Disclaimer: I do not own Fushigi Yugi, obviously. This is a M/M slash romance story with serious adult content in later chapters. If you do not believe in a healthy relationship between two men or are otherwise not allowed to view such content, go away now.
A few notes: This story will be written as if the Eikou Den series never occurred. I am a college student with little, if no time, to write fan-fiction. When I do post new chapters, they will be and are obviously very sporadic. I have been a committed and noble follower of Fushigi Yugi since I was twelve and thusly, it is the only anime I will ever stop to consider spending time writing about. I do appreciate those people who enjoy this fun story.
Also: Because Chichiri is supposed to have a PH.D, he is his OVA age of twenty-seven and simply because I did not want Tasuki to be a teenager, he is a twenty-year-old sophomore college student.
Winter. All around him, nothing but an endless expanse of freshly fallen snow that held a slight crunch to it when stepped upon. It was mid afternoon but you wouldn't be able to tell that by the peculiar look of the grayish blue sky, still spitting snowflake after snowflake, as if there wasn't enough already.
Houjun was cold. It felt like he had been standing in the middle of this colorless span for hours with that kind of cold that bites and numbs all your extremities in such a way that your toes feel like rocks under your weight and your fingers are nonexistent. He felt his throat tighten as he breathed in the frozen air. Suddenly, his ear picked up the distinct sound of movement from far off.
"It's fuckin' cold! Can we go yet!?"
Houjun was startled awake in bed, his body jolting in fright and confusion, sitting him up in a breathless panic. He looked around his clean and modest bedroom, early morning light breathing through his blinds.
Inhaling heavily, Houjun reached up, running a shaky hand through his long, blue hair and then rubbing the sleep from his left eye. He took a moment to collect himself from the dream before climbing out of the fluffy and down blankets, opening his window and letting in the morning. He walked towards his closet, clad only in his pajama bottoms. He removed a pair of dark brown, suit pants, a white shirt, red tie and brown vest before venturing to the bathroom to shower for the day.
When he returned to his room, beginning to get dressed, he stopped halfway through buttoning his shirt, finding himself staring aimlessly out the window. His brow furrowed in thought.
Was that the first or... the hundredth time I've had that dream? Houjun thought, fingers absently buttoning once more. I don't remember.
Once dressed, hair neatly tied back and ignoring the bangs that always seemed to fall into his eyes, Houjun gathered his school books and graded papers, stuffing them into his briefcase and leaving the humble apartment as he left that morning for the university.
Ri Houjun's office, which in all reality was more like the size of a closet, was located on the west wing of the history building. Only the department chairpersons of the ancient histories were granted workspaces so the humble offering that had been extended to Houjun the past year he had accepted graciously. Houjun taught both history majors as well as humanities courses that any student was able to attend, so his office, shoebox size or not, made it enormously easier for him to meet with all his students throughout the year.
The clock on the wall to his left ticked quietly, Houjun gazed on his laptop's glowing screen while his mind was completely on its own. Realizing he had read the same e-mail going on three times now and still had no idea what it was actually pertaining to, Houjun shook his head out of the daydream and settled more to the edge of his chair, beginning to scan the text again.
Only moments into typing his reply, Houjun fell back in the chair, staring at the floor, his brow furrowed a bit as he thought.
Like most mornings, out of habit, Myojuan carried his folders of class work tucked at his side and glanced through Houjun's open office door, catching a glimpse of his friend as he continued past. Stopping suddenly, the medical doctor and now college professor turned and looked back in. His warm eyes smiled brightly as he walked into the room.
The latter remained undisturbed at his desk, chin propped up under his hand.
Finding Houjun in such a state was not anything new to Myojuan. Most assumed Houjun to be, although professional and very intelligent, a daydreamer. Myojuan knew otherwise. There was something in Houjun's gaze, as if he were searching through thick, ancient clouds and getting to see something so far away, see something magical, even. Houjun never looked happy though, when Myojuan found him in this condition. He seemed troubled and always trying to suppress it.
Quietly, as not to startle the younger man, Myojuan raised a hand and knocked on the threshold of the door, waving when Houjun glanced up. "Good morning."
