To Meet Again

Chapter 37


Author's Note: Yo. Been a while. It's summer. Let's see what I can do with this.

Disclaimer: I don't own it. Don't need to. :p

Yui crossed her arms over her knees as Tetsuya continued to bang at the door. The parking lot was deserted except for an old rusted VW Bug that sat on the edge of the space. Keisuke's maybe? It had better not be. That would mean that that idiot was home and wasn't answering.

"Damnit, where is he," Tetsuya grumbled. "I don't want to spend another night in a hotel. Rates around here are crazy."

"Maybe we shouldn't have taken a taxi," Yui said, though she didn't really mean it. The alternative was having Tomo drop them off and have Suboshi stare at her the whole ride over… She shivered to think about it, wondering if he remembered, wondering what he remembered. Yui shivered. It gave her the heebie jeebies even now.

Yui sighed. A cold wind ruffled her hair. Cold as a god's hand. She rubbed her arms. She had wanted to leave that part of her life behind her. Think of it as some sort of weird dream, some bad dream. The nightmares that had woken her up for several months after hadn't helped, nor had seeing Miaka's warm compassionate face watching her every day, continually forgiving her for things she'd rather forget. The appearance of Taka had been even worse. She wasn't still jealous. She wasn't. Even though he was still devastatingly handsome even now. It just hadn't seemed fair. Miaka got her love in the end. She had everything she had ever wished for…

But Yui was over that now. Had been over that for years. All it took was convincing herself she didn't care, smiling even though she felt like— and throwing herself into school and then her job with the agency that churned out popstars like prepackaged food. And eventually—yeah, she'd gotten over it. And once she and Tetsuya had relocated to Brazil, Yui had gotten over it even more…until Tomo had fallen over their doorstep, half starved and riddled with parasites from being in the jungle. What he'd been up to, he wouldn't say. If he recognized her, he never let on, but she couldn't turn him away. Hadn't been able to. Though she had wanted to. She had wanted to scream and slam the door in his face but…

"He's not answering," Tetsuya said, sitting down beside her on the stoop. Yui nodded even though that was a really banal statement. He was probably with Miaka somewhere. She was in town now, right? With her husband and her babies and at least one other of her reincarnated seishi flocking to her like lovesick pigeons. Over it, Yui reminded herself, like a mantra, a religion. Repeat it to yourself and you might come to believe it. Though it could become like those nonsensical chants the Buddhists did. In the end, you couldn't understand yourself. But in the end, did it matter?

"I'm going to kill him," Tetsuya muttered. "'Come stay with me,' he says. 'I'll take care of everything,' he says."
"Something might have happened," Yui said absently. Not that she believed it. Judging by Tetsuya's snort, he didn't either. Probably with Miaka, she thought again but kept that thought firmly locked behind her lips. Yui stood and stretched her arms over her head. The mountains rose in the distance, looking like a painting or a film set.

"We…could call Julio," Tetsuya said, voice uncertain as it always was when Tomo was involved. It was like he thought she could go into relapse any moment just by being around them. That Tetsuya might inadvertently pry open some old trauma. Yui turned to smile at him, trying to redirect her sour thoughts.

"That would be fine. Might as well get out of this cold." As long as Suboshi wasn't with him, as he probably would be. Seeing him in the airport— All of a sudden, rising up on his crutch and staring at her with those blue eyes that—that pathetic expression that he was so good at. It had been like a slap, like a cold punch to the gut. She'd wanted to stop, to close her eyes and wish him out of existence. And there was that other kid who had been in the airport, too. The one who had looked at her as if she had three heads. He was a seishi too, probably, but she hadn't recognized him. Ashitare, maybe? Miboshi? Whoever he had been he hadn't looked happy to see her. Yui sighed. Would meeting her seishi again always be like this?

"Yui…" Tetsuya said. She knew what was coming before his warm arms wrapped around her. It was almost too hot but she leaned back against him anyway. She loved him, right? They were dating, right? Practically married for all intents and purposes. He wanted it, she knew, but most days she didn't feel enough like Hongo Yui, let alone Kajawara Yui.

"I'm alright," she said, patting his arm, slipping away from him. "Just call him, okay?" Yui smiled at him and made her way across the parking lot, pretended to be interested in the Bug. See? She couldn't be Miaka anyway. While her friend would have melted in Tetsuya's embrace and repeated his name like she was afraid of letting go of it, Yui just wanted to squirm away.

