Only Time: The Sacred Power
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). My attempt at a battle. Don't worry, this chapter is longer than the last. :) I watched Lord of the Rings too many times, I think. It affected my battle scene. ^^;; Just as FYI, in reference to Nakago as NakagoBoshi, well, that’s his real name, according to the star charts. All the seishi have a “boshi” after their name, but Yu Watase discarded the “boshi” after most of their names, Miboshi, Suboshi, and Amiboshi being the notable exceptions. I guess TamahomeBoshi, was not only a mouthful, but didn’t have the same ring as Tamahome by itself did. As far as I can tell, “boshi” means “star“.
Tasuki had been relieved to discover his tessen lying unharmed on the ground where the Demon Elemental of Fire had stood the next day. It had all but been forgotten when Junko had appeared. The group soon continued their trek, and three days later, the Seiryu and Suzaku Seven came across the Sairou/Hokkan crossroads.
Liangnai was doing rather well, as Mitsukake had completely healed both her, Langrui, and Nakago. Langrui, for once, kept his mouth shut, and assisted Mitsukake without complaint. Nakago was under the impression that Langrui rather looked up to Mitsukake.
Neither the Genbu or Byakko Seven were there. Nurong and Boushin agreed to set camp, and wait for them. Liangnai and Langrui had yet to argue, and it was as if their ordeal had formed a bond between the pair. They laughed and joked amongst themselves, and Nakago found out from Boushin that Langrui rarely, if ever, smiled. Nakago was very pleased to find that Liangnai was getting along so well with her future husband.
Nakago wished he could get along so well with his own lover.
Tasuki was not adverse to a bit of affection, and there was a closeness returned between Tasuki and Nakago, but no real intimacy. It seemed they were back to the beginning again. Tasuki didn't talk much in the past three days, and Nakago noted that the redhead could brood better Mitsukake when he wanted. But it was more than they had, and Nakago wasn't going to complain. Out loud.
Nakago felt horrible for Tasuki, and felt a certain sort of loss himself for Junko, who had quickly grown to be like a mother to him as well. He respected and cared for her. But at the same time, he wasn't going to let it destroy his life. Tasuki was letting it get to him. Tasuki was wrapping himself up in his pain, and wasn't letting anyone in.
Nakago brought Tasuki his dinner, sitting down beside the somber redhead in their tent. Tasuki took it and slurped it up without vigor, saying nothing. Nakago hadn't known Tasuki to be silent for three minutes, much less three days. It was disconcerting.
Tasuki ate about half of his soup before setting it down, and laying down and curling up on his bedroll.
"Now I know where you get it from," Nakago sighed.
Tasuki half-turned his face, his honey-colored eyes glittering at Nakago.
"You're acting just like Junko did before we came inside the book. Are you going to hide in this tent forever? Moping got her nowhere. Or did you want to follow her into being possessed by a demon?" Nakago sighed.
Sometimes, Nakago would forget how unnaturally fast Tasuki was. He didn't even see the redhead jump up and punch him so hard he was flown outside of the tent. He blinked his eyes, and there he was, lying flat on his back outside the tent, with no clear recollection of how he got there.
And then Tasuki leaned over him, his eyes filled with unshed tears. "Sorry," he said shortly, and helped Nakago up.
"No...I know. I deserved it. I'm sorry," Nakago said.
Tasuki took a step back, half of his lip curling upwards. "You've never apologized so quickly before. I musta hit you pretty hard," he smirked.
Nakago sniffed. "Don't get used to it, Dollface," he sneered.
Tasuki bared his fangs in a grin. "Whatever, blondie. You're just jealous because I can kick your ass six ways from Sunday before breakfast. You didn't even see me comin'," he said.
"True. I haven't seen you come in a while. Care to remedy that?" Nakago asked with a smirk.
Tasuki's face fell. "No. I don't. Not now," he said seriously, and suddenly turned his back to Nakago.
Nakago sighed. "Sorry. I didn't mean that. Okay, so I meant it, but...it's alright. I understand," he said, trying not to sound too hurt.
Tasuki turned around and seemed to study Nakago's face for a long time. "Hold me...?" he asked timidly.
Nakago smiled and wrapped his arms around the redhead, who leaned against him gratefully.
"Any time, Tas-chan, any time," Nakago whispered.
The Genbu and Byakko Seven appeared over the horizon just after breakfast.
Yuiren ran as fast as the wind to her parents, who hugged and kissed her in greeting until it seemed no one could breathe. Tetsuya wound up tripping over his own feet, but he was just as enthusiastically greeted by his sons and wife. With the Genbu and Byakko Seven came the royalty from their own countries.
