Azure

Notes: Good evening peeps! In case you're wondering about my chipper mood it is because I only have a week of school left before summer vac! Actually I only have three days of full school since the last two days are final exam days and since I only have to take one I get to start my vacation a bit early. I am glad that you guys have liked this story so far, I was a bit afraid of the reaction because I normally write at two extremes, depressing dark confusing drama's or chaotic comedies I have yet to find a happy medium were I can equally combine both in a story but I am really going to try hard to do that in this one. But enough of my yap onward to the good stuff.

Thanks goes out to:

Sailor Pika Angel:

Sweat drop.

Uh Sailor Pika Angel, I don't think Hotohori will be in this fic. I should have said something in the beginning but this is sort of a crossover between the new FY arc, the Genbu saga, that is being penned by the author in Japan as I am speaking, or typing rather, but since I have only read a few chapters I am very loosely basing the warriors and events to her story; hopefully I'll have this finished before her manga comes stateside. I am really sorry about this misunderstanding like I said I should have told you guys right away but there was no room left in the summery. I hope that you will stay though and read it. Your suggestion has inspired me though, I am thinking of doing something about a Ami and Hotohori fic at some point, they really would look cute together...maybe a reincarnation fic...or a crossover with Ami or Hotohori ending up in the other's time by accident...I am just not sure. Any suggestions?

But first this one and well other fics... I really need to be more committed to my fics sighs. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Mystlady: Blushes, thank you so much!

Mistress of Ice: Uh thanks but no thanks, uncovers a large hutch filled with rabid plot bunnies, I seem to have "collected" at lot of my own during this past month. Thank you!

I am really glad that you guys like this fic so onward to chapter two...no wait its' one since I did a prologue.... AHHHH! Summer brain rot has already taken place I can't count!!!!!!

Chapter One

Crimson against Ivory

In contrast to the claret colored eyes that I had last looked upon I awoke to a world of shimmering white. It looked too surreal to be well real, ever green trees capped with packed snow while the voluminous layers of their emerald skirts hung heavy with ornaments of glittering ice; the ground was covered in a thick blanket of endless white, while the sky above me was finishing off its' grand gaudy hour long display of color before the charging of twilight. I would have dismissed it for a dream if the biting cold wasn't seeping into my skin. Shuttering I can feel the wet snow dampen the back of my head causing my blue-black hair to cling to my skull then furl backwards like a very bad cowlick. Slowly I sit up only to shut my eyes as my vision is bombarded by a attack of spots as a sharp migraine over took my brain. For a few tortuous minutes I can only sit on top of the snow drift that has a nice life-size imprint of yours truly embedded for a moment in eternity.

Braving the unexpected I opened my eyes again this time seeing clearly again even though I am freezing to death. Shaking, from both cold and weakness, I arise to my feet; even though one of my shoes is missing for some odd reason...I take a tentative step forward only to shutter as my sock only covered foot makes contact with the snow, but I can't stop or even slow down since the sun is setting quickly so if it is negative degrees now I'd hate to imagine what the temperature will be like after dark. Where to go wasn't the question since the expanse was as empty as it was vast, I just needed to go somewhere that I could find warmth and shelter, but that seemed next to imposable in this desert of snow. I could more feel the sun setting rather see it since I knew that looking at the dispersing colors would only give me a cryptic reminder that I have a short yet undetermined amount of time left before night set in.

A bitter cold gale picks up, flinging snow in every direction; my eyes are blinded by the sudden flurries, the wind howled around me blocking all but one sound from my eardrums.

Laughter. Bitter and arrogant. Squinting I tried to look through the wall of flying snow only to see a blurred shadow. The laughter was coming from it.

If there is one think I hate more than anything it is being toyed with. Growling I cried out, "Drop the hood of your cloak! Show me your face you coward!" I yelled above the bellowing wind only to flush with embarrassment when I opened my eyes to see that the flurries had died.

Another short soft chuckle, "I can hear you just fine Priestess-sama, no need to shout."

With those words the figure now standing with in arms' length of me dropped the hood of his cloak. A head of longish dirty blond mop of hair was revealed first, a sculpted face that strongly reminded me of decedents of Romania and the Mediterranean, and blood red eyes that seemed dulled of life yet held a spark of unspeakable mischief.

I remember those eyes.