"Good morning, Myojuan." Houjun stood, pulling his vest absently as he stepped around his desk and shook his friend's hand. "How are you?"
"Have a pleasant weekend?"
Myojuan nodded. "I can't complain." He pointed to the desk. "Was I interrupting anything important?"
Houjun looked over his shoulder, then back with a bit of confusion on his face. "What do you mean?"
"You seemed deep in thought."
Houjun waved his hand. "No, nothing important."
Myojuan leaned comfortably against the doorframe. "I hardly saw you last week, what with it being the first week of the fall semester… how was it for you?"
Houjun released a breath of air as he shrugged. "It was fine, I suppose. Quite a bit of gossipers in my humanities courses."
Myojuan just chuckled and nodded. "It's bound to happen when you have photography majors in a course on ancient China, Houjun." He pat his shoulder. "The first few weeks are always a bit of a roller coaster ride, you know that."
Houjun nodded, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'll think more positive about it."
Myojuan grinned. "There you go." He checked his watch. "How long until your next class?"
"Oh, not until eleven."
Myojuan looked up through the bit of his dark hair. "It's five till, Houjun."
"What?" Houjun looked down at his watch and his eyes widened suddenly. "Oh Suzaku!" He turned and ran back to his desk, snapping shut his briefcase and rushing past Myojuan with a hurried 'goodbye' as he ran for his class.
Having to start walking once he began to pass students and needed to look more like a professor and not a student who had slept through his alarm clock, Houjun finally made it to his classroom door, stopping to straighten his tie before going inside. He walked into the large room, stopping at the desk and setting his things down in neat piles, turning and watching the loud, obnoxious class continue on with their conversations. Glancing at his watch once more, he gave them one more minute as he began to write the day's lesson and a few beginning notes on the board.
Raising his voice for quiet, something Houjun never liked to do, he took attendance. Second week and already nine absent students, he thought to himself with a small frown. "Good morning, class," he began, moving to the front of his desk and leaning back on it, arms crossed gingerly over his chest. "I asked you to read chapters one through four in your mythology books, were there any questions?"
The class was silent, faces elongating and students leaning far back in their seats. Those that were there merely for their history credit, sat in the far back, heads lowered and eyes already closed. The bubbly group of girls in front, who were in fact interior design majors, not photography, sat up close and were shameless with their looks of longing, of which Houjun adamantly ignored to the best of his ability. The few actual ancient history students could be picked out by the fact they were the most attentive in the class, notebooks out, pens raised.
"Well, I suppose if there were no questions, I should ask, who enjoyed the reading?" His shoulders dropped slightly as his half a dozen history students raised their hands. "No one else?" The room was silent. "Very well…"
The classroom door was thrown open suddenly, doorknob slamming back against the wall. Houjun winced at the interruption and turned to see the intruder.
"S-Sorry I'm late," the student spoke, approaching the desk and offering Houjun a folded and crumpled paper. "Genrou, I just transferred into this class." The fiery redhead had an enormous grin on his face, staring at Houjun excitedly.
Houjun frowned as he unfolded the mess, an official letter from the school's sophomore class advisor giving permission for the student to change classes. "Genrou, or Kou Shun'u?" Houjun asked, referring to the student's name on the paper, dark red eyes meeting bright, golden ones.
The student winced, ever so slightly at the mention of Kou Shun'u and rubbed the back of his head, causing disarray to his already messy mane of bright hair. He grinned widely once more, producing two canine teeth that were more like fangs than anything else. "Call me, Genrou." He paused and stared at Houjun for another moment before adding on for good measure, "please?"
Houjun neatly folded the paper back up, pointing to an empty seat a few rows back. "Take a seat, please be on time next week."
Genrou nodded absently and moved through an aisle of desks, sitting himself down and pulling out a notebook and pen.
For three hours, Houjun taught while trying to ignore the feeling of eyes drilling into his back as he stood at the chalkboard. Through years of meditation and studying the energies of the human mind and body, he had learned to see, feel and interpret auras.
