Disclaimer: Sadly I don't own Noriko or Izark… but still I love them! I make no profit but the enjoyment of others reading this.

The River As Deep As the Sky

By Ishi'vanah Zuma Halcyon

Noriko leaned over the edge of the bank, her soft brown eyes gazing into the reflection of the deep blue eyes and her own image rippling slightly over the surface of the water, her fingers reaching out to brush across the image, scaring away a few fish that were moving just underneath the surface. The warm sun washing down over her back, it was a beautiful clear summer's day, and for once they were just taking a long break from their travels… This place just held a certain indescribable beauty and she for one didn't want to miss it. Izark was back at camp and Noriko had come to just think about getting a swim that evening… though wishing that Izark could see this with her…

Her mind drifting away as she knelt by the river, the slow passage of afternoon into evening brought the distant beautiful colours across the western horizon, a soft golden glow beginning to fill the air and move across the land like a wave of pure untouchable gold.

Dark eyes gazed at her, Izark leaning back against a tree trunk, only a few feet away from the oblivious girl who hadn't even noticed his approach… Though he couldn't bring it in his heart to disturb her, to have a moment to just look at her peaceful features untouched by the terrors and horrors that marked every day of their journey. Just this peaceful moment it time allowed for a chance to remember that not everything was darkness.

And that… he the Sky Demon was no longer alone… that somehow there was a spark of light in the darkness that haunted him like a curse… that this angel had fallen straight into his life and become the most important thing in it. The bond rippled softly between them, the warmth shared between their hearts. A love that couldn't ever be denied by either of them, something stronger then anything ever known in this world.

A soft sigh escaped his lips, the evening closing in around them, and he shifted to move towards her, drawn like a moth towards the flame of her light.

Suddenly, there was a warm touch against her shoulder, completely startling her out of her peaceful thoughts, and she jumped in surprise at the feeling.

"EEEH!"

Abruptly finding herself unbalanced, without another sound escaping her she landed with a rather undignified splash right down into the warm waters of the river. Coming up spluttering and her clothes clinging to her body, her brown eyes widened as she found herself staring into the face of Izark, the man trying desperately to prevent a laugh from escaping him.

"Izark, you scared me."

His dark eyes held a shimmer of regret, suddenly the laughter at the sight of her dripping wet in the river died on his lips.

"No… I didn't mean it like that." She was quick to reassure him, to cast out the doubt that still continually hovered in the back of Izark's mind.

Noriko smiled softly, her cheeks flushing a slight crimson as Izark offered out a hand to her, helping the girl, dripping wet out of the river… When the slippery bank gave way under his feet, dumping them both straight back into the sun-warmed water.

SPLASH!

Long raven locks floated to the surface, trailed behind by Izark as he coughed up water, looking rather cute though soaking wet as Noriko leaned slightly against him, both soaking wet and the girl gazing upwards at him and giggled softly, a bright smile rising to her lips.

"Now we match." He commented with a straight face, how one could be so serious though soaking wet she couldn't understand but it was still rather funny that trying to rescue her from the river he had fallen straight in with her.

A wave of water hit him in the face, as Noriko backed up a step, the sandy bottom moving under her feet slightly as the current tugged gently at her clothes, it was rather a lot of fun like that to just do something fun… maybe a chance to play. She stood still for a long moment glancing up at his serious expression, hoping she hadn't made him mad…

And a return volley of water had her spluttering slightly, when it splashed over her face, her fingers rubbing the water from her eyes to find Izark with that same bemused look, trying desperately to keep from laughing that Noriko looked rather like a drowned rat in the state she was in. Though he had to admit privately a rather adorable drowned rat.

And thus started a water fight.

Water ending up on everything and all over both of them…

Noriko getting her revenge with another flick of water at his head, though missing as he went after her, the soaked dress having floated up around her chest as the material was moving with the swirl of the river's gentle current. And Izark's hand caught in the material as the young girl tried to escape her pursuer and ended up loosing the dress completely, ducking under with her arms up to escape the heavy material that was weighing her down. Ending up leaving the dress in a surprised warrior's large hands.

Ducking down her cheeks flared sharply as he stared down at the garment in his hands before his dark eyes lifted to gaze at his dearest love. The dress being dropped onto the grassy bank, his gaze following her, while she was swimming away from him, they were playing more a game of how long she could evade his grasping hands.

"Noriko…" His voice was a warm whisper in her ears, joined by the warm rumble of the waterfall just up the stream from them, and he was so close… the heat he radiated was like a sun burning in heavens. And strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her back against a warm strong body, turning her in one swift movement, brought her into a strong embrace. "I love you."

Almond orbs fluttered for a moment, knowing she had lost the game, but she was definitely not going to complain because her head nuzzled into his slender shoulder, her face hidden against the pale skin. Her arms wrapped tightly around his body, holding him close and letting herself enjoy the moment, "I love you too, Izark."

The grip on her tightened slightly, his breath brushing over her face as he ducked his head slightly to carefully lean in to press a soft kiss against her lips, his thumb brushing ever so softly against her cheek. Noriko melted against him, the feeling was unlike anything she knew… this deep affection and warmth that bubbled up deep within her belly, bringing the hope and faith she had in him to the surface.

I love you more then words can ever say… The warm voice fluttered through her thoughts slightly, her eyes closing tightly, the sound leaving her helpless within his arms… My light… In this dark world…

Izark… Her fingers reached upwards to softly trace over his features lightly, a deep blush running across her cheeks, both of them forgetting they were standing in the middle of a river and Noriko was rather missing a dress, leaving her in just undergarments. Lifting herself upwards slightly, her lips brushed tenderly across his, this intimate moment something that brought them ever closer to the other. "I'll always be beside you."

