Disclaimer: I do not own Fushigi Yugi.
Author Notes: This is my first real attempt at a fluff. There's a bit of Hotohori bashing. (I half like the guy, and I half do, so there's nothing really against him.) There will be a hint of Tas/Nur pairing in here as well. I hope you enjoy! On to the fic!
I took a deep breath. " Here goes nothing." Three booms resounded throughout the palace halls, as I knocked on the door. I looked around. " Hope that didn't wake anybody up." A beautiful, yet distant voice called for me to come in and I did.
He looked at me as I closed the door behind me and stepped into his lit chambers. " Nuriko," a pause, " Please, sit down." His voice seemed less distant and colder now that we were up close.
" Hotohori-sama, have I come at a bad time?"
There was a distinct silence in the room before he spoke.
" What has brought you here at this time of night? I suppose it is important since it could not wait until the morning."
I felt my face heat up as he spoke to me. How to approach such a tender subject?
" I love you."
Hotohori frowned. " What?"
Being blunt was always my strongest point.
" I love you. I- I told Miaka before, and she, she told you, but I don't think you remembered."
I waited for a response. When I didn't receive one I looked up to find Hotohori shaking; with what, I don't know. He paced the room a bit, before stopping a few feet in front of me.
" Nuriko, I do remember quite well what Lady Miaka said to me."
" But your Highness, you didn't say anything."
" I said nothing, because I did not want to upset the Priestess. My feelings towards you are strong. They are intense, and they are angry. You lied, denied your manhood, took advantage of my palace and its luxuries, and you dared to raise a hand against the one person whom showed you kindness!!!
I felt my test tighten as Hotohori's true anger started to show. I now knew he shook in rage.
" You dare to come to me, declaring such filth! Even if you were truly a female, I would not have you. You may be beautiful, but you are nothing. You are not a man, nor a woman.
The only reason you live is because of Suzaku himself! If he had not blessed you, not even the priestess could save you. Your very being is cursed. If you were not on my team you would have been imprisoned and executed long ago. Your actions are a crime punished by death."
My face was hot, and a burning ball stuck in my throat. Was this true? Was I destined to be dead by his hands?
" Do not approach me except for business matters any longer, for I feel if we should meet again under such circumstances," a lengthy pause, " you would not walk away unscathed." He narrowed his eyes. " Now get out and leave me to my sleep."
Get out…? My vision starts to blur, as the impossible heat in my face grows hotter. I turned quickly, silently and left his chambers, making sure to close the door before I bolted. I felt rather than saw myself run outside.
I need to go somewhere. I feel the cool wind breathe on me as I slow down to a walk. The landscape is so beautiful outside the palace. I walked up to the pond, about half a mile from the royal gardens. The water was dark, yet beautiful. The moon brought mysteriousness about it, that not even I could decipher.
The grass was soft to my bottom as I sat down, and lay against the hard front of a tree. Was I really here? Did I truly go to the Emperor's room? Did it all happen?
I felt my tear-stained face, and knew it was true. I had been rejected, and now knew I had never, and would never have a chance to gain such a heart as his. His accusations were cruel, but true. Before we even found everyone, I had slapped Miaka out of jealousy. Now, my only friend, I can't believe I did that. Well actually I can, but that's not the point. It was wrong. A thing like me is lucky enough to even be in her presence.
I can feel the shamed tears run down my face, and I don't care. I sob as the situation hits me. I'm all alone. Miaka has Tamahome. Chiriko has Mitsukake. Tasuki even has Chichiri. Hotohori…he has me, but he doesn't want me. He, he has everyone. Me, I have no one.
" Nuriko, you idiot. Who would want you? You're stubborn, selfish, spoiled, vain, and you can't even decide you gender. It's not their fault that you're messed up."
I choke on the rest of my words as my sorrow overcomes me. It's not fair. Why didn't Suzaku bless another? Why did he let Korin die in the first place? Why was I alone?
" Why can't I be normal?" Alone, in the dark, I could hear my voice croak, hoarse with tears. I could also hear the voice that suddenly spoke up behind me.