"You..." I started in a lightly curious tone but then sniffed feeling hot indigent intentions rising.

"Why did you kidnap me!?" I screamed.

The man winced, "Please don't shout," he mumbled, "My hearing is unaffected by this weather in fact it surpasses most in these cases."

Causally he leaned up against a tree as if he had oh-so many more "important" things to be conversing about than the subject of my abduction.

"And just for the record, I didn't kidnap you. I brought you home."

"What?" I said, this time taking into consideration his riddle about his "sensitive" hearing.

"You heard me. I've brought you home Priestess-sama. That world of steel, glass, and smog...ugh," he paused with a shutter, "I don't see how you could have stood being imprisoned in that world for so many ages when it is here in this pure and dare-I-say-it? primitive world that you are truly in your element."

"Priestess-sama?" I mused aloud before I glanced up at the ruby-eyed man.

"You must be crazy." I stated before turning to walk away.

"I wouldn't go that way if I were you!" the man called out before I could hear him approach me.

"Where are we?" I asked, steadily losing my infamous reserve of patience.

"Well if you are asking for specifics we are just a few miles away from a friend's house, but if you mean on a broader scale we are in Hokkan, ancient Mongolia circa something-something B.C. Sorry about the year, I have a hard time keeping track of years since I travel between both worlds...and a word of advice if you leave that mouth of yours open for a few more minutes you'll be cultivating icicles in your throat."

In response to his cheek I clamped my mouth shut. I looked at him to see "Blonde" grinning like a idiot...no correction a "stoned" idiot. Does he really expect me to believe this? This can't be ancient Mongolia, middle of Siberia maybe but ancient Mongolia? Give me a break.

With a sigh I gave him a "polite" bow.

"I thank you kindly sir for the this entertaining chatter but if you don't mind I would like to be returned home..."

"Oh you mean back to To-key-o?" he said, clearly having trouble with the pronunciation, okay it's official, he's a moron.

"Yes, I would like to be "returned" to Tokyo, Jubban district preferably since my apartment complex is there..."

He pouted then sighed, "You're not making this easy," he muttered under his breath.

"Look I brought you here for many reasons but the most important one is for you to be the Priestess of Genbu. But first there is someone who needs to see you. If you'll just come with me I'll take you to his house..."

"Oh no you don't! I can see where this is going and frankly I am certainly not as dumb as you think I am."

"It's not like that! He's been waiting a long time to see you again...well he won't know that its' really you but..."

"The answer is no!" I shouted, this time directly at him causing him to cringe and place his hands over his thick hair where I guessed his ears were under... somewhere.

"Will you stop doing that?" he whimpered as if the volume of my voice really had hurt him.

"Are you sure you're alright?" I asked curiously and unable to help myself as I went into "doctor's child" mode.

He whimpered again this time shaking his head.

"If its' a hangover that's bothering you I am going to be mad," I muttered before edging closer to him.

"Here, let me look at them," I said reaching to push back his hair only to have my wrist abruptly latched onto by a very strong, inhumanly so, grip.

"Don't touch me. I'll be fine. I just need to someplace warm."

Surprised by his suddenly gruff tone I decided to follow him, if worse came to worse I could always try to transform into Sailor Mercury and beat or most likely escape both him and his friend. But at the moment "mini-doctor- me" was telling me that I should at the very least follow him to make sure that he was alright. He seemed fine, other than he was very quiet and he was still holding his ears as if they would fall of at any minute.

'Okay Ami, let's access the situation. Well self I am following a crazy man that is claiming that I am the "priestess of Genbu" and that he didn't kidnap me but instead was "returning" me to my home, and now I am following him to this "home of a friend's" in hopes of getting him some sort of treatment for him and hopefully a warm place to stay. So tell me self what do you predict is going to happen. Hmm, following a clearly insane man to a house of someone I don't know as opposed to wondering around until I freeze to death...so I can easily state...I am screwed.'

Sighing I look ahead of my companion who seems to keep a good pace despite the fact that he is only wearing simple pants a shirt and cloak, no shoes on his feet.

'Maybe this is his home...whatever, can't really call it a "town" since there is no houses, no people for that matter of fact.' I ponder as I try in vain to look for other signs of life on this desolate snow wastelands.

