A/N: A first from me. This is an AU fic so expect OOCness from some characters. Although I'll retain the basic qualities of the characters and use some facts from the manga and anime to give this fic a 'FOR feel'. I don't have a beta-reader so all grammatical errors are my fault. Please bear with me. I'm not a native speaker.

Standard Disclaimer: I don't own FOR nor its characters so please don't sue. I'm not making profit from this fic and I have no plans of hiring a lawyer in the near future.

Message in a Bottle by Anne Raven

Early Morning Reminiscence

A faint dream, possibly a memory, was on the verge of breaking up.

Consciousness fighting against unconsciousness.

Reality versus fantasy.

The pain of recollection opposite the pain of living through the effects.

But for the first time in all these weeks, she ignored all that. She was tired of feeling.

It was still too early for the sun to rise. How many sunrises had she seen since she arrived here? She sat up on bed staring at the still dark early morning sky through the wall-sized window of her bedroom. There was no movement in the house, no sound other than the distant waves crashing to the shore. It was peaceful outside.

If only she could say the same inside.

Realizing that she would no longer be able to go back to sleep, Fuuko decided to get herself a cup of coffee and wait until the sun rises in the veranda. It was her routine since arriving in Okinawa six days ago. Wake up before dawn. Make coffee. Drown self in thoughts and memories.

She could still remember the stricken look on her mother's face when she asked for the Okinawa beach house keys. Fuuko had always been a persuasive (not to mention annoying) talker, explaining why she needed this vacation badly. She already filed her vacation leave prior to the confrontation with her mom. She knew there was little left to do. Convinced that she left her mother… well, thoroughly convinced, she packed her bags, dragged her all-too-willing sister and boarded the first plane to Okinawa.

Kume Island was as wonderful as ever. Fuuko was thankful her parents decided to buy a house in one of the posh residential areas near the beach when she was eight. And if she were to list her most memorable experiences, that vacation of 17 years ago would definitely be included. Fuuko prayed that Kume Island would work its charm on her one more time.

She needed distraction. She wanted to forget. She'd gladly bury all the memories she shared with Raiha if that would give her peace.

… Raiha…

The forbidden word. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The man whom she spent 5 wonderful years with. The same man who broke her heart 2 weeks ago. And she still couldn't understand why.

Kurei tried to explain everything he knew before she left for this self-imposed exile. He was, after all, Raiha's best friend. She couldn't help but feel a stab of pain directed to her heart. Raiha trusted Kurei with his secret. They parted as best friends. While he never even bothered to say goodbye to her. Fuuko found out only after he was already half the world away.

"He said he had to leave. He never really explained it in detail but he said he didn't have a choice." Kurei explained the day after Raiha left for the States. "I'm sorry, Fuuko. He asked me not to tell you, that he'd tell you himself. Maybe he really did want to tell you. Maybe he just didn't know how." Then, she felt him wrap an arm around her shoulders in a comforting way while she cried her heart out.

It was moments like this that Fuuko appreciated the fact that Recca, her childhood best friend, had an older half-brother like Kurei. Yes, it was nice to have Recca for fun and laughs but it's also nice that he had a mature brother to even out the insanity. It had been days since that incident. Now, she sits alone drinking coffee, waiting for the sun, feeling… nothing. Tabula rasa! She sat like that, emotionless, expressionless until the first rays of dawn peeked over the horizon.

She squinted, catching the glimmer of something shiny on the table, a small green glass bottle courtesy of Ganko. Her little sister placed one of those every night before going to sleep on the outdoor table for her Fuuko-neechan. Fuuko used those bottles to house the little messages she wrote every morning. Those messages were her form of catharsis, Ganko's idea, actually. Surprisingly, it worked for her. Every afternoon for the past four days, she'd chuck a bottle with the 'letter for the day' by the beach and watch the waves carry it to Kami-sama knows where; with it, a piece of the pain she carried in her heart. Today was no exception. Pained or numb, she would write and let the sea carry all her worries for her.

A/N: Wow.. My first fic.. yehey… I hope it wouldn't be too much to ask for a review. Both criticisms and praises( if any) are welcome.

: yes, this is meant to be a multi-chaptered fic. And yes, the title is actually adapted from Nicholas Sparks' "Message in a Bottle" but aside from the title and the idea of bottled messages flung to the sea, there isn't much similarity between this and that novel (or so I hope).

: I have never been to Japan. So forgive me for not knowing whether there are actual residential areas in Kume Island. I just googled the place so aside from it being a tourist destination famous for its resorts and beaches, I have no idea what it's like there.