Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play

Chapter One

The Book of the Universe of the Four Gods

: Or:

Don't be ridiculous Ann

By Night Mare

Dedicated to

Annikia Valentine &

The Mighty Trumpet Loving Frog

---

Author's note: This story…is very odd. Miaka does have a role, but a very small one.

For those of you who think Tamahome and Miaka are destined…I wouldn't read more then a few chapters of this. But give me a chance. Kaybe? Kaybe.

---

The school bell rang. The once quiet halls soon buzzed with the voices of teenagers itching to go home and make the most out of their Monday. Eventually the halls cleared and the few stragglers left the building to its peace. At half-past four, the door to the detention room swung open and three teenagers walked sullenly out.

"Why," said the sixteen-year-old, "Did you scream, Amanda?"

"Excuse me…I should have seen you coming up behind me to drop a ice cube down my shirt."

"Yes you should've. Shouldn't she have, Ann?" the sixteen-year-old said. Ann rolled her eyes.

"Sharon…really. I would have understood if you had done it in the cafeteria…but in the middle of an assembly?"

Sharon chuckled and kicked her locker.

"Well the ice was there and Amanda was in front of me. I couldn't resist. Thanks for sticking up with us though."

"No problem," Ann said. She kneeled and deftly opened Sharon's malfunctioning locker.

"Show off," Sharon mumbled.

"How did you get ice in the middle of a assembly anyway?" Amanda asked.

"Oh, I hit my head on the door knob and the nurse gave me an ice pack."

"Ah, so that's where that plastic came from."

"You dumped the whole pack down her shirt?" Ann asked. Sharon just grinned, slammed her books into her over stuffed locker and kicked it shut. Her companions winced. Ann decided to bring her dad's tool kit tomorrow so Sharon wouldn't be late for class.

The three walked out onto the sidewalk and took the late bus home. They sat in one seat with Billy the Loud in front and Tiffany of the Many Boyfriends in back. It was not a very fun ride. The only solace was Daniel, Shawn and Michael, the school cuties who sat directly opposite them and tried not to look in their direction.

"Well, I'm glad we told our parents that we would be heading to the mall right after school. Otherwise we'd be in deep doo-doo," Amanda said. Ann winced.

"Umm…we might want to stop by the mall anyway."

"Why?" Sharon asked suspiciously. Ann mumbled into her Tokyo Pop issue and tried to look inconspicuous.

"Ann…what have you done?"

"I called up my parents to say I was in detention!" she screamed. Daniel, Shawn and Michael scooted as far over as the small seat would allow them. The two teen girls sighed. That was the problem about being best friends since childhood; their parents knew one another.

"Well…we might as well go to the mall before we get grounded."

"Yeah," Amanda said, sending a heated glare over at Ann's direction.

"Oh! Look! Tuxedo Mask is throwing a rose at the bad guy! Wow what a surprise!" Ann said her nose still in Tokyo Pop.

"Umm…Ann," Sharon said. "Tokyo Pop doesn't have Sailor Moon."

"Oh. Well umm. Hey look! Hikaru has cat ears…how cute."

"Yeah. It's surprising how you can see that from the web page reviews section."

"Well nyah!" the fifteen-year-old said. The three were silent as the tiny bus clambered along the highway. Ann continued reading her magazine, Sharon stared absentmindedly out the window and Amanda tried to take pictures of the three boys without them noticing.

This was their first real detention and they were still in a kind of shock. Soon Billy got off. The next in line was Tiffany, who accidentally tripped and fell over the boy's laps on the way out. By now Daniel, Michael and Shawn were about as frightened as teenaged boys could get. When it was their stop they practically jumped out the windows.

The girls were alone now and the streets were clogged with five o'clock traffic with the additional bonus of a five-car wreck blocking the road thirty miles ahead. Getting home was going to take a while.