While explaining events that caused a great war to his class, Houjun let a part of himself feel through the student body, to understand how the group was feeling. Most seemed to be fine, calm, some bored. It was all but one, the transfer student, who's bright eyes lit his back on fire, who's aura was so bright it was as if Houjun were staring at the sun.
It made him nervous. It made him comfortable. The warmth that emitted from the attentive student was reassuring but the intensity of his energy set Houjun on the edge.
His decision on whether he approved of Kou— Genrou, could not be made by the end of class and it turned his gut.
Stopping his notes on the board, Houjun checked his watch when he began to feel those behind him beginning to itch anxiously. "Sorry to keep you," he spoke. "Please be sure to read the required text this week, you will be quizzed!" He rubbed his temple while watching the students begin talking amongst themselves once more, gathering their things and shuffling out of the classroom at a leisurely pace.
Genrou slung his bag over his shoulder and stood from his chair, watching his professor sit down at his own desk as the class was leaving. He took a few steps towards the door then stopped, looking over his shoulder. Houjun's expression was serene but there was something hiding below the surface, somewhere in his dark red, ruby eyes.
Genrou began walking towards his professor, getting halfway to Houjun's desk before he realized it and stopped himself.
Houjun glanced up and smiled. "Genrou, can I help you with anything?"
Always kind, Genrou thought. "Ah? Oh, no, no nothin'."
Houjun stared at the redhead a moment longer, his gaze lingering as he studied the student before nodding. "Alright. Have a good week."
Do recognize me? "Professor," Genrou started.
Houjun looked back up. "Yes?"
Genrou shut his eyes and lowered his head. No, we promised when we found one another, no matter what public barriers there were, we'd run to each other. I'm a stranger to ya, aren't I? "It's nothing." Genrou turned, pulling the strap of his bag up on his shoulder once more and leaving the room.
Genrou slammed the classroom door shut behind himself, ignoring the flared up and confused aura of his professor. He didn't get ten feet from the door before he was shoved hard in the shoulder.
"Ah, Genrou! So!?" Koji asked hurriedly, a smile on his large face. He motioned behind him with a thumb. "I bolted out of class to find out, is it him?"
Genrou looked over his shoulder at his history classroom and back at Koji. "It's him."
"Seriously!?" Koji shouted. "Yer shitin' me! Chiri's right in that room, there!? What he say?"
Genrou began to walk down the hall, his lifetime friend and blood brother hurrying at his side. "He told me, don't be late for next class and to have a good week."
"He doesn't remember me."
Koji nodded, wrapping an arm around Genrou's shoulders, neither speaking for a moment. "Well," he finally spoke, gently. "We both knew it'd happen like that, didn't we?"
Koji shrugged. "You and me," he started, the two making their way towards the closest university café. "We only remembered because of nearly getting' killed in a car crash."
"If it takes a fuckin' near death experience to make someone remember repressed memories and shit, ya think all your buddies have been through that?" Koji leaned forward and pushed open the café door.
Genrou slipped his hands into his jean pockets. "I don't know what to do."
Koji didn't hear Genrou as he had already be a mad dash to the counter, paying for some of the leftover eggs and toast before finding a quiet table in the back. Genrou joined him a minute later with a sandwich but only stared at his plate while Koji inhaled his own food.
"No, not really."
"That's a first."
Genrou looked up with a glare. "Hey, I just found the love of my life and he thinks I'm some shitty student and will never remember me unless he happens to find himself shot or trampled by a fuckin' elephant or somethin'. I'd appreciate some god-damn sympathy."
Koji smirked. "The love of your life, huh?"
Genrou grabbed a chip and threw it at Koji. "Shut up."
"Don't worry, Genrou."
"How?" Genrou waved his hands frantically. "Do you not quite get the situation!? Koji, I've been searchin' for him since we were sixteen! Now to have him so close and so far at the same time, it's… not fair."
Koji leaned forward. "You said the two of ya vowed to find each other, yah?"
Genrou shrugged, hiding the reddening of his face. "Yeah…"
"It'll happen." Koji shoveled the last of his eggs into his mouth and swallowed before saying, "Chiri always keeps his promise."
To Be Continued