You Can't Miss What You Never Wanted

Death was in the air.

The sky was a sickening shade of crimson, clouds throbbing ominously with lightning. The forest was on fire, flames quickly becoming a roaring inferno.

Ba-dump.

Ba-dump.

A pair of silver eyes stared up expressionlessly at this scene. A pale hand, trembling only slightly, rose slowly as if to cup the sky.

Rain, she thought. It's going to rain soon.

"Soi Fong!"

A cry. The voice twisted her heart inside her chest painfully, but she ignored it.

Ba-dump.

She…she's not going to make it, Soi Fong thought detachedly, eyes skimming slowly across the forest floor to meet a pair of frantic gold ones. Her hands clenched into fists.

But she's…she has to. I swore I would protect her.

A nod.

I shall…protect her to the end.

Silver eyes hardened in resolution. Lips moved.

"Take her away. Somewhere safe, preferably."

The face beneath the floppy hat looked hesitant, unmoving.

"You are sure?" He asked. She nodded again, her gaze trailing back to the heavens. He sighed softly, eyes sad. "I shall follow your orders, Captain." His eyes were sad. Sad and understanding and respectful. Things she didn't need and didn't have until this moment. Ironic.

"Thank you, Kisuke," She whispered. Soi Fong didn't look at the crumpled form, blood spilling from the struggling body, mouth agape in horror and golden eyes shiny with fear. The beautiful face was bloodied, furthering her resolve.

"No! Soi, don't do it!"

Ba-bump.

Soi Fong lifted a hand wonderingly to her chest, where her heart had ached at the voice. Why was it, she supposed, that I can feel when Yoruichi-sama's around? She shrugged. It was too late for such hope, in any case. Much too late.

Too late. It's…too late…out of time…our time is up.

A tear trickled down her dirty cheek, a bitter smile touching her lips.

Yes…about a century too late.

The dark-haired woman glanced over her shoulder, brow lowered in aggravation. "Well? I don't see you gone, idiot." Her voice was harsh. Rough. Not befitting in the presence of a princess. Soi Fong shook her head, cynically amused. What did it matter?

Kisuke hesitated once more, torn between two promises.

"Go!" She shouted harshly, wind whipping her hair about her face. The fire was coming closer. She began to stalk away when a tortured whimper stopped her in her tracks. Turning, she quickly, albeit hesitantly, came to Yoruichi's side, caressing her face gently. Her fingers were streaked with her blood, dripping, but it didn't matter.

"Don't…go…" She croaked. Soi Fong shook her head, slowly, and Kisuke watched as two hearts broke at that moment, shattering, falling down into a deep abyss, perhaps forever lost.

"I don't understand. Tell me. Please."

Soi Fong smiled, leaned down closer. She grasped a bloodied hand and placed it at her chest, where her heart was still pounding painfully.

"This is my heart," She began quietly, eyes closed. "See? It aches. That means I love you, Yoruichi."

"Then—"

"Hush. I swore I would protect you forever, Yoruichi. I intend to keep my promise."

She stood. The fire was upon them.

"Goodbye." She said.

Gold eyes widened impossibly more, dread dimming its brilliance.

'…no…'

The fiery winds tore through the forest like the winds from hell, and then…

…all was silent.

Tears dripped down her face from blank, blank eyes. Staring brokenly into oblivion.

"Soi…" came the fragile plea from Yoruichi's bloodied lips, but no reply was made. The ringing silence was laughing at her. She slumped helplessly in her friend's strong arms, making the noise of a vulnerable human infant.

Ka-ling.

Yoruichi stared unseeingly at the large silver rings on the unforgiving soil beneath her feet. They were streaked with crimson.

Her breath hitched.

Soi Fong's blood.

No…no…she…she is…dead?

She made no move to take the rings stained with the life force of the woman who haunted her vision.

This…this is…

Yoruichi's agonized wail rang in her ears long after she was gone.

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Yoruichi-sama…Yoruichi-sama…

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No…no…stop the pain stop it stopitstopitstopitmakeit—

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Yoruichi-sama…it's okay…I…I am here.

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Don't leave me, Soi Fong. Please.

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I shall stay by your side till the end, Your Excellency.

No…

Yoruichi.

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Thank you.

Pinky promise, alright?

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Linked fingers.

Bound happiness.

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"It's alright, Yoruichi. You're safe."

She softly embraced her, hair as dark as the scary shadows around them.

"It was just a dream. Go back to sleep."

"But it was so real…so real…" Yoruichi clutched at Soi Fong, pressing closer so as to shield her eyes from the darkness that haunted her. "I'm afraid. Don't…don't ever do something as stupid as dying on me, okay?"

She ran her fingers through tangled hair, smiling softly, and understanding.

"Okay." Soi Fong pressed a fluttering kiss to her forehead, slick with cold sweat of fear. "I promised…I swore I would protect you forever, Yoruichi. I intend to keep my promise."

The grim, haunted eyes flashed through her mind, leaving her reeling, gasping for breath. The dream…it was too much like the dream…the mere thought of it sent her heart pounding once more.

But when Soi Fong pressed a firmer kiss to her trembling lips, she proved that she was there, in the here-and-now. And would stay there.

The words echoed in her head, but…it felt so much safer.

"Okay?" Soi Fong asked her. Sough her permission, even after all these years.

"Okay."

And they lay there together, limbs tangled in a safe embrace, blissfully one as the warm light spilled over them.

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AN://: I seriously was about to just cut if off at the sad part. It was supposed to be a stab-your-heart angsty piece, but I couldn't bear it. So I made it bittersweet. Sort of. I had this in my computer for ages before I pulled it out. Hoping you're having a terrific 2008, y'all!

--1010'jin

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The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

-Mr. Robert Byrne

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