" If you were normal, you wouldn't be such a cool guy."
A flash of orange and I knew who it was.
" Yeah, so what if it is?"
His tone was defensive. I relaxed a bit. How in the world did he get that close without me hearing? He's fast, not silent. How much did he hear? He had to hear me balling my eyes out like a little kid.
" How long were you there?"
My voice sounded hostile and I flinched.
" You mean you wanna know how much heard, right? Well I was here before you, so that answers both questions."
His tone was sharp if not a bit hurt. He turned and started to walk away.
It wasn't his fault I was mad. Why did I bite out at him like that? Am I such a wretch that I'd turn away anyone but the one I love? It's not right.
" It's not right!"
The ground gave way as I punched into it. The tears came again, and I felt myself convulse as I tried to hold back my cries.
" It's not fair! Why do I have to be this way? Why do I have to be alone?"
I could see the dark outline of my dirtied braid lying on the ground next to me. It would be so simple to cut it off, yet I couldn't. I didn't want to.
I felt my face scrunch up as I sobbed desperately, hopelessly. Then, suddenly, I wasn't alone. There was warmth surrounding me, which had been previously alien to me. I hugged to it. It had a spicy scent, a familiar scent to it. I looked up and found the face of the fiery seishi… Tasuki.
This time, I held him. I buried my face into his black coat, and revealed in his warmth. I could feel his hand in my hair, stroking it. His voice was passionate as he spoke to me.
" Nuriko, I swear to you that Hotohori will get his. If his royal ass wasn't the emperor, I'd sure as hell knock him down one!"
" Ho-Hotohori-sama? What makes you think he had anything to do with it?"
My voice sounded shaky, even to me.
Tasuki shifted, so that he was leaning against the tree, holding me to his chest.
" You're strong Nuriko. Only Hotohori has such a strong hold over you. That bastard was never once considerate of you!"
It was silent for a moment, before I spoke.
" Hey, did you mean it when you said I was cool?"
" Yeah, don't take it to that big head of yours though."
I laughed. " And don't forget beautiful! Who could resist this lovely face?"
The hairs on the back of my neck stood as I felt his breath near my ear. His voice was soft.
" Yes, you are very beautiful."
A chuckle hummed throughout his body as he rested his chin on my shoulder. I smiled. Tasuki could be as sweet as a kitten when no one was around. I felt his arms wrap around my waist as we both leaned back to look at the stars. I sighed.
" You'll make someone very happy someday."
" Why do you say that?"
" I mean when you get a wife."
He laughed. " A wife? I hate women remember? A husband maybe."
My heart quickened. This was not really news, but I didn't expect him to admit it.
" Ah, so then how about Chichiri?"
" What about him?"
" I always thought he was your type."
" No. Plus, Chichiri's straight, remember? I go for the men with long, beautiful hair, good taste, and a sense of humor. Did I mention beautiful?"
I laughed for the first time since the encounter. " No, I think you forgot that."
" Oh, well the beauty is liked as well."
His hands, which had previously been idle, were now rubbing my tummy in a comforting yet intimate way. I closed my eyes, purring at the very feel of it. As I started to drift off I felt Tasuki shift a bit.
A warm kiss was placed on my chin, behind my ear, on my neck, and right by my lips. Each place was left burning, even when touched by the jealous wind. My lips itched to touch his now.
I opened my eyes to find him staring back at me, upside down. I felt a yearning, which I was familiar with, only this time it was answered.
Tasuki descended and touched his lips to mine. It was quick, friendly, intimate, and satisfying all at the same time. We parted. We leaned back once more and I snuggled into him.
" Thank you for being there. Thank you for caring."
He said nothing, but I knew he had heard every word. I was warm and comfortable in the cool night. Finally, I closed my eyes and became oblivious to the outside world. That was, until Tasuki decided to start snoring!
" Oh Suzaku!"
I punched him lightly.
" Shut up."
With that we both went back to sleep peacefully, with no more incidents occurring that night.
I hope you liked that. I sure did. This is a one-shot fic, but if I get enough reviews asking me, I might make a sequel. It's up to you. Thanks for reading!