Authoress Notes: The angst. I can't stay away from it, it seems. Hopefully this won't be nearly as angsty as I make it seem in this first chapter...-nervous laughter- And I know that if I do this series a dishonor I'll probably find it on one of those Bastion of Questionable Sanity things where they bash sues and other questionable characters. But! I own the entire series [in English!] on DVD, thanks to F.Y.E. Aaah~ And anyway, I'm not bringing in any original characters. Just a cute/angsty/fluffy thing for Hakuro and Eruruu. :D

Disclaim: If I owned Utawarerumono, they would have played more on the fact that Eruruu is the reincarnation of Mikoto and she and Hakuro would have gotten their happy ending. Sadly, I don't. -le sigh-

Notes: This is sort of AU, I suppose, to allow the fact that there isn't anymore war and the fact that Hakuro is still around. The end of the series hints that he came back, but still...I'm giving you a fair warning.


Chapter One


It wasn't like he hadn't felt it before. He had - but it had never been like this. Seeing a paling face splattered with drying blood and bright red blossoming over her abdomen, fear was all that he felt. Horrible, gut-wrenching, bile producing fear.

His mind raced frantically as he took a few steps forward, limbs numb and chest tight. "What..." What kind of sick joke is this? he wanted to ask, but his mouth didn't want to cooperate. "What happened?"

It was Oboro who spoke, his eyes flicking from the girl in his arms to his brother's blue eyes. His lips parted. "We found her in the forest."

Oboro's voice floated in and out of Hakuro's ears as he gave his report. "...bandits...didn't see it..." His voice faded out all together as Hakuro's knees hit the floor. Hazy blue irises sought and focused upon the unmoving body, so carefully cradled in Oboro's arms. His mouth opened.


He couldn't breathe.


"She's breathing," spoke Urotori from where she knelt beside Eruruu. From where he stood, Hakuro could see the blanket at Eruruu's chest rising and falling. The tempo was labored, however, her expression that of pain. On her other side, Aruruu clutched her sister's hand with a desperate strength, eyes never leaving her face. Leaning forward, the smaller girl laid a hand across the older girl's forehead. Brown eyes locked with navy blue.

"She has a fever..."

"I'll get some water," Hakuro responded, suddenly desperate to leave the room. He padded down the hallway and came to a stop, placing a hand over his face. Though Eruruu's wound had been cleaned and bandaged, it didn't look good for the young healer. She could die, he thought, eyes narrowing. Or rather, she is dying. So much for the promise he had made to Tuskuru on her death-bed. Damn it!

His hands clenched around the bowl of water. It was peaceful now, and he'd foolishly thought that no harm could come to his family any longer. There hadn't been any need to worry when Eruruu had disappeared earlier, saying that she was going to gather more herbs. There shouldn't have been any reason to worry.

"Lord Hakuro."

Hakuro looked up.


"I see..."

Urotori's expression was troubled, her hands folded in front of her. "Bandages and the herbs we have can only do so much. She's very weak right now, and if she catches a cold or gets an infection..." The blonde trailed off. Hakuro heard the underlying words.

She'll die.

Urotori continued. "My knowledge of medicine is limited, and there's only so much that I can do to help her." Hakuro laid a hand on her shoulder.

"We'll think of something." He tried to make his tone light, but the sound was forced. Urotori's light blue eyes met his darker ones.

"Lord Hakuro. We have to be prepared if she..."

His eyes narrowed. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. If we get to it." Urotori frowned as he brushed past her.

"Lord Hakuro-"

Pausing, he turned, eyes blazing. "I will not give up on her, Urotori. I cannot." He closed the door behind him. Aruruu was fast asleep at Eruruu's side, her hands still clasped around her sister's. Kneeling, Hakuro soaked the cloth in the water and laid it across Eruruu's forehead. His fingers brushed her cheek. Why did this happen? Am I still being punished? "Eruruu..."

He'd already lost so much. His wife, his child...but that had been another lifetime. In this one, he'd been found by Eruruu and given a second chance - a chance he tried so hard to protect, to keep within his grasp. But the way it looked right now...he felt like he was losing Mikoto all over again. His hand found Eruruu's other one, and he gripped it.

I can't lose you. His eyes scanned her face. Please.