I'll Be There
By Penguine

Author's note: First of all, though I wish I did, I do not own Fushigi Yuugi. That out of the way... This story is a Tasuki x Miaka fic. Die hard Tamahome fans, read at your own discretion. You have been warned. I can't say anymore else I'll spoil it.

Chapter One

Miaka rushed out the door books in hand and buttered toast in her mouth as she bolted to catch the bus. Luck was with her this morning as she reached the bus stop just in time to see it pull over to the curb. There was Taka standing at the curb, waiting to catch his beloved there before they both headed off to school. Miaka gobbled down her toast the rain over to him.
"Taka! I made it! For once I'm here on time!" Miaka said gleefully as he gave him a huge hug and mushy kiss. He chuckled and kissed her back.
"So you did. You'd better hurry else you'll miss the bus anyway," he said giving her a huge hug.
"Okay! Okay! See you later, Taka! Love you!" she said as she gave him one last hug and kiss then ran off to step onto the bus.
"Love you too Miaka. Have a good day," Taka called after her. She grinned and waved back at him then climbed on the bus. The doors shut behind her and with that the bus was off and rolling down the street. Taka sighed happily then turned and walked down the street to where his red Honda Prelude was and climbed inside. He shut the door, fastened his seat belt, turned the key in the ignition, then put it into gear and drove off down the road on his way to campus to start his first class of the day.

Night had fallen on the Konan Empire and slowly the bright almost full moon rose in the sky to bathe the land in its ambient rays of silver. Inside the Mt. Leikaku stronghold, the bandits feasted as they unwound from another successful day of raiding. Three roasted boars provided more food than the men could stuff in their bellies and the keg of sake they stole earlier that day provided fuel for another sake chug-a-lug party.
Genrou and Kouji sat in their chairs in the den watching a fist fight between two of the drunken bandits as they let their food settle a bit in their stomachs.
"Man... this is the LIFE!" Kouji chuckled as he took a drink from his tankard of rice wine.
"Hell yeah! Nothin better!" Genrou said with a sparkling fanged grin and a sort of bad boy glow in his beady amber eyes. Everything about him said that he was having a blast like everyone else in the room, but deep inside...he knew he wasn't.
Ever since Miaka and Taka had returned to Miaka's world and Tasuki to his life and duties at Mt. Leikaku life had been that way. At first, his melancholy was quite visible and Kouji hounded him forever to speak up about what was bothering him. A few times Genrou would throw out a pathetic story like he was just stressed out from business or it was a side effect of the sake or it was the weather or he didn't find something of interest on a raid. Just enough of an excuse the Kouji would back down and leave him alone about it a little longer. But as time went on, Genrou learned how to hide the cloud in his heart behind a cheerful façade much the way Chichiri had done with his mask. And after a while people stopped noticing his depression all together.

Life went on and Genrou made the best of it. He sat drinking his sake and acting like an idiot along with the rest of the group until everyone had either passed out drunk or gone to bed. It was then that he took his leave and stepped outside for a while to be by himself and put his shields down for a while.
Once outside the stronghold, he strolled along a small winding foot path like he did every night and wound up at the edge of a cliff that overlooked the plain to the east that was the better tamed portion of Konan. He took in a deep breath and sighed heavily as he sat down on a rock and leaded back against another rock draping his arms over his folded upright knees. There, he sat quietly looking out over the land as the moon bathed him in silver and a gentle breeze caressed his somber face.
From the day he first met her, Miaka had held a special place in his heart. That was the flame that drove him to fight so hard to protect this girl. Not just because she was the Suzaku no Miko and he was a seishi sworn to protect her, but also because she was the beat in his heart. If something ever happened to her, he would most certainly perish.
For along time, he had fought with Tamahome to try and win Miaka. But eventually, he came to realize she was a girl of a loyal heart. And her heart belonged to Tamahome. Not him. It broke his heart to let her go, but he knew he must. Her happiness was far more important than his. And if it was Tamahome that made her happiest, then by all means, he should be the one to have her. However, now that Miaka had returned to her own world along with Tamahome, who was now Taka, Tasuki couldn't even see her anymore. It was that, far beyond having to forget his own needs for her hers, but not even being able to see her every now and again... not even to say hi... or send her a little something on her birthday... even as a friend.... It was that that was slowly killing him from within. And the fact that there wasn't anything he could do about it scared the living hell out of him.

