Disclaimer: CLAMP owns the rights to Magic Knight Rayearth and all the characters in this story

Disclaimer: CLAMP owns the rights to Magic Knight Rayearth and all the characters in this story. I do not write this for money, but simply to express my obsession and love for CLAMP's work. I do own the plot to this fanfiction, and the way Princess Emeraude acts when she's not praying for the good of Cephiro or enraged over her lover's death.

Magic Knight Rayearth: Genesis

Chapter One

by Sakuya Hecila

      A worried-looking man with forest green hair sat by a bed containing a beautiful blonde woman. The woman's eyes were closed and her breathing regular; she seemed to be sleeping peacefully. The man looked away, wondering if she would ever awaken. Three days had passed since they found her in a comatose state, and for three days she never stirred. He sighed, then turned back at the sound of soft fabric rubbing against sheets. He watched the woman's eyelids flutter open, revealing sapphire eyes no one had seen for five years. Shock kept him from wondering at the impossibility or registering his own joy at the realization that Emeraude, princess and former Pill of Cephiro, his sister, was alive.

      "You're awake," he stated, finally letting it sink in. Emeraude died five years before, along with her lover Zagato. The people of and related to Cephiro had accepted the tragedy, until a recent comment from an innocent child sparked an idea. What if they could be brought back?

      Not even the Pillar could will someone back to life, but the new Cephiro was ruled by the will of all the people, not one. Everyone in Cephiro lamented these two deaths. Mightn't the wish of so many hearts be granted? Those most closely involved in the terrible incident appealed to Mokona, the Creator.

      At first the fluffy-bunny-thing (AN: What else do you call it?) refused. Once a life was taken, it could never be given back. Making one exception would certainly lead to countless requests to defy death. However, the pleadings of the Magic Knights and their friends persuaded Mokona. Emeraude and Zagato's demise had taught the people so much, and the two who caused it should be able to experience this new happiness. This was not the wish of one or two people, but of everyone who understood the terrible deaths, especially the strongest hearts connected to Cephiro.

      The Creator agreed, on the condition that, on the anniversary of the lover's end, every person connected with Cephiro wished with all his or her heart for the two to live. The people, comprehending the greatness of such a gift, thanked Mokona profusely and promised never to take the grant lightly. And so, two of the magic knights (Umi was on Earth for the wedding of an American cousin and knew nothing of the momentous events taking place) discovered two comatose bodies near the site of the lover's destruction.

      (AN: Back in the present...) Emeraude searched the room, confused. Her vision cleared and she espied the source of the voice, then began to cry. "Oh, Ferio! You're dead, too."

      "Actually, I'm quite alive. As are you, dear sister, amazing as it is." He smiled.

      "But how? I remember the Magic Knights' sword running through me (Ferio winced). And...the feeling of freedom. I feel free, like I were no longer Pillar."

      "You aren't Pillar."

      "D not tease me Ferio. Only my death could stop my being Pillar, and since I am not dead..."

      "No, you're not dead, now. But you were" Ferio smile became a grin.

      "What do you meant?"

      "You died, now you are alive again, and therefore no longer the Pillar."

      "How could I die but be alive?"

      "It is a long story."

      "Then do not tell me yet. I am alive and free, but I still cannot have what I want." Emeraude sighed and stood, pacing the room sadly.

      "Why do you say that?"

      "You must know why I died."

      "You loved Zagato."

      "Yes, and Zagato is dead. I cannot be happy."

      Ferio took his sister by the shoulders and looked her in the eye. "Emeraude, thin about it. If you came back to life, could not Zagato do the same?"

      Emeraude stared at him, the tears stopping in her eyes. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth. "Oh Ferio! Now I can be truly happy." She stopped, thinking for a moment. "But—the new Pillar. It is wrong to put someone through what happened to me. I feel awful for the new Pillar."

      "There is no Pillar."

      The blue eyes widened and their owner charged to the wall-to-ceiling window. Emeraude gazed out at the lovely landscape and said in a bewildered tone, "But Cephiro is still beautiful. I remember, before I became Pillar, the world crumbling."

