Yume: Chapter Three:
dedicated to
Fuuko no Miko


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Sweet dreams 'til sunbeams find you,
Sweet dreams that leave all worries far behind you,
Birds singing in the sycamore tree,
Dream a little dream of me.
-the Mamas and the Papas


"Excuse me!" Fuuko had bumped into someone. A pair of arms reached out and kept her from falling. "Ah, gomen! I wasn't watching where I was going." In her haste to explore the mysterious castle, she hadn't been paying attention.

"Are you all right?" The man looked at her in concern, letting go of her.

He looks like the guy in my dream from the other week, she thought to herself in surprise. She had kissed the prince in her dream… she hadn't dreamed of him since. They hadn't had a chance to pick up where they had left off. Blushing, she looked up. "I'm fine," she said, mentally scolding herself for being so clumsy.

"Are you with the tournament?" he asked.

Fuuko nodded. "Yeah… I saw this castle, and I was curious," she explained.

"I live there. I can be your tour guide," he suggested, giving her a goofy smile.

"Really?" Fuuko grinned back. He doesn't really look like the guy in my dream at all… my prince doesn't look half as goofy as this guy does…

They walked towards the castle and he allowed her to enter. They were confronted by security guards.

"Welcome back," said one of them, bowing to Raiha. "Who is this young lady?" He looked at Fuuko in concern.

"She's my girlfriend," grinned Raiha.

Fuuko scowled darkly. She grabbed him and pushed him against a wall. "Who's your girlfriend?" she demanded threateningly.

He gently removed her hands from clutching the lapels of his outfit, smoothing out the wrinkles. Sweatdropping slightly, he said, "Sorry… just a joke. But come on…" They began walking through a long corridor, past a staircase.

"What's up those stairs?" she asked curiously.

"The first floor's open for tours, but I can't show you the second floor. Still, there's a lot of really interesting things and-" he turned around. "Erm… where'd you go?" he asked, looking around.

Fuuko had left.

*  * *

Such an idiot, thought Fuuko as the waves swirled higher and higher around her. I was such an idiot… I shouldn't have left my Fuujin in Domon's bag. I shouldn't have wandered off alone… I shouldn't have run away from that guy… I shouldn't have been so curious about this stupid second floor… I shouldn't have activated the trap door… She mentally berated herself. Baka, baka, baka, baka, baka…

The ceiling got closer and closer. ::Would the water stop rising while there was still air left?:: she wondered. Slim chance. It looked like this trap was meant to discourage intruders. Permanently.

* * *

Fuuko's body hung suspended in the water, unmoving.

I'm a mermaid again! thought Fuuko joyfully. I don't have to worry about drowning… look at all these fish… so free… I can swim… so free… how nice and warm the water is…

Her body bobbed slightly as the water began to drain. But the girl made no move to rush to the surface for the precious air.

Just like the dream… my prince will come, and we'll battle sharks together! Explore shipwrecks! Swim through the reefs!! she thought exultantly. The mermaid princess waiting for her merman prince. He'll come for me…

Raiha sloshed through the remnants of water remaining to drain,  making his way towards the sopping-wet Fuuko, and gave her mouth-to-mouth to revive her.

He'll come for me… he'll kiss me… he'll hold me… such strong arms… Fuuko thought languidly, still unconscious. "My prince…"

"Fuuko, are you all right?" came a concerned voice, penetrating the clouds of her unconsciousness.

"Who's calling me? Is it my prince?" murmured Fuuko, unaware that she was speaking. She felt someone help her sit up, and she coughed and spluttered. There was still some water in her lungs. Not very romantic…

"It's your prince, at your service, here to save you," grinned her purple-haired tour guide. "Are you all right?"

Fuuko was mortified. Her face was crimson and she screamed at him, shaking the mansion to its very foundations.

"You're not supposed to eavesdrop in on my dreams!" she bellowed, punching him for all she was worth. He fell backwards, his eyes spiraling and a large bump appearing on the side of his head. She fled from the chamber.

He counted to thirty, then opened his eyes. He easily rolled into a sitting position, rubbing his head gently. "Ahhh, Fuuko. You're much different when you're awake. Intriguing no matter what, but different," he grinned, to no one in particular. Still, he would let her go. She needed to keep her pride intact. There would be chances enough to run into her during what was left of the week's fighting.

And there was always the Yume.