.

Not-so-subtle hints from their parents forced Liangnai and Langrui to walk together alone, as Boushin and Nurong made plans to meet up with the Byakko and Genbu Seven. The walk was silent for a long time, and neither noticed that Soi and Nuriko were following them at a distance, curious to see what was going to happen

"You are looking...ah...beautiful today, Princess Liangnai," Langrui said stiffly, breaking the silence.

"Are you trying to say I don't look beautiful every day, Prince Langrui?"

Langrui snarled quietly. Why did women have to be so difficult? "No, if I wanted to say that, Princess, I would have said so. I'm trying to be courteous. Work with me here," he finally said.

The beautiful blonde stopped and smirked at her future husband, her blue eyes sparkling in delight. "Honest. Blunt. I like these things in a man," she dimpled.

Langrui blinked and looked as if someone had just hit him on the head with a rock. "You're being nicer than usual," he said carefully.

"We’re getting married to help our countries, and I’m trying to make it pleasant. Work with me here," she grinned.

"Well, I suppose, if we must marry, we might as well make the best of it," Langrui said, offering the tiniest of smiles back.

"So I suppose we can tell our grandmothers that their presence is no longer required?" Liangnai asked, arching a golden eyebrow.

"I'm not sure what Nuriko is to me, but she looks close enough to the Empress Houki to be my grandmother," Langrui smirked.

Soi and Nuriko groaned and slumped off, rustling bushes as they passed.

"Now, that they are gone, there are important things I would wish to discuss with you. I noticed that you do not seem to care for my handmaiden," Liangnai said quickly.

"A simpering fool. She's up to something."

"And the same for your acolyte."

"I think we should keep an eye out for them. They are definitely up to something. I have a very bad feeling about both of them. As a doctor, you learn to trust your gut instinct," Langrui said with authority.

"The same for being a warrior. We shall work well together, I think. I shall eviscerate our foes, and you shall heal our allies," Liangnai smiled.

"I like the way your mind works, Princess," Langrui smiled back.


They were very close to the Sairou/Hokkan crossroads.

The group would reach them sometime the next day. By passing through Mt. Taikyoku's territory, something normally forbidden, the many weeks of travel were eliminated. Taiitsukun, of course, obviously gave permission for the Konan/Kutou parties to travel through her realm. The mountain itself loomed high over all of them.

It was quite a morale booster for the Seiryu and Suzaku Seven to finally be able to see Mt. Taikyoku. Especially the Seiryu Seven, who in their previous lives were unworthy to view the holy mountain.

But it didn't seem to affect two of the seishi. Even after the parties retired to their individual camps at night, sour feelings remained.

Nakago lay stretched out on his bedroll in his tent, deep in angry thought.

Tasuki...lied to him. Tasuki didn't love him. If Tasuki loved him, then why would he with Kouji?

It bothered him, and he hated himself for being bothered by it. He was Nakago. He shouldn't be affected by petty emotions like jealousy.

Was this becuase Tasuki didn't trust him? Because of the reawakening? Because Tasuki was frightened of him? So now the irascible redhead decided to ditch Nakago entirely in favor of some acolyte?

What did this Kouji character have that Nakago didn't? Nakago was positive that he was better-looking, smarter, more interesting, a better lover, and-

"Seiryu, I'm being petty. If Kouji is what he wants, then I should let him be happy. At least Kouji never tried to kill him," Nakago said softly to himself, rolling over on his side and trying not to be sad.


Nakago sat up abruptly, blinking and facing Baoling, who was creeping in his tent. She wore nothing but a thin, sheer white nightgown, showing off her adorable figure. Nakago swallowed. If Tasuki was a woman, he would look just like she did...

"You look sad, Nakago-sama. I thought you might like me to cheer you up," Baoling purred seductively, offering Nakago a coy smile and creeping over towards him.

"Cheer me up?" Nakago asked as the girl crawled over his bedroll and paused beside him, looking wanton.

"Would you like me to make you feel better, Nakago-sama?" she whispered, running a hand down to his groin and gently rubbing.

Nakago closed his eyes and leaned towards Baoling for just a moment before he snapped back and removed her hand. "No. Thank you," he said sternly, pushing her away.

"Don't you want me?" she asked plaintively, blinking in surprise at his rejection.

"Not really. You're very cute, but very dull. Now leave," Nakago said dismissively. Her likeness to Tasuki was starting to disturb him. It felt almost like she did it on purpose. And she irritated him for no explainable reason.

"You're making a big mistake," Baoling said darkly, her eyes flashing a dark blue for a moment.

"Am I?" Nakago asked coolly, tensing his body for battle.

"Oh, yes, little Heart. A very big mistake. If you won't be corrupted, then you must...DIE!!" Baoling growled, her features melting away to reveal a dark blue demonic creature.

"How very predictable," Nakago said drolly, and reached out with his ki and blasted the demon away from him.

Demon-Baoling flew out of the destroyed tent, her scaly blue body writhing in pain. She stood up a second after hitting the ground, growling fiercely out of a rather impressive maw of razor-sharp teeth. She began rushing towards Nakago, her claws outstretched.

Nakago stood up and leaped over the demon as she rushed him, reaching down and grabbing a spiny ridge on her back and tossing her backwards. "Tough little bitch, aren't you?" he growled, smiling fiercely.

And suddenly, he was drowning again.

The demon cackled in his watery view, as the water started to freeze and enter his lungs. Nakago choked and gasped, but it was no use. He was going to die. It was just like during his travel into the book...

And then the silvery arc of a sword swing forcibly removed the demon's head. The icy water disappeared in an eye blink. Nakago choked and sucked in the air gratefully, watching his granddaughter offer him a hand up.

"Thank you, Liangnai," Nakago breathed, taking her hand but remained sitting and shivering, drenched in icy water, his head bent down. Langrui examined the demon's corpse thoughtfully.

"The acolyte Kouji must also be a demonic servant. We must hurry to the Suzaku seishi, Tasuki, at once!" the Konan prince concluded.

"Come, Nakago-sama. We must save your lover!" Liangnai said urgently, tugging on Nakago's hand.

The blonde seishi stood up, throwing off his brush with death now that he was filled with fear for Tasuki's life. Or worse, Tasuki‘s corruption. Nakago turned to his granddaughter, preparing to run towards the Suzaku camp.

And he realized that a shard of ice the size of a sword blade stuck out from her midsection.

"LIANGNAI!!!" Nakago screamed as the Kutou princess fell into his arms, bleeding. Langrui cried out in pain off in the distance. A figure cloaked in blue darkness approached, another sword-like shard of ice in her hand.

Nakago raised his eyes in righteous fury, and met the dark blue orbs of Danielle Manor, the Demon Elemental of Water.


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