Here I Am

Chapter One – Letter From a Forgotten Past

By Crow Skywalker

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Disclaimer – Don't own MKR or its characters. No profit is being made, only borrowing them for my own amusement.

Author's Notes – Well, this is my first MKR fic, so be gentle. I'd also like to say that I have not seen the second season of MKR, so I'm going by what I've read…and well…you know. There may be mistakes :P But anyway, R&R and I hope you enjoy!

Warnings/Pairings – Rated PG, though I may up the rating later on. Pairings of Umi/Clef, Fuu/Ferio, and Hikaru/Lantis.

Summary – Umi wishes to return to Cephiro, and on a cold lonely night she gets sent back. However, things aren't what they seem, for a new evil is lurking not far away, and it has plans for Umi.

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The room was dimly lit; a small bluish white light flickered overhead as the two faced off. Their faces covered, both were breathing heavily as they parried each other's attacks.

The girl with the blue hair hesitated, looking for her sparing partner, Yukari's, weakness, but found none. The other girl had grown quite good at fencing in the last few years.

Either that or I'm falling behind, she thought sadly.

There had once been a time that fencing had been her favorite past time. She had been great at it, and had been known for her ability to win against every opponent. But then things had changed. Perhaps it was because she had been called to another world where she had seen great things and had fought for its safety. Or perhaps it was because since she had returned home for the second time from that same magical world, she was too depressed to care if she won or lost. Fencing had once been the most important thing in her life. But now…

"Umi, you're not concentrating enough," said the other girl, raising a hand and sliding her mask off to stare at the girl with the blue hair. "You're leaving openings –"

"I'm sorry," Umi apologized, lowering her gaze as she took off her fencing mask as well.

Yukari sighed, putting her hands on her hips. "I don't know what's wrong with you Umi," she began, "But you used to be able to beat me so easily…" She turned then, making her way to the bench to get a towel. Wiping the sweat off her forehead, she told Umi, "I think that's enough for today."

Umi nodded, following after her and retrieving her own towel from her bag.

Putting her stuff away, Yukari turned to go to the girl's bathroom, "I'm going to shower. I'll see you back at the dorm, okay?"

"Yeah…see you," Umi mumbled, suddenly angry with herself. Fencing had once been the most important thing in her life, and now she just couldn't do it anymore. She zipped open her gym bag, setting her stuff inside before swinging it over her shoulders and heading towards the gym doors.

Outside, the winter air was refreshing on her hot skin, and she stood for a moment, just letting the coldness set in. But as the wind picked up and her hair started to blow around her furiously, she began the hike back to her collage dorms, not all that far away.

The sky above was dark, and clouds covered the winter skies so that no moon or stars could be seen. Small snowflakes began to fall as she took a shortcut and stepped onto the crisp grass. Another breeze caught her hair, and this time she shivered with the cold. Wrapping her jacket more firmly around her, she continued.

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The room was dark when she entered, and she put her keys on the table beside the door and shut it behind her. Reaching out a hand, she searched for the light switch on the wall. She soon found it, flicking it on and soon the darkness disappeared as the room was basked in light.

Taking off her shoes, she threw her bag on the couch and went to the kitchen to find some food. Instead, she found something much more interesting – a letter addressed to her.

Yukari must have picked up the mail today and forgot to tell me, she thought with a small smile as she picked it up, giving it a look over, I wonder who it's from?

Opening it, she soon found out as she looked at the name at the bottom.

Hikaru? Her smile was replaced with a puzzled look, but I haven't talked to her since we all started collage! What could she want?

Her gaze turned to the start of the letter and she began to read.

Umi-chan,

Konnichiwa! Surprised to hear from me, I bet! We haven't talked in so long…I miss being able to talk to you and Fuu. So I was thinking, maybe we should all get together this weekend and hang out...talk about the good old times and all. What do you think? I mailed Fuu too, asking what she thought of my idea. It would mean a lot to me if you both accepted…I really miss you guys.

Love always,

Hikaru

P.S. You know where to find me!

Umi sat back on the couch, staring at the letter with tears in her eyes. Hikaru wanted them to get together again…of course she would accept, even though it would bring back painful memories. She dearly missed the world of Cephiro and all her friends there, but she missed Fuu and Hikaru the most.

Who knows, she thought, folding the paper and laying it on the table beside her, maybe this will be good for me. A whole weekend away from collage with my two best friends in the whole world. She smiled then, something she didn't do all too often these days. It'll be great.

But the tears were still there, threatening to fall. There was a reason she hadn't kept in touch with Hikaru and Fuu. After returning to Earth the second time, she hadn't been able to look at them without crying. They had left, giving up everything, including their friends and the ones they loved. It had been too painful around them and it brought back too many memories.

Umi stared at the letter from where it lay. She would love to see her friends – but was that such a great idea? She began to have second thoughts about meeting with them.

Closing her eyes, she wiped her tear stained face with the back of her hand. Could she really go through with it? Seeing her friends, talking about memories she had tried so hard to forget? She opened her eyes, staring ahead. The key word had been tried – she couldn't forget the world of Cephiro. She thought of it every day and dreamed of it every night. It had become an obsession to her, and no matter how she tried to block the memories out they were always there. She could no longer concentrate on work of fencing, and she was failing horribly in college.

And now…her friends wanted to see her. She wouldn't turn them down – she couldn't. They were her connection to the past and the memories of Cephiro. Maybe, just maybe, if she saw them again, then Cephiro would stop haunting her.

Umi laid her head in her hands, letting her long blue hair shield her face. Yes, she wanted to see them – she needed to see them. She needed to put everything to rest, and needed their help. Since her return to her world, Umi had been slowly going downhill. Not only her marks and work, but her mood. She was depressed a lot of the time, and her friends were worried about her. She hoped seeing Hikaru and Fuu would help her. She missed them both, almost as much as she missed Cephiro.

Straightening, she looked down at the couch to find it very appealing. Putting her head on the pillow, she put her feet up and lay there on the soft fabric, closing her eyes once more as sleep started to consume her. And for what seemed like the hundredth time that week, she dreamed of the magical world that she had tried so hard to forget. Hikaru and Fuu were there, along with all of the others, waiting for her with smiles upon her face. They were so happy, and for the first time since she left, she was happy too. But deep down inside, she knew it wasn't real. It was a dream, just like the others.

"Cephiro," She muttered in her sleep, a pained expression making its way across her face. Cephiro was the one place she had ever been happy, and she wished with all her heart that she could return there.

So deep in sleep, Umi did not see or notice the bluish white sparkles that began to dance upon her body, nor did she notice that slowly, parts of her began to fade. All she knew was that in her dreams, she was in Cephiro, and there, she was happy.

To Be Continued…