After a few months of editing and revising this chapter and the following more, I just hope that the "hiatus" I put into this story just doesn't lose the essence of it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fushigi Yuugi, or its characters. You have to admit they're pretty good and interesting.
"Hello…" her voice echoed through the spacious room. The steps she took sounded like a giant trying to tiptoe around a dark room, so she just took the last step and stooped dead right in the middle. "Someone's here…I can feel it." She whispered to herself, brows furrowed. Suzuno was starting to get annoyed. There was one thing she dislikes and it was when someone's spying on her. Usually she knows who it was, but this time Suzuno sure that this was a person she had never met. And not planning to.
A cough resounded from her side and turned her head sharply. A being dressed in expensive garments and a cloak of black hue. She recognised it was a man for its hair parted on the middle, in a style that allowed few bangs on the front. Suzuno's eyes widened. If the guy hadn't carried around a devil-may-care possessiveness arrogance she might have thought that Kenshin might have come back to haunt her some more. But it seemed he didn't. But still, the man was…annoying,
The man presented himself out of the blinking light, and looked at her with a smug expression of happiness. "So you've come, priestess. I didn't actually think you would." He deeply meant it as an insult to her, deliberately mocking her miserable state.
"How couldn't I, if you brought me HERE!" she spat. He ignored her words and took heavy footfalls to rest himself in front of her, arms crossed. "How dare you do this to me," she muttered. The man quirked an eyebrow, "Excuse me? I didn't quite catch that." He touched his ear forward in a mock excuse. Suzuno glared at him, and he chuckled. "Don't mind me. I'm just in a jovial mood today." He continued chuckling as he reached his desk and sat on a cushioned chair. Suzuno rooted herself as unmoving instead of following him. It was just plain instinct not to. The man then leaned forward and steeple his fingers on the desk. Good thing he wasn't looking at her, but at something that seemed like a laid out scroll on the side. And turned to look at her.
"If you're wondering who I am, you'll find that I'm something important.
"I don't care who you are."
The man laughed softly
"Oh you sure do. I can make your future, upon my word, with a whisk of my hand. Care to guess?"
"Don't play games with me."
"What? No sense of humour? Cheer up priestess. It's boring being sombre every time."
"It's not me, seriously. You just make bad jokes."
Suzuno scoffed. "I'm an expert on that area.."
The man shook his head and tsk-ed. "Stubborn, not a good trait you know."
"Well, live with it. I thought you made my future with your word. You should know how I am and will always be," She continued to mock him. "Care to guess?"
The man's smile was genuine. "Ah, but you definitely have spirit my dear Byakko-no-miko. And a fiery one at that."
But then his eyes, usually gray, turned a shade dark…to black. " But then again, don't play games with me priestess. I can be harsher than you think I'm capable of." Even though he spoke quietly, Suzuno could feel cold sweat trickle at her back. Bracing herself, she walked up to him and leaned over. She planted her palms squarely on the table.
"Then who are you? Be careful. I can be a good judge of character."
The man's eyes turned to her with a slight lift of one side of the mouth. It gave him a roguish look. "I thought you didn't care?"
Feeling berated and frustrated, she cried in cold hatred, "I'm only human. It's normal for me to be curious. I'm not cold–blooded like you!" The man stood up, looking nonchalant with Suzuno's insult. "You say that you have a good judge of character? I wouldn't be doing this if I was cold." He snatched the lingering scroll and slowly handed it to her. Suzuno reluctantly picked up the scroll, looked at it and a wave of buried memories began to appear, memories she tried do hard to lay dormant and buried. Yet they surfaced again, upon the written words on the parchment. The man, obviously, was looking up to her intently and saw emotion after another pass on her delicate face. "It was far too long, my priestess. Five years long gone. Don't make it 40 years more."
A few moments of silence came, and she looked up at the man before her and whispered through choked tears. "You're Fate, aren't you?"
She truly is genuine. The man, Fate, gave her a swift bow. "The one and only, priestess." Watching his gesture with a glint of angriness, she held the scroll between her fingers and waved it in the air.
"You did this? You made me miserable! And y-you have the nerve to show me this and remind me!"
Fate shrugged his shoulders. "No one can escape the past. And besides, I was thinking of helping you."
She snorted. "Think? You weren't even thinking of helping me in the first place, were you?" she continued. "Well, isn't it a bit late?"
"To me it isn't."
"Do you want me to help you or not?"
Suzuno glared at Fate. This man is actually thinking of helping her, but it was too late. The damage's done, and there's no turning back.
"Unless," she said "You change the past."
Now it's Fate's turn to snort "You mean erase it? All of it? You don't even know what you're asking for?"
"Sure as hell I do! Look you said you're going to help me. You kept on insisting…so I'll make use of the 'promise' you just gave me."
Again Fate gave her a shrug. "That won't be one of the options, Suzuno. It's true that I said I'm going to aid you with this problem," he then pointed to the scroll she was holding "not erase it. What's been done is done. Life isn't about going back, it's rethinking what you've done and making choices in the present to make up for them."
