Disclaimer: I do not own Fushigi Yuugi and its characters.
Two years have passed after the fight with Tenkou; in the universe of the four gods. The events in the book were an experience Miaka would never forget. She had finally moved on with her life, but she always knew that she would never forget any of her friends, and that they would always be in her heart.
Keitsuke had decided to go to Canada as an exchange student; leaving his sister and mother back in Tokyo. While Yui and Tetsuya went to finish high school together in Hokkaido, Miaka stayed on at Yotsubadai. They promised that they will visit her often. Miaka didn't complain about it; she felt really happy that Yui had found the courage to move on...with Tetsuya. And with Yui being happy, she was happy as well.
Two months later, Miaka found she was suddenly and unexpectedly alone. Miaka stood in the living room with two police officers looking at her with sympathy. She has been waiting for her mother to come home for over five hours. It turns out that her mother had an accident while she had been on her way home. Yui and Tetsuya came as soon as possible to help her, but Miaka didn't feel like doing anything but grieve. The news reached her older brother, but he couldn't come back because of the contract that he'd signed. If he came home, everything their mom worked for would have been in vain.
For the first time in Miaka's life, she felt lost and alone. The funeral went smoothly with help from Yui and Tetsuya's family, and she was grateful for their support. Miaka received thousands of calls from her older brother, who wanted to make sure that she was alright. This hit Miaka hard; she realized that Keitsuke is the only family she had left. Both Yui and Tetsuya saw her pain, and announced that she was part of their families too. It made Miaka smile, just a little. Soon enough, the two had to return to school, and both were reluctant to leave Miaka in the apartment since she was given several papers concerning payments and debts. Even though the Hongo family volunteered to help, Miaka refused, thinking that she is already asking too much. Miaka assured them that she will be fine and that she will find a way, and call them soon.
When things got worst Miaka was forced to leave school. She didn't tell anyone. After two days of planning, Miaka was about to go out to look for work when two unknown suspicious looking people came to her door. Both wearing black tuxedo and sunglasses. At first Miaka thought it was the social services ready to get her since her brother is not around but it turns out that their boss is actually her mother's former classmate during highschool and is inviting her over to her place. They also apologized on behalf of their boss for not attending the funeral. And Miaka assured them that it's alright since she really has no idea that her mother had...other friends.
Miaka was still hesitant to go, even with the invitation. She did plan to go out and look for a job, but she wasn't really sure what kind of job. Anything would be fine, but not many places would accept a student that was supposed to be in school.
With few options, Miaka decided to accept the invitation. The two young men promised that they would be back tomorrow to pick her up. Both talked in business mode, probably because of their job, but she found them quite thoughtful.
And that day is today...
As she looked out the window, Miaka was unaware that her life had changed forever when she had accepted the invitation.
Miaka sighed to herself, as she sat in the limo, being escorted by the two businessmen. She didn't expect a limo would drop by her house. 'Seriously, Miaka, you should have known since the first you saw them...' she thought for herself. The only thing she knew about the owner of the invitation is that she was her mother's friend, and was extremely rich.
"Miss Yuuki, are you alright?" the one who sat near the driver asked worriedly, looking up at mirror. Miaka looked up, and smiled slightly. "Um, yes I'm fine. It's just that...I don't know much about your boss."
The men in the car chuckled. "Don't worry, you'll be fine. Although they may be strict, they are very kind" he said, smiling. "You'll see."
Miaka nodded, and looked through the window. Just a few minutes ago, they had been in the city, and now they were heading into the countryside. All she could see was numerous trees, and the long widening road. Did their boss really outside the city?
As if sensing her nervousness, the driver explained things to her. "Our master lives just beyond the city. The city was too busy, and the lady is quite sensitive to air pollution. They also want to enjoy peace and quiet. The city was just not the place for them to be comfortable."
Miaka nodded, in complete in understanding, feeling calm, that she would be safe. "Miss Yuuki, don't worry it will be alright" the man said again. "It's our responsibility to take you to our employer safely and protect you if needed."
Miaka stared at them, and was even more surprised that they could actually read her like a book. She barely knew them, but they keep on reassuring her that everything will be alright. Did she really look nervous when she was trying so hard to hide it? 'I guess... it's obvious...'
Miaka almost laughed and smiled. "T-thank you..."
The man nodded and smiled as well. After that, they didn't say anything until they reached the gates.
As they drove up, the golden gates opened automatically. Miaka's eyes widened, as she looked out the window, as the limousine approached the western style mansion.
