Disclaimer: Don't own any part of Fushigi Yuugi, but it owns me. Original dialogue and story ideas do belong to me, so please don't steal.
Author's note: This shamelessly fluffy one shot was originally written for the Tasuki/Miaka livejournal community. Thought I'd post it for persual while I'm working on getting my other stories updated. I hope you enjoy it!
Auld Lang Syne
If auld acquaintance, be forgot
And never brought to mind,
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
In the days of auld lang syne?
Miaka Yuuki sipped her wine and stared out into the starry mountain night beyond the restaurant window, thinking about fate and how it had led her to this moment and place.
Two weeks had passed since she'd found out she'd won a singles all expenses paid ski vacation at an exclusive resort. It had come as a total shock; she'd never won anything in her life, and she certainly couldn't remember entering any such contest! It was a chance of a lifetime, a chance for a working girl to experience a place that was reserved for the wealthy...with no expiration date as to when she had to use it.
And yet she hadn't wanted it at all until she saw what she might be missing in not going.
Unfortunately, the crazy impulse that had led her to book a room right away for the New Years' week had, thus far, left her hopes unfulfilled. Her excursions to the slopes had been unenjoyable; it would be kindness to call her a beginning skiier and snowboarder, and she had proven equally bad at convincing the young male instructors that she wasn't looking for lessons in bedroom sports. Returning to the lodge and hanging out in the fireplace lounge with a plethora of happy, snuggling couples was depressing, but it did gave her a chance of scoping out the reason she'd been drawn out of her self-imposed shell. Hope, determination and optimism that what she sought would eventually reveal itself was all that was keeping her from hiding out in her room and watching television for the rest of her stay.
Tonight, however, determination was wavering. If anyone had asked, she would have to admit to wishing for a psychic or divine sign that would have indicated that she was on the right track.
She was seated at an intimate table for two in an out-of-the-way alcove, an advantageous spot gained by a necessary fib when making the reservation. She hated the sympathetic looks asking a table for one garnered from people and the fact that it called attention to her companionless status. This way the people who passed by would think that the sexy little black cocktail dress she wore was for the benefit of a New Year's date who was a little late in joining her, rather than seeing it as a lonely single woman's attempt to attract a male when in actuality, attention from men was the last thing she wanted...
No, that wasn't quite true. She was lonely, and there was one particular male whose attention she very much hoped to attract, if he was anywhere in the vicinity. The photo of him in the resort's promotional brochure for their four star restaurant had been the reason for her using her winnings so promptly. The tuxedo clad waiter had been the mirror image of Tasuki, and the idea of finding him had her completely obsessed and subjecting herself to this whole ordeal. Even the slightest possibility of her bandit seishi being in this world had rekindled hope and a yearning she'd hadn't thought she'd feel for anyone ever again. She had been so sure she'd feel his presence the minute she walked in the door...
Miaka sighed, and peered around the long, tasseled menu she held, eyeing each waiter who hovered near or glided between the tables around her. Cold disappointment filled her as she saw that none of them had fiery red hair. It was a busy night, the best chance she probably had of seeing him. At her inquiry, the smiling maitre'd had confirmed that the gentleman pictured in the pamphlet was in the house, and had offered to page him at first opportunity.
That had been twenty minutes ago. Where the heck was he?
Closing her eyes, she concentrated as hard as she could on summoning the sensation of connection, a feeling that had once been part of her daily life.
It's too late. I've lost it.
Tears threatened, and she hid her face behind the menu once again. She supposed would have to order soon or risk losing her spot to the late night rush of patrons, but her waiter seemed to have vanished after bringing her the wine.
She was cold. And hungry. And alone.
It doesn't matter, I won't give up! He's here somewhere, I know he is!
And then it happened. A stirring, accompanied by the feeling of heat. A tingle of awareness going down her back, as if a hand had just been tenderly stroked along its curve.
Lowering her menu, she instinctively turned in her chair. Her gaze zeroed in on the strikingly handsome, flame-haired man standing by the swinging doors to the kitchen.
He was staring at her.
She stared back, not quite daring to trust in what she was seeing.
He smiled, and her breath got caught in her throat.
No one else had a smile like that. And no one else could look so cool when time was spinning backwards.
Oh my god, it's really him!
He was walking towards her. Her widened eyes took in a broad-shouldered torso covered by a Nordic sweater and dress slacks that hugged lean hips and long legs. Earring studs glinted in his ear lobes. His bearing was full of confident intent, and his unwavering gaze left no doubt that she was his destination.
Excitement that felt akin to panic rose in her breast and she looked wildly around the room. Apparently his having duties in the kitchen accounted for her not spotting him earlier, but he didn't look like he'd been cooking or washing dishes. Why wasn't he in uniform? Was he done with his shift? What if he was free for the rest of the evening? What should she say? Or more importantly, what shouldn't she say? She had to think...
Too late, he was already at her side.
"Hi." He said. "Whatcha doing hidin' way back here?"
The voice was exactly the same as she remembered it, gritty and sexy. She'd always loved his accent…
"H-Hello." She said, fixing an unseeing gaze upon her menu. "I wasn't hiding."
"Coulda fooled me." He said, as he plucked the menu out of her hand and set it aside. "The table's set for two. Are you expectin' someone?"
"No. I mean, yes! Um, maybe...."
She was babbling. It was embarrassing. Just take a deep breath and tell him, Miaka. "I thought....that maybe you would join me."
