Title: Sunrise
Author: Celyia (ladycelyia@aol.com)
Rating: PG
Pairing: Miaka/Chichiri
Disclaimer: All this belongs to Yuu Watase.
Note: Cheesy little fic but I had to write something while I wait for inspiration to finish "Night Warrior". Takes place shortly after the OAVs but they aren't necessary to see before you read this since I'm using time and not events as a reference. Oh, well. It's dumb, but dammit, I feel hedonistic tonight. By the bye, for some reason, although I use notepad to write these html pages, the font thing is getting all screwed up. Anyone have a cure for me?

PS: I'm trying to gather alternative pairings stories together to put on one website. PLEASE help me in my endeavour by submitting your fics to be posted at

www.geocities.com/fyarchive/

If you are pairing Hotohori/Miaka, Nuriko/Hoto, Tasuki/Chichiri or any other couple that isn't in the strict FY canon (including Original characters), submit away. Hell, I don't even care if you pair Miaka up with a flea. Standard/Yaoi/Shounen ai/Yuri fics all welcome and any rating. Let's just see if we can put together a site that encompasses it all! Thank you! :-)






She could see him reclining in the distance, his mask off for once as he seemed to enjoy the feeling of the rising sun upon his peaceful face. The smile which tugged at the generous corners of his lips was genuine and sweet, the small expression enough to make the young priestess inhale suddenly at the sight.

"Miaka," he breathed, his eyes still closed as the dancing rays caressed his face. "You aren't one for early mornings, no da!"

"Had another nightmare," the priestess admitted as she sat down on the large rock that overlooked the still pond. With the back of her fist, she rubbed at her eyes wearily. "No way I could possibly get to sleep after that, so I thought I'd watch the sunrise."

The monk nodded solemnly, his eyes open now as he watched the gentle colours of the sun chase about the puffy, morning clouds.

"Tamahome?" he asked, his voice oddly flat, its smooth tones flavoured only by concern.

Grateful to the reds and oranges of the sunrise for hiding her sudden blush, Miaka tilted her head. What was I going to tell him? she thought as she pulled her knees up to her chin. The truth? Oh, that would go over well.

"Something like that…"

"Priestess… Miaka," the monk began as he turned to face the girl, his face full of warm compassion and confidence. "We'll get you home, no da. I promise."

Miaka nodded slowly.

"Really, I have no doubt of that," she said, trying to infuse her voice with at least some enthusiasm but failing miserably. Silently, she looked directly into the sun, hoping the brightening glare would hide the sudden tears that welled up in her eyes.

"No, no, Miaka," the monk insisted, one hand resting on her shoulder as the other gently brushed a stray tear off her cheek.

The priestess shivered as she felt a sudden warmth surge from where the man's hands lay until vibrant tingles seemed to surge throughout her body.

'I'll get you home, Miaka. I know you've waited, but just wait a little while longer and we'll send you home, no da!"

She nodded silently, frowning as she remembered the last two years. In the real world… the one where her family and now Tamahome resided, no more than 3-6 months must have passed since Suzaku pulled her back into the book. Two years, though, had flown by here. Her face, long chubby with childhood, had slimmed down and matured until she looked more like the woman of 19 she was than the girl of 17 she should be. Her body, strengthened and toned by several years of traveling through Hong-Nan on foot with Tasuki and Chichiri, no longer fit into the austere school uniform she had worn nearly every day for a year. Dressed in her peasants' robes and sandals, it was clear: the little girl was now a woman. But even more so than the changes in her body, the changes in her heart were even more profound.

So many things have happened, she thought with a half-smile as she studied his handsome visage subtly. His large hands now back resting upon the rock, the monk watched the sunrise with a silent joy that seemed to radiate off of him.

"You always watch it every morning," Miaka started, smiling slightly as she noticed he made no effort to put his mask back on. Her mood brightened by the realisation that he didn't feel obligated to always wear the mask around her, she continued on. "In fact, no matter how late you stay up or how exhausted you may be, you always come out here…"

The monk chuckled, an eyebrow raising as he looked at the girl.

"And here I thought I was being so quiet, no da. Sorry, Mi…"

"No, no apologies!" the girl laughed suddenly, her hands moving anxiously in the air. "I just don't sleep as deeply as I used to… you know, the nightmares and all."

The man nodded slowly as he turned to face her completely. His eyes dimmed with sadness, he instinctively brushed the back of his hand against her cheek in a warm caress.

"So, want to tell me what these ones were about?"