      "Nevertheless there is no Pillar—has not been one for five years. Let me explain." Ferio disclosed to his sister the events after her death leading to the ultimate elimination of the Pillar system. The tale might have taken hours, but Ferio left out most of the little details. The story still took about an hour to tell and left Emeraude's head spinning.

      "So, what you're saying is that the Magic Knight of fire—"

      "Hikaru, yeah."

      "That this Hikaru passed through the Path—which led to her world—along with Eagle Vision of Autozam. But only one could return, the Pillar."

      "Correct!"

      "But—Hikaru? Wanted to save Eagle anyway, and because of her great love for everyone she knew and her wish that what happened to me never repeated itself, Mokona made it so that there is no Pillar?"

      "Pretty much, yeah. If you have to simplify it, that covers the story fairly well."

      Amazing. And now the Path is open permanently—and not just to those who might become Pillars. The Magic Knights visit often?"

      "Actually, they've lived in the castle since they came of age."

      "I'd like to meet them. They deserve so much of my thanks." Emeraude collapsed on her bed. She smiled the first truly happy smile Ferio had ever seen from her. "Because of them, I am free to be with Zagato and everyone else I care for. I hope, Ferio, that one day you too can know what it is like to love someone like I love Zagato."

      Ferio's grin grew. Laughing, he replied, "You haven't seen me for five years. I do know the feeling—very well." His scarred face reddened and he fingered the earring he wore.

      "Ferio, in love?! I see...one of the earrings I gave you is missing. It's a wonder I had not noticed. Who is she? Tell me all about her!"

      "Well—"

      "Ferio, are you still up? I thought I told you to get some sle—" the voice halted as a face, framed by sandy hair and with glasses covering large kelly-green eyes, appeared in the doorway. "Princess Emeraude—you're awake."

      "Indeed. And you, if I remember correctly, are the Magic Knight of the wind."

      The girl nodded, stepping fully into the room.

      "Emeraude, this is Fuu Hououji. Fuu, I will sleep when I am tired."

      Emeraude looked oddly at her brother for a moment before addressing the newcomer. "It is wonder to finally be introduce, Fuu. I would like to thank you and your friends for saving Cephiro."

      "We only did what anyone who cared for this country would do. I cannot help feeling horrible for what happened when I first came."

      "You did what I summoned you for, nothing more. Now what's this about Ferio needing rest? That doesn't sound right. Five years ago, he could not sleep enough!"

      Fuu's hands went to her hips and she mock-glared at Ferio. "That's right. Don't give me any 'I'll sleep when I'm tired' business. One, you're normally always sleepy, so that excuse won't work. Two, you have not even dozed off in three days; that is unhealthy."

      "Ferio, she is right. What were you doing?"

      "Keeping vigil here," Fuu replied for him. She marched to Ferio's chair and forced him to stand. "It shows he cares, but is still dangerous."

      "I'm not tired!"

      "Nonsense, Ferio. You are always tired." Emeraude turned to Fuu, "I assume I was found three days ago?" Fuu nodded and the princess looked back at her brother. "I do not exactly understand how I 'returned from death,' but I do know that it is no reason to make yourself sick. I have to agree with Fuu. You should not risk your health on my account."

      "Of course not. And now, you are going to bed." Fuu steered Ferio toward the open door.

      "Fuu, I honestly am wide awake!"

      "I am sure. A certain feeling of exhilaration usually exists for a short time when a person lacks sleep. But that does not mean you should stay awake, especially not if you normally sleep as much as you do. You no longer have an excuse; Emeraude is awake. You may talk with her later." Fuu frowned at the prince.

      "All right. I can never disobey you for long." Ferio winked and grinned.

      Fuu smiled back, smugly. "I know. Now, go!" She pointed down the hallway and Ferio scramble after her finger.

      When he had gone, Emeraude burst out laughing. "That was so—funny the—way you—handled him."

      Fuu smiled.

      "I have never seen anyone do that so easily. Ferio can be so stubborn, although I have to admit he's never been so adverse to sleep as long as I have known him. You managed him very well. I think I know the answer to one of the questions I asked Ferio."

