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Rejuvenation
By Eye of Aurora

An incredibly long list of warnings/notes/reminders:
(I do suggest you read them! Sorry they are so lengthy!)

Warnings-


A. First and foremost, this fic CONTAINS SEVERAL SPOILERS!!! If you have not watched beyond episode #33 DO NOT GO ON! I reveal major plot-twists in the next section of Authors Notes and I don't wanna be held responsible for ruining your Fushigi Yuugi experience!

B. Again...this is probably gonna be a lemon/lime fic, yet it is not a Yaoi! Now, believe me, malexmale is my favorite thing in the entire world besides puppies and Final Fantasy 7 and the Mini-Goddess Adventures ending theme song but if you think about it...FY is probably one of the only series out there where EVERY couple works. Figuring this is my favorite anime of all time out of the hundred I've seen, it would probably be expected that someone like me would write another yaoi...but for a reason beyond my realm of comprehension, I find that my favorite couple in general is...

C. Pairings: NurikoxMiaka...yeah I know...a straight couple. If you're a hardcore Yaoi fan (like me...) or a borderline heterophobe (like me!) I'm not asking you to read this, since I'm all for everything out there (yuri, incest, rape, bondage, everything). Please continue if you like the idea of Miaka and Nuriko. Don't get me wrong, I love Tamahome and Miaka as a couple and yes I think they DO in fact belong together, but I can't help but notice that, out of all the men that love Miaka, (counting Hotohori, Nuriko, Amiboshi (in later episodes...not much of a plot-twist) and _ _ _ _ _ _ ( in the OAV's...left the name blank for those who haven't seen them yet-I recommend them, confusing...but very good. The theme song is incredible.) Miaka seems to be closest with Nuriko, outside of Tamahome of course. I think I'm going to use the same format as in Lasting Days...some narrating, and some point-of-view switching (Mostly Nuriko's POV, his sensitive, poetic, almost feminine point-of-view, mind you). I'm gonna try my best to keep everyone in character...I usually try my hardest and I think I've done alright in the past. Considering there IS a lot of regular Miaka/Nuriko conversation. I will also make an attempt to limit over-dramatization.

Notes-

1. Here we go...for those of you who HAVE seen all of or even most of Fushigi Yuugi knows that Ashitare (GO AWAY THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN'T SEEN EPISODE 33!!!) kills Nuriko, correct? Good, onto the next section.

2. Well...let's pretend Nuriko didn't die...as in...the other four Seishi (besides Tamahome and Miaka who were already at Nuriko's side) made it up the mountain in time for Mitsukake to heal Nuriko's wounds. Well, that pretty much would alter the entire story!

3. Alright, so Nuriko is alive and kickin'. Very good for Nuriko fans, right? So they retrieve the Shinzaho before the Seiryu Seven can and temporarily return home for Nuriko's recovery sake. So where's the setting? You guessed it; we're back at Konan.

4. And for the stories sake, so I don't have to explain too much and get off track, Ashitare's wolf-ghost DID NOT steal the Shinzaho out of Miaka's hands! That would complicate my whole plotline! We're back at the palace several steps ahead of the Seiryu Seven and on a short recess, no current threats, got it?

Reminders-

I. Sorry about the slight penname switch. As you should know, I am the same Eye of Aurora who wrote Lasting Days and the temporarily abandoned Infidelity, but my account got screwed up and FF.N would not let me log in, so I made a new account and I'll be finishing Lasting Days on this one unless I get my original account working. I am also now on FF.N Instant Messenger as...uh...Eye of Aurora (I think...)

II. Please review, you know that, right? And I am so sorry for taking so long to finish everything! You must have been lost in my absence! Aha! I'm kidding! (Geeez, how do you spell 'just kidding' in Japanese? I can say it...can't spell it...) speaking of Japanese, I won't use any random Japanese phrases in this story considering anyone should assume they ARE conversing in Japanese anyway...oh yeah...remind me to tell you about a humorous incident in Cape May...

