Title: The Road Beneath Us as Sky
Slight AU, and F/F content.
A/N: Somehow I managed to get this written for the Yuri Challenge back in 2010, but I never posted it anywhere else. I think I can safely blame my knee injury for this. Here it is though. Bolded lyrics are from Falling is Like This by Ani Difranco, poetry is mine. I'm pretty sure I used this spelling for Touru's name because that was how it was specified for the challenge.
I dreamt of you and I
We walked the Heavens
Explored the sky
I showed you constellations you'd never seen before
Kissed you near Libra and tipped the scales towards war
I dreamt of you and I
We walked in the Heavens
And then we fell from the sky
You into the ocean, swimming an endless sea
And I fell to flames, shackled, never again free
Touru woke from her dreams, not with a start but with a sigh. They were always the same, or followed a singular theme. In some ways they seemed to be mere warnings, but somehow Touru knew that they were truths. She had a destiny that awaited her. It was, as far as she could tell, unavoidable, permanently etched in time. She took a deep breath and sat up in bed, tossing away the blankets and sheets, suddenly aware of the pressing heat of the summer night. Then she slipped out of bed and into a pair of jeans and a tank top, finally escaping her room for a midnight stroll.
It had been only a year since she had left home and traveled to Tokyo. She changed her name and enrolled herself in high school there. It was where she had to be. It was where her destiny would start to take shape, and the prophecy of her roll in the future was marked to begin. When she had started there wasn't a question in her mind about what she was going to do or what would happen to her. She had been told and seen the signs, being a member of the Magami clan Touru understood that it wasn't just about destiny, but duty. It was her duty to be the shadow sacrifice for someone important, and that someone important would be her son.
She stopped at a park to try an imagine it. Looking up to the sky for a guiding star or perhaps further sign that the path she was on was inescapable. The lights of the city colored the sky though, and no light from the heavens could break through save the silver light of a crescent moon. It was waxing, and so it was a good time for wishes and gaining, though in truth she felt more as if she were losing.
Continuing on her way she walked through a familiar neighborhood and stopped to stare up at a house she knew well, the house of her best friend. The house that her best friend would soon be leaving, at least, she would be once Touru asked it of her. And it was there at that task Touru finally found herself at odds with her destiny. It was there, as she realized what all that prophecy was asking of her, that she questioned the reasons why it all had to be so set, so permanent.
Touru gritted her teeth and shut her eyes as she leaned into a tree, crossing her arms loosely about her waist. Everything had been easier to deal with when it had just been her life and her path that was planned and set. She knew in an offhanded way that she would have to find someone who would willing be her shadow sacrifice, but it was easier when that person was a far away variable and not her best friend. More than just her best friend even, Saya was her lover, her love. She couldn't imagine loving anyone else as much or as deeply.
She stepped away from tree she was leaning on, and began the walk back to the house she was staying in. Then she shook her head, and jumped up to catch one of the sturdier branches of the tree, pulling herself into its limbs, and climbing up so that she could reach the roof of the house. She carefully walked along the roof and sat by Saya's window, rapping on it lightly, and then waiting.
The curtain pulled back, and she smiled sadly as she met Saya's sleepy and inquiring face. Saya then returned the smile warmly and slid the window open.
"Are you trying to be like Romeo," Saya asked as Touru entered the room.
"I couldn't sleep and it was…" She shook her head and then said, "I needed some fresh air and ended up here."
"Funny that," Saya said in a playful lilt as she shut the window. She held out her hand and said, "Get those jeans off and come to bed."
Touru nodded. "Would you really want to be my Juliet, Saya? She didn't have a happy end."
"I think it depends on how you look at endings. Besides, you know I'd do anything for you, even-" She let the kiss cut her off and kept the thought to herself. It was something that didn't have to be said again, but sometimes she felt the reminder was in order.
I'm sorry I can't help you, I cannot keep you safe
I'm sorry I can't help myself, so don't look at me that way
We can't fight gravity on a planet that insists
That love is like falling and falling is like this
Touru dreamt that she and Saya were in the country. They sat under a large cherry tree that was full of pink blossoms, and as the wind would pick up the blossoms would scatter across the grassy hill, collecting in small piles like snow. The sky was blue and cloudless, and the sounds were only the low buzz of insects and the occasional bird.
Touru had never had a dream like that before. It was almost too wonderful. She felt as if something dark should try and intrude upon it. Something that would serve as a reminder of the future she knew she could not escape. And because she began to think it, the dream faded, and she found herself alone on the same hillside. Saya was no longer at her side, the grass was brown, and the cherry tree was dead.
"You have a serious problem with happiness," she heard a voice say. "Do you enjoy being miserable? Angst is something you find pleasure in?"
She looked around and saw nothing at first, but then realized that there was a bird sitting in the limbs of the tree. It was a large blue bird that bore the shape of a raven.
"I mean, I thought the idea of living in peace might be something you might like to experience," the voice said again, and Touru was suddenly very aware that it came from the bird.
The bird peered at her and then said, "I don't understand any of you. Why accept this?"
Touru looked out and noticed that the dreamscape had changed. It was a vision she had been shown before. It was the end of the world, and Tokyo was nothing but a vast desert filled with concrete ruins. She stood up and crossed her arms over her chest. She looked back at the bird, except that it wasn't a bird. It was a young woman with long black hair, or, rather, she was turning from being a bird into a young woman. The young woman sat in the tree as if it were a throne.
"It's a depressing dreamscape," the young woman said. She looked about Touru's age, but she may have been a little younger. "So, this is what you accept?"