The breeze was blowing hard…a little too hard. The Byakko Seishi fought the urge to turn back from the swirling sand. "It will…all…. pass." Subaru assured, as she tried to keep her cloak around her and the veil that covered her face. Tatara, at the moment, didn't seem to notice the events and kept a pace ahead of Tokaki and her. All three of them were heading for the temple, where Tatara could safely guard the Shinzaho: the mirror Suzuno left before she went back to her world, the only purpose remaining for him to live through each waking moment, the remaining part of her heart he kept. Through the Shinzaho, Tatara could relive those precious moments he last spent with her until Byakko took her away.
"Twenty long years. Too much time brings twice as much pain." Tatara thought. Finally the winds had ceased, and he noticed that he wasn't ahead of his companions anymore. "Ya know," Tokaki started the conversation and gave him a pat on the back. "If only you didn't fall for 'er, you wouldn't be 'ere right now. You have to live life, not pretendin' your dead."
That brought up a tiny smile on Tatara's lips.
"Very funny, Tokaki. Keep trying." And went ahead of them again.
"There's just no cheerin' you up is there? You fell for 'er, she snared you, didn't she?" a disgruntled Tokaki yelled. "I should know, cause I married one m'self," That said, it got him a kick on the ribs.
"And believe me they aren't that –"
"Oh shut up, Tokaki"
"What? I'm just explainin' –"
"He doesn't want hear it, any of it. Neither do I."
Tokaki threw his hands up in the air in defeat. "Okay. Fine. Dun listen to me. Old, rambling Tokaki."
This time his wife turned around and faced him squarely.
"You are not old. And stop saying that you are."
He crossed his arms "You dun seem to like bein round me 'nymore. Whenever I'm alone, you always think I'm gonna do trouble. You're just there to remind me."
Subaru in turn crossed her arms too. "It does happen right? Trouble does follow you around."
Tatara sighed. Will these two ever stop? But he knew as well that what they had was companionship…something he sorely missed having…and luckily his fellow seishi were the first ones to experience its bliss. Hearing them mimic each other's emotions and words made Tatara miss Suzuno even more. So he turned around, cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. "Why don't you guys get a room!"
At last they reached the Temple after a few minutes walk. The interlude at the desert wasn't really necessary but it seemed that Subaru took offence in Tatara's comment. She then ignored the rest of Tokaki's rumblings that was shockingly close to "Stupid, wretched, woman" and some "why did I marry her anyway?" The temple was painted in varying shades of yellow and white, in honour of the tiger–god Byakko. It was here where Byakko–no–miko first summoned the god to grant her 3 wishes. However, since the miko only found 3 seishis, (instead of 7) her wishes were limited. Memories often did come to Tatara, making him stop in front of the ceremonial hall.
Unknowingly, Subaru placed a comforting hand on his shoulder and softly said, "It wasn't meant to be."
Those words pierced Tatara to the depths of his very soul. " Please don't you ever tell me what to do. It's my life…" and grasped her hand resting on his shoulder tight. Tokaki came up to the scene of a struggling Subaru and heated Tatara. It was enough for him to determine what happened. Tokaki grabbed Tatara by his arms and tried to gain some common ground "Never 'ver dare lay a finger on her again, Tatara. If you ever hurt even a hair on her precious head, you're dead." Tatara struggled free from his grasp, and turned his back on them. Tokaki attended to his weakened wife. "You knew that's what's bound to happen. A miko goes back to her own world, leaving only faint memories and the friends she made along the way. You knew this Tatara. You're one of her seishis."
Yes 'tis true. Tatara thought yet I tried to ignore it for I love her more than my life's worth…
She had come this far to see him once again, and nothing will ever do to stop her. Suzuno had risked too much, all for the sake of her beloved. A while ago had been one of the darkest days of her life. Now in the middle of the desert, Suzuno struggled to get up from the coarse hot sand that burned her sliced flesh on her arm. Droplets of blood dripped and made a mosaic in the ground. She grunted in pain, as a wave of nausea swept her too. It hurts like hell…
Making she walk the desert was tiring and sickening. Grasping her bloodied arm and sweat glistening on her face, she tried to remember the last situation before but suddenly realized the bitter-tasting potent she had drank that wiped each ounce of memories she might have. A sharp deja vu pierced through her body as she began once again sensing a strange familiarity around her. Frantically looking around she spotted the Sairou temple…or was it? She couldn't fathom. But she walked briskly anyways to the place with its big, beckoning doors and stepped to each ivory stair, cursing herself with each memory that seemed to flee from her head, but good enough to make her feel a sense of belonging.
Little note: I'm really sorry for the hold-up. I spent too much time doing alot of searches about Tatara and Suzuno but only so few could provide it. There might be some situations where I might be repetitive and wrong usage of grammar, but if i edit it too much ill be redoing the whole fiction again...
Please do leave a comment after reading this, I would want some feedback as to what you think, how it makes you feel, if there are corrections, suggestions...