Transience of a Water Mirror
By Kourin Lucrece
Disclaimer: Take any guess what I'm gonna say... If you can't guess then
you should not use this site...
WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR CHICHIRI'S PAST AND IN LATER
CHAPTERS FOR THE OAV. ALSO, CHARACTER DEATH.
Author's Note: For those of you who read the original, there will be very
few surprises, but I did change the story greatly, not only by adding
scenes but by changing the ones that were already there. ^.^ To tell the
truth, there's very little of the original remaining, lol. For those of you
who didn't read it the first time around, which I am sure is most of you,
this is a kinda sad fic, so yeah... Enjoy!! ((Thanks to all the original
reviewers, I love you!!))
Chapter One: What Have I Done?
Houjun walked cheerfully along the dirt road, whistling an old song that he
had heard recently. He could just imagine the look on Kouran's face when he
gave her the present he had. It had taken him almost 4 months of doing
extra work for neighbors to raise enough money for the ivory hair clip
Kouran had loved at the market place. His father had chuckled about
Houjun's persistence, saying that the girl had already said yes to marrying
him, he need not woo her further. But to Houjun, it was worth it.
As he neared Kouran's family home, Houjun wondered yet again how he was so
lucky to have a girl like Kouran love a poor farmer like himself. Even
Hikou was nearer her social status, but such things had never mattered to
the 3 friends. They were too close to care. After all, they all loved each
other to some degree.
Houjun was, as always cheerfully received at the door by Kouran's mother.
"Ohayo gozaimasu, Hanako-san," he replied with a bow. "Is Kouran-san at
"Hai, she and Hikou are out on the back porch."
"Arigato!" He said, as he hurried to find his two friends. Perhaps the 3 of
them could enjoy the day together. His father had told Houjun and his
brother a few days before with the start of the rain season that working
the fields would be pointless for a few weeks.
But what the young man saw then stopped him dead in his tracks. Kouran...
Hikou... The ivory clip fell from his hand as Houjun watched his true love
and best friend sharing a long passionate kiss. As his gift clattered to
the floor, the two pulled apart and turned to face him. Kouran's eyes
filled with tears.
But before she could finish, he had turned and run, trying to get the image
from his mind. Hikou and Kouran? It couldn't be true! He and Kouran were
going to be married... and... And Hikou was his best friend!
Houjun stopped running as his lungs began to protest the activity and
stood, gasping for breath. A light rain had begun to fall again, plastering
his bangs to his face. He still didn't understand. How could they?
But as the rain began falling more steadily, the farmer's son headed
reluctantly back to his own home. Perhaps it had all been a
misunderstanding. He had seen it wrong, or had taken it wrong, or
something. His mind reeled as he tried to deny what he had just witnessed.
"Oniiiiiiiii-chan!" His younger sister called in greeting, as he walked
into their house. She ran over to give him a hug and Houjun smiled slightly
at her exuberance. She was the sweetest kid.
"Ne, Onii-chan..." She looked concerned. "Daijobu ka?"
"Hai," he assured her quietly, "Daijobu."
"Good," the small girl said cheerfully. "Cuz Kouran-san is here to see
you!" Having fulfilled her duty as messenger, Ume darted away to play
Hesitating slightly before entering the other room, Houjun pushed open the
door. He was surprised to find his fiancée there on her knees, sobbing.
She hid her face further in her sleeves. "Houjun, gomen ne... I cannot stay
with you!" she cried. "Gomen ne... gomen ne!"
His eyes widened. "You love Hikou then?" he demanded. The only response was
her sobbing and Houjun felt his heart break in that moment. He turned and
walked swiftly away, knowing he couldn't cry in front of her and if he
stayed he surely would cry. But his sadness quickly turned to anger at
their betrayal. Damn it, he'd trusted them both!
When he spotted Hikou standing next to the swollen river, Houjun's rage
grew further. He loved them both; they'd been friends forever! You were
supposed to be able to trust your friends. But Hikou had stolen Kouran's
love from him. His best friend... His best friend... HIS BEST FRIEND!!
Hikou turned and saw Houjun, and the younger man could no longer contain
his hurt. He lunged forward, catching Hikou by the wrists. "Give her back,
But Houjun didn't give his friend time to explain. "How could you? I
trusted you. Give her back!"
Hikou took another step backwards and was horrified to feel the riverbank
crumbling beneath his foot. But his fall was cut short as Houjun once again
caught his hand; this time in an attempt to save him.
"Hang on, Hikou," Houjun whispered in terror as he tried to pull his friend
out of the rushing water. His anger had disappeared as quickly as it had
come, leaving him stuck in a nightmarish situation. He couldn't lose Hikou!
"Don't let go," his friend pleaded.
"I won't," came the terse reply, "I promise."
He never even saw it coming. He was so intent upon rescuing his friend that
Houjun never saw the log coming. All of a sudden a searing pain ripped
through his and Houjun jerked a hand instinctively to his bleeding eye.
When Houjun regained control of his reeling senses, he realized that he had
let go of Hikou. "No..."
His working eye frantically scanned the dark churning waters for a sign of
his friend in the flood. "No... Hikou!!" The rain continued to fall as
Houjun's world faded into hazy red pain.
When he awoke, Houjun struggled to his feet, blood leaking anew from his
ruined eye. His home, the town... They were gone... It couldn't be true!!
Houjun sprinted as fast as he could through the remaining standing water,
and stood numb staring at the wreckage of what had once been home. There
was little left save fallen houses and the dead. Those he loved were all
gone to the same horrible death as Hikou and he had killed them as surely
as if he had stabbed them. They were all gone.
He turned away, but the sight was one permanently etched into his mind.
Houjun collapsed to his knees in anguish. 'Dear Suzaku, what have I done?'
And tears mixed with the blood of his ruined eye.
Well, isn't that a cheerful chapter? ^^;;; It doesn't get much better in
that respect... Gomen! So, what did you think? Poor Chichiri... Please
review and keep an eye out for the rewrites of the other three chapters!!