well... this is my second story... hope you guys like it!

disclaimer: i don't own FoR but god knows how i'm wishing i did! hehehe! read on!

Chapter 1: Under the Ebony Sky

It has been said that if you've been through a lot of suffering in your life and your prayers seems to be left unanswered, you must go on top of the place you think is closest to the heavens during midnight and light up some fireworks. In that way, the angels would hear the sounds and would be attracted to the beautiful colors of the fireworks, and together with that, they would hear your prayers and it would be given to you…

It was the most spectacular thing she had ever seen. So spectacular that all she could do was stand there with them and gaze at it with awe written boldly on her face. She doesn't know if it may be the effect of being in a bloody tournament just a week ago that such small things could easily amaze her, but for her, if man would be able to do magnificent things in their entire lives, this must be the most magnificent of them all. Bright colors contrasted with the ebony sky, sparkling and showing off for a few minutes before disappearing into thin air, only to be replaced once again by, yet, another dazzling fireworks display. Minutes had already passed, yet, she was silently wishing that the dazzling presentation, courtesy of their flame caster friend, would cease to end.

"Hey guys," Recca's voice shortly divided her attention from the fireworks display. "The finale is almost near. Believe me, it will be the most wonderful display you'll ever lay your eyes on for the rest of your lives."

She gave her friend a warm smile of appreciation, suddenly lost of words from what she was witnessing before her very eyes, before turning back to the skies and watching the wonderful dance of colors and design against the ebony sky, thinking that if there could be a more dazzling, awesome, presentation aside from this, then she should keep her eyes open and not miss it even for the world.

"And in three…" Recca started the count down 'till the finale presentation. "two… one… here goes!"

It was indeed the most beautiful thing she had ever witnessed. Suddenly, the dark sky was lightened up with bright fireworks shooting upward towards the heavens before exploding into a spherical design and sparkling like tiny diamonds before slowly fading away. It was followed by yet; another succession of shooting fireworks before exploding once again, however, this time, instead of a spherical design, the tiny diamond-like fireworks formed their names in katakana.

"Sugoi…" was the only thing she could say, watching as her own name sparkled against the night sky before slowly fading away.

"Well, that's it!" Recca happily announced the end of the presentation that he helped his father with.

"Sugoi, Recca-kun…" Yanagi complimented with awe, wiping the tears that formed in her eyes due to the thoughtfulness she felt from the presentation.

"She's right Recca." She finally said, recovering from the state she was in during the presentation and going back to her old self. "Finally did something good, ne?" she teased before bursting into giggles, which Ganko and Kauro joined into.

"My Fuuko's right!" Domon cut in, suddenly appearing behind Fuuko, one hand slowly making its way to Fuuko's shoulder. "Maybe we should ask you to make the fireworks display on our wedding!"

This triggered her patience. The statement 'MY Fuuko', she could take, but the next statement Domon made just snapped the remaining strand of patience she have. Closing her hand into fist, she turned around to deliver her blow.

"How many times do I have to tell you, I'm not your Fuuko!" she shouted with rage as her fist connected to Domon's chin.

Kauro, Ganko and the rest of the gang could only watch as one of their members was sent flying to the sky, something that wasn't new to them already. After Domon became a speck in the sky, everybody was silent and the only thing that could be heard was her heavy breathing while trying to control her anger.

After everything has been settled and Domon would seem to be taking a long time before coming back, Yanagi finally broke the silence enveloping the group.

"So, why don't we start the party inside? The food Kagero-san made might be getting cold already." She chirped in happily before pushing Recca and Kaoru inside.

She also followed suit, not forgetting to take Ganko's hand and walking side by side with her. Just as she was about to enter the house, she noticed Tokiya walking already towards the cave that would lead him out of Kagero's lair.

"Hey! Mi-chan! You're going at the wrong direction!" she shouted behind his back and at the same time stepping hurriedly towards his retreating form with Ganko in tow. "Kagero's house is this way not that way!"

"Believe me Kirisawa, I'm going at the right direction." He replied to her without even glancing at her.

She stopped for a while to let his words sink in. Not that she was slow or anything, but merely because she wanted to make sure if she heard it right.

"You're leaving?" she still asked despite of the obvious.

"For a monkey, you just got a little smart back there." Came the mocking reply.

She wanted to pounce him, there and then, for calling her monkey for the nth time but decided that making him stay is more important than giving him a piece of her mind. Quickly, she ran towards him and pulled at the sleeves of his shirt.

"But you can't leave!" she said as she grabbed his sleeves and stopped him from going any further.

