STANDARD DISCLAIMER:

Honoo no Recca doesn't belong to me. If it did, would you think I'd resort to writing fanfiction? How I envy Noboyuki Anzai-sensei!

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

This is pretty much like Night Wind in the sense that someone's pondering over another's near-death but this time, the sides are reversed. It's Mikagami who's lying on his deathbed and Fuuko pondering on his near-death. The title sounds crappy but that's the best I could think of at the moment. Writer's block combined with a rather progressive headache can sometimes be fatal. Does anyone out there know a cure?

Anyway, please bear with me.

FIRST SNOW OF WINTER

By: Ryuuen

Kirisawa's Point of View

            Walking down a familiar path, I gaze blindly into the horizon…thinking.

            A cold winter breeze blows, chilling every part of me. Damn! How I hate winter! It's so wayward, so unfriendly, so aloof, so cold… just like him.

            Mi-chan… It has been three days now since…

            "Mi-chan!" I screamed, panic evident on my face as I pounded on the door to his room. "Mi-chan, open the damn door for Kami-sama's sake!" I was worried. I received a message on my answering machine that said, "I'm tired, Kirisawa. I've decided what I must do. I would no longer trouble you after this. Goodbye." Why exactly did he tell me that, I do not know. Only one thing was for sure, I had to see him…quick. It didn't take a genius to figure out what the message meant.

            "Go away!" he retorted. "I do not need you, any of you…"

            "Mi-chan… just stop being an asshole and open the freaking door!" I practically cried out. "You can't do this to yourself, Mi-chan. You can't… You can't do this to us. You can't do this to me…"

            Silence. A very uncomfortable silence. I could take no more.

            "Mikagami, you'd better open the fucking door or else I'd blast my way in!"

            Silence. That left me with no other choice. Using my Fuujin, I broke down the door. What it revealed to me made me gasp audibly.

            The room's only occupant was sprawled on the floor, crimson fluid oozing from his left wrist, which he had obviously slit minutes ago.

            "Oh my God, Mikagami!" I exclaim, rushing to his side and gathering him into my arms.

            He smiles weakly as he recognizes me. "I'm tired and Mifuyu's waiting for me. Sayonara, Fuuko…"

            The tears that I had tried so hard to hold back were now falling in torrents down my cheeks. Why, Mi-chan? Why?

            And slowly, he closes his eyes, murmuring. "I'm coming, 'neechan."

            Gathering all my strength, I run as fast as I could towards Yanagi's house.

            A single snowflake flutters down and tickles my nose. The first snow of winter. I sigh. If only…

            I've known Mikagami Tokiya for quite some time now, even before he became a member of the Hokage Team. I mean, who wouldn't? Mysterious, handsome, top of his class… he had it all. Any girl would fall for him. Too bad I'm not any girl. I always thought him, as any other guy like him, to be a sissy. How wrong I was! I was really shocked when I learned that he actually defeated Recca in a fight. This longhaired stranger who looked too much like a girl for comfort has achieved in a single fight what I have been trying to attain for years! That was really something… It was then that I knew I had to meet him…

            And meet him I did. And when I did, I hadn't stood a chance against him, at all. And, though I hardly admit it, that earned him my respect… and perhaps even more…

            He became a Hokage ninja, fighting alongside me, Recca, Domon and Koganei, fighting for the healer Sakoshita Yanagi in the Uraboutusatsujin. But, in spite of all that, he remained aloof, cold, the lone wolf… and that really bugged me…a lot. I don't know exactly why but that lead me to invent all the cutesy little nicknames I call him… Mi-chan, Ice Boy, Fridge. For an unexplainable reason, I enjoy watching him flinch every time I use them, especially Mi-chan. No one dares call him that except me. I don't know. Probably they're too scared of him… or me, for I'll surely introduce anyone else who calls him that to my Fuujin.

            I always tried to treat him as I treat Domon and Recca, jesting with him, giving him friendly jabs once in a while, but I don't know. There is something about the stare he gives me that makes Fuuko-sama, wind goddess, feel as insignificant as a grain of sand in a vast stretch of land. Kirisawa… When everyone else would call me Fuuko, he'd insist on formalities and call me by my surname. Or worse, he'd call me monkey. Now what kind of person with be that blind so as not to notice Fuuko-chan's charms? That would often get me riled up and the fact that he'd coolly evade my attempts at retorts gets me pissed off even more.

            I stop before the hospital entrance, shaking the snow off my boots as I enter. The hospital lobby was deserted, apart from the occasional passing nurse. I sigh, making my way to the elevator and, pushing the button, I enter as it starts its descent up to the seventh floor.

            Mi-chan… Why do I insist on calling him such a familiar form of address? Of course, he's a friend and that's how Fuuko-chan addresses her friends, but…

            Sayonara, Fuuko…

            His words echo through my mind. Fuuko… That was the first time I ever heard Ice Boy address anyone by his or her fist name… aside from Yanagi.