III. I don't own Fushigi Yuugi, Yu Watase does ^_^ She's really friggen cool.

IV. Another thing...*sorry about all this! Lol* Do me a favor? While you are reading this, try something for me. Try to imagine that Kae Araki and Chika Sakamoto are actually speaking (or *adorable* Ruby Marlowe and Melissa Williamson if you watch the English version, I've seen/own both because my partial-anime-fan fifteen-year-old sister refuses to watch subtitles) Pretend you can really see this happening, and make-believe you are watching all the dialogue at the bottom of your television screen in the yellow print, alrighty? I do it for every fanfiction, if really adds to the effect. If anyone wants to take it, please tell me! My friend John told me he read Lasting Days...before I ever met him...on another fanfiction site...I was flattered and pissed at the same time.

V. And please...is there really a need to flame me? I try to please all of you! ^_^ I'm pretty sensitive *sniff* so if you feel you have a legitimate reason to deride my work, I suppose I can let two or three slide...Hope you enjoy this straight...heterosexual fanfiction. ^^;;

Well, that took up nearly a page and a half on Microsoft Word in Verdana Font Size 8...so on with the fic, goddamnit! I have no idea how long this will be, probably a several part-er, and it might not even be a lemon...(but I doubt it) We'll have to see what the future holds for my story. OH YES! It's a bit boring at the beginning...a bit repetitive...but I was taking advantage of the English language and putting the words to good use, so you can skip a bit a head if you want, but if you love the English language as much as I do or if you like my writing style then please, read carefully! It sounds better if you read aloud...most things do. Sorry...let's go.



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Part 1 out of ? - Revival


Warmth.

Everywhere.

Quite a difference from what I recalled. The last thing I remembered physically was a frigid numbness, a lingering dampened blanket of blood-soaked snow. I've never been that cold before, never that dead.

Dead?

That's right...the last actual thought that reverberated through my head pertained to my seemingly inevitable death. I was supposed to die up there. Supposed to die cold and numb. Emotionally numb...

I can remember lying there; the frightened presences of Tamahome and Miaka were represented by deft nostalgic blurs, as though they were actually mobilized memories leisurely drifting out of existence, perishing from my warped line of clouded vision. Yet, I could hear their voices, soft and pleading, bloated with agony and palpable heartbreak.

During the assumed last moments of my life, I had given the jaws of death my acquiescence, my contented permission to take me. Miaka ruined that. In all my life I never saw anyone look so sad, so over-come with grief. That's when my icy surroundings deaden my emotion along with any enduring
g sensitivity residing in the rest of my dying form. I was thankful for that...if I had allowed my sentiment to maintain it's control over my weakening body, I would have struggled desperately to stay alive, to remain locked in a hazy state, staring listlessly at Miaka's slowly fading face, causing myself unbearable pain, which would have reflected in my expression, resulting in further anguish for Miaka. I didn't want that...

For me or for her.

I think she knew that.

I can recall weakly murmuring some inconsequential insults revolving mainly around Miaka's intelligence and eating habits. Why would I waste my breath on a phrase so worthless? I suppose I was proving to myself and maybe even Miaka that I was still cognizant enough to yarn... possessing just enough energy to harmlessly tease and ridicule.

Then I remember begging her for something. What exactly I was asking her for completely escaped my sphere of remembrance. It was nothing of physical composition...just some mindless request that I had spoken while on the brink of unconsciousness.

I do remember, however, the precise moment I lost perception, the exact instant the empty darkness consumed me...

And after that, nothing...


My mind slows momentarily; my frenzied approach began its tranquil descent into a condition of pure remiss. My eyes opened, my eyelids heavier than they had ever been. I dared not to move, not yet, not until my true setting had come into focus.

The primary object that became clear to me was the pallid layers of sheets draped tightly over my body, extending passed my feet. It occurred to me that I was in a bed, in a room. Where? I had a few guesses, but at the current moment, I wasn't too intent on discovering my location on the map.