I'll protect you. Izark reassured her, his forehead resting against hers, his lips caressing hers in a soft loving touch, something infinitely gentle.

Because through the darkest of moments she had saved him from the lurking shadows that echoed within himself, showing him he was still a man and there was something more within him.

Abruptly Noriko blushed fiercely, her cheeks cherry red, having realised that her dress was soaking wet and on the shore… and she was held tight against the tall athletic frame of her love. Almond eyes lifted upwards to gaze into his face and look rather adorably embarrassed about that… But there was this small tender smile on his lips, something she had never seen there before, his eyes flickering with a moment of delight at just watching her. His hair cling to his cheeks as he grew nearer again, her blush intensified when his fingertip gracefully brushing against the trail of redness.

"Nothing to be ashamed of…" He said softly. Before a fine eyebrow rose upwards at her expression, "Noriko?"

"… Aaaah…" Her cheeks were so red that it was impossible to tell how many shades of the rather nice colour was decorating her face.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing!" She tried to hurriedly to hide her face against his shoulder before biting her lip slightly. "You're all wet." Her fingers touched his shirt slightly, the fabric clinging to his skin.

"I decided to take a bath early." He joked softly. "I think you did too."

"I…" Her eyes widened sharply as she watched him, his shirt and soaked boots being carefully set in the last rays of the sun, so that they could at least partly dry out before setting Noriko's up there too. It was not the fact that he was fixing their things… it was the fact he was shirtless and his hair was clinging down over his back and shoulders…

Her hand came upwards to rest on her lips, trying to cover the gasp she let out as she just watched him like that… He was gorgeous. His damp raven locks framing his fine delicate features, his dark eyes watching her with a deep amused affection. He looked… so wonderful…

"Have I got something on my face?" Izark questioned, teasing her a little further as he was slowly moving back towards her.

"…No…"

She was barely getting any words out right then, finding herself staring at him in awe, unable to take her eyes off him. He was perfect! Flawless and beautiful. Almost forgetting to breath, Noriko was utterly embarrassed at being in only a camisole and panties, which were soaked through and clinging to her skin.

"Then why are you looking at me like that?"

"… You're… so…"

"I'm so? Strong? Handsome?" He couldn't believe how much luck he had, his smile growing wider as he came another step closer, only with her could he play like that, be able to not have to worry about being called a monster… He posed slightly, just wanting to joke around a little more.

"…Yes…"

"You're mouth is open." Promptly leaned in to press a soft kiss against her lips, "You looked like a fish out of water."

Almond eyes blinked suddenly at that, "But we're in a river…"

Blushing slightly, he could definitely remember the last time they were at a river together…

-------------------------------Flash Back---------------------------------

The sound of singing drew Noriko away from where she was sitting down by the fire watching over their dinner, while Izark was going to collect more firewood, glancing down at it, she turned back towards the sound. It was breathtaking, a sound so heartfelt and clear.

Moving the spit away form the flames so that it wouldn't burn, she got to her feet, moving through the darkness, following the angelic voice towards the river. Ducking behind a tree on the bank, her almond eyes peaked around the edge of the rough barked trunk, but nothing prepared her for what she saw…

Izark was standing in the brilliant rays of moonlight flooding across the river, his tanned skin almost like alabaster in the moonlight, his dark hair a curtain of silk flowing down over slender limbs. His face turned upwards, his eyes glinting with the reflection of starlight… and his voice was raised to the sky, the words were unfamiliar to her, yet the meaning was something filled with burning and deep emotions that echoed up from the depths of his soul.

She was stuck in that spot, unable to draw away from the sight before her, wanting only to be able to hold this moment forever in her heart, a glimpse of even more about the man she loved so deeply. He was rather sexy too… the guy was rather a god to look at! The thought was rather… a surprise to her as she was watching him from the deep shadows.

Noriko…

His voice in her mind, something unconsciously reaching out to brush against her senses in a warm flood of Izark's feelings for her… A soft gasp escaping her, startling Izark as well as herself as she pressed herself against the trunk back away out of his sight.

"Who's there?"

Izark… She couldn't keep the reply from getting loose.

You saw… Izark was blushing badly, his eyes gazing straight at the tree where Noriko was hiding behind.

She had not meant to intrude on his bath! She had just wanted to know who was singing so beautifully… "Sorry!" Her hands covered her eyes, as if trying to keep the images of him from her mind… but seriously unable to.

It's alright. His voice somehow had managed to get a little bit of a grip on himself… Noriko, its alright.

But she couldn't help, but remember just how beautiful he truly was… He was no demon… but an angel…

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"You have the most wonderful singing voice." She hadn't managed to say that before then, her eyes turning towards him, just smiling softly.

"You're off subject." He leaned downwards, his lips brushing across hers softly…

"Am I?" The girl questioned. Tapping his nose softly with her finger, gazing up at him with a longing, she didn't even understand welling up inside her.

"Yes." He gave his serious face, the smile vanishing for a moment, Noriko almost panicked for a moment before he was pulling her towards him, "Did you… like what you saw?" He looked nervous, hope reflected in his eyes.

"Oh yes."

"I like what I see." The man gazed down at her with those infinitely dark eyes, yet they held a warm loving look, his fingers curling around hers, lifting them upwards to his lips, "My Princess."

"IZARK!" She was completely red and pounced him, both going down with a splash. "You better not be joking."

"Oh… I doubt I could joke about angels…"

She was his Angel… And he was her Knight… For a moment the darkness was forgotten and light could blaze forth… though no without lighting sparks.

Pleeeeeease Review Just so I can know if you would like a sequel to this little tale of mine ;;;