"For the love of God, woman, this happens to be Armani you're stretching and is currently at the verge of tearing apart!" he glared at her while his hands are trying to tug and save his sleeves from parting away from the entire wardrobe.

Instantly, she let go of his sleeves. God knows how expensive Armani is and everybody knows she doesn't have the money to pay it if ever it tears apart from her vicious grip.

"Why are you leaving?" she asked, all the while, thinking how she'll be able to somehow, switch their positions so that she's the one near the cave and block Tokiya from going anywhere but back to the house.

Dusting the sleeves of his shirt and checking, just in case, for any damages, he spoke to her in a manner that made her shiver. "Look, Kirisawa, I know what you're thinking and I suggest that you don't do it. I'm far stronger than you are and I've got quicker reflex than you do, so changing our positions would be a very impossible task for an average monkey like you."

Verbal swords play. She thought, as her face formed a challenging smirk before answering with quick wit.

"You may be strong and fast, but you're still an arrogant jerk if you ask me."

"For the last few months of spending agonizing time with you guys, didn't it ever occur to you that I never cared about what people think or say about me? Although I know for sure that ninety nine percent of those are compliments." He said before gently raking his hands over his silvery mane.

Her eyebrows twitched from what she heard but she knows, in her mind, that what he just said is definitely and undeniably true. He sure is smart for his own good, but of course, she would never verbally admit it and contribute to those ninety-nine percent compliments thrown at his feet.

"Did I happen to mention vain in my last statement? I couldn't have forgotten that, since you're so full of vanity that if ever possible, you might probably marry yourself."

"That is a far more acceptable idea than the idea of marrying a monkey like you."

"That's three already, Mi-chan! You asked for it!" her patience snapped and readied herself to strike the ensui wielder standing coolly on front of her.

"Yamete!" a shrill voice suddenly popped out of nowhere.

She stopped at mid-strike and looked down at the owner of the shrill voice, who happens to be the blonde girl she was with a while ago.

"Stop it, neechan. Seeing Uruha trying to kill you is a far better sight than you guys trying to kill each other for a very dense reason." Ganko said, tear welling up the corners of her eyes.

She instantly put her fist down and kneeled in front of the child, soothing her and trying to stop her from crying any further. It's been a week already since they came back from the tournament and up until now, the memory of them almost dying in the hands of the enemies still haunts the child.

"Gomen Ganko. Don't worry; I'm not trying to kill Mi-chan. I'm just giving him a piece of my mind." She gently said as her hand caressed her blonde locks, which made Ganko smile warmly at her.

"As if you have any." She heard Tokiya mutter under his breath but decided to ignore him and focus on Ganko first.

"Tokiya-niisan." Ganko suddenly said, catching Tokiya offguard. "Onegai… don't leave. Just stay for a while and enjoy the party with us. Just this once… onegai…"

She stood up from her kneeling position and looked at the expression on Tokiya's face. It was priceless! After all, how many times do you see the face of the almighty and ever so great Tokiya almost drained of its usual hue? It was indescribable but one thing's surely written all over his face. Surrender.

"What now Mi-chan?" she mocked. "Are you going to ignore Ganko's wish here and leave her to cry?"

"Stupid monkey." He muttered before tracing his steps opposite from where his mind and body really wants to go and back to Kagero's house.

She smiled and totally ignored the 'monkey' comment. What mattered to her at that moment was to make him stay and mingle with the rest of the group and somehow, make him forget for a while the devastating truth he learned during the last part of the UBS.

"Mi-chan, wait for me!" she cried out before following Ganko and his retreating form.

He was annoyed, definitely and entirely annoyed. Who wouldn't be? Imagine yourself sitting beside a very drunk flame caster and gorilla singing an out of tune song on top of their lungs while holding a bottle of wine and wagging it like crazy, threatening to hit him any second from now. Not only that. Together with the drunken duo, imagine a, surprisingly sober, monkey sitting on the adjacent chair from them, laughing her head off and without even initiating a move to stop the duo from their stupidity.

Why in the bloody hell did I let myself be dragged into this! He thought as he dodged the threatening bottle Recca was holding.

That's it! He thought as he quickly stood up and moved away from the duo, making his way towards the garden.

Once there, he found a rock where he could sit and escape the havoc going on inside. He closed his eyes and relaxed himself from the stress of controlling himself from killing those drunken duo right there and then a while ago.

"Mi-chan…" a voice called him from behind.

Before he knows it, she was already standing beside him without even asking for permission if she could join him or not.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, obviously ignoring the signs that he wants to be left alone.

"None of your business." He answered curtly, already disliking her company.