From Sairou came Dei, a handsome prince with long dark green hair. He walked with regality and purpose, a direct contrast to his younger brother Daisuki, whose short green hair was lighter than his brother's and bounced along with mischievous purpose. From Hokkan came Princess Sun-Li, whose lavender coloring and features resembled the long-dead Ren and Miiru so much that Miaka gasped. Sun-Li's uncle, a teenager ten full years younger than herself named Cheng, also closely resembled the incestuous servants of Tenko, but his hair was black.
Nakago soon found himself deeply involved in talks with Tokaki and Hikitsu. Nurong, Boushin, and Hotohori also involved themselves, as did Princess Sun-Li and Prince Dei. Apparently, The Demon Elementals of Wind and Earth had also sent demon servants to corrupt both Hikitsu and Tokaki. Joseph Kinder, the Demon Elemental of Wind, attacked when his servant, the wind demon was defeated. He left as mysteriously as the others, when Danielle, the Demon Elemental of Water, showed up and sobbed for him to hold her. Junko stopped herself from killing Hikitsu, and then left of her own accord. Neither Hikitsu or Tokaki were willing to give details on the nature of the demon servants, but if Baoling and Kouji were any indication, Nakago could fill in the details himself. But Hikitsu and Tokaki's relationship had obviously not faltered, for which Nakago felt a twinge of uncontrollable jealousy.
Nakago was soon formally introduced to Princess Sun-Li and Prince Dei by Nurong. Prince Dei was a descendant of Karasuki, one of the Byakko Seven. After looking at the somber Karasuki, who remained aloof from his fellow seishi, Nakago could see the resemblance between Dei and Karasuki. Not only did they both have dark green hair, but a rather sour disposition, and were both exceedingly suspicious of everything. Sun-Li of Hokkan was exceedingly polite and kind, as genteel a lady as Nakago had ever met. When asked tactfully by Hotohori, she revealed that her parentage did indeed include the incestuous servants of Tenko, Ren and Miiru, who had a son before they were killed for their sins. The child was spared out of mercy by the childless Emperor many years ago, and raised as his own son. Sun-Li spoke of her bloodline with shame and embarrassment, but did not shirk from the truth.
The royal leaders, the favored of the Four Gods, and the Priestesses (and their stand-ins) joined together for a big discussion. Tasuki, the favored of Suzaku, should have technically been part of the talks and discussion that absorbed the rest of the day. But he hung back, obviously embarrassed to take his role of leadership. So Hotohori stood in his place, though even he seemed to feel out of place trying to speak as though he was the leader of the Suzaku Seven.
"Why does not the favored of Suzaku take his position as leader?" Dei finally asked when they neared dusk and they were eating their dinner in the large tent set up for their meeting. Miaka choked on her fifth bowl of rice at the question, giving Hotohori one her trademarked doe-eyed looks.
Hotohori chewed his bottom lip. "I think Tasuki feels odd being our leader. We never formally had one. And right now...well...his sister, who raised him like he was her son, was possessed by the Demon Elemental of Earth. He is...suffering," Hotohori said delicately.
Dei snorted. "We are all suffering. We all have lost many things, and wish to save our world. Forgive me if I have little sympathy for him. My father, the Emperor, is one of many who have disappeared in my kingdom. Tasuki-san should take his rightful place. It is a sign of poor leadership for him to hide so," the dour prince said.
"With all due respect, you have no right to judge him, little princeling. Leave him be," Nakago hissed, instantly defensive of Tasuki. Dei started at being spoke to in such a manner. Yuiren and Tokaki had to hide their grins, apparently knowing Dei well enough to appreciate it.
Dei opened his mouth to retort, but before he could, a loud rumble was heard. The earth began to shake, wind began to blow, fire began to burn, and water began to freeze.
Nakago found himself outside, without remembering how he ran out there. His legs seemed to know where he was going. That was enough for him at the moment. He glanced at the imposing shadow of Mt. Taikyoku looming above him, and then looked off at the horizon, where the noise seemed to be coming from.
Taiitsukun was before him, and it seemed she was always there, looking off into the sunset with a grim look. She turned to the approaching seishi. She ignored their questions.
"Hide the Priestesses and the royals. The Demon Elementals have released the Elemental Juggernauts. Prepare for battle, Seishi of the Four Gods," she intoned, and then turned, motioning for the Priestesses and royals to fall back closer to the mountain.
The horizon wavered, and the world was suddenly filled with four gigantic shapes. One was blue, one was red, one was yellow, and the last green. They were each a dozen stories tall, and in vaguely humanoid shapes. Their skin glinted in the dying sun like metal, and every step they took seemed to drain life from the very world itself. Their dull eyes glowed in malice, and they had no mouths. Their huge fists swung as they walked towards the assembled seishi, with grim purpose.
Tasuki was suddenly beside Nakago, his recovered fan clenched in his fist. He flashed an uncertain grin in Nakago's direction, which Nakago returned just as uncertainly.