"Sugoi..." Miaka whispered in awe. Who would've thought that a large mansion would be in the middle of a forest? All of the trees, gardens...it looked so peaceful and yet formal at the same time.
Miaka could see a group of butlers, maids, and servants starting to gather on the porch. Where they gonna welcome her? Was she really that important?
The limo gently stopped at the entrance, and a butler immediately opened the car door before she could get up.
Miaka blinked twice, as the two others came out, and she suddenly felt out of place. She looked down at her casual dress, a pretty yellow one. Over that, she wore dark yellow, sleeveless, cardigan and white sandals were on her feet.
'I should have dress nicely...not like this! I can't believe I over looked this situation...' Miaka thought, feeling embarrassed.
"Um, Miss Yuuki, are you alright? Everyone is waiting for you" the butler said, smiling. Miaka looked over and blushed even more; because she hadn't had time to hide her expression. Everyone was looking at her, and some looked at her at the corner of their eyes. She could hear some maids whispering to each other but she couldn't hear what they were talking about. However, all of them gave her a welcoming smile.
"A-hai, gomen nasai..." she said, as she slowly got out, staring at the floor. All the employees looked fashionable with their black and white uniforms. The men wore crimson neckties, and the woman had red ribbons.
"Miss Yuuki, this way please."
Miaka followed her escorts into the mansion. Slowly she lifted her head, as she looked around. Everything was so magnificent and elegant. Distracted, she didn't see that she got several stares from anyone she passed.
"Did you see her?" one maid asked.
"Well, yeah...she looks cute, though" one of the boy servants answered.
"I heard that her mother is a close friend of lady Fuyutsuki" a maid whispered.
"Really? Does the young master know that there will be a guest here today?" another maid asked.
"Hmm, I think he knows; he left to pick up some paper" another maid responded.
Miaka was led to a room, feeling nervous again. The butler knocked on the door, as the other men stood behind him quietly.
The butler opened the door for them, and they went inside. Miaka followed behind, as she carried her small bag with two hands.
"Lady Fuyutsuki, Miss Yuuki is here as you instructed."
The room was huge, and fully furnished as if it was part of a royal palace. Miaka felt so small, standing behind the two young escorts. Both looked incredibly handsome too. A woman turned around to face them, as she sat in chair.
'Wow...she looks pretty...' Miaka thought.
The woman looked at her, her expression welcoming. Miaka blinked twice. The woman looked young with her long black hair, white skin, and blue eyes. She hasn't seen such beauty...well, since the book. She looked like she could be an Empress.
Mrs. Fuyutsuki looked at the two escorts, and nodded. "Thank you, both of you may leave."
The escorts bowed respectfully, and left quietly.
"H-a-hai!" Miaka responded, startled.
Mrs. Fuyutsuki blinked at her reaction, and chuckled. 'She is just like what I have been told...' "Welcome to our home. I'm Fuyutsuki Antione Ryne. I have known your mother since I was in high school. It's good to see you again."
"I'm Miaka Yuuki. Yoroshiku onegai-shimasu" Miaka bowed. "I'm sorry...but I don't... remember..." her voice staggering, as she was afraid that she might offend the woman.
Smiling, the woman shook her head. "Of course you won't remember." She smiled as she motioned for her to sit next to her. Miaka walked over slowly, and sat down, still in awe.
"You were just a baby when I went to visit your mom with my husband and son. I even met your brother, Keitsuke, who was just three years old."
"Wow...you know Keitsuke too..." Miaka said. "I wonder if my brother remembers..."
The woman smiled. "I'm sure he remembers me, since he played with my son, Alexander. He was four years old at that time."
Mrs. Fuyutsuki nodded. "My only child actually. Alexander, will be graduating from his bachelor course next year. He was here just awhile ago, but had to run some errands for me. He will be back in the afternoon" she explained.
Miaka nodded and smiled. The woman wasn't so bad after all. She was extremely kind and friendly. Soon enough, a maid served some snacks and Miaka was amazed with all the different cookies.
"Please go ahead and take some."
Miaka nodded, smiling widely. She took one cookie, savoring the taste. 'So this is what a European cookie taste like! It's so delicious!'
"It's delicious!" Miaka exclaimed excitedly, forgetting all her worries. Mrs. Fuyutsuki nodded and watched her with fascination, her expression softening every second. Miaka, in her cheerful mode, enjoyed the cookies more than anyone she ever known.
"I am sorry...about your mother, how are you doing over these pass few days?" she asked worriedly. Miaka came to an abrupt halt from eating her cookie, her expression sad.