This assortment of facts is very bad for the psyche of one who reads Stephen King novels for enjoyment. A fine shutter runs through my body as we trudge on through the snow for at least two more hours, the sunlight nothing but a memory there is nothing but moon and starlight above. My knees knocked against one another making it difficult to move. I tried to keep pace but eventually I fell forward into a snowdrift. Pulling myself up I looked around only to find my traveling companion missing.

Looking around I could see nothing but the vast flat plain of white with boarders of evergreen trees lying in between the long barren passageway.

"I can't believe this," I gasped as I pulled myself up the snow bank. As foolish as it was I knew that I couldn't just stand here to wait for him to find me missing and then retrace his steps I had to move on.

Soon I do see a large looming shadowed form crest above the snow-covered rises. As I approach it I can see that it is a cave hollowed out by time and weather to the point that it looking like the gaping mouth of some vicious vile monster. Not caring on whether there is a bear or some other formidable wild animal making its' home in the hollows of this natural structure of stone I duck inside and move as far away from the mouth as I dare to.

Resting my head against my drawn up knees I try to keep as much worth as I can but it seems to be a fruitless effort. My eyes try to drift close in sleep but I desperately try to stay awake. Luckily for me a distraction comes my way that put sleep as the farthest thing from my mind.

'Who dares to desecrate the shrine of the Priestess of Genbu!' a disembodied voices echoes through the walls of the cave causing the ground to shake and some icicles to crash and shatter.

I yelped as one nearly fell on top of me. Rolling to my stomach to doge another one I shield my head with my hands and cringe as pieces of ice splitters so close that some shards fall against my body only to bounce off.

When the ground finally seems to settle I dare to glance up only to gap in shock as a pearly shimmering figure floating at least three inches above the ground approaches me. The white shine fades to the point that it looks like "normal" colors only with an unearthly glow to them.

Long white hair with skin a shade or two darker than mine, a thick woolen coat of gray-blue dye opened just enough to reveal at least two thick shirts underneath it, woolen pants, thick boots trimmed in fur on its' feet. Looking up I could see a cold almost dispassionate expressionless face, a crudely made eye patch covered one eye while the other one was clearly a bright green.

The figure reached forward to summon energy that looked like spears of solid ice until the specter formed them into moving serpents. It glared down at me coldly before summoning one serpent with its' becoming fingers. Before I could even gasp from surprise I was wrapped tightly in the freezing strong embrace of the a ice snake.

"No, please. Let me go I am sorry I've intruded but I honestly didn't know."

My plea seemed to fall on deaf ears though because the "ghost" summoned more serpents, one wove itself around my legs, the other around my arms tying them behind my back while the other constricted my throat. They all squeezed me tightly at the phantom's command, I gasped for breath only to take in frigid air that did little to replenish my lungs.

Just as my lungs felt like they were going to burst I heard a voice cry out into the cave.

"Hikitsu, stop!"

'She's intruded onto the sacred grounds...'

"How can she be intruding if these grounds are devoted to her!" my inept "guide screamed.

The good eye of the phantom narrowed, "Lair, she isn't the priestess..."

"Take a good look at her Hikitsu. She's a descendent of the priestess a very distant one but Takiko's blood does run through her veins not to mention her reincarnation as well. She's to be the next priestess of Genbu."

For a moment the ghost gave the man a disbelieving stare then looked at me critically then released the serpents, which I for one was very grateful for.

My relief was short lived however because with the serpents gone the ghost titled my head up with his ice-cold hand that was amazingly solid.

He stared into my eyes for the longest time then took in my hair, the shape of my face basically looked me over but instead of feeling violated I felt more of a impersonal detachment from my own body as he examined me.

'The face, its' very different, so is the hair...but the eyes..." pausing he pulled back the bangs falling in my face. A small, almost not there, smile played on his lips.

'The eyes are defiantly Takiko," he whispered as the cold seemed to drain away from his hand and the echoing quality to his voice changed to a normal human tone.

The arms of my guide shot out to steady the one he called Hikitsu

Grinning from ear to ear the blond haired man introduced us.

"Priestess Ami-chan, met Emutaku. Also known by his warrior name Hikitsu, of course you've already met me but I've been so busy just trying to get your lazy self here that I completely forgot to properly addresses myself. Humble Shui-kun, A.K.A. warrior Hotsui, at your service milady." Shui said with a short bow but stopped short when Emutaku struggled out of his grasp to stand on his own feet.