Silence followed after that and he was glad that, for once, she didn't push him to talk. She was always like that, annoyingly loud and she keeps on giving him these friendly gestures that annoy him even more. He doesn't even know what this tomboyish monkey has that he was even allowing him to call him by that stupid nickname.

"So…" she started, placing one of her hands on her hips and looking at him quite expectantly. "What are you planning to do after this?"

"Go home and have a good night sleep free of annoying monkeys." He answered briefly, hoping that she got the idea behind it.

"Well, Kagero insisted that we should sleep over for tonight so the only part your getting is 'sleep' because definitely, you can't go home yet until tomorrow and we're here, the, what was it you called us? Oh yeah, annoying monkeys."

He didn't give a comment about what she said so once again, silence took over them. The only thing that could be heard was the night creatures sounding all over the place and Fuuko's feet sweeping the ground.

"Will you stop that? It's annoying."

He heard her sigh before slumping on to the ground. He turned to her and found her lying on the cold ground, her eyes intently focused on the night sky looming over them. She seems to be thinking about something very deep but being the kind of guy that he was, he never dared ask her anything about it. Rather, he closed his eyes and decided to accept the company. As long as she wasn't shouting and being boisterous, she can be a tolerable company at times.

A long silence followed her statement, his mind, losing track of time. They stayed in that position for a long time, neither saying anything and making a move to break whatever it is that was surrounding them.

"I always loved the night sky." He heard her break the silence between them. "It makes me feel…"

Tokiya, despite the fact that he would rather die than admit it, anticipated her next words amongst the brief silence that followed after that. The brief silence turned to a minute then two. With curiosity eating up inside him, he turned to her to see why she suddenly stopped what she was trying to say, only to find her eyes close and in a deep slumber.

He chuckled to himself, slightly amused at her current state. How she could sleep on that dirt was really unknown to him. In his mind however, a mental battle was going on. He was silently debating on leaving her there, let her catch a cold and suffer the hurt look that Yanagi would be giving him once she knew that he was there and didn't even do anything, or lift her off the ground and carry her to her room. Finally deciding, he chooses the lesser evil between the two.

Slowly, he pushed himself off the rock he was leaning on and knelt beside the sleeping Fuuko. He watched her face slightly illuminated by the light emanating from the moon before shaking his head and thinking how the bloody hell did he get himself in this situation. Cautiously, he slipped his arms behind Fuuko's back and knees, silently praying that she wouldn't wake up. If she wakes up and finds somebody carrying her, she would definitely strike first and ask questions later, and god knows how strong her fists are. Just look at Domon for an example.

When his arms are locked on the place where it should be, he gently lifted her a few inches from the ground, feeling her weight transfer to his strong arms. Not that she's heavy or something. Actually, she weighs less than he expected, assuming the way she devour her food. Carefully, he stood up from his kneeling position and fully lifted Fuuko.

What the hell do you think you're doing! His mind debated. This is so not you Tokiya.

He gently shook his head to clear his mind from anything and concentrate on bringing Fuuko to her room. The faster he does that, the sooner he'll be free of such burden.

However, his slight movement stirred Fuuko from her slumber, causing her to gently moan in his arms.


For a moment, he was unsure of what to do, whether he'll drop her on the ground, resume his position by the rock and deny whatever it is she was thinking or just stand there and wait for her fist to connect to his oh-so-perfect cheek bones. He was thinking of choosing the former rather than risk having his cheekbones broken.

However, instead of waking up as he expected, Fuuko merely snuggled closer to his chest, her warm and rhythmic breathing grazing his suite, which isn't much of a hindrance to prevent the shivers to run down his spine. What's much worse was that her loose hand suddenly found their way around his neck and locked there as if they really belonged there in the first place.

This is so not happening! Why in the bloody hell did I let myself be in this situation!

Hurrying his footsteps, he carried Fuuko inside the house and into her room. He gently laid her on her bed, feeling her weight leave his arms. He watched her as she rolled onto her side, facing him, and murmured something in her sleep. He frowned, leaning slightly forward and suddenly feeling curious at what she was saying in her sleep.

"My prince…"

The frown on his face deepened before he abruptly stood up from the side of her bed. He decided to leave the room, the frown on his face, still slightly illuminated by the moon.

A/N: well... what do you think? good? bad? terrible? i hope not! hehehe! please read and review... pretty please?

anyway, for those of you guys who doesn't know, i also wrote a story before this... it's still not finish though... but hope you guys read it... it's entitled 'masquerade'...

i'll be waiting for you reviews! tanks guys!