I tested simple coordination, attempting to lift and wiggle my fingers. I succeeded in raising a hand to brush the presently dull violet bangs from my forehead, and proceeded to rub forcefully at my temples. My head ached, ached like a bitch. Another fun side effect of a near-death experience? Perhaps. I reminded myself promptly never to 'near death' again. It wasn't worth the sympathy and service I was bound to receive the moment another human took notice to my awareness.

I then attempted to sit up, dreading the expected weight of my hair, but it was when the recollection of the dagger I'd put to my tresses only days before my battle with Ashitare entered my sluggish train of thought, and I grew temporarily thankful for that drastic action.

I took this opportunity to glance around, scanning my confines. This was...

My room...

In the palace...

They had taken me all the way back to Konan? Unconscious? On the verge of death? No, my numerous abrasions had most likely been assuaged...Mitsukake must have arrived in time...I'd have to give him my eternal gratitude on the occasion I see him. I then grew grave with guilt, praying silently that they had retrieved the Shinzaho before dragging me all the back here. Of course, I was positive that they had, at least one of them would have brought up the fact that my injury would have been in vain. A foreign sense of peace comforted the increasing turmoil boiling in my stomach. Everything was going to be fine...

The next step in achieving full wakefulness was to endeavor to stand, then put forth a great deal of effort into walking. I decided I'd cover running in another month.

I eased my feet onto the cool, hard floor of my bedroom and progressed, finding supporting my weight on two unstable legs wasn't nearly as difficult as I had originally assumed. I was driven to exit that room!

Taking small, cautious steps, I managed to reach the door, pulling it open with minimal exertion. The familiar hallway and balcony came into focus along with the blinding sunlight, much brighter then the few candles that illuminated my room. Wincing, I moved through the doorway, making my way down the hall to my left, leaning partially against the sturdy walls. I was feeling better already...

Then I heard a voice, soft and wary. A voice I never got tired of hearing.

"Nuriko..."

Miaka...

I raised my head, lowering the arm I was using to shield the blazing daylight. Our eyes met.

My features sagged, softening into an expression of expectation. She broke into a fitful run, her head slightly bowed, salty tears streaming down her saddened face. I caught her as she threw herself into my arm, ignoring the bandages wound tautly around my torso. I hugged her tightly, feeling completely filled despite the distressed tears she shed for me. Any remaining pain vanished, as did any remaining thought. I buried my face into her hair, struggling desperately to gather as much of her as I could as close to me as possible, cherishing her growing body heat, allowing her warmth to sooth my clammy skin. Tears of my own threatened to spill forth from my closed eyes as I breathed in the faint scent of her auburn hair. Unable to speak, I just acted on emotion, refusing to let her go, stubbornly rejecting any notion to loosen my grip.

Miaka was the first to say anything, due to my sudden speech disability.

"Nuriko...I...I'm so glad you're alive. I'm so glad...so glad...I...don't know what I would have done. I'm so glad..." she echoed in a hushed voice, perceptibly beleaguered with abrupt reassurance of my safety and well-being.

"Miaka..." was all I found myself capable of saying. "Miaka..."

She released her firm hold around me and looked up at me, charily studying my face. "Nuriko, I'm so glad you're alive! I thought...I thought I'd never get to talk to you again, or hug you again...or..."

I began whispering a chain of gentle words ranging from "It's okay, I'm fine..." to "I'm glad to see you too, Miaka..." to placate her. I clung to her trembling form, doing my best to alleviate her frenetic crying. I hadn't anticipated her to be so profoundly emotional. It was foolishly unexpected that I would bear witnessed to the poor girl in utter hysterics, lunging at me as though she expected to pass right through my hobbling form. I could feel her continually test my solidity, as if supposing I was merely a figment of her imagination and nothing but a pale phantom, ceasing to essentially exist.

Miaka composed herself, straightening her posture and wiping the excess moisture from her flushed cheeks. She was looking past me, now, beyond my shoulders.

"Are you hungry...?"

I chuckled, crossing my arms in front of me. "Are you?"

"Aw Nuriko, you're already picking on me!"

