A/ N: Magic Knight Rayearth and its characters were created by CLAMP, not me. The only characters I own are Micah and Deborah. Hikaru, Umi and Fuu return to Cephiro 5 years after they were last summoned. A MKR holiday one-shot. Will most likely be rated a mild PG-13. Includes some mild drama. You've been warned. Please don't flame.
It was a snowy Christmas in Tokyo. That morning, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu met at Tokyo Tower.
"It sure is cold today," commented Umi, shivering a little. Cold weather wasn't exactly her cup of tea, though she had to admit that snowflakes were beautiful.
"Yes, but the snow is quite beautiful," said Fuu.
"It is very unlikely that the weather in Cephiro is like this now," spoke up Hikaru thoughtfully. She began to wonder what was going on in Cephiro, and what was happening with the people there. Five years had passed since she and her best friends were summoned there. It had been a long time, but she still missed the people of Cephiro.
"Now that you've mentioned it, Miss Hikaru, it would be nice if we could visit Cephiro again," said Fuu.
Hikaru agreed with her. "After all, we did promise everyone that we would return someday. Perhaps we can go now."
That sounded like a great plan to Umi. It was not as if she and the other girls had any Christmas plans with their families, and besides, she was dying to see what Christmas in Cephiro would be like. Not to mention that there was one person in particular she wanted to see.
"Okay!" said Umi. "Let's go!"
A bright flash of light appeared and engulfed the 3 girls. It was just like that fateful day when they were summoned by Princess Emeraude, only this time they would be in Cephiro on much better terms. The girls screamed as the light swallowed them up and transported them to Cephiro.
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu landed on top of something. Hikaru peeked down to see what it was. It was the same cerulean coloured fish from the previous time. "Look, guys, it's Clef's flying fish," she said.
"I wonder who summoned us again," pondered Umi, "do you think it was Princess Emeraude?"
Hikaru shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know."
Umi turned to Fuu. Fuu had been unusually quiet, which was a bit strange since she was the one who always cleared up doubts. This type of silence worried Umi a bit.
"Fuu? Who do you think summoned us? Fuu?" asked Umi.
Fuu seemed to be in her own world that she wasn't concentrating on what Umi was saying. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "Did you say something?"
Umi gave a frustrated sigh. "What is WITH you?"
"Umi, you're not helping," said Hikaru. She too was concerned about how silent Fuu had been so far, but felt that Umi could show some tact.
"You okay, Fuu?" asked Hikaru. "You seem distracted."
"Sorry. I just have a lot of things on my mind," Fuu answered.
Hikaru was relieved that nothing was wrong. "Oh." She decided that it would be best to let Fuu be for the rest of the journey. It seemed obvious that she wasn't in a talkative mood at the moment.
Soon, the girls arrived at Princess Emeraude's castle.
"We're here," said Hikaru.
At that moment, Clef's flying fish disappeared.
"Well, what are we standing here like sticks for?" asked Umi impatiently. "Let's go."
Fuu reminded her that patience is a virtue.
"Whatever. Let's just go already," said Umi, irritated by Fuu's teacherish attitude, yet relieved that she was back to her old self again.
"Umi, cool it, would ya?" Hikaru mildly scolded. Umi's impatience was clearly getting on her nerves. But she came to spend time with her Cephirian friends and she wasn't about to let Umi's crabbiness spoil her mood. Just so Umi would calm down, Hikaru and Fuu went into the castle.
'It's about time,'thought Umi as she followed. She knew that she was being grumpy, but she couldn't help herself. She wasn't feeling very well. At this point, she felt like being alone, but she knew that it would be rude to not say hello to anyone.
'Oh well,'thought Umi, 'I could always rest after this.'
Even though the girls hadn't been to Cephiro in forever, they still knew their way around. They walked down the halls of the massive castle. For a moment, Hikaru was a bit worried because the castle seemed so quiet. She decided to check the room straight up ahead.
"I hope someone is in there," said Fuu a bit nervously.
Umi hoped so, too, although she partly didn't really care.
"Well, there is only one way to find out. Here goes nothing," said Hikaru. She knocked on the door. She was relieved when she heard a voice saying to please enter.
"Let's go, guys," Hikaru whispered to Umi and Fuu. She opened the door and walked in with Umi and Fuu.
Standing there was Princess Emeraude, dressed in cheerful holiday clothes.
"It has been a long time, Magic Knights," said Princess Emeraude.
