DISCLAIMER:  I do not own MKR or any of its characters.  CLAMP does.  This plot is a product of my imagination.  I did not steal it and you shouldn't either.

HIKARU'S STORY

By bishounen lovah

Chapter 1

A young red haired woman tapped on the glass much to the irritation of the nurse inside the hospital's nursery.  Hikaru just grinned sheepishly at the other woman who went on to tend to a newborn who was woken by the former's insistent tapping.

"Really, Hikaru, can't you read the sign?"  Umi rolled her eyes in exasperation.  "It says 'NO TAPPING'.  I can't believe you managed to graduate from high school with such meager reading skills."

"Mou, I saw it.  I just couldn't help it.  Those babies are all so cute."

"Speaking of babies, have you seen the one we're looking for?"  Fuu peered through the window again.

It had been five years since they got back to Tokyo from their memorable adventures in Cephiro.  They went on with their lives, managing to remain best friends despite them living far from each other and going to different schools.  In a way, they needed each other in order to keep themselves from suffering depression.  In all appearances, they were happy, normal girls but deep inside lay the sorrow of having to leave behind their friends and loved ones in that mystical land.

But they couldn't do anything about it.  They tried to go back to Cephiro at least a hundred times but it seemed that the gateway was permanently closed.  So they drew strength from each other.  After graduation they decided to go to the same university and rent an apartment for themselves.  They weren't completely happy but they were coping as best as they could.

None of their families noted about their subtle changes as compared to their first homecoming.  That was how good they were at pretending.  But they could say that something good was brought out by this (aside from their blooming friendship).  Since the three were best friends, their families had to meet at one time or another.  That's when Fuu's sister and Hikaru's second brother fell in love with each other.  A year ago they got married and now Kuu just delivered a baby boy.

"Sugoi!  I never thought there are lots of babies being born," Hikaru gushed on as they went on walking past the long window.  "Imagine all of these babies were born just this week.  And next week there'll be a new bunch of them."

"Thank you for the brief lesson on population growth.  No wonder I can't walk in the streets of Tokyo without being bumped or dragged."  Umi replied dryly.  "Ne, Hikaru, imagine this one.  Ten years from now...Hikaru?  HIKARU?"

The blue haired woman (in chibi form) turned her head from side to side with her hands on either waist.  The bespectacled brunette behind her (also in chibi form) let out a soft giggle before tapping her friend on the shoulder and pointed where the missing Hikaru disappeared.

"Mou!  I swear that woman has the attention span of a pre-schooler," Umi let out an exasperated mushroom bubble sigh.

"Hai.  I'm sure she and our new nephew would get along quite well."

"Good thing little Kaoru will have a sensible aunt like you to keep an eye on him."

"Not only that.  He also has another aunt that will look after his Aunt Hikaru."

"Oh no you don't.  Don't drag me into your mess."

"Aw, come on.  Admit it.  You like the idea of becoming Aunt Umi not to mention twisting Hikaru's ear when she gets too rowdy."

Umi didn't have to answer that.  Fuu was right.  At first she had felt left out when Kuu and Masaru married.  Hikaru and Fuu were now related to each other.  But nothing had changed, much to her relief.  And now that the baby had come, they were willing to share him with her, responsibilities and all.

They may not be sisters by blood but they were definitely sisters by heart.

The two turned left and saw Hikaru staring into the window of the last neonatal room.  She was not tapping on the window, much to their relief.  Instead she had her palm and forehead flat on the glass.  They quickly joined her, knowing full well what or rather who she was looking at.

"Shidou Kaoru, I presume," Umi said.

"Isn't he cute?"  Hikaru whispered in awe as she watched the blue bundle yawn.

"Look how tiny he is," Fuu piped in.

"Tsk tsk.  Poor child.  Of all the things he could inherit from Hikaru, he had to get her height."

"Nani!"  Hikaru managed to remove her pasted face from the glass with a pop.  "Who are you to make fun of my height?"

Since their return, Hikaru's physical attributes had developed.  Her curves, which were almost nonexistent before, were, uh, curvy...almost voluptuous but not as voluptuous as Caldina's or Alcione's.  Her face no longer held childish features instead had developed into a mature woman's.  And her height, well, she was now the tallest among the three...two inches taller than Umi and three than Fuu.

But even if she looked every bit of a woman, Umi still teased her and Fuu rarely did anything to stop her.  It was probably because she still acted like a kid.  It was a habit she couldn't get rid of.  With all of them pining away because of their missing loved ones, she had to remain the clown, the happy one for her friends' sakes...and hers too.

Hikaru was about to retort at Umi but saw that she was already filming Kaoru with her camcorder.  "Oh look, he's awake!  He's got green eyes.  It seems he's got more from your family, Fuu."

"Not really.  I think he's got Masaru's nose and mouth," Fuu replied.

"Not to mention your height," Umi added.

"Would you cut it out with the height thing already, Umi," Hikaru whined.

They stayed for fifteen more minutes, alternately saying how cute the baby was and filming him.  When Kaoru went back to sleep they decided to show the tape to their families in Kuu's room.  They were about to round the corner that led to the patients' rooms when Hikaru stopped.

"You guys go on ahead.  I want to look for something first."

Before the other two women could protest, the redhead had already dashed off in the opposite direction where the elevators are located.

"What's that all about?"  Fuu wondered aloud.

"We'll know soon enough," Umi just shrugged.

