12/5/07

A Heart Needs Wings To Fly

Sequel to "A Soft Touch To The Heart"

Summary:

After Ally's journey into the Universe of the Four Gods, she has returned against her will to her own world. Fate brought Ally and Chichiri together, but when two lonely hearts yearn to meet once more…can they be given a second chance?

Author's Note: Long time no type! I've been very busy with it being my Junior Year in High School. Homework's Galore! So as I try to survive, I also find time to write.

Many of you were very kind to follow my story "A Soft Touch To The Heart" and were left kind of hanging. Therefore I have decided to write this sequel, so that Chichiri and Ally may have a chance at love once more. So I only ask that if you do read, you will review and give me some criticism. I honestly do not care how many reviews I get, I simply want to write a good an enjoyable story. But I really do love getting notes from you guys, and would greatly appreciate some feedback. First of all, tell me if you like the idea of this sequel! Now…let is begin the story….

Chapter 1

Chichiri and Tasuki's Perspective

"I miss you like the sun misses the flowers,

like the sun misses the flowers in the depths of winter,

instead of beauty to direct it's light to,

the heart hardens like the frozen world which your absence has banished me to."
—William in "A Knight's Tale"

It was absolutely hopeless. Tasuki fingered the rim of his glass, watching the generous amount of sake ripple from contact. For some reason, he was just as depressed as the monk. It had almost been an entire year since Ally had come into their lives, and it was shocking to realize that she had made such an impact upon them both. Yet now that she was gone…it was like life wasn't worth living anymore. It had no purpose for waking up in the morning to see her bright and smiling face, her adventurous spirit, and listen to her knowledgeable words.

Chichiri hid his pain well, like always. His scarred face constantly remained masked, permanently smiling a fake smile that denied any sad emotion. The only time he did remove the mask, was in sleep. Only then he would alleviate the pain of memories with dreams, which always evolved into a nightmare.

After a couple months of having Chichiri waking up in cold sweat, Tasuki had confronted him head on, demanding an explanation. Yet the monk would remain as silent as stone, refusing to speak until his chi was controlled. This was unfortunately a continuous process, in which the fiery bandit refused to tamper with. Whatever it was he was suffering…Chichiri was the only one who could overcome it. All he needed was the most classic and potent of remedies, time.

Heaving an exasperated sigh, he downed the glass in one swig and motioned for another. This was going to be a rough night; Chichiri was more solemn than usual. Casting an amber glance in his companion's direction, he watched as the monk simply stared at a steaming cup of tea. 'There's got to be a way…to get her out of his mind.' He thought to himself before feeling the rush of acrimoniously strong yet soothing liquid rush down his throat. Not that he didn't miss her as well. In fact…for a short time…he believed himself to be in love with her. But he never dared show it, for fear of interfering with the growing relationship between her and Chichiri.

Another glass, another memory to drown. That was his motto. There were too many pains in both their lives, there was no need to remember them and endure their existence. When he downed yet another glass, the bar tender cast him a suspicious glance. The bandit had consumed almost 3 bottles of sake yet was still able to contemplate, much less look completely healthy and not flushed. Apparently he had done this before.

"Oi, Chichiri." He murmured, breaking the monk's concentration on the constant stream of steam roiling from the cup of tea. "Come an' join me. Ya could use a drink."

"No, thank you Tasuki." Chichiri replied, grasping the cup within both hands to capture some of its warmth. The bandit merely sighed helplessly, and turned back around in his seat and motioned for another refill.

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Escaping the claustrophobically suffocating atmosphere of the dimly lit tavern, Chichiri tasted the cold night air swirling past, making his embroidered kesa flap around him. His aimless and stealthy stride halted upon the crest of the hill, hand resting upon the seam of the mask until it was lifted away from his face. The monk sighed with pleasure as the coolness kissed his naked face, sighing past the scar. Opening his eye, he glanced out at the evening sky as it sparkled above with countless constellations. So many times he had been told that he was a character within a book, and so many times he had refused to believe it…. Was he so different that he didn't deserve a chance to live the life that he wanted? Was it possible to connect two worlds…as well as two hearts?

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He had made the wish after all. He had told the Gods to break the bond between the two worlds and send Ally back to her own time. Yet the bitter taste of loneliness never ceased its persistent reminder within the back of his mind. An infinite amount of tears had been spilt on Ally's account, yet he couldn't find a reason to stop. His heart ached with every beat without her beside him. The memory of her smile haunted his thoughts, and plagued him with a tormenting passion that seemed to grow with each tear he shed. He had cried out to the Gods above, asking them the same question over and over again…. Why?

