Title: Dear Kourin

Author: paws-bells

Genre: General

Word Count: 1594

Type: One-Shot (Complete)

Rating: K (Content suitable for most ages)

Disclaimer: I do not own Fushigi Yuugi.

Summary: This is a letter written by Nuriko to Kourin, his beloved sister, when he was in Genbu. Yes, before you-know-what happened.

Last Revised on: 28/10/2007


Dear Kourin


Dear Kourin,

This is your onii-chan. How are you doing, my beloved imoto-chan, wherever you are now? Are you happy? I do not know why I am writing this letter to you, Kourin. Somehow, it felt extremely important for me to do so.

Do you know that it was so many years since we last saw each other? I still remember the times when we played together in the courtyard, when we shared candy and got our mouths all sticky and red. Kaa-san was so mad...demo, those were the best times of our lives, ne?

I never did know why Suzaku would want to take you away so soon, but I guess that you must have been so good that he can't wait to have you by his side...

Do you know, Kourin, that when you left me, all I had wanted to do was to hide somewhere and never come out? I had believed that if I hid long enough, you'd come and find me, just as you always did whenever we played hide-and-seek.

But you never came, and my hopes died.

It was as if another part of me was gone...as if I am already dead...which was why I started dressing like a girl.

Like you.

Somehow, I figured that as long as I dressed like you, looked like you, and lived life as you would have lived, you would still be alive. You would still be there beside me, my ever-loving sister.

And maybe, just maybe, I won't feel so lost, so numb anymore.

Hmm...foolish isn't it?

I know what you would call me if you ever saw me doing anything like this.

Ryuu-chan no baka.

But even as absurd as it sounded, whenever I am putting on any make-up or clothed in any pretty dresses, it was as if you were in the same room with me. I'd picked your favorites and it was as if you were really there.

Do you still remember your favorite word, Kourin?

It was the willow.

Do you still remember why?

I do.

It was because of the mark on my chest, isn't it?

I remember that when we were young, I used to hate that horrible blemish and often scrubbed my chest raw trying to get rid of it. However you stopped all attempts of that removal when you told me that it was your favorite word. From that moment on, I was never prouder of that seishi symbol than I ever had before.

I know you have seen the similarities between the willow and me, ne, omoto-chan? I remembered how you always told me so.

You always believed that like the willow, I would be strong enough to bend, not break, right?

I think that you were right in a way.

Like a willow, I'd survive no matter what.

But when you died, I didn't want to live on anymore. I wanted to kill myself too, just to be with you.

But I can't do it.

Do you know why?

It is because of that dratted symbol on my chest.

I'd see it and I'd think: "Kourin always says how much I resembles a willow in characteristics; bend, not break. Strong. If I were to join her now, what would she think?"

I could not do it.

Could not kill myself.

What a coward I was.

I was afraid to face you.

To see your disappointment.

So, I chose to live instead, to at least try to be what you envisioned me to be.

Strong.

Sometimes, I stop to wonder what life would be like if you were to be still alive. Would I still be crossdressing, or would I have been someone else?

Don't fret, Kourin, for I had no regrets choosing to dress as a woman. I know that you would feel terrible if you believed that you were the one who made me become what I am today.

It is not your fault, silly.

It isn't anyone's.

Besides, if not for you, I do not think that I would meet them...you know, the ones you always told me about?

The ones who would accept me unconditionally, imperfectness and all?

You were right.

They accepted me for who I am. It didn't really matter to them that I was a crossdresser or something. They did not spite me for that when most would.

For the first time in my life since your passing, I belonged.

Finally, after years of being isolated, being trapped behind a lonely façade, I was free.

I truly belonged.

I thought that I would never feel that way again, but they proved me wrong.

All of their warm personalities were so real.

Unpretending.

Genuine.

And they melted away all my defenses.

They scaled the walls that I had erected around myself with no difficulty at all, and very soon, I was a part of them.

Yes, I'd admit that it was our seishi symbols that brought us together at first, but other emotions like friendship, love, joy...they bound us all together even more tighter than ever.

Yes, we were bonded.

Miaka, Hotohori-sama, Tamahome, Chichiri, Tasuki, Mitsukake and Chiriko.

You know, Kourin, if you were still alive, you would have loved Hotohori-sama. I'd admit that that was part of the reason why I loved him. Because I knew that you would. He is kind, gentle, and so in love with himself. A narcissist, some may say, but I know that you would find him endearing.