Miaka sat in her first period class trying her best to pay attention to the teacher despite her stomach's screaming its need for food. She sighed as the seconds seemed to pass like hours and the teacher lectured with no end in sight. Then, suddenly, some strange feeling of foreboding intuition crept into her stomach and began twisting it into knots.
Miaka's eyes widened as she turned her attention inward, trying to figure out what in the name of Suzaku was making her feel so bad. Somehow...something was telling her things suddenly weren't right. Deep in her being intuition told her something really bad had just taken place and a lump formed in her throat. Then, the sound of her teacher's voice drug her out of her reverie.
"Miaka... Are you paying attention? You better not be daydreaming again. Your grades are bad enough as it is. You know very well if you get another failing test grade on your record, you aren't going to be passing this class. Would you like to take it all over again next year? Would you like to be held back a grade and not graduate with the rest of your friends?" the teacher said smoothly with her hands on her hips as she tapped her foot on the floor.
"N-no.. Yamimoto-san. Gomen nasai," Miaka piped up quickly, though her face still registered the extremely bad feeling in her gut. The teacher perceived it as guilt and turned back around to return to the board and her lecture on the Japanese Civil War.

Genrou sat there staring out at the moon and the stars and the land spread out beyond the cliff for an hour or so, then he sighed and slowly stood up. Quietly, he turned and solemnly sauntered back to the stronghold. Inside, he weaved his way through the halls till he reached the room that he and Kouji shared. He pushed open the door, careful not to wake the other bandit and walked in, shutting it quietly behind him. After pulling off his jacket and boots he climbed into bed and tried to go to sleep.

Miaka sat in her seat, trying her best pay attention and ignore the nausea in her stomach and the lump in her throat till class was over. It was all she to do to keep focused on the lecture. Then, two thirds of the way through the hour and a half long class, the intercom bleeped to life.
"Gomen nasai, Yamimoto-san. But could you please send Miaka Yuuki to the office please. We have an urgent message waiting here for her," the lady on the intercom said.
"Hai. She is on her way," Mrs. Yamimoto, replied. The intercom bleeped off. "Make it fast Yuuki. We have some important things to cover today that you can't miss."
"Yes, ma'am," Miaka nodded and quickly grabbed her purse and bolted from the room. Mrs. Yamimoto shook her head then returned to her lecture.

Miaka arrived at the office in record time and tapped the counter to get the receptionist's attention.
"You have a message for me?" she said a little impatiently. The receptionist nodded.
"Hai. There is an officer waiting out front to talk to you. He says it's a matter of urgency," the lady replied.
"Arigato!" Miaka piped then practically ran out of the office.

A minute later, Miaka arrived out front and approached the police officer standing there waiting for her.
"Are you Miaka Yuuki?" he asked as she approached.
"Yes, I am," she answered. "It's... about Taka, isn't it?" she said, speaking the ominous feeling tearing through her deep inside her heart. The officer sighed and nodded.
"Yes. It is. There was an accident a little over half an hour ago. Taka was broad sided by a semi. The driver of the semi was drunk and was speeding. By the time he saw the car and the red light, it was too late." The officer sighed again with sadness in his eyes. "I'm sorry to have to say this, ma'am but... The semi made mince meat of the car. Taka hadn't a chance."
Miaka's eyes went wide as she heard this and tears quickly welled up within them. "He...he's...dead?" she whispered in total shock, trying to deny it yet she knew in her heart it was true. The officer confirmed it by nodding his head. Miaka cringed and shrieked as she realized her worst nightmare had come true. Her screams echoed and reverberated through the air in an icy horrid crystalline way.
Yui was sitting in class a room just next to the entrance hall when she heard her friend's scream cut through the air. Without a moment's thought, she rushed out of the room and made her way outside to see what was wrong.
"Miaka!" she said with a worried face as she rushed to her best friend's side. "What happened? What's wrong?" she spat out quickly.
"It.. it's Taka!" Miaka said gritting her teeth as tears poured from her eyes. Yui blinked.
"What about Taka?"
"He...he...he's gone! Some asshole drunk driver in a semi t-boned the Prelude and...and..." Miaka blurted out then sobbed, unable to finish. Yui gasped and held her friend tight.
"Oh my god Miaka! I'm so sorry!" she said with tears of her own. Miaka shuddered as waves of emotion rushed through her body and her legs gave way. Yui tried to hold onto her but they both toppled to the cement. Yui closed her arms around her best friend as tight she could muster as Miaka screamed and sobbed her heart out.
Yui looked up at the officer who stared at the ground solemnly. "Where do we need to meet you?" she said using her brain as always.
"111th precinct when you get a chance to get over there. Take your time," the officer said. Yui nodded and the officer spun around on his heels, returning to his car and driving away.