"What?" I mouthed, or rather chattered, the word rather than spoke it.

Shui gave me a serious stare, "We have been waiting for centuries for your return. I know that you don't remember us but given time..."

"Why are you still alive? Did you get reborn like Tomite?" 'Hikitsu' asked abruptly.

"Well, not exactly," he said grinning turning his face into the moon light with his teeth bared I could easily see the pearly white enlarged canines. I recalled the tongue lapping at my bleeding cheek.

I frowned, "Let me guess, he's a ghost," I said pointing back at Hikitsu, "and you are a ditzy vampire?"

"I am not ditzy but yes I am a vampire." Shui admitted almost cheerfully.

"Anything else you need to know Priestess-sama, just ask away I am a well of information." Shui said condescendingly claimed.

"Yeah, there is one question I have. Where's the nearest insane asylum and how soon can I check myself into it?" I said with a dry laugh as I moved to walk away.

Before I could reach for the mouth of the cave a strong hand shot out to my shoulder to turn me around. I glanced up to see the so far silent Hikitsu.

"Please Priestess-sama hear us out. We have both waited many years for this day when you would return to us."

Shui nodded, "You promised to one day return, that was your last wish you were saving..."

"So we waited. The others gave up hope and moved on with their lives. But Tomite and myself never gave up so we waited here until one day..."

"They were murdered by assassins..."

"But our spirits still remained to guard the object you treasured more than anything."

"Until the last priestesses of that bird-brained god stole it from the shrine," Shui growled.

"She didn't "steal" it Hotsui, Tomite and myself gave it to her and her warriors after she proved herself worthy."

"That was fine and noble but the point I am making is that if we had the treasured object we could have summoned her to this world a heck of a lot quicker and she would have remembered us..." Shui dropped the subject when he noticed that, one Hikitsu was not going to budge on the issue, and two he was only confusing me more than I already was.

Unable to hear anymore of this...nonsense I moved towards the entrance of the cave. Ghosts of "dead" men becoming reanimated and living again in an instant; a time and dimension crossing vampire; and here I thought that I had battled some insane creatures during my occupation as a senshi.

Leaning against the mouth of the cave I try to make sense of all of this. There must be some sort of logic behind this madness, there must be. Then why can't I find it?

Their explanation seems so plausible yet far-fetched at the same time.

"The Priestess of Genbu," I have seen those words written in the book of course but to actually hear someone call me that...it sounds sorrowfully familiar.

"Priestess-sama? Are you feeling alright?"

I turned my head to see Hikitsu looking down at me with concern.

"No, I am fine. My name is Ami by the way, not Priestess of Genbu, or Priestess-sama."

His uncovered eye widens slightly, "Forgive me Prieste...Ami-sama."

I shook my head, "No 'sama' either it makes me feel uncomfortable." I confessed still leaning up against the stone wall, more so since I was a bit hesitant to get too close to the man who was a "ghost" a few minutes ago.

He smirked but in more of a fond manner than out of arrogance.

"She preferred to never be called 'sama' either. Humility must run through your bloodline."

I want to snort in response but just something about Hikitsu told me that he was the type of person who might be easily offended if I seemed to be mocking him.

I took a good look at him. For years he has waited, and even through death, keeping a relentless vigil. Just what kind of person would obsess over someone for so long?

He must have noticed me staring at him because he cocked his head to the side before asking, "Is there something wrong?"

"No...well yes." I reluctantly confessed drawing my knees up to my chest.

"Several things actually." I murmured.

"Such as?"

I turned my head to fully face him without moving the rest of my body, "How long have you been guarding this cavern?"

He glanced away briefly, his good eye focused on the flying snow that we were shielded from by the outcropping of the cavern.

"Many years, Hotsui says it has been at least three hundred years since Takiko made her second wish to return home briefly.

I felt an uncomfortable lump form in my throat as I looked at him at from the corner of my eye.

Whatever relationship Hikitsu had with Takiko, the former priestess, if any at all he seemed to care about her a lot.

'Does he know that the reason she didn't return was because her father murdered her? Or the reason that their god, Genbu, the benevolent savior of Hokkan was destroying their beloved priestess from the inside out?'