Silently, she shook her head, a part of her wincing as she heard the underlying frustration in his smooth voice. It was a ridiculous situation, she thought, suddenly angry with herself. Every since she had come back here, the priestess had been besieged by terrible nightmares. And every time they happened, she had found herself seeking out the kindly monk for his counsel and friendship.

The nightmares had been pretty predictable at first. For the first few months after her return, she had dreamt of chasing Tamahome's shadow throughout both Hong-Nan and Tokyo until she finally grabbed his arm… only to find out she was the one who was the shadow. Interspersed among variations of that dream, were the ones which never failed to make her cry- where, as she sat eating dinner with her family in the dining room, her family slowly began to fade from view until she was all that was left.

For the last two years, Chichiri stood by her side and wiped away the tears when they couldn't be suppressed. For two years, he had held her as she cried and wondered if she'd ever get home.

And then, it suddenly changed.

Miaka still wasn't quite sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line the idea of going home seemed more painful than the idea of staying. At first, she had just attributed it to the strong friendships she developed with the bandit and the monk, then to the great love she had for Hotohori's empire and the people she felt obligated to care for in the emperor's wake.

But it wasn't until the new nightmares struck, the ones that seemed to hit her more and more each time the trio thought they had a lead on sending her back home, that Miaka was forced to admit to what was hiding in her own heart.

"If you ever decide to tell, Miaka, I'm here, no da."

Smiling shyly, she turned her gaze towards the brightly shining sun, only to be blinded by the light.

"Thanks, Chichiri."

Suddenly, the man was laying down on the rock, his head dangling carelessly over the sparkling water.

With a delighted giggle, Miaka watched as the man's feet tapped on the gray stone to a beat only he could hear.

"What on earth are you doing?"

"C'mon, Priestess. Try it."

Hardly needing any encouragement, the girl stretched out along the cool rock, feeling only slightly uneasy at the precarious position over the water. She had seen him lay like this so many times and each time, she had wondered what had been going on in that mohawked head of his.

Silently, they laid there, each lost in their own thoughts as they contemplated the beauty of the morning and each other.

"I know it must seem silly to you," Chichiri started, his voice unusually soft and serious. "But I've noticed that something that may seem stunningly beautiful isn't quite so when you look at it from a different perspective, no da. And sometimes, something that looks really ugly is shown to be exquisite. It's silly, no da, but whenever I see something that takes my fancy, I do like to see if it is as I think."

Chuckling, he turned to her, only to smile widely as he caught sight of her head hanging upside down over the water, her long hair streaming quietly in the breeze.

"Places, objects…. people. It's a gift from the gods to be able to see each in a different light, no da. And sometimes," he murmured, his hand instinctively brushing a stubborn straggle of auburn hair off her cheek, "it's the greatest gift to realise that someone can be beautiful from any way you choose to look at them, whether it be as a little sister, a priestess, a friend, or… something else."

Trapped in the honest depths of his brown eyes, Miaka was unable to turn away or even speak as the young monk studied her face quietly.

Suddenly, he sat up, his face hidden by the glare of the sun.

"But you get the idea, no da!" Chichiri exclaimed, his face now covered by the mask.

Startled by his sudden change, Miaka scrambled to sit up but only managed to fall off the rock and into the pond several feet below.

Grimacing as she stood up in the water, her hands slowly picking the seaweed from her robe, Miaka looked up at the rather embarrassed young monk.

"Miaka, oh. I'm…" he started, the man's mortified tones belying the happy face painted upon the mask. "Are you okay? Here," he offered as he extended his hand to help the thoroughly soaked young woman up back upon the rock.

Smiling easily as she grabbed his hand, Miaka nodded.

"Oh, sure. I'm fine," the girl giggled as she yanked his arm hard, causing the surprised monk to tumble into the water right on top of her. "See?"

His brown eyes, wider than she had ever seen them, blinked only once as they regarded the drenched priestess who lay beneath him. Shaking his head slowly as he realised the mask had fallen off during the fall, his mouth seemed to curve into an embarrassed smile.

"And once again, you surprise me, no da," he murmured softly, his eyes gentle as slowly pushed himself off the girl. With nary a word, he came to his feet, only to immediately offer his hand to help the priestess back up.

The blush, which had been hiding just below the surface of her cheeks, roared to life as she accepted his hand.

"Sorry. Chichiri. I just couldn't help it," Miaka gushed as she leaned against the rock. Please don't put it back on, she prayed suddenly as she watched the man reach for the mask that currently floated in the gently rippling water. Yes, she admitted silently with a grimace, I can really learn to hate that thing.

"Don't," she said suddenly, the blush intensifying as the monk looked at her in confusion. "The mask … keep it off for a few more minutes?"

