Hi! Another 'What if' fic by Shadow… this plotbunny just wouldn't leave me alone! *Cries*
Disclaimer: Fushigi Yuugi belongs to the almighty Yu Watase-sama! *Bows*
Synopsis: What if it was not Nakago who found Yui, but Tomo? That would change the storyline around. Right?
Note: For purposes known only to the authoress, Tomo will be wearing feminine clothing and no makeup for a good portion of this fic. Please bear with me.
Note 2: Since this is an AU, I won't have Tomo madly in love with Nakago. Soi can have him. I'm not saying I don't like Nakago x Tomo, since I'm writing one of those right now, but I want to give Soi a chance too…
Note 3: Tomo-chan is shy! That factor will be played on.
Illusions and Allusions
Yui blinked her eyes and the spots of dizziness finally disappeared. Where was she? Well, wherever it was, it was most definitely not Tokyo, or anywhere in Japan, for that matter. * Does this mean that I've been taken into the book like Miaka was? * She wondered.
She stood up slowly, wrapping her coat more tightly around herself. Then, she started looking around. This … place did not look very friendly at all.
Tomo frowned as he felt something tugging along his chi, in the direction of the city. It was quite insistent, like a buzzing fly, which wouldn't hurt you, but was awfully annoying. Finally, he decided to go and check. He glanced at his reflection in the mirror and grudgingly removed his makeup, since he didn't want to be recognized. He also changed his flowing opera robes into a much more comfortable, older costume, that of a court lady. Satisfied, he set out to look for the disturbance.
Tomo hurried along the streets of Kutou, as the feeling became more intensified, more urgent. Now it was much worse than the butterflies he sometimes got in his stomach before going on stage. He suddenly found himself wishing that he hadn't taken off his makeup and opera clothes. At least then he would feel more confident.
When he finally stopped, he noticed that he was in one of the poorer sections of Kutou's capital. And judging from the looks several of the men on the streets were giving him, it had not been a very good idea to dress like a woman. With a resigned sigh, Tomo produced one of his shells, just for protectional purposes. The feeling was intensifying strong now, and as he turned the alley, he saw the reason why.
Five men had an unconscious young girl on the ground, and from the look of it, were preparing to rape her. Tomo clamped down on his nausea and faced them. She was glowing with a pale blue light, and Tomo suddenly knew why he had been drawn to her. This girl was undoubtedly the Maiden of Seiryu, and it was his duty to protect her.
"Let her go." He said.
One of the men laughed. "Oh look, her older sister is here to help her. How sweet, we can have two for the price of one. It must be our lucky day!"
Tomo gritted his teeth and pointed his clamshell at them. "Let her go!" Blue chi shone from the shell, taking the form of vines, which bound three of them tightly. The other two had recovered from their initial shock. Dropping the Maiden, they turned to him and drew out their weapons.
"There's only one, come on!" One told his companion as he charged, a dagger in one hand. Tomo gracefully sidestepped the clumsy lunge, before plunging a sharp feather, which he just happened to have on him, into the man's heart, ending his life. The second one was slightly more wary and unsheathed his throwing daggers, sending three in Tomo's direction.
Tomo didn't even blink as a blue chi shield fell into place around him. He calmly buried the last man under a pile of rocks, before walking over to the prone figure of the Maiden and picking her up. Then, he teleported back to the palace.
Yui groaned when she awoke. Her head hurt like hell, pardon the language. She blearily opened her eyes and noticed that she was not in her room. The blue and gold tapestries as well as the dragon-festooned marble frieze definitely didn't fit. She noticed that the bed was very comfortable, though, and wished she didn't have to get up. Another glance around the room confirmed the fact that there was someone else in there with her, however. She seemed to be asleep though. * Probably a maid, * Yui thought. * I guess that means I've been sucked into the book just like Miaka was! *
Then, a darker flash of memory hit. * Oh my god! Those men! They… oh my god! No! Miaka, how could you do this to me?! * She began to shiver and finally fell off the bed with a loud crash. She sat up dazed, and rubbed her head. * Owowowowowowowowowow! *
Tomo jumped. He hadn't meant to doze off; Nakago-sama would kill him if any harm came to the Maiden! He walked over to her and helped her stand. "Are you okay?" He asked in concern, after seeing no visible bruises. He had been forced to send her… obviously otherworldly clothes off to the palace tailors for repair, so she was dressed in a pale blue robe instead, although her undergarments were still in place.
"Who are you?" Yui asked. "And where am I?"
Tomo put her back on the bed. "I am Seiryu no shichiseishi, Tomo." He said with an elegant bow. "You are in Kutou imperial palace, Maiden of Seiryu."
Yui blinked. "Wait a minute. You must be mistaken! I can't be anybody that important!"
"Oh, but you are." Tomo told her smoothly as he poured some tea for both of them. "You're the girl of the legend, who will come from another world to save Kutou in its time of peril."
Yui blinked. * Isn't this what happened to Miaka? Except that she became the Maiden of Suzaku? *
Tomo handed her a cup of tea. "Here. You must be thirsty." Yui gratefully sipped the hot – and to her surprise, sweet – tea. She took a few swallows.
"Thank you." She said in a soft voice. "For rescuing me, I mean."
Tomo smiled. "It was my duty as a Seiryu no shichiseishi, Miko-sama."