End note: I'll try to get more written and posted as soon as I can. As always.... Read and Review. But please be gentle. This is my first time writing a Fushigi Yuugi fic so give me some slack. I also apologize for doing that to poor Tamakins but I've had this idea in my mind for a while and just had to right it. Besides that, life is unpredictable and you never know what can happen next.

Chapter Two

Kouji blinked awake as a stray sound caught his attention. He sat up and looked over at his buddy in the bed on the other side of the room. Genrou growled in his sleep as he tossed in his bed, getting even more tangled up in the blanket and bed sheets. Kouji frowned as look of concern crossed his face.
Ever since Genrou had returned to his duties as the leader of the Mt. Leikaku bandits, he'd been some what different. On the outside he seemed like the normal Genrou, but somehow Kouji knew there was something wrong and Genrou just wasn't talking about it. Kouji tried prying it out of him but eventually gave up when all Genrou will tell him was bull shit. He let Genrou go on thinking that he didn't notice the dullness in the fire-haired bandit's amber eyes anymore. And he had to admit, Genrou had gotten pretty good at hiding it these days. None of the other bandits noticed it. But Kouji knew it was still there.
He knew about Genrou's nightly treks to the cliff. He'd even followed him a few times to check up on him. As happy and cheerful as Genrou was on the outside, Kouji knew there was a secret ache in his best friend's heart that was slowly eating at him. At night, Kouji could see it clearly when Genrou's shields came down as he went off by himself then came to bed to go through another restless night of dreams.
Kouji sighed. He hated having to sit and watch as his best friend pined away. But he knew until Genrou was ready to talk about it, there was nothing he could do.

Genrou was walking threw a thicket late at night. He hadn't a clue where this thicket was. Nothing looked familiar to him. But then again, the places in these nightmare worlds of his never did. He was glancing around, gaining his bearings in this directionless wood went suddenly a tree morphed into a giant monster which growled at him bearing its fangs viciously as slime dripped from its hideous mouth full of razor sharp teeth.
Genrou growled back at the beast and bared his own fangs as he brandished his tessen with a death glare. The monster roared and struck out at him with its huge wickedly clawed hands. Genrou ducked as the "wing" symbol on his right forearm began to glow a fierce red. The monster's hand swiped over Genrou's head, barely missing him. The beast hissed and swiped with its other hand. Genrou leapt into the air with amazing speed and kicked out at the beast's head with his feet. The beast howled as Genrou's feet made hard contact with it's head. As they did so, Genrou pushed off of the beast and back flipped back down to the ground. The second he hit the ground he pointed the tessen at the beast and yelled, "REKKA SHINEN!!!" A raging inferno of flames arced out from the metal fan and surrounded the beast in a wall of fire that then moved inward and instantly destroyed the demon as it screamed in pain.
Then suddenly, the world shifted and warped as the ground twisted and became a swirling black hole that swallowed up everything. Genrou couldn't help but scream as he fell through into the pitch black abyss.

Kouji watched as Genrou tossed restlessly in his bed and was about to get up and wake the bandit up when Genrou suddenly screamed and flipped himself out of the bed. Kouji shook his head and stood up. He padded over to his friend, who was amazingly still asleep despite having hit the hard floor, and bent down. He tried shaking Genrou awake, but Genrou just groaned softly and rolled over. Kouji sighed and put the seishi back in his bed and put the covers back over him. He stood there a moment longer then returned to his own bed.

Tasuki awoke in a bed of sakura blossoms and blinked in the darkness. He was in a world that was pitch everywhere and yet a strand white ambient light filled area immediately around him. The sweet aroma of cherry blossoms filled the air, and more blossoms and petals drifted lazily down in a soft pleasant breeze.
"Where the hell am I?" Tasuki wondered aloud as he sat up and looked around. Then, suddenly, as if on cue, light swirled in the distance and a tall figure emerged from the light. Slowly he walked towards the wide-eyed Tasuki as a strange misty white aura shone about him.
"Who.. who the hell are you?" Tasuki demanded quickly. The figure walked closer till he reached the bed of flowers and the ambient light bathed his body revealing the figure to be none other than Taka.
"You know who I am, baka," Taka said with humor in his eyes and a barely audible soft laugh.
"T.. Taka? What the hell are you do'n here? You're suppose to be with Miaka, dumbass!" Tasuki shot back. Taka closed his eyes and sighed.
"Though we've clashed and had our differences, you're still my best friend. Take care of her for me, Tasuki. Make her happy. ... And let her know that I'm always around even though she can no longer see me," Taka said softly as he opened his eyes again and looked at Tasuki with a serious yet calm serenity so pure it made the fire-haired seishi gasp. Before Tasuki could react, Taka smiled softly and gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze then turned and walked back into the darkness and disappeared with a flash of light.
"What? Wait! Taka!! TAMAHOME DAMMIT!! Come back here and talk to me for the love of Suzaku!!" Tasuki shouted. But it did nothing. Tasuki gasped again as the world shifted again and began to quickly fade.

