AN: Alright. I will admit that this fic doesn't really make much sense in the cannon FY timeline. I came up with this idea while on a block and thought it was just really adorably cute.
Okay. The basic jist of it is this: What if the Seishi weren't necessarily reincarnated into humans when they were reborn? Basically one of them is reborn as something unexpected… Aw… just read it!
Wings of a Moth
"Aieee!" screeched Yui, bolting out of her room and right into her best friend who had been about to enter said room.
"What's wrong? What is it?" Miaka frowned, curiously tilting her head to the side as she observed her best friend wriggle and twitch like she was on some sort of drug.
Yui sputtered for another moment or so, unable to find the words, before pointing in the direction of her bedroom.
Unsure what had caused her normally composed friend to throw such a hissy fit, Miaka poked her head through the doorway, looking for any sign of danger.
All she saw was… a room.
Yui's things all seemed to be in order. The bed was, as usual, neatly made, and the desk was as free of clutter as ever. Miaka made a face. How could anyone be so neat? Her own bedroom had often been compared to a war zone or – her mothers favorite – a pigsty.
She turned around to face Yui, "What are you so freaked out about? There's nothing in there!"
Yui had taken refuge on the far end of the hallway at this point and waved an arm wildly, "It's in there Miaka! Get it! Kill it!"
"Kill what?" Miaka was horribly confused. She knew her best friend well enough that she knew Yui wasn't the type to have delusions about monsters under the bed or in the closet. So what was wrong?
They had just seen Jeepers Creepers 2 a few hours ago. After laughing and (occasionally) shrieking throughout the entire movie, the girls had migrated to Yui's house. Laughing about how the movie was good, but not exactly the scariest.
It is around ten, and it is… Miaka glanced out the window (which Yui hadn't bothered to close the blinds to) and shivered, pretty damn dark outside…
It was while she was imagining the demon from the movie leaping through the window that something dark flitted right in front of her face.
"Aiyip!" she squeaked, leaping backwards and into Yui's bureau and eying the offending "monster."
She clutched her hand in front of her chest as she tried to slow her heart rate, her momentarily terrified features breaking into a grin. "So that's it." She giggled slightly.
"Did you get it?" asked Yui from the hallway.
"Yui, get over it. It's just a moth. No big deal." She had forgotten that her best friend had an aversion to tiny creatures such as moths and spiders. After what they'd faced in the book, being afraid of such a little thing seemed kind of… lame.
On the other hand, if it had been a June bug…
Okay so maybe being afraid of a moth wasn't that lame…
"Get over it?" Yui gained enough courage to stick her head in the doorway, still keeping one eye on the moth as it flew into the light fixture time after time. "You wouldn't say that if it was June bug!"
Miaka twitched at the word. Give her spiders, bees, mosquitos, and moths and Miaka would gladly kill or remove it from the premises. But she absolutely positively despised June bugs.
When she had been seven years old, her family had been outside in the park near dusk. When the lights for the parking lot had turned on, the air had soon buzzed with the sound of cicada's and June bugs. It wasn't long before one of them had landed in Miaka's hair.
Her father had plucked the insect from the seven year old's hair and knelt down, a teasing light in his eye. "It's a good thing I caught this thing when I did. Do you know why?"
Miaka had shaken her head, "No."
Her father held the bug between his thumb and forefinger, at eye level with his daughter. "Because these things like to crawl into your ears and get behind your ear drum. When that happens you can never get them out."
Miaka's eyes had gradually gotten wider throughout this. She would have had a bug living in her head for the rest of her life? Would it lay eggs there? They would hatch and eat their way into her brain and eat it from the inside out!
Miaka had spent the rest of the night sitting in the car with a paper bag over her head in order to keep the June bugs away. Keisuke had given her Hell for it.
She glared at Yui. "That's not fair. I actually have a reason for hating those things, but to my knowledge, moths can't hurt you."
Yui ducked and swatted at the moth blindly as it flitted in her direction, "That doesn't mean I have to like them! Get it out of here!"
Sighing, Miaka reached for a tissue. Why did she always end up being the one to kill the bugs? She waited for the moth to land somewhere so she could squish it.
However. The moth had other plans.
The girls watched as he moth flew into the light fixture repeatedly, and Miaka couldn't help but feel a little sorry for it. If she didn't kill it the thing would likely kill itself.
She watched as it suddenly veered away from the light fixture and began to fly in tiny circles. The creature would fly left for about a minute, the circles spiraling downward, and then it would stop, fly back towards the light and spiral down in the opposite direction. Occasionally it would dive bomb, hit the ground, and then fly back up again.
Pity for the insect built in Miaka as she watched it flit pathetically about Yui's room. How long had it been trapped up here?