Yui was about to say that she was not Seiryu no miko, when she realized that she didn't really have any reason to deny it. After all, if they thought she was an imposter or something, she would probably get killed. But still! After what had happened to her in that alley…
"What happened to me?" Yui asked. "I only remember fainting…"
Tomo looked uncomfortable. Nakago had told him to befriend the miko, so she would accept her duty, but he also wanted to be able to manipulate her, and part of the plan was to explain how she had been attacked.
"You were… attacked." He said. That was true, to the point. He would let her interpret it in her own way. "It is best not to think about it."
Yui looked at him curiously. "But…"
"I know it is painful." Tomo told her, furiously clamping down memories of his own childhood. "But it is better to forget this."
"How can I?" Yui asked angrily. "Miaka did this to me! I was always there for her when she needed help, but when I was in trouble, she never helped me!"
"So you think this is all her fault? Who is this Miaka?" Tomo asked.
Yui scowled, feeling jealous as she remembered reading about Miaka's adventures and her budding romance with Tamahome. "Suzaku no miko…"
"Indeed." Tomo hid his surprise rather well, as he smiled to himself. Nakago-sama would have to be informed of this fact.
"Was she your friend?"
Yui's eyes filled with tears. "She always claimed to be my friend, and I believed her. After all, she never let me down. She was always there for me, by my side. She was like the sister I never had! I never had anybody for me, my parents were always gone, but I had Miaka. But now… I'm not sure. Maybe she still cares for me." Yui wanted to hope that Miaka still remembered her, but this recent betrayal stung her to the core.
Tomo looked uncomfortable, but he quashed the feeling and took Yui into his arms and let her cry herself out. As she cried, Tomo mused. If they could just convince her that her friend had abandoned her, which might prove difficult, then she would agree to her duties. It was all very simple, if you played it right.
"I shall bring you some food now, miko-sama. You must be hungry." Tomo said, as he turned to leave. Yui nodded. Right now, she was too stressed to deal with being Seiryu no miko, she would decide about that later. She sipped some more tea, as she thought about Tamahome.
It wasn't fair! Miaka always got everything! She would forever be the center of attention, and she had guys falling all over her right and left! Yui really tried not to care, but it was getting harder and harder. At least Tomo was kind to her, so far. She seemed nice.
A few minutes later, Tomo returned with a tray of food. Yui just picked at the rice, until Tomo pointed out that starvation was a very painful mode of death. Yui grimaced, but ate with a better appetite.
"Can you stay here with me tonight?" Yui asked, unexpectedly.
Tomo looked startled. "Miko-sama, it is only early afternoon."
"I know, but I need someone to stay with me. I always hated being alone." Yui said truthfully.
Tomo considered. "I could always find one of the maids to stay with you."
Yui blinked. "A maid? But I'm nobody special. I'm just a junior high student!"
"You are Seiryu no miko." Tomo reminded her. "Although the Emperor shall be kept ignorant of that fact until the time comes."
Tomo grimaced. How naïve was this girl, anyways? He wasn't about to tell her about Nakago's experiences, though. He chose his words carefully.
"The emperor is not exactly a good ruler. He spends his time in merrymaking instead of governing like he should. This is why Kutou is so war-torn and poor. That is the reason why we, the seven seishi of Seiryu, along with all the people, have waited for the arrival of the Priestess of Seiryu, to release us from this fate." Tomo said.
Yui was so shocked that you could have knocked her over with a puff of air. However, she soon recovered. "So it's like a third-world country or something like that. How awful!"
Yui shook her head. "Never mind. Very well, I will think about taking on my duties as the priestess of Seiryu." It didn't seem like a bad idea. After all, she would be helping people, right?
Tomo smirked inwardly; he still knew which buttons to press. So he took her by the hand and led her into the shrine.
As soon as they stepped in, Yui gasped in delight. She suddenly felt energetic and carefree, waves of energy washing over her tired body and giving her new strength. The darkened corners shimmered with blue light, reflecting over everything. She stood, awed, before Tomo finally led her outside again.
"That was…incredible." Yui breathed.
Tomo looked at her curiously. Apparently Seiryu had chosen her. "That was Seiryu's power. He has chosen you as his miko." He reached inside one of his pockets (how he managed to sew those into a dress is anyone's guess) and produced their copy of the 'Universe of the Four Gods'.
"This is the sacred scroll that shall be used in the summoning. Until then, please take care of it." Tomo said, bowing as he presented her with the scroll. Yui got flustered and quickly dragged him to his feet, no easy feat!
"You don't have to kneel to me!" Yui said nervously. "I just want somebody as a friend, not a servant!"
Tomo shrugged. " As you wish. Shall I escort you back to your room now, miko-sama?"
"Yes please. I feel… tired." Yui confessed. Tomo led her back to her room, before closing the door and reassuring her that he was right next door if she should need help.
Tomo returned to his own room and closed his eyes as he probed along the chi in the palace. Nakago-sama?
Yes, Tomo. Do you have anything worthwhile to report?
Tomo cringed. How could Nakago be so heartless? Well, I think she trusts me now. She has also adopted her duties. However… she still trusts her friend.
That could be a problem. Try and undermine her trust, you know how to do it. We still have time. Suzaku no miko has left this world and has not returned yet.
Yes, Nakago-sama. Tomo finished his conversation and then fell asleep.
End part 1!