      Fuu adjusted her glasses and sat down in the now empty chair. "Oh? What question?"

      "Just the one about the name of the girl he loved."

      Fuu's complexion shifted from ivory to tomato instantly. "He...said he was in love?"

      "Yes. Did you not know how he felt? I assumed...after all, he no longer has the other earring."

      "No, I knew. It's just...it still amazes me. How much did he tell you?"

      "Not very much. He was just starting to talk about you when you entered. I hadn't even heard your name. I've been awake about an hour and a half, and most of that was Ferio explaining why there is no Pillar. Which is, by the why, astounding and wonderful."

      "Yes, it is. Emeraude, I want to apologize."

      "For what, Fuu?"

      "For what happened—you know."

      "That wasn't your fault."

      "But it feels like it. Whenever I'm with Ferio, it feels like I don't deserve him because of what I did to you." Fuu looked down.

      "You did what you had to. I, and Cephiro, would have been much worse off without you and the other Magic Knights I don't blame you, and I'm sure no one else does. Especially not Ferio." Fuu glanced up and Emeraude continued, "Fuu, Ferio has every reason to love you."

      "Thank you." Fuu fidgeted in the chair.

      "Have you never shared this with my brother?"

      "We have talked about it, but sometimes I feel as if he might pretend not to blame me to spar my feelings. I trust him, but still....On Earth we have a saying, 'There is a thin line between love and hate.' If that is true, it might be possible for him to love me and still hate me for my actions."

      Emeraude moved from the bed and wrapped her arms around the Magic Knight. "Nonsense. Ferio idolizes you. I could tell when I saw you together just now. And when he told me he loved someone, love was the only emotion I saw in his eyes."

      "Thank you." Fuu smiled and pulled out of Emeraude's hug.

      "You have a lovely smile, Fuu."

      "Me? No, you do. Ferio once told me that, as Pillar, you smiled softly, but it never reached your eyes. I'm glad to see your eyes so happy, because they were so very sad the first time we met. You are truly beautiful."

      "I take that as a compliment from one so pretty as you."

      "Me?" Fuu blushed. "I'm not pretty. Not like you, or Hikaru and Umi, or Caldina and Presea."

      "Yes you are. You're hair is gorgeous and suits you perfectly. And those things over your eyes bring out your cheekbones and the elegant green color of your eyes. Never argue with a princess—certainly not when you are in love with her brother."

      "I will remember that."

      "Now, did you mention Presea? I haven't seen her in years. Well, I haven't seen anyone years, but....How is she? How is everyone? I want to know all about you and the other Knights and all the juicy castle gossip! It feels so good to be able to do what I want for a change!"

      Fuu laughed. "Gossip, huh? Umi might be a better source than I, or Caldina—do you remember her? She's a Chizetan dancer, worked for Zagato until she met us—But I keep fairly well-informed with what goes on around here...."

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      As Fuu reported the castle goings-on to Emeraude, Lantis was reading an Earth magazine beside another bed in a room a corridor away. The man on the bed bore a striking resemblance to the one in the chair, but since they were brothers it was not surprising. Unlike Ferio, Lantis only spent a few hours a day watching for his sibling to regain consciousness. Normally, Lantis spent this time with Hikaru, who kept him from brooding and provided some entertainment. He had found that, when with the right people, he preferred company to being alone. At the moment, though, Hikaru had gone to examine the preparations for the arrival of envoys from Autozam, Fahren, and Chizeta. Lantis set down the magazine and considered following his love.

      'Presea offered to watch for me,' he thought. Emeraude and Zagato had round-the-clock surveillance, particularly because no one knew how the couple would react when they awoke. 'Or I could convince Primera, although that might be harder.' Lantis chuckled at the thought of the five-inch pixie shrieking about how Hikaru had better not 'steal' HER Lantis.

      The figure on the bed stiffened into a defensive position at the sound of Lantis' laughter. It was the first reaction Zagato had given since his return to life. Lantis waited a few seconds and then spoke.

      "Zagato? Can you hear me?"

      "Who are you? What happened? Where am I?"

