Disclaimer: I don't own anything of Fushigi Yuugi, I don't own the characters.

Summary: Nuriko asks Hotohori a favor but what will Hotohori realise about him? Oneshot, little bit of shounen ai, nothing serious

AN: This is my first fanfiction in English and I am not a native speaker. If there are mistakes (surely there are) ignore them or tell me. . I hope the characters are not too OOC.

One last embrace

When it gently knocked on his door he knew, before he saw him that it would be Nuriko. He didn't understand from where this feeling came. But it was like he felt Nuriko's presence approaching to his chambers. He felt something else but yet he couldn't figure out what it was.

And as he door slowly opened he first saw the purple sparkling hair of Nuriko. He had his usual braid laid over his small right shoulder. He simply looked fantastic in his soft blue tunic and the cream colored pants. But the emperor could see the sadness in his usually happily shining eyes. Hotohori frowned. Why was Nuriko so obviously sad?

"Hotohori-sama…" Nuriko began but stopped immediately. He took a few steps forth and then bowed in front of the emperor as if they wouldn't know each other.

"Nuriko…" Hotohori stood up from his chair. "You don't have to bow before me. Even if I am the emperor we are both seishi and friends, aren't we?"

He looked up and stood a few meters away from the emperor of Kounan. "Hai, of course." Nuriko hesitated but then went on with speaking. "Anou… I – have a favor to ask you. It is not much anyway but… I would appreciate it much." He looked expectantly up to Hotohori.

Hotohori slightly smiled down at his fellow seishi. First he thought it had something to do with him but it seemed that Nuriko was only afraid of asking him a favor. "Oh, I think I can do nearly everything you want. So what is it?"

Nuriko lowered his eyes to the floor and Hotohori noticed the soft blush on his beautiful cheeks. "He really looks like a woman. And he really is the most beautiful man besides me of course. But…" he couldn't finish his thought because Nuriko was suddenly speaking.

"Could you… embrace me?"

First the taller man was overwhelmed. He never expected something like that. Hotohori didn't answer immediately and only looked puzzled at the purple-haired seishi who was still looking on the floor, the blush on his cheeks darkening. Was this the favor he should do for his fellow seishi?

"It.. it mustn't be for long… But please only one time… only one time and I will never again ask for something. Onegai." At those words he looked up right into Hotohori's golden eyes. And Hotohori's heart broke as he saw the full sadness and the soft tear-shimmering eyes of Nuriko.

He couldn't think straight anymore and headed concerned towards Nuriko. He gently wrapped the taller seishi into his red silken fabric and pressed him to his chest. His arms lay on Nuriko's small back and he held him as close as he could. The emperor noticed the mild scent of lavender on Nuriko's hair.

Hotohori couldn't tell why of sudden he did this. Nuriko and he were never so close before. But it felt right! Like they were destined to be together like that. And suddenly he felt Nuriko trembling in his caring embrace. It was only a soft tremble but enough to let him worry.

He gently pushed him a bit away, his hands still resting on Nuriko's slim shoulders. And then he saw it: Tears were building up in those large eyes, some couldn't be hold anymore and they were streaming down his pale cheeks. Nuriko tried to wipe them away but it didn't help much. More and more tears were coming and Hotohori felt absolutely helpless. One of his dearest friends was crying and all he could do was staring at him.

"I'm sorry… I am really sorry Hotohori-sama…" Nuriko choked. "Farewell…" He carefully took one step backwards and with those last words the smaller man turned around and dashed out of the chambers. And Hotohori stood confused in the middle of his room and felt like he had just lost something very important. It was like he could never be happy again in his life.

"Nuriko...why did I never notice before?" The emperor had never realized how deeply and honest Nuriko loved him until now. He felt guilty but knew it was already too late. Nuriko had said goodbye to him forever. Hotohori had given away the last chance to hold Nuriko back, embrace him just for a little longer and maybe tell him how he really felt. But Nuriko would never come back to him.

One single tear was running down his face but he didn't bother to wipe it away.


Please tell me what you think.