Sharon dozed off. She had strange dreams of a red bird flying through Staunton. When she woke up, she felt the pressure of Ann's head on her shoulder. Amanda had her head thrown back and a small string of drool escaped her mouth. Sharon rolled her eyes and looked to see how far they'd moved. Her eyebrows lifted. They were going pretty fast considering the situation. They were actually moving! It was only three miles an hour but at least it was something.

She was bored. Bored, bored, bored. She flipped open her bookbag to root around for the volume she had borrowed from the school library that day. It had just come in and the librarian had said that it was very old. But she trusted Sharon and loaned it on the condition that the sixteen-year-old would return it tomorrow.

Sharon read the gold embossed cover. It was in a language that looked similar to Chinese. She couldn't read it but she knew one smart person who could. She was one of the few who had decided to take Advanced Chinese III in her freshman year for fun. Sharon lifted her huge world history book of her pack and popped Ann over the head with it. Ann woke with a snort and scratched her thick chlorine damaged hair.

"Ow. You didn't have to hit me that hard."

"Yes I did. You'd sleep through an earthquake. Here…read." Sharon shoved the book under Ann's nose. The fifteen-year-old took it and ran her fingers along the cover.

"The book jacket is cute."

"Cute? Who? Where? What's he look like? Is he single? Let me at him!" Amanda yelled jolting awake.

"No, no, no, I said the book jacket was cute."

"Oh."

"So what's it say?" Sharon asked.

"Hmm. The Universe of the Four Gods."

"Question. Why is a book by Douglas Adams written in Chinese?" Sharon asked.

"That's Restaurant at the End of the Universe." Ann said.

"Oh…right," Sharon said. "Well keep on reading."

Ann rolled her eyes. Then she carefully opened the book cover.

"A long time ago, in a land far away, there was a land filled with magic. This land was made up of four kingdoms, each ruled by a beast god."

"Oh! A duck!" Sharon said.

"Cow!" Amanda said.

"Chicken!" Ann said.

"What?"

"Whap!"

"Ow."

"You know," Amanda said, "I can't help but feeling that phrase is missing something."

"Whatever. Can I continue?"

"Sure."

"A long time ago in another world a kingdom needed a protector. Who will take the challenge? What the heck is that?"

The girls stared at the red lights shooting from the book. The characters glowed red and the sparks became a shower..

"Have you ever had a really bad feeling?" Amanda said.

"Gah!" Sharon yelped. Suddenly the bus was empty of its teenaged passengers and on the seat rested a red book.

---

Someone was shaking her hard. She pushed whoever it was away and rolled onto her side.

"Comon'! Get up!" the voice shouted and the shaking began again.

"Just five more minutes Daddy." She curled up against the soft squishy pillow and fell asleep again.

Ann wrinkled her nose in disgust and stared at her prone, snoring friend. Sharon always fell asleep at the most awkward times. Amanda was looking around amazed and Ann knew why. They were in the middle of a vast marketplace. Horses tramped through the middle of the street carrying lone passengers or pulling heavy wagons. Merchants were screaming out their wares and people dressed in weird clothes jammed the streets.

If she had only known the book would transport them to this weird place she would have opened it much sooner. Amanda finally found time to turn and observe the sixteen-year-old.

"Hey Ann?"

"Hmm?"

"Do you think Sharon knows she's using horse dung as a throw pillow?" The brunette jumped to her feet. She glanced at her hands, and gently touched her hair and face.

"Oh ew," she said. Amanda clapped her hands over her mouth to keep from laughing. Ann shook her head and tried to hide the smile that was threatening to twitch all over her face. Sharon blinked for a while. Her eyes had a far away look to them and her mouth trembled. Now Ann had to stifle her giggles.

"Man…I'm pooped," Sharon said and burst out laughing. Her friends groaned and giggled at the same time.

"That was bad," Ann said, "Really bad. It was the worst smelling pun I've ever heard."

"Yeeech…and I need some water. I smell like one of Manda-chan's old boyfriends."

"Hey!"

Sharon looked up and gasped. Ann smiled to herself. She wondered what the girl would do. She herself had nearly screamed for the heck of it and Amanda had a near panic attack.