            Yanagi… the exact replica of his deceased sister, Mifuyu. He has grown to love her, that I know. It's too obvious – the way he protects her, the way he reacts whenever she's with Recca… I have seen it all. And he thinks he's so good at hiding his feelings.

            The elevator comes to a stop and I get out. I pad slowly towards Room 729, and upon reaching it, I slowly turn the doorknob. A blurry-eyed Yanagi sits up on the sofa, as though having awakened from her sleep. "Fuuko-chan," she says. "You're here."

            I force a smile and nod. "Hai. Recca needs you over and he asked me to watch Mi-chan for you. You don't mind now, do you?"

            She shakes her chestnut head and returns my smile. "I'm very grateful, Fuuko-chan."

            Placing my hands behind my head, I look out of the window and respond indifferently. "Yeah. Sure. Whatever. I don't mind watching over him. He's more tolerable when he's asleep, you know."

            Yanagi gave me another grateful look before murmuring a rushed, "Ja ne!"

            "I see you can't wait to see your ninja, ne, Hime?" I say before she closed the door.

            "Su-sumimasen…" she whispered before closing the door behind her, and I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was blushing.

             I smirk. No wonder everyone likes Yanagi… she's sweet, caring, gentle… everything I'm not. I sigh yet again. If only…

            My gaze travels from the window to the figure lying on the bed. In his present state, he looked like an angel. I smile as a few strands of hair fall out of place. I approach and stroke them back, marveling at the softness of his silky tresses. He's so beautiful…

            Damn it, Kirisawa! Don't tell me you're seriously falling for the Ice Boy! It's stupid and silly and impossible and weak…

            I sigh yet again. Was I really falling for Mi-chan?

            A soft groan pierces through the silence as icy blue eyes flutter open and regard me with their usual cool indifference. I quickly retrieve my hand, blushing furiously as I take a step backward.

            "Kirisawa…" he said in a weak voice.

            "Mou, Mi-chan, you're finally awake!" I say, trying my best to sound casual but there was a certain tremor in my voice that told me that I didn't quite succeed.

            He tried to sit up and I instinctively move to help him up, and he does not protest, much to my surprise.

            Reclining against the pillows, he once again closes his eyes.

            Silence.

            "Why?" a question… pleading…

            "Nandato?" I ask, wondering if I had heard right.

            "Why?" he suddenly explodes, much to my surprise. "Why must life be so cruel to me?"

            "Mi-chan…"

            "Why must it take away all the ones I love and leave me to suffer?"

            "Mi-chan…"

            "Why must it always deny my what I desire, even to the last?"

             "Enough!" I practically shout at him. It was too much. I had heard enough. "Mikagami, listen to you! Are you even aware of what you are saying? Are you sure that death is what you truly desire? I know life has been hard on you but death surely isn't the solution…" A single tear trickled down my cheek. Damn you, Mikagami! My breathing was labored and my heart was pounding hard against my chest. Damn you for making me feel this way!

            A very uncomfortable silence follows.

            "Shut up," he said, softly but as intensely as any shout, looking away. "Shut up, Kirisawa. You know nothing. You do not understand."

            "The only reason I do not understand is because you do not let me," I retort in the same manner. "Please, Mi-chan, don't throw your life away like this."

            "What else is there to throw away?" he asks bitterly. "I have nothing… no one…"

            "You're wrong, Mi-chan!" I say, my tone rising dangerously. "You're wrong to believe that you have no one. You have your friends, Mi-chan. You have us. We love you, Mi-chan. Are you that blind not to realize that?" Finally finding the courage to do so, I look up only to find a pair of baby blue eyes probing my own sapphire orbs, searching for the slightest hint of insincerity in vain.

            My tone softens as my eyes moisten once again, "We are your friends, Mi-chan and we'll always be here for you no matter what. Don't ever try that again, onegai."

            "Kirisawa…"

            "Shh… do not speak. I…I understand." I smile. Damn it, Kirisawa, you must not fall for Mi-chan. It's stupid and silly and impossible and weak…but it's true.

            I approach him with arms outstretched, a gesture offering a hug. He gives me a half-smile as he allows me to take him into my arms. Looks like Ice Boy's finally melting…

            The snowflakes fall steadily outside the window but I do not care. The first snow of winter has just fallen but oddly enough, I feel as though something colder had begun thawing… I hold the silver-haired bishounen closer to me and a smile escapes me. There was hope after all…

So, what do you think? Crappy, ain't it? I feel that there's something else missing in it. Review and tell me what you think. Plan on revising this as soon as I cure myself of my writer's block.

Gomen nasai to the door. Didn't mean to curse it that much. ^ ^;

Go easy on the flames. It's hard enough to deal with writer's block without them.

Well, ja ne, minna!