"Wind is to earth, and water is to fire. It would make sense to face off against our opposing elements," Hikitsu said calmly, as if they weren't facing four monstrous demonic creatures.
"Sound advice, Hikitsu. I think we shall take it. Seiryu Seven!! We fight the red Juggernaut!!" Nakago cried. Behind him, his fellow seishi stood, poised for battle.
"Suzaku Seven!! Time to kick some giant blue booty!!" Tasuki cried, his doubts on leadership forgotten, and his fellow seishi assembled behind him without question.
"Byakko Seven!! Green boy is all ours!!" Tokaki cried, grinning. He seemed to almost be looking forward to the fight. His fellow seishi ran behind him, ready to fight.
"Genbu Seven!! Obviously, the yellow one is our target!!" Hikitsu cried, as his fellow seishi stood behind him, ready for battle.
"As the favored of the God of Strategic Warfare, do you have any advice on how to fight these monstrosities?" Nakago asked with a raised golden eyebrow.
Hikistu favored the blond with a dark smile. "Yes. Don't get killed," he said dryly.
"On three then?" Tokaki asked.
"Why wait? Let's go now!!" Tasuki cried and ran out as fleet as a raging fire towards the blue Juggernaut. Only a second behind him, the Suzaku Seven followed.
"Rekka-Shinen!!!" Tasuki screamed.
The rest of the seishi followed suit, attacking the other Juggernauts. Behind them, Taiitsukun watched the battle grimly, her beady eyes glittering in the fading sunlight.
Nakago was lost in the flurry of battle. The Seiryu Seven were like the raging tsunami, swarming over the red Juggernaut. He lost all notice of the other seishi, and focused solely on his enemy, and his team.
The Fire Juggernaut was huge, and flames jetted from it's very eyes as the seishi rushed it. It's huge fists swung around madly, trying to smash the Warriors of Seiryu. Nakago placed as strong a defensive shield as he could over his teammates, but he was being stretched thin. Soi called down the rains and winds, slamming them into the red Juggernaut without impunity.
Nakago had never felt more alive. It seemed his very being sung while in battle with the giant beast. Every ki blast he slammed into it, every arc of lightning Soi sent down on it sang in his mind. The ryuuseisui in Suboshi's hands slammed into the fire Juggernaut's chest, and Amiboshi played a haunting tune on his flute. Miboshi summoned up demons he controlled, and Ashitare flung himself with all his might and ferocity onto the red giant itself. Tomo, finding his illusions were useless, resorted to a skill few knew he possessed. Throwing knives.
But the monster was no easy prey. Nakago could feel the heat of the fires it tossed across his skin, and pumped more energy into his defensive ki, feeling faint from the huge rush of power. Never before had he cared enough to divide his ki shields between himself and his teammates. Now, Nakago unconsciously funneled more of his power into the shields around his team, rather than himself.
A loud yelp startled Nakago, and he saw Ashitare being flung into the ground by the Juggernaut, landing badly. Nakago diverted his eyes from the battle, and found himself looking at the water Juggernaut, trying desperately to find Tasuki, to make sure Tasuki was alright...
His distraction proved a grave mistake. Nakago heard, rather than felt the huge hand slam into him, and the incredible sensation of flying into the air and landing against a rock jarred him. He felt something break in his body, but he didn't know what. A small gasp was all he gave in indication of the intense pain that seared through his body.
He could see Ashitare struggling to his feet, could hear Soi screaming his name, could feel how intense the fire was, and he heard somebody screaming. He prayed it wasn't Tasuki.
He leaned back, feeling tired. His vision was blurring. And he felt cold.
Nakago, my son.
Somebody was calling him.
Nakago shivered. But he was alone. Would Tasuki care if he died? Would Tasuki cry? Why did he care what Tasuki did or did not do?
Nakago. You give up so easily, boy? You are my favored, my blessed warrior. You embody me in mortal form. You are of my blood, as are all my seishi. It takes more than a simple rock to kill you.
Seiryu. His god. His patron. His spiritual father. The Dragon God of Battle. He was calling him. No, that wasn't right...
Get up, Nakago. They will die without you. You owe them so much more than this. You owe your fellow seishi everything. Because you stand above them, they support your weight. A seishi's strength is due to his senshi as much as his God. You would let them die?
Nakago screamed, his body rebelling as he tried to control it.
If you die, then they all die. The other senshi as well. Even Tasuki will perish if you give up.
No. Not Tasuki. Never Tasuki. Everything in Nakago cried out at the thought of being responsible for the redhead's death. He could not let Tasuki, could not let anyone die for him. He wasn't worth it.
Get up, Warrior of the Heart!! GET UP NOW!!
Nakago stood up.