What she intended as a quick glance at his face became a lingering one. His lips curved and his amber eyes filled with bone-melting warmth.
"I was hopin' you'd say that."
A disembodied voice on a public address system intruded, announcing that it was almost midnight and that the wait staff should line up to lead the clientele in chanting the count down to a new year.
"So....you knew that I was out here?" She asked, looking away as the impulse to throw herself into his arms became dangerously hard to resist.
"Yeah. I'm sorry I had to keep ya waitin', it wasn't by choice!"
The count began. "Ten......nine......eight..."
"That's all right. I'm just glad you found me."
His fingers were gentle as they brushed her hair back from her flushed cheek.
Her body trembled at his touch, and the realization that her New Year's wish had been granted.
"Are ya happy to see me?" He asked.
She simply looked at him, her heart in her eyes.
He didn't disappoint her.
One moment she was sitting. The next, a strong pair of hands had pulled out of her chair and against a hard, muscular body as a blazing gaze scorched a path from her eyes down to her parted lips.
"Happy New Year, Mi-chan." He said.
Then his mouth covered hers, and the eruption of noise around them faded away.
The kiss began as a simple hello, then deepened to an affirmation as memories flowed and feelings found succor. Miaka responded with longing and pent up fire, welcoming his embrace, his possession of her lips and the first searching explorations of his tongue. Although this stolen late night kiss at an inn was reminiscent of a past scenario, this time things were so very different. This time they'd been brought together through love. This time, she would give him whatever he sought from her…
At the sound of applause and loud whistles, they finally broke apart. Miaka was embarrassed at seeing all the smiling faces in the crowd surrounding them; the man holding her merely gave them an unrepentent grin and salute, then turned his back on them to focus his attention on her, a move that made her feel if they were the only two people in the room.
"Ya grew up, but ya haven't changed, Miaka. Still wide-eyed an' blushin' like a schoolgirl."
Her blush deepened. "So you… you do know who I am?"
He leaned forward to whisper near her ear. "Sure do, Priestess!"
She had to be certain. "And who were you to me?"
"I am Tasuki, a Celestial Warrior of Suzaku..." He released her to show her the softly glowing kanji symbol beneath his sleeve that confirmed his words, his fanged grin triumphant as he added, "...but now I'm also Shane Genrou, the guy who arranged for you to come an' stay here!"
She felt dazed, but in a good way. "So...I didn't win a contest?"
He grinned. "Nope! Once I found out where ya were, I sent ya the voucher. I wasn't gonna leave everythin' to chance!"
"But it costs a fortune to stay here! How could you afford-"
"Easy! I'm filthy stinkin' rich an' I own the place!" He chuckled at her expression. "Hey, what's with that look? It's the truth! I'm th' big boss of the mountain!"
"I believe you, but-" She made a gesture at the room, and then laughed at herself. "I thought you were working here as a waiter!"
"A necessary deception." He admitted, looking sheepish. "I wasn't sure how you'd feel about me just showin' up on my own, or my circumstances. So I put myself in the brochure, hopin' it'd get you curious...an' maybe wantin' to see me."
"I did want to, very much." She confessed shyly. "I'm so happy that you remember me."
His gaze was dark and intense. "I'd never forget you, Miaka. Not in a thousand lifetimes."
Her lips trembled into a smile.
"Tasuki." He corrected.
"Tasuki, I'm afraid I have some bad news. It's about Ta-Taka."
Her eyes filled with tears and she had to stop before they spilled over. Tasuki put his hands on her shoulders.
"Don't say any more." He said in a low voice. "I know. I felt it when it happened... when he died. And I wanted to be here to grieve with you, dammit! It was hell knowin' you were sad and alone..." He cleared his throat, then went on in a more determined and cheerful tone. "But there's gonna be plenty of time to talk about that later. Right now I think you an' me should be celebratin' our reunion in the New Year! What do ya say to me grabbing some food and a bottle of champagne an' taking you somewhere less noisy?"
She didn't hesitate. "I'd say yes, it sounds heavenly!"
His grin reappeared at her fervent approval. "Then all I need to know is...do you trust me on the kind of food to get?"
"Implicitly." She said, smiling.
"Do you need help carrying anything?"
"No, you sit tight and I'll be back in a jiffy." His gaze traveled over her as he pulled out her chair. "By the way, it seems that there are guys on staff who've been sayin' you're 'a real hottie'." The look in his eyes as they met hers told her he agreed with the sentiment, but disapproved of the way it had been conveyed. "It's possible some of 'em might get brave enough to come prowlin' while I'm gettin' our stuff, so just tell them you're waitin' for me. An' take names, so I know whose butts I'm gonna be kickin'."
Though his tone was light, the steely glint in his eyes told her he wasn't joking. Miaka solemly promised to do what he asked, and then watched him stride away, fully conscious of the wide smile that she wore, and not caring a whit if anyone saw it. The pleasurable fluttering of nerves and the tummy clenching anticipation were things she hadn't experienced for a very long time, and she relished them, along with the glow of happiness in knowing that the story that had begun long ago would not be ending, and that the pages left blank by loss would be filled with love once again.
When Tasuki returned- and she knew he would with all of his considerable speed- she'd invite him up to her suite.
There, they'd raise a glass to past lives and loves.
And then...to new beginnings.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For the days of auld lang syne...
The End :)