Throughout his life, he had dealt with the pain of loss for the ones he loved. So many times he had promised himself to not form a connection, and too many times he had had to say goodbye because of that connection. But with Ally it was different, it wasn't just goodbye…it was forever and an eternity without love.

So many times Ally had asked what her true purpose was in his world, and still to this day…he did not know.

The last kiss they shared still continued to burn upon his lips, like a dream he was trying to remember…

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Ally's Perspective

Ally opened her aqua eyes, watching as the new day began to unfold through her open window. Golden sunshine warmed her face, tracing her profile with light until she turned her head back into the pillow. There was a soft crunch as she moved her arm. Lifting her head, she stared at the object that she had come in contact with. It was her notebook, and it was open to the page she had drawn/sketched a realistic Chichiri. He was unmasked (of course) and wore a warm smile that he had only showed her. His open amber eye was soft-as were the rest of his features-and his collection of light blue bangs continued to defy gravity in its light bounce.

She bit her bottom lip, nibbling it slightly as she had done for the past few weeks. Summer was halfway done, and during the beginning of the relaxation period away from school…she had been transported into an entirely different world, embarked upon a quest, and had fallen in love. Nothing made sense anymore, not even the story she had written down within her journal. At first it had all seemed to be just a dream, yet ever since that supposed 'dream' had occurred…she had never been the same.

Slowly curling herself into a ball, she closed her eyes. Flashes of memories began to piece themselves together in a series of colorful remembrances. A masked smile, a gentle hand that combed through her hair, a strong and protective embrace, an indescribable kiss filled with magic, and an extended hand that reached to her as she disappeared. Her fingers brushed her lips; she could still feel his kiss upon them…. There was no other way to describe it…. It was almost burning….

"Chichiri." She murmured his name, savoring the sound and how it rolled off of her tongue. It was the very essence of her being, yet a secret she kept close to her heart. No one knew of her adventures within the Universe of the Four Gods except for her.

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Throwing the sheets off of her, she scrambled out of bed and quickly opened her closet to find a box, filled with manga books. Unearthing the box from the mess of clothes and childhood trinkets of the past, she found the Fushigi Yugi books her good friend Kate had given to her at a garage sale. They mainly revolved around her favorite senshi of Suzaku and his horrible past. Flipping open to the same exact pages she had before she had been transported to the world of ancient China. Much to her dismay…nothing happened. Nothing worked. There was no way to transport her back into the world where Chichiri existed other than as a drawing on paper. She squinted at the picture of his knee, where the cloth of his pants had been ripped, revealing the Chinese symbol for Chichiri's constellation. The same four lines which had appeared upon her forehead before she had…. (See Chapter 14 of "A Soft Touch to the Heart")

Closing the book and returning it into the box, she sat in the pool of morning light, a curtain of long chestnut hair fell in front of her face to conceal the warm tears that began their journey down her flushed cheeks.

"I…I can't…." She sobbed silently, "I can't reach him." Covering her face with her hands, she endeavored to gather herself and swallow back the sadness she had been bottling up for weeks, but to no avail. "Why can't I just…be stronger and forget him?" She inhaled deeply, then released a slow and long exhale that came out shakier than anticipated. Not only was she frightened of never seeing him again, but she was also afraid of being alone with no one to understand her as Chichiri had.

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She swore under her breath and rose to her feet to get dressed. Today would be a simple attire consisting of light blue jeans and a short sleeve shirt. Pulling her incredibly long hair back into a messy bun, she inserted a couple bobby pins to hold it in place, and then leaned forward to examine her puffy face. Her eyes were slightly red and shimmered with water; her cheeks burned a harsh pink with the remnants of dry and sticky trails of tears.

"Ally, time for breakfast!" Came her mother's voice from downstairs, causing Ally to jump slightly. She had been so engrossed within memories that she had neglected the reality around her.

"Oh great." She hurriedly dabbed at her eyes, attempting to dry them and look somewhat presentable, so that no one would be able to guess that she had been crying. Fanning at her face to speed up the process she quickly pulled on a pair of matching socks and half skipped and half stumbled down the hall and stairs to the kitchen.

If there was one thing about feeling awful, it was the atmosphere. The burning sunshine did little to brighten her day; in fact… it only seemed to make it worse. Her family had asked her if she had wanted to go shopping with them, but she refused. She didn't need anything nor want anything, all she truly desired was some alone time to think and set things straight. And there was only one place where she could do that.