The fate of the Seiryuu no Miko, she guessed. The Seiryuu in general. We're all a bunch of bastards, she thought, crouching to examine the cracked headlight. Even Tomo, who had told her one dark wet night about how he'd left his brother behind in the children's home—had just ran away. Yui had never gotten to hear why, hadn't pressed for more. It wasn't as if she didn't care but she wasn't someone who could close a box full of pain once it had been opened.

She heard footsteps coming toward her across the asphalt and though she knew it was Tetsuya, knew it, she stood and turned anyway to make absolutely sure. He was frowning, holding out the phone.

"He says he doesn't have a car," Tetsuya said. Oh, that damned— Yui took the phone from him and turned to glare at the Bug.

"You had a car last night," she said. If he was just being lazy she was going to kick his ass. He wasn't that much of a superstar that she couldn't. Not that she would ever let something like that stop her.

"It was my— It was someone else's car," Tomo said, sounding agitated. Funny the more annoyed he got the less Spanish he sounded. "Why don't you call a cab? For that matter, do you have any idea what time it is?"

Yui rolled her eyes.

"Sorry, princess," she said. "I forgot. See it's just that most normal people are out of bed by eleven."
"It's called beauty sleep," Tomo said. "You should look into it." He cackled at his own joke. Yui was tempted to threaten to shove his feathers so far down his throat he wouldn't have to worry about beauty sleep, or sitting down for that matter, for a long time—but he probably wouldn't get the reference.

"Just call a cab for us," she said, instead. "I don't have the number on hand and lord knows you should do something to earn your paycheck."

"Bitch, please. I'm a sensation. I've been in three magazines just this week and in the newspaper," he said and she heard the rustling of paper as if he was trying to prove the point. "Soon I probably won't even need you for gigs."

"Well for now you still do and if you don't want to end up singing at kid's parties for the rest of your very short lived career, you better send a cab to Seventh Heaven."

"Very well, your Eminence," Tomo said, probably because he knew she hated it.

"Thank you, Tomo," she said because she knew he hated it and hung up before he could. It was a game they always played. She would command, he would whine and threaten to get a new agent. Not that he would. He wouldn't trust anyone else to handle his contracts and they both knew it. Just like they both knew she would never consign him to children's parties. It was her career too, after all.

"I just don't get you guys," Tetsuya said as she handed the phone back to him. No, he wouldn't get it. It was a loyaty based on greed, true, but there was something more than that— a connection she couldn't explain. It wasn't quite friendship but more like—more like something— Yui shook her head. It wasn't worth thinking about. It wasn't worth trying to explain.

"It's a Seiryuu thing," she said, giving him a quick kiss. That was true enough, anyway and really, in the end, he didn't much care. He just ran his treats and sweets making business and stayed out of the way. Tetsuya kissed her back and she let him, closing her eyes and letting her hands rest on his shoulders. Even so, she often felt they were less lovers than roommates with benefits and little enough of those lately. Like they really were married. Yui found herself smiling at that and Tetsuya pulled back and smiled at her, his annoying sunglasses slipping down his nose. She pushed them up again with the tip of her finger. He had an eye condition, supposedly. She didn't much care. She didn't want to see Tetsuya's eyes anyway. Yeah, because you might start caring about him, right? Said a snide voice in the back of her head. And we can't have that, can we, Seiryuu no Miko?

"I'm glad we're doing this, Yui," Tetsuya said and she could feel his fingers press into the small of her back. "Lately we've drifted apart but I'm starting to feel you again."

That was only because Europe had been so mind-bendingly awful with Taka and Miaka and their saccharine happiness covering everything like whitewash. One big happy family. Ha. Yeah right. And Miaka the ever loving, ever forgiving, kept asking her when she was going to get married, have children of her own, as if that was the end goal in life to everyone with the same set of chromosomes. Yui wanted to tell him this, but that was way too bitter sounding even in her head and even if she wasn't completely over it she could at least pretend.

"Yes," she said, kissing him again. "I'm glad, too." And if he knew otherwise, Tetsuya didn't let on, just smiled. She wanted to wriggle away, to run away, to leave Tetsuya behind and just hang out with Tomo who, at the very least, understood her. Not at all like Miaka would do and maybe that was the problem. Miaka was always happy and she was mostly miserable so maybe if Yui were more like Miaka she would learn something? It couldn't hurt to try.

"Oh, Tetsuya, I'm so happy," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder.

"Me, too," he murmured in her ear. And she stood there, holding him as they waited for the cab, feeling more and more like a liar and less and less like herself. Whoever that was.