I gave her a gentle smile, trying not to look too cocky. "I'm sorry, Miaka, I couldn't help myself. Anyway, no I'm not especially hungry..."

Surprising even myself, I pulled Miaka into my arms again, this time, filling the small gap between our bodies with loving sentiment. I figured she sensed this, because I could feel the brief expression of alarm vanish, and I nearly shivered at the fleetingly light butterfly touch of her lashes against my torso as she closed her eyes. "Thank you for caring so much about me, Miaka." I said in a mild tone. After several long moments, she remained sheltered in my embrace.

She pressed her ear against my chest, most likely listening to my heartbeat out of some unknown curiosity. "You really should eat something...you need your strength..." She trailed off, as though something tugging at her line of thought had distracted her from finishing her statement.

I couldn't move. "I have enough strength for the both of us, Miaka..." I replied lowly.

She gently pulled away. "I want you to get some rest. I'm going to tell the others that you're awake now."

I didn't object, and responded by simply turning around to retreat back to my chambers, realizing how inviting sleep began to sound. Within minutes after carefully lowering myself onto the welcoming bed and tucking the thick blankets under my chin, I returned to my state of resurrected slumber.

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I awoke to the proverbial odor of vaguely fragrant candles burning just beside my mattress. Hoisting my weary body into a sitting position, I then grimaced, suddenly beset with a powerful, pulsating pang of hunger.

Before I could actually stand to leave the room, the door swung open, revealing the deranged, unbalanced figure of my Priestess, attempting to carry a tray of what appeared to be my breakfast.

I offered an expression of trivial disclosure. Before any words were spoken, she placed the tray down on the petite oaken table at my bedside, relocating the various candles. I glanced up at Miaka, noticing a small smile play her lips.

"You'd better be hunger now, or I'll be forced to--"

"No, Miaka, you have nothing to worry about, I seemed to have developed quite the appetite since...uh..."

"You first woke around noon, it's pretty late. This is your dinner."

There were no windows in my chambers, so there was no way to determine the time of day without actually exiting the room. I'd merely figured I had slept though the night. Guess not...

"I see..." was my only reply as I began to indulge, silently hoping Miaka herself hadn't cooked any of the food I was about to digest.

"By the way," she began, seating herself on the bed at my feet, "how are you feeling?"

"Alright, I suppose..." I answered, swallowing a mouthful of seasoned white rice.

"Mitsukake wanted to come in later to fully heal all your wounds."

"Tell him I refuse to let him do that. I'm going to recover by myself."

She made a face, "Why would you turn down that kind of offer?"

I raised my eyes to hers. "Simply because the severity of the injury he cured for me MUST have taken a whole lot out of him. He saved my life, and I'm grateful for that, but I can't ask him to exert any more energy into healing the tiny wounds left over. That's not fair."

"Nuriko," she started, a smidgen of irritation dripped from her tone. "Your injuries are still pretty bad, even with the help of Mitsukake's power. If you don't let him help you, it could take a whole other week for the chest wound to close up entirely, maybe even longer..."

"Miaka, did you get the Shinzaho?"

She paused, "Y...yes, we have it."

"Are we in a huge rush? I am going to do this for the well-being of a fellow seishi..."

"We...aren't in THAT big of a hurry for anything...at least we beat the Seiryu Seven up the mountain..."

"Fine, then give me a week."

She stood up abruptly, she eyebrows dropping low above her eyes. "Nuriko, that's totally stupid! Please, just allow Mitsukake to finish the healing process for you!"

"No, Miaka," I replied calmly, "Mitsukake did his part, he saved my life, so now it's my turn to take advantage of my added strength and recover completely on my own."

I heard a small noise that resembled a sniffle. "You're an idiot, Nuriko...that's so absurd...stop trying to be so noble..."

I sighed, trying my damnedest not to sound aggravated. "You're not gonna cry, are you? Come on, enough tears, you've cried plenty for me..."

"Do you enjoy making me worry like this?" she asked in a hushed, quaking voice.