Wrinkling his nose, Chichiri nodded almost imperceptibly as his eyes focused on the innocuous lines of the mask.

"What's wrong, Miaka?" he asked, his voice low and almost halting. "You've been acting a bit odd lately, no da."

"Me? Acting odd?" the priestess laughed, her head turned away from his perceptive eyes. "No, no. It's just so… well, you know."

"I know what?"

The girl shrugged helplessly as she leaned against the stone, only to take a half-second's delight in enjoying the warmth it had stolen from the burning sun. "Just that… well, it goes back to what you were saying earlier, Chiri. Sometimes, you gotta look at something from a different way…" Grinning now, she cocked her head to the side as she stared pointedly at his face.

His lips twisted into an amused half-smile as he bowed slightly. "And you've come to your conclusion, no da."

She nodded in agreement as she pushed the hand holding the mask down, only to feel her entire body feel electrified by the warmth of his skin.

"Yeah. I think I like the scar. Gives you quite a dashing look," she mumbled, no longer quite certain of what she was saying, but only feeling the need to touch his face. Quietly, she reached out to him, her fingers curled in hesitation.

"Miaka," he breathed, his eyes shocked and uncertain as he grabbed her hand and pulled it away from his face, the mask abandoned and ignored as it fell to the water below. Quietly, his eyes seemed to focus on the small hand he held in his, blinking as if he couldn't comprehend the moment.

"Chiri?" the priestess asked, biting her lip anxiously as she waited for a response.

"It was a beautiful sunrise, no da," the monk said suddenly, his voice hoarse as he finally lifted his eyes to meet her own.

"It was," Miaka agreed quietly, transfixed in the man's stare. The soft smile came to her lips unbidden. "From every perspective."

She would never know who made the first move, but the next thing she knew her slight body was pinned against the cool mass of stone as his insistent lips sought out her own. Closing her eyes in the sudden joy of the touch, Miaka felt his free arm, strong and deliberate, wrap around her waist in a bid to pull her closer.

Suddenly, he pulled away, leaving the priestess to stand there, panting as she leaned against the stone for support.

"I'm so…"

"If you dare apologise, Chiri… I swear to god, I'm going to kick you!" she growled vehemently, her eyes flashing in anger.

The seishi chuckled, the sound so warm and bright that it pained Miaka's heart.

Quietly, he lifted the hand he still held to his lips and gently kissed the palm. "Far be it from me, then, to apologise, no da."

"That's better," Miaka breathed as she watched him cup her hand gently between his. Good god, she thought suddenly, unable to keep the happiness from welling up in her brightened eyes. Maybe there's a chance, she told herself even as she watched the bright blush infuse his cheeks.

"I dreamt that I woke up back in Tokyo," Miaka blurted, biting her bottom lip as she tried to hide her eyes from view. "And you didn't come, Chichiri. You didn't come with me…"

Eyebrows raised, the man nodded slowly, only to smile as he stroked a finger hesitantly down her cheek. "I know that nightmare, no da," he responded simply. "Why didn't you tell me, Miaka?"

Sighing, she tilted her head back against the rock, her eyes closed as she felt the rays of the sun beat down on her face.

"I don't know," the priestess muttered helplessly. "Okay, fine, I do. I didn't want you to… well, think…. geesh. Just that… Damn. You know."

Smiling gently, he cradled his head into the crook of her neck as he encircled her waist with her arms, his very touch sending shivers of delight down her spine.

"I won't say anything again after this, Miaka, so don't worry but I will say it now. I love you. I'm glad you are here, no da. I've spent the last two years dreading seeing the red light, no da, knowing it means you will leave. But as much as I dread it, know there is not a damn thing I wouldn't do to make certain that we get you back to where you belong…"

"Has it ever occurred to you that maybe I belong here?" she asked quietly, shrugging out of his embrace so she could see his beautiful brown eyes. "I love you. I love you so much that it kills me to think that we might succeed in sending me back. I don't want to go. Not if you don't come with me. I love you, Chichiri."

The monk, taken aback by her words, just stared at her until she felt herself become self-conscious. Tugging at her wet hair, Miaka tapped her foot as she waited for him to speak.

Without a sound, he pulled her into his arms, his embrace warm and tight. With a soft, beatific smile, the priestess laid her head against her seishi's chest and reveled in the sound of the strong, steady beat even as his hand stroked the wet straggles of auburn hair that cascaded down her back.

Smiling as she inhaled his unique, masculine scent, Miaka burned the sensation into her head. There was no denying it, she thought as she looked up into his scarred face.

Miaka Yuuki had finally and truly come home.