Authors notes: This is just an X fanfic that has been in my head for a while now that I wanted to try to write down. It's a bit different from many of the X fics out there. For one thing, there is no shonen-ai or yaoi in this story… To be honest, there isn't really any romance at all. Also, while the hero of this story is the ever-popular Subaru, he is not an angst-filled mess. Subaru is actually quite well adjusted and has taken on a very different role for him… that of a father. Yes, it is a bit unusual, but I hope you will still give it a chance.

Since we still don't know how the manga will end, this story is based on the ending presented in the TV series. Also, I don't own the characters. That honor belongs to CLAMP. I did make up the kids, however, as well as this story. If you leave a review, please be kind.

The Season of the Witch
By Angel Maxwell

Prologue: Teach Your Children

2014 AD

Midori cut an elegant figure, decked head to toe in crisp white robes, a paper spell poised between her fingers. She certainly looked the part of a professional onmyouji. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Midori was young, only 13 years old, and she was well aware of her own inexperience. Today's exorcism was a new chance for her to prove her worth and she didn't want to mess it up, as she had her last several jobs.

Theoretically, this was an easy job, even for an inexpert medium. A young woman had called in earlier, complaining that a restless spirit was wreaking havoc on her Tokyo apartment. Really the ghost was only creating minor mischief such as throwing books and hiding shoes, but it needed to be dealt with nonetheless. With her reputation and her future as an onmyouji on the line, Midori began to nervously chant incantations.

A silvery form began to materialize in front of her, eventually taking the shape of an old lady. The young girl had seen many supernatural phenomena in her line of work but she still hadn't gotten quite used to it. She flinched as the eerie specter lunged at her. It was a critical error. As she stumbled back a step, Midori's left foot became entangled in the hem of her uniform and the resulting fall on her back knocked the breath out of her lungs. Within an instant the ghost was hovering above her, scratching translucent fingers across the helpless girl's cheek.

Like a flash of lightning, a new figure emerged on the scene. The tall man dashed to Midori's aid, skillfully throwing down paper curses and chanting just the right spells with perfect timing. The old woman's spirit retreated from her young victim, and with a few additional spells, was reduced into nothing. Midori stared up awestruck at her rescuer.

"Dad," she spoke softly. "Uh… thanks…" This was by no means the first time that Subaru had come to his daughter's aide, but she was always impressed. In Midori's eyes Subaru was the greatest sorcerer: brave, graceful, and always in perfect form. Her face went hot with shame as she looked at him. How could a klutz like her ever be related to him?

"Are you alright, 'Dori?" her father asked kindly, extending a hand to help her up.

"I… I guess so," Midori sighed, crestfallen.

Subaru rested both his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eyes. His single green left eye contained a glimmer of love. His silver-scarred right eye, while incapable of sight, still reflected gentleness.

"It wasn't as bad as you think," he said with a soft smile.

"Easy for you to say," the girl moaned, "You looked great out there. You always do. And I… I always screw up royally."

"You just need more practice," Subaru replied with a sigh. "Now, let's head home. I'm sure things will seem a little better after a good night's sleep." It was painful for him to see Midori so discouraged and he wished there was something he could do or say to make it better

The car ride back to their Tokyo apartment began in silence. Subaru didn't want to say anything that might make his daughter feel worse, so he opted to say nothing at all. After several awkward minutes, Midori finally ended the hush.

"Dad?" she asked quietly. "Do you ever wonder if there was some sort of mistake when I was born? That I got sent to the wrong dad?"

"W-What!" Subaru stammered, almost steering his car off the road.

"Not literally," Midori replied, quite shocked by her father's reaction. "Don't worry, I know that I really am your daughter. It's just… It's just that sometimes I feel like I don't belong in the Sumeragi family. I haven't completed a single job without your help. I feel like the worst onmyouji ever."

"Ah," her father sighed, sounding oddly relieved. "Honey, needing help doesn't make you a bad onmyouji. I got a lot of help, even when I was older than you are. I had a lot of help… from my sister, and… from Seishirou."

For a few moments Midori was silent once more. It was not often that her father even mentioned the two most important people from his past. If he spoke of Hokuto or Seishirou it meant he had a serious point to make.

"Trust me," he continued. "Any day now you're just going to blossom. You're destined for great things, Midori Sumeragi. You just need to give it some time."

With the way her dad put it, Midori couldn't help but smile. Any self-doubt she was feeling was temporarily forgotten and she could enjoy the rest of the ride home. After a few relaxing minutes she remembered something she'd been meaning to talk about.

"Dad," she chimed. "Next Friday is the last day before spring break and my school is having a cultural festival."

"Don't worry," Subaru chuckled. "I haven't forgotten. We're going with Maki and her family, right?"

"Right," Midori answered with her brightest smile of the evening. She at least had one thing to look forward to.

The next day, while Midori was at school, Subaru was taking a walk in the park with one of his very few friends. "So, Sei'ichirou," he asked his companion. "Are you and the girls still planning on going to the cultural festival with us? Midori is really looking forward to it."

"That's still the plan," the older man answered. "Maki is pretty excited, too. Yuka is a bit more low-key, but she's a senior now, so these things aren't as big a deal."

Like Subaru, Sei'ichirou Aoki was once a Dragon of Heaven. They didn't become close friends, however, until after Subaru became a father. It was a great advantage for him to have a friend who also had a little girl. Mr. Aoki, in fact, had two daughters. He also had a wife to help him. Mr. Sumeragi was a single dad and relished any advice he could get.

"So, how is Midori?" Sei'ichirou asked, adjusting his glasses.

"I'm actually a little worried," Subaru sighed. "She still hasn't found her groove in the, um, family business. That's not what troubles me, though. It's the way she's handling it. After yesterday's job went awry she said that she doesn't feel like she belongs as my daughter."

"I'm sure she was just being metaphorical," the wind-master replied earnestly.

"Still," the younger man responded. "I can't help but wonder if she suspects something."

"Listen," said his friend. "Maybe all this worrying means that it's time to tell your daughter the truth." The two old friends stopped walking and stood face to face. An unusually cool spring breeze blew past them.

"Subaru," Aoki continued. "When Midori was little you couldn't tell her because she was too young to understand. But now she's becoming a young woman and there are certain things she's going to want to know. I think now is the time when you need to sit down and talk to her about her past as well as your own. Remember, the longer you put off this conversation, the harder it will be."

Subaru closed his eyes in thought as another breeze ruffled his raven hair. "You're right," he answered. "I know you're right, Sei'ichirou. I'm just… scared."

"Scared?" Aoki asked.

"I know it's ridiculous," Subaru went on. "But deep down I'm scared that Midori won't love me anymore… once she finds out… that I'm not her real father."