"It was... so sudden that..." she paused before continuing. "...That I'm not sure what to do."
The older woman placed a hand behind the girl gently, calming her. Miaka could feel her eyes starting to get watery. "It's alright. Don't worry, everything will turn out fine."
Miaka nodded slowly, while looking down, and wiped her eyes with her free hand.
"Why don't you get some rest? Calling you out of the blue was a little too sudden I suppose."
Miaka looked over. "I...I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."
"Miaka...dear, it's alright!" Mrs. Fuyutsuki laughed, lightening up the mood and stood up. "Why don't we go to the gardens? I guarantee that you will like it."
Miaka smiled, cheering up, and nodded. Miaka followed Mrs. Fuyutsuki around the mansion's garden. It was so magnificent that she could barely hear Mrs. Fuyutsuki because she was so distracted. Along the way, Mrs. Fuyutsuki told Miaka stories about her high school life with her mother.
After what seemed like hours, they sat on a bench to rest. Mrs. Fuyutsuki couldn't help but enjoy the company of the young girl. She'd always dreamed of having a baby girl, but was still happy to have a son.
"Mrs. Rye? Are you there?" a maid called from a distance.
The maid walked towards them and bowed. "Mrs. Ryne, there is an urgent call waiting for you, it's from the president of the Yushida company."
"I see." She looked over to Miaka. "I'm sorry, I'll be right back. I'll just have to fix this."
"It's ok, Mrs. Fuyutsuki." She smiled politely. "I can wait."
With that, Miaka was left alone within the garden. Eventually two hours passed. Looking at her watch, it was three thirty in the afternoon. The garden looked so nice, that she had completely lost track of the time. Would someone pick her up? But then again, that call must've been really urgent.
Miaka sighed to herself and smiled. At least she didn't feel alone anymore.
She looked up and stared at the clear, orange colored sky. A few chirping birds flew by, and it made her smile even more. This place is so peaceful that she wished that she could have a place like this in the near future. Probably with someone...
In a few moments, she began to drift off to sleep. She felt like she could truly move on after the lost of her mother.
"Welcome back young master" the maids and servants bowed respectfully, as Alexander walked in.
Alexander didn't bother to take off his back coat. Instead, he took out some papers from his briefcase and gave them to the butler. "Please bring these to my mother."
"Is there anything you would like sir?" one of the maids asked. Alexander looked over. "No" he said quietly.
Alexander was about to head to his room when he smelled something unfamiliar. The scent of strawberries, with a hint of cherry blossoms. His eyes narrowed slightly.
"Where is my mother?" he asked, with an authoritative voice that was directed at whoever was behind him. Alexander didn't like having visitors, they annoyed him."Ah...she is in her office, young master" the butler answered. Alexander didn't say anything, but nodded, as he began to follow the scent. It was faint, but he could still smell it. But it wasn't really the scent that distracted him. It was the chi, and he was sure that it belonged to a certain person. And he had to see if his guess was accurate. He recalled that his mother was having a visitor, but didn't know who it was. And the last time he felt this chi was a long time ago. About four hundred pages.
He walked down the hall towards the gardens, and saw two guards guarding the entrance. When they saw him, they immediately straightened up in alarm and bowed in his presence.
Alexander didn't show his amusement, just nodded and walked passed them and into the garden. Ever since he was small, almost everyone had been aware of his status in life, and wanted his approval for various reasons.
His expression hardened, as he felt the chi getting more noticeable. That meant the person was nearby. He glanced at his watch, and noted it was 5:30 pm. usually, they didn't accept visitors after twelve, even if they were expecting someone. With his mother's sensitive health, and his father's busy schedule, having visitors is not important. And he preferred it that way.
Alexander turned to his left and found what he was looking for. He felt himself become rigid as he stared with widened eyes. He was expecting it, but his senses were so accurate, they even surprised him most of the time. There on the bench lay the former Suzaku no Miko. Sleeping peacefully, unaware of her surroundings as usual.
Alexander composed himself again, and walked soundlessly towards her. He looked down at her, as she slept with a blank expression. He didn't want to believe it, but this was real. How old is she? He couldn't remember, but just by looking at her slender figure and long dark reddish brown hair, he could tell that she had matured physically. He sniffed the air, and noted the strawberry-cherry blossom scent that was coming from her.
A cold wind blew pass them, blowing strands of her hair backwards, revealing more of her face. Alexander stared for a little longer, than decided to go back inside. Casually, he picked up Miaka gently, and carried her bridal style. After picking up her bag, he made his way back to the house.