Tamahome. So courageous, so in love with our miko. I swear that his love for Miaka would one day transcend time and space.

Chichiri. Ahh...a man behind a mask. So much like me but he just chose to hide behind a smiling face instead. A man full of past sorrows but yet, he is one of the strongest pillars in our group.

Tasuki. Sometimes, I wonder if Suzaku picked Tasuki as his seishi because of the fact that the redhead embodies himself. A man possessing a fiery passion, fierce loyalty as well as deep love and concern for his friends.

Mitsukake. We didn't really have much time to get to know about each other. Yet, his keen enjoyment and appreciation for the simple pleasures in life had touched me to no bounds.

Chiriko. He was the smallest among us all, but the smartest. It must have been stressful for a little kid like him to take on the role as a seishi, a protector of the miko. But yet, he still did it. He could have abandoned us to pursue his beloved studies, but he did not. I really admire the boy.

And lastly, Miaka. Our miko. The one who taught me to live again. Do you know, Kourin, that she was the one who made me realize that it was well past time to let you go? Nobody ever managed to do that, but yes, she did it. This baka, greedy, impossibly cheerful and happy girl did it.

Teaching me to live again.

To let go.

To love.

Yes, omoto-chan. I am in love.

In love with my miko.

Who loves Tamahome.

Stupid, isn't t?

I know that what I feel for Miaka would never be known by anyone else but me.

I also know that Tamahome and Miaka should and would belong together forever.

That I have no chance whatsoever.

I should just forget about the whole thing.

Yet...

Yet, somewhere deep inside me, the hope refuses to die.

Maybe...

Just maybe...

Do you think that Miaka might love me back just a little, Kourin? Do you?

I don't think so...

But still...

But still nothing.

I am really so gullible sometimes, little sister. Don't mind me. Forget about what I just said.

I should be happy with what I have now.

I really should.

I don't know why I am still so unsatisfied.

For even if she doesn't love me that way, I know that she does love me as a best friend, a beloved brother.

I should be glad.

Glad for having met all of them.

So you see, Kourin, I really didn't regret crossdressing after all.

Not when it has given me so much. You have given me so much.

Do you know, Kourin, that I would gladly die for each and every one of them just for their ready acceptance of me?

Not that I want to die so soon, so don't you worry.

If Suzaku would allow it, I'd like to live a little longer, to spend more time with all of them so that when it is really time for me to go, I would go with no regrets.

I would go with no regrets because by then, hopefully I would have enough memories of all of them to last me an eternity.

If I die...

I'm not afraid of death, really. I understand that this is a part of life. Everyone must go through it. Some go early, some late. But no one can escape this and thus, I accept it.

If I die...

I think that it would be an honor to die for my friends, fellow seishis and beloved miko, ne?

If I die...

One thing though, I hope that I would die with dignity. Strength. It wouldn't do otherwise, right? How am I going to face you otherwise?

If I die...

It won't be that bad right? Death? For I know that you will be waiting for me.

The two of us would be together again, and we'd share candy till we get all sticky and red…

We'd play dress up together and...

And this time around, when we play hide-and-seek...

I'll find you.

Your ever-loving onii-chan,

Chou Ryuen


Questions Regarding This One-Shot That I Would Like To Answer Before You Ask:

Chou Ryuen is Nuriko's birth name and Chou Kourin is that of his sister's. Both of them looked very similar, was evidently very close to each other but she died when they were still children. She was run over by a carriage in the streets when they were playing, right before Nuriko's eyes.

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I know that Nuriko normally does not speak in such a somber tone but if you have seen the anime series, you'd definitely know that whenever Nuriko talks about Kourin he'd get very serious and angsty. That's why this letter is so solemn and slightly dark, not exactly the normal 'Nuriko' style. But we all know that Nuriko's cheeriness is just a mask for him to hide behind, so…

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'Omoto-chan' is not a typo. I know that 'imoto-chan' means 'sister' in Japanese and 'omoto' just means a type of plant of the Lily species. It's an endearment of sorts, I suppose. I figured that Nuriko would be the type to give his little sister a sweet nickname like that. Yeah, the Willow and the Lily. If Kourin is anything like her brother, she would definitely deserve being called 'omoto'.

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--paws