"Tamahome, dammit!" Genrou swore in his sleep as he tossed in his bed again. Kouji's eyes flew open again and he looked over at his buddy. Then suddenly, Genrou gasped and sat up, instantly awake with eyes as wide as basketballs.
"Genrou! Are you okay?" Kouji said as he sat up. Genrou took a few breaths to slow his pounding heart and straighten out his senses, then he shook his head and looked to Kouji.
"Wha.. huh? Oh. Yeah. I'm... fine.." he said blinking in the astonishment he was left with from his dream.
"Yeah. Sure you are," Kouji scowled pointedly. "You walk around here like everything's happy-go-lucky terrific and yet one looks in your eyes and finds you in a melancholy daze 24/7. You run off late at night and mope then you return to be plagued in your sleep with nightmares that make you talk and scream and toss and turn and flip you out of bed! I tried before to pry it out of you, but you gave me bull shit. So I quit bugging you thinking you'd tell me in time. But no... you just keep it locked up inside and retreat deeper into that hell inside your head and let it eat you alive from the inside out. DAMMIT Genrou! I can't take this much longer! You're my best friend and it's driving me insane watching you wither away to nothing because you're too damn full of it to tell the one person you can trust the most! Now tell me what the hell's going on before I get REALLY mad and decide to BEAT it out of you!" Kouji spat angrily.
"Why tell you and burden you with something that you can't fix?" Genrou growled back.
"Because, you pea brained asshole! That's what friends are here for! Now come on! Spill it!" Kouji replied with a glare. Genrou started to glare back, but the night's events had taken their toll on him. He sighed and let his body flop limply back to the bed as he blinked at the sleep that was so persistent at reclaiming him.

"Tomorrow morning, you and I can make the ride into Souun. I'll tell you then," Genrou finally answered in a soft voice.
"Come on, Genrou! Don't give me this bullshit. I'm not taking it anymore," Kouji retorted.
"It's not bullshit. I promise, I'll tell you tomorrow," Genrou said quieter still. Then he turned over on his side to face Kouji and was asleep the instant his eyes shut.
Kouji sighed heavily and flopped back in his bed. "You'd better, else I swear I'll kick your ass," he said softly then turned over and went back to sleep.

Chapter Three

Yui sat there on the cement walkway a while longer, holding Miaka and rocking her in her arms as she cried. Once Yuuki's tears subsided a bit, Yui brushed a strand of the girl's hair behind her ear.
"Here... let's go inside and grab our things and I'll call Tetsuya to come and get us. We can go out and eat somewhere then go to the precinct when you're feeling more up to it, okay?" Yui offered with a soft smile as she wiped tears from Miaka's cheeks. Miaka simply nodded. "Okay. You just hang onto me and everything will be fine. Take it one step at a time," Yui said softly in a soothing voice. Miaka nodded again and Yui stood up, helping her friend to her feet.
Miaka's eyes stared ahead emptily as Yui walked back into the school building with one arm around Miaka's waist and the other holding Miaka's arm around her waist. Slowly they made their way down the hallways and back to Miaka's first period class. Mrs. Yamimoto was nearing the end of her lecture when the two girls walked in.
"Get your stuff Miaka. Take your time. We're in no rush," Yui said, trying her best to keep her friend calm. Miaka nodded and went about picking her stuff up at her seat, oblivious to the stares she was getting and the death glare that Mrs. Yamimoto shot at her.
"I'm really sorry about this Yamimoto-san. But Miaka's just gotten some terrible news and is in need of some time to cope. I promise I'll make her study up extra hard when she gets better," Yui said smoothly and politely to the teacher. Mrs. Yamimoto looked at her a moment then sighed as she nodded her head.
"You make sure and do that, Hongo-chan. She has a test coming up that she simply must pass if she wants to pass this class," Mrs. Yamimoto answered.
"Of course, sensei. You can count on me," Yui replied with a smile as Miaka returned with her stuff. With that, the two girls left the room, leaving the teacher and the rest of the class in suspense.