'She's quite light...for a glutton' he thought.
Mrs. Fuyutsuki ran downstairs, as fast as she could. Seeing several servants and maids, she hoped they could help her. A butler saw her immediately and went to assist her.
"Ma'am, why are you so in a hurry?" he asked.
"Mrs. Ryne is everything alright?" a maid questioned.
Mrs. Ryne looked at them, frantic. "Where is Miaka?"
"I..." one of the maids said. But that was when all suddenly remembered that Miss Yuuki was still outside the garden. How could they forget? Well, with that urgent call came, most of the servants had accompanied her and helped her with errands.
Everyone immediately bowed apologizing. "Mrs. Ryne! We apologize!"
Mrs. Fuyutsuki shook her head. "No. It's my fault. The work was urgent that I forgot the time!" She looked around hoping to see the girl. She looked over quickly to one of the servants, not seeing her son coming around the corner, coming their way.
"You...come with me to the gardens, quickly" she ordered. The servants noticed Alexander coming and was about to follow, but stopped.
"Uh..." one of the maids pointed, not sure what to say. The others were in daze, while the rest of the maids stared with wide eyes. Mrs. Fuyutsuki blinked, confused, then looked over and was surprised at the scene.
"A...Alexander...dear, your back!" his mother greeted, giving a wide a smile.
"Hello mother" he responded quietly, ignoring the looks he was receiving from the servants, especially the maids. Miaka slept quietly in his arms, as Mrs. Fuyutsuki came near, almost grinning. Alexander raised an eyebrow.
His mother looked down softly at Miaka's sleeping form. "Oh dear...she fell asleep waiting for me. Such a sweet girl I should say."
"You shouldn't leave your guest unattended, mother." Alexander said, sounding annoyed, but he kept his voice low as to not wake the girl in his arms. Mrs. Fuyutsuki perked at him and Alexander looked the other way avoiding her gaze.
"I'm sorry. Something came up and I forgot the time."
Alexander looked over, letting her know that was annoyed with her, but she just smiled. He could hear some of the maids whispering to each other in excitement. What were they excited about?
"How did you know Miaka was in the garden Alexander?" his mother asked, and he was slightly taken aback. Sometimes his mother surprised him with questions he could not answer immediately. Just how could he explain without making her ask more questions?
"I...just guessed" he quietly answered, with a blank expression on his face. She pouted at him as if expecting a different answer, and he just blinked twice. Alexander sighed when he heard his mother's cell phone vibrating in her pocket.
"Oh dear..." she said, picking it up. "I can't believe they're bothering me today!"
Alexander turned around, taking Miaka with him. "Leave them to me."
"I'll be back to take care of things" he said, without looking back as he walked up the stairs. A butler was about to follow, but he stopped him. "I'll be fine; there is no need for assistance."
"Y...yes, sir" the butler watched, as the maids giggled quietly, while the others just smiled.
Coming into the nearest guestroom, Alexander quietly placed Miaka on the king size bed, took off her sandals, and tucked her in. Alexander could not remember the last time he saw someone sleeping so soundly. Or when a person looked so innocent and carefree. Most of the people he met were confident with themselves and snooty as well. Alexander closed his eyes and walked away, turning the lights off then closing the door behind him. Tomorrow would defiantly be interesting.
"Did you see the young master with that girl just awhile ago?" one of the maids asked excitedly, as she washed the dishes. The girl beside her nodded. The scene of the twenty-one year old, Alexander Antione Ryne, carrying the seventeen year old, Miaka Yuuki, became the main topic of conversation for all the servants working in the Ryne household.
"I have to admit, Miss Yuuki actually look so cute and pretty" the other squealed.
"Don't they look good together?" another giggled.
"I think she's nice and sweet, unlike the snobs who tried to get the young master's attention all the time!" one drying the dishes said.
"I really haven't seen the young master carry any girl in his arms!" another maid exclaimed.
"I've seen other girls with him but he never paid any special attention to any of them! Even if they fall asleep anywhere in this mansion" one maid sighed.
All of the maids stopped talking when the headmistress came in suddenly. The maids looked nervous, waiting to be scolded for spending time talking while they should be cleaning. But the maids stared when they got a smile.
"Honestly, I never like any of girls who came to visit the young master; this girl might be what he needs." 'Mrs. Ryne seems to have a planning something though.'
The maids smiled from ear to ear, while the others squealed with excitement.
To be continued...