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Inventing a creative stride that would fit the tempo of her music, she turned up the volume to her iPod until the tune blocked out everything else. The neighborhood houses that passed her by did not exist; nor did the speeding cars or even the road beneath her feet. She was dancing and walking at the same time as she made her way down the street towards the direction of the library. "It's a cruel, Cruel Summer, leaving me here on my own it's a cruel cruel summer, now you're gone, you're not the only one it's a cruel…" (Song: Cruel Summer by Ace of Base or Bananarama) Now that she had passed the stop sign and a gathering of small coffee shops, she was only a block or two away from the public library. It had always been her favorite place to seek peace and quite, and was the one place where people didn't expect something from you.

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By the time she had come to her desired location, it was mid-afternoon, and the annoyingly sunny skies had become clouded and leaden. Thinking it odd that the weather should have changed so rapidly within a half-hour's time, she simply shrugged and took her earphones out, then tucked her iPod into the pocket of her pants.

Everything was quiet. It was almost deafeningly silent as she entered the sanctuary of books and knowledge. The familiar scent of old paper overwhelmed her stressed senses, allowing her a chance to breathe and organize jumbled thoughts. Smiling appreciatively her feet began to steer her towards the second floor, where the fiction section was located.

The entire series of Fushigi Yugi was at her disposal, yet she dared not reach out for it. Already Chichiri tormented her with every breath she took, if she looked upon him here—in public—she would only turn into a complete mess. Strutting past the tantalizing shelf, she went in search of something less…memorable when she ran into something even worse. The DVD's.

"Oh no, won't you please leave me ALONE?!" Ally demanded exasperatedly, tired of turning around every corner and constantly being reminded of him. Casting a glace towards the other surroundings shelves, she desperately sought to concentrate on anything but the manga or the anime DVD's. The librarian who sat on the other side of the room was busy stamping the inside covers of books that were about to be donated and sold. Every now and then they would look up, steal a glance at her, raise a precarious eyebrow, then return to their studious work. Ally approached them, slowly at first, and then preceded until she was standing right in front of them.

"Excuse me."

The young man looked up from his busy stamping process and frowned slightly, apparently he wasn't in a very cheerful mood, which did little to brighten her own.

"May I help you?" Setting aside the book, he folded his hands together and leaned forward upon his desk as if he were about to begin an interrogation.

"Yes, I was wondering whether you know of any writing contests. Usually they come around this time of year."

"No, not that I know of."

"Any clubs then?"

He sighed. This drew Ally to believe that his stamping job was more important than a young girl's commitment in being a part of the library's activities. Especially when he worked here. Usually librarians were always on the prowl for young victims, he must've been new.

"The only activity that is coming up is the 'Anime Café'."

She raised a martyred glace towards the ceiling. Fate was toying with her, and was apparently enjoying the punishment it was bestowing upon her.

"Thank you but no, I'd rather take a charring with Tasuki's tessen."

The librarian blinked behind his ridiculously nerdy glasses, his expression clearly read that he didn't understand the joke nor did he appreciate the beauty of sarcasm. She nodded thankfully and stomped off towards the non-fiction section, hoping that she might find something else.

Needless to say, Ally was unsuccessful when it came to a subject other than romance. She ran into a display of an upcoming play that featured…three guesses what…Romeo and Juliet. Treading down another isle she came to yet another dead end where the entire series of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Teenage Soul nearly had her in tears. The last thing she needed was love therapy, especially since she had fallen for a fictional character that didn't even exist in the real world. He was a drawing, a mind's creation, nothing more than an idea.

"Ideas, such troublesome things that can be both dangerous and…irresistible." She murmured while leaning dependently against the shelf next to her. What a fickle thing the heart was, how it could easily be swayed by an idea created by another person. Like a moth drawn to a flame she was attracted to the perfect idealism of a Prince Charming, and although she found one…it wasn't meant to be.

Not able to stand the agony within her heart, she descended the stairs to the lower floor, but not without casting the manga and DVD shelf a teary glare.

"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo." Ally whispered disdainfully before departing.

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The sky was crying, clouds heavy and gray with rain caused the storm to churn angrily above. Ally was stranded in a place she no longer wished to be, and was left to suffer with her nose and forehead pressed up against the cool surface of the stained-glass window. The smell of old books was making her sick, and her mind was fuzzy with thoughts that had become as tangled as thread. Outside, in the parking lot, she watched as a young couple came into sight. The young girl was pleadingly pulling her bow towards the shelter of the library's entrance, but he stopped her, spun her around, and kissed her. Before long they were practically making out in public, and did not care if people stared. 'That does it! THAT crosses the line!' Her thoughts steamed like an angry teakettle as she pushed open the front doors and broke into a run, passing by the kissing couple and beyond the territory of the library, not caring if she got wet.