"I think its inner ear's been tampered with." Yui commented from the doorway. She had seemed to overcome her initial skittishness, because she was actually inside the door now.
Miaka nodded as she settled onto Yui's bed. The poor thing couldn't even fly straight. "I think it's dying. We should just leave it alone."
"I don't want it dying in here!" Yui screeched quietly. "What if it dies on my bed? I don't want moth parts in my bed!"
Miaka sighed, "It's not like it'd kill you, you know. He'll probably just go sit in a corner when he does it anyway."
"I still don't want it dying in here! Get rid of it!"
Miaka had already decided that she wasn't going to kill the tiny creature. It was just… too sad to watch it falter in the air and fall off of whatever it landed on. She didn't want to let it outside either. A bird might eat it.
Since when did she have such a soft spot for bugs?
That was when the moth went into another spiral and landed on Miaka's leg.
Carefully Miaka lifted her leg up onto the bed and examined the moth.
It definitely wasn't going to last too much longer. It's dark brown wings were tattered and ragged looking. The dust on them was in clumps, leaving the wings somewhat drab looking compared to what they should have been. After a moment Miaka decided that it must have landed on her in an attempt to blend into her dark jeans.
On closer inspection, she noticed that the creature had very unusual eyes. They were large, in typical moth fashion, but they were also very yellow, almost gold in color. It seemed to be looking right back at her, twitching its tiny antennae as she looked at it.
"Hiya." She whispered, stroking an antenna with a finger. She was surprised when the insect didn't pull away; merely sat there, almost as if it were enjoying the attention.
"What are you waiting for? Kill it!" Yui was closer now, but still within escape distance of the door should the bug decide to fly at her face.
Miaka continued to stroke the moth's antennae and head, "I don't want to. He's… cute."
Yui scoffed at the notion as the moth twitched his wings importantly. As though he knew he'd just received a compliment. "Cute. Yeah. Real cute. You just keep him over there." The blonde sat down next to the door.
Soon, the moth was forgotten as the two girls chatted about everything from school to things that they had done when they were little. That is, until he once again launched into erratic flight.
The moth seemed to have a short memory span. He repeated everything he had done in his earlier flight, except after having run into the light fixture repeatedly, and likely feeling more than a little dizzy from all his spinning, the moth immediately returned to Miaka rather than suffer falling off the wall, the desk, and the bookshelf again.
Miaka lifted her hand that the moth had landed on. "Hello again." She said. It waved its antennae and twitched its wings again before turning in a circle like a cat would and settled down to rest.
"I think you've made a friend." Yui noted, having risked it to come closer to where Miaka sat in order to see the moth.
Miaka laughed, "Yeah."
The girls watched, in slight awe of the tiny creature's absurd behavior. Neither of them had really paid attention to bugs before, but this one was quite interesting.
The moth preened itself with its legs, moving them over its face and antennae with the greatest of care, and Miaka couldn't help but think that the moth was reminding her of someone she'd once known.
Someone who had been very special to her.
Yui snorted, "That is one very narcissistic moth.
Miaka had to say she agreed.
"So how's Taka?" asked Yui.
Miaka shifted, "Eh… he's… fine. I guess." She shrugged. "I really wouldn't know. He never calls me." She sighed, Taka had moved to Tibet a few months ago and either he had lost interest in her and found some Tibetan woman he liked more than her… or wherever he was didn't have phones.
Miaka had realized after about a month and a half that he wasn't coming back.
Yui dropped the subject, turning instead to safer topics.
Miaka had never really considered herself an insect lover, but this one she was beginning to get attached to. It had repeated its insane flight pattern several times over, but once it was done, it always returned to Miaka.
It was around eleven when Miaka decided she had better get home. She attempted to shake off the bug so that it could go die in peace, but the moth stubbornly clung to her hand, refusing to go anywhere.
"I swear, that stupid moth loves you to bits, doesn't it?" Yui said as she helped Miaka collect her purse and a few scattered notebooks.
The brunette lifted her finger, to which the moth still clung contentedly. As both girls watched the insect curiously, the long feeding tube which was normally kept curled in gracefully beneath its head, unfurled and tapped Miaka's skin lightly. Since the moth weighed next to nothing anyway, she couldn't feel it, but for some reason it reminded her of the way that a dog licks its master's hand.
Dear gods, I think I have a new pet…
"Did that moth just kiss you?" asked Yui incredulously. "That is one strange little bug."
Miaka shrugged, "I suppose he did." And with that she walked out to her car.
She had expected the moth to fly away once it realized it was outside, but it stayed put until she got into her car when she gently nudged it onto the dashboard. It twitched its wings once again, though if it was saying "thank you" or merely preening itself again, she could not say.
