Disclaimers: The following characters are the property of ZUN.

A/N: So, I'm pretty much stumbling into unknown territory here with Touhou Project of all things. Forgive me if I happen to get any details wrong. I am researching as I go. That being said, I love Keine and Mokou together. This story just had to be written.

A Departure in the Fall

It was autumn when Keine died. The fragile shell that held her soul had gotten old, had finally expired. Mokou took a sip of sake before her gaze traveled upwards. The leaves above were alive with warm colors, a furious explosions of orange and reds contrasting with a cool blue sky. The leaves are too gaudy, Mokou thought dully. Her jaw ached from the set tenseness since she had begun to see the life seeping from Keine's face. But the woman had left with a gentle smile and a soft touch to Mokou's hand. That was three days ago. Or it might have been more; the days passed by in a haze of drink and sleep. Mokou didn't want to go home and she refused to go back to Keine's house. Keine was gone.

She stared at the wide river in front of her. The leaves falling from overhead were gracefully propelled along the path of the river but Mokou knew the currents were dangerous, the river deep and cold.

"So this is where you've been sulking."

Mokou glared at the intruder, her red eyes narrowed, "What are you doing here?" Her voice hoarse from disuse managed to make her words much more menacing but the newcomer smiled blithely. Her long dark hair flowed beautifully as a cool draft of wind whispered through the trees and stirred the leaves.

"I thought I'd keep you company now that your favorite person is gone. Or would you prefer I comfort you in another manner?" Kaguya's voice was sly though her face innocent.

"You-!" Rage consumed Mokou's visage as she leapt towards Kaguya. She tackled the exiled lunarian princess and they both fell, Kaguya on her back, Mokou on top of her. Kaguya's face lit with pain as Mokou's hands wound around her neck and squeezed but she wore a hint of a taunt underneath the pain.

"So, there's still some fire in you," she managed to say. She pushed against Mokou with all her strength and Mokou fell back, her fingers making clawing motions, her movements unsteady. She finally felt the effects of the alcohol now that she was standing. Kaguya began to advance and Mokou took a step back, her jaw set, her gritted teeth exposed in a snarl. Her heel encountered a large rock jutting out of the ground and she was the one to fall back this time on her rear. Kaguya smiled though her burnt umber eyes were unreadable. She dropped to her knees, straddling Mokou who froze at the action. The sake was making her head swim, her vision doubling as Kaguya drew even closer. Suddenly, the lunarian's lips were upon hers. They were so soft but foreign. Pale fingers clutched at her shoulders and Mokou grabbed Kaguya'swrists and tugged them away from her body.

Keine. These are not Keine's lips. This is not Keine's warmth. This is not her scent.



The tears broke free of the dam she kept secured inside and they poured from her eyes down her cheeks without ceasing. "Get off me. Get off me now," she snarled. Gathering her strength she pushed with all her might and sent the woman flying backwards again. Kaguya crashed into a tree, a grunt of pain flying past her lips as her back connected to the trunk. A rain of burning leaves fell from above as a sneer danced upon her lips while she gazed at Mokou.

"I guess it's too soon."

Mokou's heart clenched in pain as the memory of Keine's last smile came to her. "Leave me alone or I will kill you the next time you cross my path. " Mokou growled even as the tears continued to fall. The words were futile however. Kaguya could not die just as Mokou could not die. They were stuck in this endless cycle of violence and hate and a fusion of other unknown emotions. Turning her back to Kaguya she entered the forest quickly disappearing under the canopy of leaves that looked like they'd been set afire.

The mocking smile left Kaguya's lips as she continued to stare into the forest, her lips bent in despair instead.

To be continued...