Touru shook her head. "No, I…I mean, I was told this was a possibility but-"
"But this is what you always go back to." She touched a finger to her lips and with a shrug said, "Or this."
The scene changed and everything was suddenly engulfed in flames.
"But the worst one is this." And the scene changed again to a room covered in blood with a large sword standing on end where a person might have once been.
Touru shut her eyes and then nodded. "It's… It is destiny. The final battle is coming, and there is-"
"Why can't you?" The young woman asked and slid off the tree. She touched the ground and looked over at Touru sharply. "Why does it have to be this?"
"Because I'm supposed-"
"But you don't even want it, do you?" She put her hands on her hips and the dreamscape went black. "Do you want to be the mother of Kamui?"
"Forget that then, and wonder why it has to be you?"
The young woman shrugged. "Look, Touru, I'm not a seer. I merely walk through dreams, and I can manipulate them how I like. I like it better that way. I like not knowing, and being able to change my mind, make my own road."
"Some things are fixed. They can not be changed."
"There's always a choice."
Touru nodded, "And I've made mine."
The young woman shook her head. "Look, out there. You see that road?"
A long path stretched out in the distance, a long country lane.
"That road is your life, but see right here? Right here, is where nothing is settled. Nothing is written in stone, and the path breaks away into many choices. But the main choices are these." She stepped in close to Touru, and placed a hand on her shoulder pointing with her free hand at two paths. One was open and clear, and the other hazy and unclear. "One road is the future everyone seems to want to be true. It's clear and unwavering. There is no doubt about what happens there. You become Kamui's mother, your lover dies in your place, and you die in flames."
And as Touru looked down that path she saw it all, and knew it to be true.
"But this road," the young woman said and pointed down the other path, "is also true. It's hazy because no one has accepted it yet. It's a possibility. It could be your future."
"I don't know what's down that road. It could be worse."
"It could be better." The young woman stepped away from her. "I've never understood people who don't fight for their freedom, and allow what they call responsibility or duty to dictate their lives. Maybe you can explain it to me. Maybe you can tell me why the end of all things has to start now at this time."
"Because-" But Touru didn't have an answer. She shook her head, "I feel like I'm being tempted by the devil."
The young woman chuckled. "Well, I'm not sobad as that, but maybe this is what the devil is. Maybe the devil is just a choice, one path or the other. I just thought I'd bring it to your attention that you have one."
"You have a choice, Touru Magami. You can choose the grand destiny, and all the death and darkness it brings with it. Or you can choose to walk away, and it's quite possible you still end up with death and darkness, but at least you'll have tried."
"Who are you?"
The young woman smirked and began to turn into a bird again as she said, "I'm no one, yet, and I'd like to stay that way."
Touru blinked and stared down the diverging paths until she woke.
The crickets sing the summer heat
They tell of the warmth of the coming day
And you and I listen carefully under a star filled sky
Making wishes and sharing kisses that we might never part
Loving you wasn't so hard to do once I listened to my heart
For though you see our future written solidly in time
With all the good, the bad, and the bitter end making you go blind
Look in my eyes and ignore the call of Heaven's grand design
Yes, gaze in deep, and seek to keep what I know is true
No matter the road, the end, or the fall the journey is worth cost
The cost of loving you
It was hardly the country side, but Touru felt oddly content to sit under the cherry tree in the park with Saya nestled in her arms. The grass was green, and the tree was green as well, the blossoms having long since fallen to the ground. She shut her eyes as she listened to Saya talk about her day. A familiar name came up, and she was suddenly jolted into reality as foretold destiny stared back at her from the dark corners of her mind.
"He's kind of cute though," Saya said.
"Who is," Touru asked.
"You know, Kyougo." She grinned and said, "You haven't been paying attention to a thing I've said."
"No, I just…I just missed the name."
Saya shook her head. "Anyway, he asked me out again. He's a nice guy. Really sweet, but I had to tell him-"
"Yes." She turned slightly so that she could look up into Touru's eyes which seemed darker than usual for a moment. "Touru?"
Touru sighed and shut her eyes. This was it. This was the moment. This was where it was all supposed to start and she was supposed to say, Tell Kyougo, 'yes', next time he asks, but what she said was, "I'm glad you turned him down." She hugged Saya tighter.
"Well, why would I say yes," Saya asked. "I love you."
"I know you do, but I just… I just…" Her brow knit together in thought. "Hey, Saya?"
"Yes? Are you sure you're alright?"
"I'm fine, I just have something I want to ask you and I'm…" She trailed off and shook her head. "Would you run away with me?"
Saya shut her eyes. "Where to?"
"Sure. I like the country. But," she paused and sat up a little more and brushed back a few loose strands of Touru's hair as she asked, "What are you running from?"
"I'm not running. It's just the same thing that brought me here is calling out there."
"What did you come to Tokyo for?"
"To meet my destiny," Touru replied. "But I've met you, and I want to show you the stars. You can't see them properly down here."
"You're a strange woman," Saya said fighting back tears as she pulled Touru towards her and kissed her deeply. "I'll go wherever you want."
"I know," Touru said.
Perhaps, the world will catch us up
As we fall from the heavenly sky
Perhaps, the world will punish us
For daring to keep soaring so high
And, perhaps, though we fall and plummet so fast
Perhaps, though destiny clips our heels
We will find we have wings on our backs
We will find we have power more real
And in the face of prophecy, destiny, and fate
We can do what many forget
And walk down a road only we can make