"Gangway! That horse trough has my name on it." Ann and Amanda sweatdropped as Sharon jumped into the shallow water. The market was eerily silent as everyone turned and stared at the strange girl. Sharon hopped out of the water and trotted over to her friends.

"Umm…where are we?"

"I don't know, but we're definitely not in Staunton anymore." Sharon pinched herself. A slow blush crept across her cheeks.

"I…I…Did I just make a fool out of myself in front of an entire city?"

"Yep," Amanda said. Ann shot her a glare. Sharon snapped her fingers and waved the air in front of her.

"Poof!" she said.

"Eh?" Ann said.

"I'm invisible."

"No, I'm afraid not."

"Dang."

They meandered around the market for a long time; taking in the sights and smells and looking like tourists. They received a few strange glances, but nobody stared long enough to gain comment.

Sharon couldn't stop smiling. This was just so…cool. She had dreamed of this for so long. She had always wanted a chance to go to another world…to become a hero. Maybe she could even have a short fling with a cute guy. Not that she'd ever had a fling before. She hadn't even dated. Maybe in this world things would be different. It wouldn't even matter if she went home and could never come back. She knew she wouldn't fall in love, she didn't believe in it. Besides even if she did she could get over it easily. She knew it wouldn't take her long to forget.

A nice smell from a restaurant or tavern or whatever caught her nose. It made her stomach growl and her mouth water. She checked her watch and saw that it was nearing six.

"You guys hungry?" she asked. Amanda nodded and Ann shrugged. They started in the direction of the smell. It was a short little building with a pagoda type roof and had another little roof above it.

"Ew. This is probably a Chinese place. I can't stand Chinese."

"I don't think we have a choice 'Manda-chan." Ann gestured to the other indoor shops. Their signs were all in Chinese. Sharon grinned again and clapped her hands together. Great! They'd get to eat with chopsticks. She loved eating with chopsticks.

The restaurant had an authentic atmosphere. The tables were almost on the ground and ringed by cushions. Not a fork was in sight. More people in funny clothes added to the general scene and Sharon felt somewhat out of place. They sat down at a table by the window and a man came up to them and bowed low.

"Welcome to the Inn of the Happy Rooster. Will you be staying for the night?"

"No," Sharon said, "we just want some dinner. Whatcha got?"

"Do you have any hamburgers or something?" Amanda whined, "I don't like Chinese food."

"I don't think so." Ann said.

"I want a bowl of rice and Pepsi," Sharon said.

"P…pepsi?" The waiter looked slightly taken aback.

"Well I guess I can have Sushi," Amanda said.

"No, no, no Amanda. That's Japanese," Ann said, rolling her eyes at her friend.

"No it's both," Sharon said, folding her arms lightly across her chest.

"Sharon…it's Japanese."

"Ann…it's both."

"Japanese!"

"Both!"

"Japanese!"

"Both!"

"I don't like Chinese food!"

"Japanese!"

"Both!"

"Japanese!"

"Stop arguing an pay attention to me!"

"May I take your order!" the waiter screamed

The girls jumped and stared at the fuming waiter. Sharon glanced at her friends who stared back at her.

"We'll take three orders of rice and tea," Ann said in a tiny voice. The waiter nodded and left in a huff. Sharon fiddled with her jacket buttons and stared at her younger friends for lack of anything better to do.

Ann was the most levelheaded of the bunch and the most athletic. Her poofy brown hair was streaked with blond from the many hours at swim practice. There was a master manipulator lurking behind her innocent seeming hazel eyes.

Amanda was the youngest and thinnest of the group. She had light brown hair that curled a bit and was always pulled back into a neat ponytail. Her cobalt blue eyes that stared from square glasses could easily swing from hyperactive to hypersensitive.