Panting heavily during her frantic sprint towards home, Ally's chest heaved as she felt the rain pelt down against her face like bullets. She clutched her shoulders, rubbing at the pale skin to bring some life and warmth back into it. The storm only continued to grow worse with each splashing step, staining her clothes with water until Ally was officially soaked to the bone. "Chichiri…Chichiri…Chichiri…." She spoke her thoughts, revolving only around one person, one man, and one love.

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Dashing in through the front door she kicked off her shoes and raced her way up the stairs and down the hall into her bedroom. The door slammed behind her, thunder illuminating her bedroom with an ominous blue light. Upon the floor lay the box, the one containing the books that had brought her into another world and introduced to her the chance of a lifetime. She collapsed to her knees before the crinkled brown cardboard box, her clothes clinging to her like a cold second skin, her hair streaming down her shoulders in dripping tangles.

"Suzaku. If you can hear me, I need you to grant my wish. You claimed that you could not grant me the wish that I wanted…but I have an offer to make you." The center of her forehead seemed to retrace the four lines, creating the symbol identical to Chichiri's celestial mark. "Chichiri broke the bonds between the worlds of Fushigi Yugi and my own. But if you can repair that bond and bring me back to Konan, I will exchange with you the most precious thing I can think of." Clutching a hand to her breast, she felt her heart skip a beat. "In return for your deed, I will never return to my own world. I will give up everything, even the life I live here to be with the man I love. I sacrifice to you my ties to this world."

The world seemed to take in a long, slow, and shuddering breath. Ally's forehead prickled and felt as if it were slowly being sliced open, revealing a sacred marking that beamed with a turquoise light. She could smell the sea, taste the dew that clung to the morning flowers, and feel the warmth of a liquid memory encase her.

Red. Indescribable red and all its brilliance surrounded her, as if she had been placed within the facets of a pure ruby gem. Had Suzaku listened to her? Had he granted her wish? Was this…truly happening? Her mom had always told her that if it was too good to be true…then it probably was. But in this case…was it too good to be true? Had Ally been given one of the most precious gifts that anyone could ever be given? A second chance.

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Tasuki found Chichiri, which was surprising within itself, considering that he was completely drunk. He hiccupped and latched an arm around the blue-headed monk, watching as he cast the bandit a concerned look.

"Oh Tasuki, not again. No da." Chichiri sighed heavily, not willing to put up with another night of having Tasuki talk absolute nonsense in his sleep.

"I'm the captain aroun' here. So when I say we order rice…we order rice."

"Riiiiiight. We'll just go with that. No da." Putting a supportive arm around the bandit's shoulders he helped steer Tasuki back towards the tavern where they had ordered a room to stay in for the night.

"Say, Chiri?"

"What? No da."

"What's wrong with yer eye?"

'Baka.' He thought inwardly as he placed the friendly mask over his features.

"I'll tell you that story another time. Right now you must concentrate on your walking, because I'm not carrying you."

There was a moment's pause before those confused and half-lidded eyes cast a sidelong glance towards the monk.

"Right. ….What're we doin'?"

"You are going to bed, no da. I'm going to stay up for awhile."

"Damn monk."

"Stupid bandit."

Chichiri grinned, finding an amusing release of frustration just by talking to a drunk Tasuki. Already his mood was slightly lightened.

Chichiri…

He turned violently, head whipping to the side in search for the source of the voice.

"That almost sounded like…." He breathed, shock struck its way into his heart like an icy dagger, piecing through his chest and freezing his body completely. Had he imagined it? The bridge had been broken; the two worlds no longer coexisted with one another. The monk stared at the sky, wildly searching the heavenly blanket of stars for some type of answer.

"Oi, Chiri, what's wrong?"

He simply shook his head, blue bangs following his movements until he reinvented their stride towards the entrance of the tavern. That was impossible….

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(A/N: I had a lot of fun re-inventing the emotions within this chapter. It's been a year in Chichiri's world and only a couple of weeks in Ally's world, yet the time apart feels the same. I tried to capture that desperation and yearning as best I could, and hopefully the next chapter will clear up a few things. Such as why Suzaku listened to her in the first place even after the connection between the two worlds were broken. Will Suzaku accept her offer? Or bargain for more than Ally is willing to give? The answer will come only if you REVIEW! I appreciate your reading and hope you will continue to follow this story as it unfolds into total fluff, mystery, and adventure. It's a "Mysterious Play" after all right? Now… press that Review Button! (Please and thank you)