"Hey there, Princess Emeraude," Hikaru greeted a bit shyly. Umi and Fuu said hello as well.
"Tell me, girls...what brings you here?" inquired the princess.
Umi almost replied, "Huh?" but remembered that she was in the presence of royalty. The realization hit Fuu and Hikaru that Princess Emeraude hadn't summoned them after all, because if she had, she wouldn't have asked that question. But if she hadn't summoned them, who did? Did they appear because of their desire?
"Well, it's just that we missed you all, and wanted to see you guys again," replied Hikaru. "After all, we had promised that we would return one day."
Princess Emeraude was flattered by that, and she was especially happy that the girls kept their promise.
"I see. Well, it is quite a pleasant surprise," said Princess Emeraude. "I imagine that everyone else would be delighted to see you girls again."
"Everyone else?" repeated Hikaru. It didn't seem like anyone else was in the castle, and if she hadn't tried what was presumably Princess Emeraude and Zagato's bedroom, she would have assumed that the castle was completely empty. Speaking of which, where was Zagato?
"Follow me," said Princess Emeraude. She led Hikaru, Umi and Fuu to her study. The decorations put up made the study look a bit more cheerful.
"Emeraude, is that you?" called a familiar deep voice.
"Yes, darling. I also have some visitors with me," Princess Emeraude called back.
Zagato got up from his desk and went to see who Princess Emeraude had brought with her. He hoped that they weren't people who had come to disturb his Christmas, or he would be very cross. He already had enough stress from the chef-in-training, Micah, with her obnoxious attitude. He didn't need any more. He was astonished to see that the Magic Knights were there. However, they were not children anymore, but young women. He couldn't believe that it had been that long.
"Greetings, Magic Knights. I see that you're all looking well," said Zagato.
"Oh yeah? Well, so do you," Umi retorted cheerfully. She was trying her best to mind her manners, which proved difficult for her whenever she felt crampy.
"Don't mind Miss Umi's behavior. She seems to be in a foul mood," Fuu told Zagato.
Zagato nodded in understanding. "I see." Not that he was exactly in the best of moods, either.
"It's really great to see you again, Zagato," said Hikaru sweetly.
Zagato smiled at this. "Likewise."
"I think we'd better head for the banquet hall right about now. I imagine that everyone is impatient, especially Micah," said Princess Emeraude.
'Hmph,' thought Zagato, ' only a lot.'Quite frankly, he could care less how impatient Micah got. It was time that she learned that she was not the center of the universe. But for Clef, Deborah, Ferio and Lantis' sake, he agreed with Princess Emeraude.
"Magic Knights, please join us, if you'd be so kind," said Princess Emeraude.
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu graciously accepted the invitation. Umi hoped that this gathering would make her feel better.
"It's about time!" grouched Micah when Emeraude, Zagato and the Magic Knights showed up. "What the hell took you so long?"
Zagato had just about enough of Micah, but decided to ignore her tone of voice, that is, until she continued her diatribe. She decided to pick on Hikaru, Umi and Fuu next.
"What are these girls doing here? They don't belong here," she said rudely.
At that, Umi saw red. She was already in a bad mood, and this woman was only making it worse. No one disrespected her friends and got away with it. She was preparing a nasty retort, but it turned out that she didn't need to. Zagato was going to give Micah her just desserts.
"Hold your peace," Zagato ordered in a deep, commanding tone. He blasted her away. She gave a bloodcurdling shriek as she hurtled out of the room. The force of the attack pushed her against the wall. An awful crunch was heard and she collapsed face first.
'Whoa,' thought Umi. 'In this case it's a good thing that Zagato hasn't totally changed.'
Princess Emeraude sat down, in shock. She had seen Zagato punish his minions mercilessly quite a few times, but not necessarily with this much power. She wasn't sure what to say.
Zagato knew that the only thing to gain from Princess Emeraude for this episode was a long lecture, but he didn't fear it. Micah had constantly tried his patience, and this was the breaking point for him.
Deborah finally emerged from the kitchen. It was her way of avoiding Micah, for she didn't abide Micah's attitude.
"All right, let's proceed, shall we?" said Deborah. She put on some holiday music.
'Well, this lady seems civilized...definitely an improvement from that witch,'thought Umi, sipping some coffee.
Slowly, but surely, things were starting to improve. Perhaps the Magic Knights would have an enjoyable Christmas after all. Fortunately, they did. Just spending time with their old friends made them feel better.