STANDARD DISCLAIMER:

Watashi no namae wa Ryuuen desu. Does it look like I own Fushigi Yuugi? I don't even own a single volume of the manga for crying out loud!?

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

Okay, remind me once again what possessed me to write this fic? .:sweatdrop:.

LOVE IS…

By: Ryuuen

            "Aniki…"

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            "When will she come?"

            It was nearing midnight but we couldn't sleep. We were out in the garden, sitting on our usual spot under the trees, gazing into the night sky. I was playing my flute while he just sat there listening, a moment of tranquility that we both cherished. It was times like this that made me believe that there was still hope for peace in this war-ridden country. And that hope… I avert my gaze from our constellations and, tucking my prized instrument into my tunic, look into thoughtful azure eyes mirroring my own. There was a hint of wistfulness in them. I give him a small smile.

            "In due time, Shun-chan… All in due time…"

            "But, are you even sure she'd come?"

            I close my eyes.

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            "How do you know?"

            "I feel it in my heart."

            "…"

            Silence.

            "Aniki…"

            I open my eyes.

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            "Don't you ever get tired of waiting? Of hoping for something, someone whom you don't even know is real?"

            He seems serious now, a far cry from his usual self. He always is like this when we're alone. And I feel as though…

            "Aniki?"

            "Hai, Shun-chan. Waiting can be painfully hard… But sometimes… Sometimes it is necessary to protect the ones you love…"

            A puzzled expression spreads across his youthful countenance. From the look on his face, I knew that instead of answering his question, I just managed to give him something more to think about.

            "Aniki, what is love?"

            I smile at him fondly, as he scoots closer towards me, like a three-year-old child eager to hear a story.

            "Love, Shun-chan, is complicated. It is an emotion that couldn't be seen but felt, couldn't be explained but is simply understood…"

            "Nani?"

            He had that curious expression now that compelled me to continue.

            "Love is… Love is being happy as long as the person important to you is happy and giving up everything just to make that person happy…"

            "Even if the person doesn't feel the same way?"

            "Hai, Shun-chan… For love is also giving that person the freedom to choose what would really make him or her happy…"

            Silence, save for the rustling of the leaves above us. I avert my gaze once again to the stars, our stars, lying together in the eastern hemisphere, never destined to part. I feel my twin lean against me and I sigh. Maybe, just this once…

            "Be happy, Shun-chan…"

            I feel him smile as he shifted to a more comfortable position.

            "Aniki…"

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            "Do you want to know what I think love is?"

            Hesitation. Doubt. Hope?

            I manage to bring my arms around him, pulling him closer to me.

            "Aniki?"

            "There's no need, Shun-chan…"

            A soft, cool breeze wafts throughout the garden and as I feel my brother slowly drifting to sleep.

            "Aniki…"

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            "I'll only be happy if you'd stay with me forever…"

            I smile, though somehow, I felt that I could not fulfill that promise.

            "Hai, Shun-chan… I promise…"

            The wind blew a little bit harder this time. Maybe, just maybe…

            "Aniki?"

            Maybe love isn't as complicated as most of us make it out to be.

            "Hai, Shun-chan…"

            " I love you…"

            Sometimes, love can be as simple as a three letter word.

            ~owari~

            @ @ That's it! I am never, ever laying my hands on my sister's brand of coffee!?

            Please, R&R…