Sharon would have almost killed to look like either one of them. She was not as skinny as Amanda and not as muscular as Ann. Her dark brown, almost black hair was wild and no brush or hairspray could tame it. She wore glasses as well but behind them were just ordinary brown eyes, a dime a dozen. Sharon sighed; she was the funny one…the comedian of the Trio. She was constantly joking about one thing or another. Fortunately, her friends usually understood when she was serious about something.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the bowl of rice that had been shoved under her nose. She picked up her chopsticks and watched with an amused smile as the others tried to eat with theirs. Amanda's grip was wrong and Ann just couldn't keep the sticks in her hand. Sharon tossed her unruly hair back and put a chopstick in each hand. Then she began stabbing at the grains of rice and popping them into her mouth. Ann glanced up at her and raised her eyebrows.

"Whut?" Sharon asked around a mouthful of rice.

"I don't think you use chopsticks that way," Ann said. Sharon chewed, swallowed and sipped the bitter tea.

"So what way are you supposed to use them?"

"I'm not really sure but I don't think it' s that way."

"Eh…whatever works," Sharon said, stabbing another grain of rice. When they had finished the rather bland meal they dug out their money to pay.

"How much did the guy say it was?" Amanda asked.

"I dunno. He talked too fast. It couldn't have been more then five dollars," Sharon said.

"Wait a minute. I've been thinking. Have you noticed the people in funny clothes?" Ann asked, setting her chopsticks to the side.

"Well duh Ann, their everywhere," Sharon said.

"And I can't read the signs."

"I'm not seeing what you're getting at."

"Well. The people wear clothing that is similar to the style of ancient China. If this is ancient China that would explain why I can't read the shop signs."

"So you're saying we've been transported to Ancient China?" Amanda said.

"If that's so. Why are Ancient China people speaking English?" Sharon asked.

"We might be speaking Ancient Chinese," Ann said.

"Oh yeah. That's plausible. I don't even know modern Chinese. Don't be ridiculous Ann."

"Hey. It's magic. Magic isn't supposed to make sense. My point is, they're only going to accept payment in their currency."

"Uh-oh." Sharon looked down at her crumpled dollar bills. This could be a problem. Amanda smiled a tad evilly.

"I'll take care of it," the fourteen year old said, "when I say go. Walk really fast." Sharon's eyes narrowed. Just how was Amanda going to take care of it?

"Go! Gogogogogo!" Amanda screamed as she ran past them. Suddenly someone yelled:

"Hey! This isn't real money! Get them!" Ann and Sharon shared a quick look and bolted. Sharon tried to catch up to her friends but they were too fast. She stopped and rested her hands on her knees. How on earth could they run so fast?

"There they are!" someone shouted. Sharon looked up to see five burly men running straight toward her.

She screamed and began running again. The world became a blur to her and she knew how a hunted animal must feel. She dodged this way and that, heedless of people in her path. She vaguely remembered passing Ann and vaguely remembered running into an alley. She remembered clearly however almost running into a stone wall. Her companions soon joined her, panting for breath. Together they collapsed and leaned their heads against the wall.

"Do…you think…th…they followed us?" Amanda gasped.

"I hope not," Ann said.

"My…lungs are screaming…bloody murder," Sharon said. She had never run so fast in her life.

The sunlight entering the alley was blocked by five huge shadows. On detached itself from the others and came up to the frightened girls.

"Do you have any real money to pay?" the man asked.

"N…no," Sharon said, "we're new to this area. S…sorry."

"Well that's to bad isn't it?" Sharon gulped. She had to do something. Anything… She got to her feet and stood in front of her friends.

"It was my fault. Don't hurt them," Sharon said, with all the bravery she could muster.

"Sharon!" Ann hissed.

"Y…you're so noble," Amanda cried. The man took out a club and slapped it against his open palm. Sharon stood her ground. The other men advanced and the one with the club swung at her. Sharon ducked just in time, screamed at the top of her lungs and managed to squirm her way in the tiny space between Amanda and the wall.

"Don't hurt me," she whimpered. The men laughed.

"Time to pay your tab girls," one of them said. The lead man took his club and raised it above his head. He swung it down toward the screaming Ann with a war cry of his own.