If he doesn't know this I for one will not be the one to tell him.

Unlike many fairy tales people have read and studied the legends in the book were often depicted as brutal and so painfully real that sometimes it was almost too much to stand, even the death of the "bad guys" in the final story struck a few nerves with me.

This is ridiculous.

Am I supposed to believe that this place is real? That there really is a world that summons seemingly random girls from different time periods in my world just to wish for the restoration of these broken monotheistic nations? Am I going to allow myself to believe that this man and several others before and after him have given their lives for these girls? Does anyone really expect me to fully comprehend how any of this can be more than a mere fabrication birthed from my boredom?

No. I don't believe any of this; but a corner of my mind wonders how this couldn't be real.

"Hikitsu, can I ask you something else?" I inquired still forcing myself to stare outside at the snow instead of observing his reaction.

"Of course Ami."

"You say that you have been guarding this place for years. Why?"

"Because I was waiting for her to return," he replied simply, easily avoiding the reason to my question.

"But didn't you have a family? I am guessing you are in your early twenties. No wife, children, or even parents and siblings?" I asked.

"No. I never married and as for parents and siblings even if I had family members alive I wouldn't have known them."

"What?" I began to question again, however just before those words came out of my mouth Hikitsu had removed his heavy fur cloak to place on my shoulders.

"It's getting late. Hotsui says that we have a long journey ahead of us come morning so we should get some rest while we can."

Standing up I knew what I had to say, I wasn't going to just sit back while they took me on this "quest" or whatever it is of theirs. I don't care if this is real, I don't care if these people honestly "need" me. Just when I am trying to live a semi-normal life I get kidnapped to this frozen wasteland and then "asked" to become the Priestess of some reptilian god.

I looked to see Hikitsu already sitting Indian style against the opposing wall.

Opening his uncovered eye he glanced up at me.

"Yes?"

I opened my mouth to denounce my approval of this insanity but then I recalled the last passage of the book, it talked about the priestess. That picture, her hand was intertwined with his. I can't believe that I hadn't seen the resemblance before but then again the watercolor painting didn't have much to offer in clarity, or even artistry for that matter.

Closing my mouth I bit the bottom of my chapped lips. The courage drained away from me as I recalled how he waited for over three hundred years for a young girl who made a promise that she would one day return to him when she was an adult. The promise that was to never be fulfilled because of the god that had summoned her to this world to in turn call upon him.

Fictional or real the former priestess had unintentionally broken her promise and she would never be coming back.

'Except through me,' a voice inside my head.

Don't get me wrong or anything I have no intension of trying to replace her in his life, far from it actually, I want out of this place more than anything. But taking in consideration of these pieces of information I believe that it would be best for me to at least wait till morning until I demand to be taken home.

"I...just wanted to say...thank you for letting me borrow your cloak." I said softly stuttering stupidly.

His smile was gentle and sincere, "You're welcome Ami," he said in return before falling back against the wall, his good eye falling close yet again.

Sighing heavily I too took a spot against the opposite wall but before I could even think of falling asleep I could feel a pair of eyes burning into my skull.

Whipping my head around I saw Hotsui wide away and as annoying as ever, literally perched on a rock like an evil crow up to no-good.

"What do you want?" I asked sounding as bit as irritated as I felt.

He smiled wide, making sure that he showed off the overly large canine teeth, "I saw that."

"Saw what?" I asked.

"You like him," he said in a singsong voice, not unlike the tone that Usagi and Mina use from time to time which always annoyed me to no-end.

"I do not!" I snapped briskly, pretending to fall asleep against the wall.

"You do too! And you know what? He likes you too! See I told you that you belonged here! Can I come to your wedding? Can you name a kid after me? Huh? Huh?" Hotsui said bouncing on the balls of his feet like Chibi Usa when she has had an overdose of sugar.

"Oh will you shut up!" I growled as I tried to block him out.

Eventually he quiets down enough for me to finally fall asleep.

But I swear to kami if I hear one more chorus of "Here Comes the Bride" I will strangle the bloodsucker to a premature death that is if vampires in "this world" can die.

Notes: Yeah chapter two is finished! So what do you guys think of Hotsui...he's a original character by the way, where as Hikitsu is very loosely based on what little background the creator of Fushigi Yuugi gave us readers about Genbu. Thanks for reading! Peace