STANDARD DISCLAIMER:

Honoo no Recca and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Noboyuki Anzai-sensei, one of my most admired mangaka.

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

I know the concept of Mikagami musing over Fuuko's death or near-death is clichéd and everything but, what the heck! Another fic featuring it wouldn't hurt, ne? My writer's block is worse now compared to the time when I was writing Chapter Two of Autumn so don't expect much from this. I can't conceive any more ideas for Chapter Three as of the moment so I'm writing this as sort of an exercise for my brain. (Must have overstrained it during examination week… Cramming really isn't healthy…)

Gomen if I misspell Uraboutusatsujin…

Anyhow, hope you enjoy reading this one… It was such a struggle writing it.

NIGHT WIND By: Ryuuen

Mikagami's Point of View

            The chilly night wind blows, entering the room through the open window, stirring a few strands of purplish hair from her face. I gently tuck the silky tresses behind her ear and sigh. The wind… her element. So like her, yet so unlike her.

            It has hardly been a week since I found her slumped against my doorstep, slowly bleeding to a painful death, crimson fluid oozing from all the wounds she possessed. "Mi-chan," she had said, struggling to stand up. I helped her up and, as she stared weakly into my eyes, I felt something… something deep inside my heart… something so familiar yet so foreign to me…

            I sigh, my eyes traveling not for the first time to the silent figure lying on the hospital bed. Kirisawa. How could the frail, lithe form on the bed be the vibrant, hyperactive girl I came to know? How could an image of vulnerability be the warrior who had fought bravely by my side at the Uraboutusatsujin Tournament? How could something so dead be something so alive?

            She is strong; I have come to acknowledge that. She possesses a strength that I had never seen in any woman besides oneechan. Yes, she is a woman. No matter how much she acts otherwise, nothing could change the fact that she is one. I would be willing to die my death before I would finally admit that, in some unexplainable way, she had earned my respect and admiration… and perhaps even more.

            She is nothing like my sister, that much can be said, but there is something…something I couldn't fathom… an aspect of her that draws me to her… The day I met her was the day when I challenged Hanabishi at the mirror house. I wouldn't have noticed her then if it weren't for her elemental weapon. I thought her incompetent and weak for she was powerless against me. However, as time passed, she proved me wrong. Courage and honor… virtues of a true warrior possessed by this monkey. I made it my habit to refer to her as that since that was what I thought she was. I have always believed her inept of logic and common sense, considered her too shallow-minded, incapable of comprehension, rash and unmindful of the consequences of her actions. And again, I found that I was gravely mistaken. In her battles, she was always cautious, always calculating, always keeping her emotions in check. She anticipated each move of her opponent and that made her formidable. Then again, she was always calculating, always trying to understand her friends, to understand me. And, miraculously, she had.

            She wasn't the type of person who liked me because of my appearance and avoided me because of my demeanor. No, she was different. She was the only person who treats me like a normal person. She jests with me, chats with me, enjoys mocking me using those silly little nicknames that no one else dares mimic. Why exactly did I put up with all that? I do not know. "Hey guys, guess what? Ice Boy's finally thawing!" she had said during my most recent birthday, when, I unwillingly gave them a half-smile. I had snorted snobbishly at the comment then but now… Now I find that she may have been right after all.

            Mi-chan… the ever so popular nickname she calls me. I wonder to myself why I let her address me in that familiar manner. No one else calls me by that name. They'd call me Mikagami, Mikagami-kun, Mikagami-sempai, but never Mi-chan. No one dares… except her. She only uses my proper name when she is serious, which, to say the least, is not very often. But, when she does, it effectively drives some sense into me even when I am treading dangerously at the edge of sanity.

            Mi-chan… the last word that escaped her lips. How I wish that I could hear it from her once more. I remember it all too well. Her voice, softly stuttering my name, her smile, her eyes… Truly, the eyes are the portals to the soul. There are times when a smile adorns her funny face, making everyone else believe that she was okay, but her eyes speak otherwise. As I mask my weakness with coldness, she hides hers in that toothy grin that she plasters on her face.

            I sigh, yet again. Kirisawa, you have no idea how much alike we are. If you only knew…

            She stirs, cerulean eyes hazy and unfocused before seeing me and when she does, she smiles a sad, weak smile and struggles to sit up. "Mi-chan…"

            I gently place two fingers upon the paleness of her lips to silence her and I can see the shock register in her blue orbs. "Shh, you are not strong enough, Fuuko," I say softly, marveling at my own behavior. It was the first time I addressed her by her first name. Boy, am I getting soft!

            She smiles yet again and settles comfortably among the pillows, her gaze locked into mine. I find myself drawing closer to her and as I do, she gently raises her hand and places it against my cheek. "Mi-chan, it really is you," she said, still weak, still fragile. Her hand is cold, and, subconsciously, I place my hand over hers. She startles once again at the gesture but doesn't do anything.

            "Yes, it is me," I say, still in the gentle, unfamiliar manner.

            "I'm glad," she says withdrawing her hand, and with that, her eyes drift slowly closed. "I'm tired, Mi-chan…" she murmurs, nestling further into the pillows.

            I lean in closer and whisper in her ear, "Then rest, monkey. Oyasumi nasai."

            She regards me with half-sleepy eyes and says playfully, "If I weren't hooked into all these equipment right now, Fuuko-chan would have taught Fridge Boy a lesson."

            I give her a half-smile and turn away, facing the window. Sleep tight, Kirisawa. Sleep tight…

            The chilly night wind blows, caressing the pale face of its goddess, stirring a few strands of hair from her face. And, as I close the window to keep the cold out, I open yet another to a colder place… my heart.

Okay… that was… relatively short. I honestly intended to make it way longer than it is. I dunno. It seems that my writer's block is getting to me yet again. By the way, if you're wondering why Fuuko's in the hospital though Yanagi healed her, my explanation would be that it's because a high-level madougu inflicted the casualties and Yanagi was not quite prepared for it.

Anyway, though this obviously is supposed to be a one-shot fic, I can't help having ideas for a sequel. There are so many questions to be answered like who attacked Fuuko. I dunno… So, please review and tell me what you think about this. Please be kind.

Ja.