Ashitare, bleeding and bruised, was trying to hold one of the Juggernaut's fists away from Tomo, who lay unconscious on the ground. Soi's body practically glowed from the effort of sending lightning bolt after lightning bolt into the Juggernaut. Suboshi and Amiboshi were surrounded by flames, but still Amiboshi played. Suboshi clung to his brother, wishing to die with the one he loved most in the world. Miboshi's tiny body contorted with the effort of controlling the demons he summoned.
The huge red monster swiveled its giant head towards the blond Celestial Warrior approaching it. The first sichiseishi of Seiryu stood before the Fire Juggernaut, his beautiful face set in grim determination. NakagoBoshi glowed with a holy blue aura, his long blond hair waving wildly as though he was in water.
"With the blessed power of Seiryu, we are the Seiryu Seven, Celestial Warriors of the Dragon God!!" Nakago cried, raising his hand.
His cry rang pure and clear across the battle field. In response, the favored of Suzaku, Byakko, and Genbu also began to glow with a holy aura.
"Evil shall not reign here. Not now. Not ever. Be gone, monster!!!" Nakago cried.
It was a call to arms. Every seishi on the battle field stood still, and concentrated. A holy aura surrounded every Celestial Warrior, and for just a brief second, it burned so brightly it flashed as bright as the sun. And the aura around every warrior shot straight to the favored of their God, and the holy auras around Hikitsu, Tokaki, Tasuki, and Nakago burned bright and great. Off in the distance, the royals closed their eyes from the brightness of the light.
The Elemental Juggernauts attacked the favored of the Beast Gods, with renewed fury.
A bolt of light, one green, one yellow, one red, and the last blue shot from the favored, and into the Juggernauts. A soundless, mental scream reverberated through each seishi's mind, and the Juggernauts were no more. Each monstrosity crumbled to dust and blew away in the wind.
Nakago collapsed from the effort, his body aching, but singing. He felt alive. He was alive. He swiveled his head to where the Suzaku Seven stood, and saw Tasuki in Tamahome's arms, half-conscious, and jabbering about how great he was, and did they see that? Nakago breathed a sigh of relief as Soi's hands rested on him, and he realized he was being gently lowered to ground. He wondered if he was more jealous that Tamahome was holding Tasuki, or happy that Tasuki was alive.
He resented being so concerned with another's existence. Why did he allow his life to revolve around another. Weakness. And yet...
Nakago caught Tasuki's eye as his team hovered over him, soothing his wounds. Tasuki smiled, revealing his fangs as Mitsukake pronounced Tasuki well, just exhausted. Tasuki tugged on Mitsukake's sleeve, and pointed to Nakago. With a frown, the tall, stolid Suzaku seishi began walking towards Nakago's bleeding, broken form.
Nakago blinked in surprise when Mitsukake's hand rested on him. A yellow light glowed for a brief second, and Nakago sat up, feeling quite well. Mitsukake wobbled, but Miboshi held him up, thanking him profusely for healing Nakago's broken back.
Nakago blinked. He had...stood...fought even...with a broken back??
Nakago looked up and stared into the sky, smiling. Seiryu had given him strength to conquer even the most grievous of injuries.
"No," Chiriko said, coming up behind Miboshi and Mitsukake. Nakago swiveled his head. Chiriko, now that he was in his seishi prime, had developed empathic and even telepathic abilities. He had knowledge, not just of books, but of people's minds and hearts.
"No what?" Nakago blinked. He vaguely noted Yui running forward and clutching her sons, and Miaka throwing herself at Tamahome.
"No, Seiryu did not give you that strength. You had that strength all along, Nakago. Seiryu merely goaded you into using it. Just as Suzaku did with Tasuki," Chiriko smiled, glancing at Tasuki, who was sitting up and trying to fight an excited Miaka off of him. Apparently the Priestess of Suzaku wanted to hug everyone. Chichiri was wiping lipstick off his cheek.
"Congratulations are not quite in order yet, Seishi of the Four Gods," Taiitsukun growled from where she stood.
"What the hell are you talkin' 'bout, old woman? We just beat the four Elemental Juggernauts. Did you not catch the size of those things? They were as big as mountains!!" Tasuki cried, exasperated.
Taiitsukun looked past them, to where four figures stood, silhouetted by the twilight, as the sun had just set. The sound of clapping filled the air as the four stood where they could be seen.
"Brilliant performance. Care for an encore?" Joseph Kinder, the Demon Elemental of Wind, sneered.
"Oh, yes, I think I should like to see that one again," Danielle Manor, the Demon Elemental of Water, applauded.
"Replayed in slow motion, even," Nicholas O'Brien, the Demon Elemental of Fire, grinned.
"Hope you're not too tired from the last exercise," Junko Ishida, the Demon Elemental of Earth, laughed.
"Now the real battle begins, seishi," Taiitsukun intoned.
To be continued...
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