      "I cannot answer if you don't give me a chance. Let's see.... Who am I? Can you not recognize my voice, or even my face?"

      "My vision is blurred, Mocker, but the voice is...familiar."

      "Ha! Familiar he says. I should hope so. He's certainly heard it enough! Really, Brother, your memory must be failing you in your old age."

      "Lantis!" Zagato squinted, then his eyes (finally) adjusted.

      "Yes; Lantis. As for where we are—the castle of Cephiro."

      "What happened? The last the I remember is the Magic Knights in their Mashins. I had to fight them. I could not allow them to fulfill the prophecy.

      "You failed."

      "No! I will kill them for what they did to Emeraude!" Zagato jumped from the bed.

      Lantis stood as well, between Zagato and the door. "No, you will not."

      "Who will stop me?"

      "I will, among others." Lantis touched his sword hilt.

      "I thought you left Cephiro because—"

      "I did. I still feel that way."

      "Then why do you sympathize with Emeraude's murderers?"

      "They only did what was required of them; they did not choose their path"

      "They still followed it."

      "Not willingly."

      "How do you know?"

      "Much has happened since your death, Zagato."

      The older man's face was incredulous. "What do you mean, 'since my death?' I am as alive as you."

      "Indeed. Nevertheless, you were dead for five years. As was the princess."

      Zagato fell back into the bed. "Dead for five years, but alive now? Did you say Emeraude as well? She is alive?"

      "Yes."

      "But she was dead.... It makes no sense. But for some odd reason, I believe you. You have never lied to me, Lantis. If five years have passed, then a new Pillar has been chosen. Emeraude is free to exercise her own will!"

      "She is."

      "Lantis, Lantis do you know what this means?"

      "I think the people of Cephiro had some idea in mind when they petitioned the Creator for your lives, yes."

      "The Creator? Who...?"

      "A long story."

      "And evidently a confusing one."

      "Rather. Zagato, none of this could have happened without the Magic Knights."

      Zagato's eyes narrowed. "Without the Magic Knights Emeraude and I would never have died in the first place."

      "No, but Cephiro would have been destroyed. I may not have agreed with the Pillar system, but I know it held this world together for thousands of years. Emeraude could not have been happy had her love for you destroyed that. She summoned the Magic Knights with a full knowledge and comprehension of the outcome."

      Zagato glared silently.

      "And another thing, just because a person performs an action does not mean it is by choice. The Magic Knights suffered when they killed you two—they still suffer in their hearts. I know at least one of them wishes nothing more than for your forgiveness."

      Had the brothers listened, they might have heard the joyful footsteps traipsing down the hall and stopping before the door to their room.

      "I cannot forgive those girls. The killed me and Emeraude, and I am surprised you can stand up for them."

      As Zagato spoke, the door opened to reveal a dazzling redhead. Her sparkling eyes dulled and teared as she heard the man's speech. She had begun to say "Lantis—" but choked and sprinted out of the room.

      "Hikaru!" Lantis yelled.

      "One of the Magic Knights!"

      "You!" Lantis roared at his brother. "How dare you?" He moved to follow Hikaru but was stopped by Zagato.

      "Why are you going after her?" questioned the older man.

      "Wouldn't you go after Emeraude?" Lantis pushed past Zagato and darted after his love, not bothering to notice his brother's reaction.

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Author's Notes: Congrats! You made it through the first part of my newest fic. This has been really fun to write, and I actually left it at a cliffhanger! More will come as soon as I finish writing it (I have some already, but I just *had* to leave off hear.). That is, if you want more.

      If you liked it, didn't like it, thought it too impossible (nothing is impossible, only improbable), thought Lantis talked too much (hey, it's been five years, the guy could loosen up. Besides, when he has something important to say, he does say it all.), or whatever, REVIEW! I accept constructive criticism with an open mind: I may or may not follow it, depending on whether or not I find it pertinent—not all critiques are. However, I always value the opinions of others and consider any thoughts sent my way. If you're still reading this, STOP! I've been rambling for two paragraphs and Mitsuko Hime doesn't understand stream of consciousness very well.

Ja ne!