Yui's right. The moth is a bloody narcissist!
Miaka was surprised that the moth had somehow decided to stay with her through the entire car ride and he entire way up the stairs to her apartment. She could tell the poor thing was going to be dead very soon or it would have made it's escape long ago.
"Poor thing." She sighed, "You can stay in my room."
She set the moth on her dresser and got ready for bed. Right before she turned out the lights she glanced back at it. The moth was lying still, its wings folded in such a way that it made the insect appear to blend right into the wood. She shook her head. She knew it would be dead by morning.
Flicking the lights off, Miaka crawled into her bed and stared out the window. The wind was blowing harshly and she knew that it was turning bitterly cold with the approach of winter. She looked back at the dresser and as she drifted off to sleep, feeling content that she had done the small creature a favor.
When she was finally asleep, the moth toddled to the edge of the dresser, on the verge of falling a dizzying height of about three feet. It twitched its antennae again in the darkness. Wondering where its companion had gone to.
Yui and Miaka had been right. The moth was dying. It had spent the last day or so of its life trapped in Yui's room, turning circles and running into things endlessly. Then at last, the human had offered him some respite. It was for that human which he now searched.
Using the last of his strength, the moth launched himself into the air and in yet another fit of spirals and dive-bombs, managed to make it to the bed with the help of his half-dead echolocation.
Tired from all the earlier exertion, the moth toddled over the many wrinkles in the comforter. Each one was the size of the Grand Canyon or larger. The tiny creature began to think that he would never find his way through.
At last, the moth reached the pillow. Crawling carefully up the soft fabric, the moth flitted lightly to the girls face. She gave no notice to the feeling of moth's wings dancing across her cheek.
Miaka's soft breathing filled the room. The moth's antennae wavered a bit as he trekked across the pale skin. Lightly, the proboscis unfurled to lightly stroke the girl's skin. It was what Yui had earlier referred to as a kiss. Miaka stirred slightly and rolled a bit to the side.
Lit by the shafts of moonlight coming through the window, the moth twitched his wings and preened once again. Turning in a circle on the girls face, he settled down: content, at last, to spend the few remaining moments of his life where he was.
It was as the moths life ended, that something completely unexpected and altogether unnatural happened. When the silvery beams of the moonlight filtering in through the blinds hit the moth's wings, the tiny creature simply disappeared in a smattering of silver light.
Miaka murmured something in her sleep as she swatted sleepily at the tickling sensation on her face. Sighing, the girl grabbed a fistful of blankets and yanked them further up around her chin. Curling onto her side and pressing her face into her pillow, the girl drifted off even farther into dreamland without ever noticing that she was no longer alone.
Not wanting to wake the sleeping girl, the man simply laid his arm lightly across the girl's waist and hugged her to him, hoping that she was a heavy sleeper as he did so. He was rewarded with a contented sigh and smiled as she unconsciously shifted closer to him in her sleep. As she slept, her auburn hair; nearly black in the dark, spilled across her face and shoulders in the very picture of innocence and peace.
Gods she was beautiful.
His golden eyes shone with tears as he looked down at her. How long had he waited for her? How many lives had he endured in order to find her?
Brushing her bangs back with a gentle hand, Hotohori placed a single gentle kiss, light as the touch of a moths wings, on her forehead before settling back down to lie his own head next to hers on the pillow. Wrapping his arms around her waist possessively, he positioned himself so that his chin rested lightly on Miaka's shoulder, his nose just brushing her ear.
Hotohori had just allowed himself to drift off to sleep when he felt the girl in his arms stir slightly. He felt his heart leap into his throat at the thought of what she would think of finding him in her room so unexpectedly. What was he to tell her? That she had been kind enough to take in a dying moth and that said moth had actually been one of her Seishi, just waiting to find her before he could return to his true shape?
Yeah. That'll work.
He felt relief flow throughout him when Miaka simply rolled over in her sleep so that she was facing him. Hotohori smiled and tucked her head under his chin. Thankful that, for now, he could just be content in holding her. With one hand he pulled the blankets that Miaka wasn't hogging over himself and curled around the sleeping girl.
He'd explain it all in the morning.
AN: Okay folks. Like it? Hate it? Wish to burn me at the stake? Please tell me!
Things I know I slacked on:
Taka's having left: I know, I know. Tibet? You sent him to Tibet? Yes. Yes I did. And he's staying there so Miaka and Hoto-chan can fall in love and get married! :P So there. I was too lazy to come up with a better "get rid of Taka" plan.
Why the Hell is Hotohori a moth?: *shrug* I thought it was a cute story…
Why did he turn human?: Ever see the "Swan Princess"? It's kinda like that, except now he's human for good, not just at night…