Title: When Victory Loved Death

Disclaimer: Magic Knight RayEarth and all characters therein are the property of CLAMP.



Hikaru stared in disbelief at the two police detectives sitting with her father in their living room. There was tea set before them, it's freshness obvious from the steam still rising from the delicate Wedgwood, and a strange silence hanging in the air. When her mother nudged her gently towards the couch, Hikaru obeyed, sitting properly between both her parents.

She'd answered the door earlier when the two men had first come to the house. Thinking it had nothing to do with her, the Red Magic Knight went to practice with her bothers in the dojo. It had taken her mother another ten minutes after that to come for her.

Now that she was closer, the detectives appeared younger than she'd first thought. In their mid to late thirties Hikaru figured, but defiantly not from her side of town. Their suits spoke of serious money, as did the car they'd arrived in, and she knew her father had not recognized them when introduction were immediately forthcoming.

"Hikaru, this is Mr. Miryasaki and his assistant Mr. Keno. They are private investigators," her father explained. Each man inclined his head slight when his name was given, and Hikaru felt some of her confusion lift.

Private investigators made more sense for the confidence and appearance these men gave off. Excited now, she was ready to begin asking them about cases they had worked on and all the interesting and dangerous people they'd met when her mother's chilled hand covered one of her own.

"Dearest, they are working on a missing person case."

"Missing person?" Panic skidded up her spine, maybe one of her father's students had disappeared, or worse yet a family member. Her brothers lived at home still but her cousins and grandparents lived far enough away that were they to be taken, few would notice right away. "Who, Mama?" She asked in an obviously worried voice.

"Now, sweetie, calm down," her father said gently. The pale color of his only daughter's face was making it just as hard for him. "It's your friend, Umi."

Hikaru went deathly silent, reaching down into herself to that place where her magic resided. She had a link with Cepherio at all times, being the Pillar, and it was this link that let her feel RayEarth always. Though she could never call the Rune God here on Earth, Hikaru could still communicate with him through emotions and those core deep stirrings that told her right and wrong. She might be able to discern Umi's whereabouts.

But there was no panic in her soul. No fear tainting that connection to the other life she led and shared with Umi and Fuu. When she sought the feeling of Celes's reassurance it was there. When she searched through RayEarth for the meaning behind this, he told her. Umi was safe.

On Earth, in her family's living room, Hikaru slumped against her mother, mentally exhausted. To her parents it appeared that she was overcome with distress and so both immediately began fussing over her. It took Hikaru a moment to regain her bearings and senses, almost like coming to after a faint, and it was to the worried and expectant faces of four adults.

Sitting up next to her mother once again, her father rubbing gentle circles on her back, the Red Magic Knight returned her parents shocked questions.

"I'm okay, Mama," she intoned at last, everyone finally relaxing enough for the two detectives to explain what they knew of Umi's disappearance.

Worried parents had hired them after Umi hadn't returned from a school dance the previous weekend. It had been close to three days since their daughter had disappeared. The two men had started immediately searching for any information that might lead to the girl. They had only recently learned of Umi's relations with Hikaru and Fuu, and were eager to see if this new lead might give them the break needed to calm their clients' fears.

Hikaru listened with respect, answering their questions as truthfully as possible. When asked if there was anyplace she may have gone to, Hikaru said Tokyo Tower, since all three Magic Knights had come to regard trips to the tower as special outings. She couldn't say what might have drawn Umi to leave her family, though she didn't discourage the idea that a secret boyfriend might be involved.

Of all the Knights, Umi was the only one to really show signs of loneliness and depression upon their return from Cepherio. Both Hikaru and Fuu had noted this, but never in her wildest imaginations had Hikaru thought Umi would act on it, and return to Cepherio, and especially not alone and without leaving word.

Once the two PI's had left, Hikaru wen to her room and settled. It was another two hours before Fuu called on the phone. The Magic Knight of Wind was frantic and close to hysterics in her panic. Hikaru calmed her and they made a date to go to Tokyo Tower and travel to Cepherio for Umi. There was no rush after all, it wasn't like Umi was beyond reach.



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Author's Notes:

Here is the first chapter of the Hikaru and someone fic. I have decided which lucky bishounen will be receiving the Magic Knight of Fire's affection, but I want to surprise you all.

This story will be a little more developed than the previous, The Way Things Were. I have, again, got a citrus version of this fic, but that will not debut until my other lemon is complete. Again, the stories are a trilogy and build on the evens of the previous tale. It will become obvious why Umi is not on Earth in later episodes of this fic, but for the whole FYI read the other fic.

I have had complaints that the previous non-citrus fic was too much lime and not just straight romance. I will try to keep this one cleaner and leave the serious stuff for the citrus version. Just be warned though that there are some situations, such as kissing and non-naughty touching, that are inherently lime. There is jut no way to really write something like that. So, I apologize to anyone who is strict about that type of thing but I have rated the fic appropriately, so adhere to that much if you are unsure.

Okay, too much notation. I hope you are hooked and ready for another romantic roller coaster ride.