I can honestly say that in all my eighteen years of living amongst the various ranks of the human race, I've never met any who could do the following: There is a Face that only Miaka can make, a Face that any person could succumb to. It is a Face that could penetrate the even most robust layer of emotional barriers. I suppose it wouldn't take much to make this Face, anyone could use this expression, but when I see Miaka with this Face, I suddenly become as gentle and kind and naïve as a four-year-old child, drawn to the sight of an injured little dog. It's almost unfeasible to describe what this Face looks like. There is a self-indulgent pout involved, but somehow she manages to place an adequate amount of distraught sentiment into this credible expression. I literally dissolve and feel the interminable urge to gather her into my arms and never let go.

"Miaka," I said slowly, averting my eyes, "please don't make that face at me..."

She remained silent for a moment, her surly expression lethargically vanishing from her face. "I'm gonna sleep in here...alright?"

I glanced up. "Eh? Why? I'll be alright..."

"I don't care. I'm going to tell Mitsukake you refuse to be cured by his powers and I'm coming back in here. I don't wanna be sleepless with worry. Please, let me stay here?"

Now, here's a secret only one other person knows about. I have fallen in love with Miaka. And whom did I tell this too? Her lover, Tamahome, who of course is a good friend of mine. And if my memory suits me correctly, I believe I confessed my love for Miaka to Tamahome the very evening before my fateful confrontation with that crazed Seiryu wolf-man on the mountain. Why I told Tamahome of all people is beyond me, but something lurking just behind my realm of comprehension allowed me to realize that, despite the irony of the situation, he for some reason wouldn't mind. Irony? That's right. Every other Suzaku warrior contained knowledge of my undying love for His Majesty, Hotohori, the emperor of Konan. As I had said to Tamahome, that was the woman in me. After cutting my hair, I began to feel more and more like a man. I spoke words very similar to these during my conversation with Tamahome at the bar that night when he brought up that fact that he had continued to assume I still loved Hotohori. My reply? I love all of you. I love you, Tamahome, and His Highness, and Tasuki, and everyone. But it was at that moment I really realized that my true object of affection and adoration was none other than the Priestess of Suzaku...stupid, gluttonous, clumsy, unbalanced Miaka, from the Other World.

So, here I am, eating my dinner in bed while Miaka is begging me to stay the night in my room.

A thought then struck me. What would Tamahome think? He had previously teased me on numerous occasions about my feelings for Miaka. And as often as I insisted that there was nothing between us, he continued to innocently taunt.

"Don't you think Tamahome would get the wrong idea?"

"No," she stated very plainly. She almost wasn't acting herself. She didn't give me a chance to respond. Instead, she turned on her heels, and strutted out the door, most likely intent on finding Mitsukake. "I'll be back," she concluded, her words drifting into my room from over her shoulder. She said nothing more.

Alright, no problem. Miaka was just wants hang around my room for the night to avoid any restless slumber, correct? That's all...

So why do I suddenly feel woozy with impetuous anticipation?



End of Part 1 out of ?

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^_^ Alright, there you have it, the first chapter of Rejuvenation. Please excuse any 'chewiness', I'm just hoping it wasn't too...incomprehensible for anyone. I always wanted to write a novel, but my limited ideas always run dry. Thanks for reading so far, and reviews would be very much appreciated. Part 2- Renewal, will be out ASAP. Thanks everyone! And as usual, please forgive any stupid grammar, spelling or punctual mistakes. Oh yeah! Otakon was great! *There was a gorgeous Seifer there (from FF8) I was gonna offer him some lovin' ^_^* Did anyone else go? I was there! I had a blast! If anyone saw a girl on the first day with a black wig wearing an orange jumpsuit (I was going as Kei, from Akira, but my two guy friend who were supposed to go as Tetsuo and Kaneda didn't get there damn costumes in time!) that was me. ^_^ On the second day, I went with a Itadakimasu T-shirt on that I made in Art II last year with my hair down, so I probably looked completely different. Anyway...review, and I'll be back. (Hey does anyone like Excel Saga? Lol I'm listening to the theme song! It's hilarious! Tonzura Koite, minna!!!)