~Twenty minutes later~

Hikaru emerged from the gift shop at the ground floor of the hospital.  She had this funny urge to buy something for the baby.  His parents had already filled the baby's room at their home with various stuffed toys and the one Hikaru bought probably would not make an impression.  She was glad she went with her instincts though for inside the paper bag was a cute fluffy stuffed animal that looked suspiciously like Mokona.

At first she thought it very weird but then again the white toy was perched among other weird stuffed animals from Pokemon and Digimon.  At least the 'Mokona' toy was the most straightforward among the others since it just looked like a nose less, overweight white rabbit.

Mokona, she thought wistfully.  The creator was just one of the many things that she missed in Cephiro.  She thought that the longing would diminish in time but it seemed that the opposite was happening.  She missed the beautiful scenery Cephiro had to offer, the friendly people occupying it as well as those inhabiting the other countries.  She missed the fluffy Mokona seeking warmth in her arms and even the 'puu' sounds that Umi found so annoying.

Most of all, she missed the one person who ever really mattered to her.  She regretted leaving him but she knew that she could never live a peaceful life in Cephiro for she would certainly miss her best friends and her family here on earth.

It was a no win situation.  Wherever she chose to be, she ended up missing someone.  At first she harbored the hope of being able to go to Cephiro for short visits.  But when they couldn't transport themselves back there she had to admit defeat.

She couldn't have both worlds.  All that could be done now was to move on with her life and treasure the memories of her lost love.

A sudden high-pitched scream brought her out of her reverie.  Looking around the hallway, the first thing she noticed was that she was on the wrong floor.  She was too preoccupied to notice where she was going.  She was about to backtrack when the door to her right opened and a child's cries could be heard clearly above the grown-ups' soothing voices.

"Come on, sweetie.  Don't scream like that.  You'll wake the patients."  The nurse crooned at the girl who had a death grip on the doorknob.

"We'll come back tomorrow, I promise.  But right now we have to go back home and let him rest."  The other woman tried to pry the girl's hands from the door and pulled her towards the hallway.

"No!  I want to stay!  I want to wait for 'niichan to wake up!"

"Hush."  The woman's voice came out in warning.  The girl just shouted louder.

Hikaru couldn't help but interfere.  She had a soft spot for children.  Besides, this girl reminded her so much of the one Lantis saved.  The one who gave her the flowers.

She crouched down low in front of the child.  Her sudden movement caused the girl to stop crying and look at Hikaru curiously.  "Hey there."

The girl just went on looking at Hikaru's smiling face.  Seven hiccups later she spoke up.  "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers."

"And it's very good of you to do what you're told.  My name is Hikaru.  Now you know me.  What's your name?"

"Mira."  Hikaru's eyes widened in surprise at the coincidence.  This girl not only looked like that one from Cephiro, they also shared the same name.  She mentally shook her head in an attempt to get rid of the shock.

"Mira.  That's a pretty name.  I had a friend who had the same name."

"What happened to her?"

"We moved away.  She lives in a faraway place."

"Do you miss her?"

"Of course.  Every minute of every day."

"See!  That's why I don't want to leave 'niichan!  I'll miss him too much!"

Hikaru couldn't help but sweatdrop especially now that the older woman was glaring at her for making matters worse.  "There's no need to shout like that, chibi-chan.  You'll see your brother again tomorrow.  Let him rest for a while and soon you'll be able to see him awake and well."

"Will he be awake tomorrow?"

The nurse behind the girl briefly shook her head sadly, clueing Hikaru that the brother in question was in no good condition.  Hikaru gave the girl her gentlest smile.  "We'll see.  Let him sleep for a while to gain strength."

"Oh, okay," Mira sighed in agreement.  "You'll be here tomorrow too, won't you?  I want you to meet 'niichan."

"All right.  I'll drop by in the morning."

"Yay!"  The girl released her grip from the door and threw her arms around Hikaru, causing her to land on her buttocks.  "You'll like 'niichan.  He's nice."

"But will he like me?"

"Of course.  He likes all pretty girls."

"Ahh, so that's why he likes you too."

Mira giggled and did not protest when the older woman led her away.  "Bye, Hikaru-neechan."

"Ja!"  Hikaru did not stop waving goodbye until the girl was out of sight.  She took the nurse's outstretched hand and stood up from the floor.

"Thanks for your help, Hikaru-san.  She's quite a handful."

"Don't mention it.  My friends tell me that I have a knack at reasoning with children because I think like one.  I just hope that her brother would wake up tomorrow."

"Yes.  It's a shame that such a handsome young man would stay in a coma for God knows how long."  The nurse took a step aside to let Hikaru peek at the patient.

What she saw almost made her faint.  Almost but not quite.  Instead she dropped her paper bag and covered her mouth with both hands to keep from crying out.

There lying almost lifelessly on the bed was her one true love.

TBC...

BISHLOV NOTES:

Oi, minna-san!!!  So how do you like my very first MKR fic?  I hope you did like it because my plot bunnies didn't let me sleep peacefully for months until I wrote this down.  Thanks to Firestorm-244 for telling me that Masaru is really the second oldest brother and not Kakeru.  I had already edited this chapter so I'm pretty sure there are no more mistakes.

Thanks to all of you who reviewed already.  I'm glad you liked it.  To those who haven't reviewed yet, please send in you comments and/or violent reactions (so long as they are constructive).