Next, the two girls trekked through the halls back to Yui's class. There Miaka stood at the door staring at the floor as Yui apologized to the teacher for interrupting and leaving then grabbed her things and walked back out again. Once Yui rejoined with her friend, she guided the girl along as they walked to a pay phone where Yui gave Tetsuya a ring on his cell phone. She simply said hi then told him to pick up Keisuke and meet her at the school's front entrance. That said, she hung up without further explanation and walked with Miaka out to the front steps to wait.

Fifteen minutes later, Tetsuya arrived in his blue convertible Mustang GT. Yui thanked the two boys for coming as quickly as they did then helped Miaka into the backseat. As soon as she was settled, Yui climbed in and Tetsuya put the driver's seat back and climbed back in. After everyone was situated and buckled in, Tetsuya drove away.
"So... where to?" Tetsuya asked as he drove down the street.
"Yeah, and would someone mind letting us in on what's up?" Keisuke said as he punched the roof button and the top folded down.
"Let's go find a place to eat, then we'll tell you," Yui said calmly. Miaka just sat there staring out the window. Keisuke looked back at his sister with worry then nodded to Yui and turned back around, the concern not leaving his face.

The group found a small eatery with few people inside and went in, finding a booth in the corner. The waitress came and they ordered their food. Yui frowned at the quiet Miaka then ordered cheeseburger and fries for her. Once she had all the orders, the waitress left to fill them.
Tetsuya tapped the table with his palm as he turned to face Yui and Miaka once more. "Okay girls... spill it. What's this all about? What's wrong?" he said with a serious face of concerned inquiry. Keisuke nodded in agreement. Yui looked at Miaka and rubbed her shoulders but the girl said nothing as she simply sat staring at the table. Yui frowned then sighed, deciding to speak in Miaka's stead.
"It's Taka. A police officer pulled Miaka out of class this morning to tell her. Taka was on his way to class this morning when a drunk man driving a semi sped through a red light and broadsided Taka's car." Yui heaved another sigh with a frown and tears in her eyes then spat out the rest, "Taka didn't make it."
Tetsuya and Keisuke gasped in unison. "Oh my GOD!"
"I.. I... don't know what to say," Tetsuya said in shock.
"Oh my god, Sis! I'm SO sorry!" Keisuke said as he got up and walked around the table to kneel and hug her tight. The only response that came from her was a soft whimper.
"This is just.. AWFUL!! Why the hell did... Have they charged the asshole that did it?" Tetsuya asked.
"I'm not sure. The officer said to meet him at the 111th precinct when we got the chance to get over there," Yui answered. Tetsuya nodded.
"Okay, so we'll eat, give Miaka a chance to recharge a bit then head over there, right?" Keisuke said still holding onto his sister.
"That's the plan," Yui nodded. "Unless Miaka has any other ideas. Miaka?" Yui said as she gently squeezed the girl's shoulder.
"That's... fine," Miaka said softly. Everyone nodded and Keisuke sat back down in his seat as the waitress arrived with the food.
After Miaka managed to gulp down half of her meal, she pushed the rest away. "Let's go, " she said simply as she slowly stood up. Everyone else gobbled down the rest of their food then the boys cleaned up as Yui walked Miaka back out to the car.

A little while later they arrived at the precinct. The officer that had met Miaka previously came out to meet them.
"Now, I know this will be hard, but we need you to walk across the street to the morgue and identify the body. Procedure," the officer said. Miaka gasped a bit then nodded. Yui, Keisuke, and Tetsuya nodded after her.
"Okay. Well then, follow me if you will please," the officer said as he escorted them out the door and across the street to the morgue that was on the backside of the hospital.
Inside the morgue, the officer weaved his way through the halls then came upon the room he was looking for and entered. Inside, two whole walls were covered in stainless steel with dozens of large drawers embedded in them. A female technician walked in and the officer asked for Taka's body for identification. The technician nodded and walked over to the back wall and pulled out a drawer slab in the middle of the third row up. She then unzipped the bag.
"You ready?" the officer asked Miaka. She took a deep breath then nodded. The technician then nodded back and peeled back the plastic lid to the body bag.
The moment Miaka saw Taka's pale face, she gasped then collapsed with her arms around his neck. "Taka! Why the hell did you have to go and do this to me! After all we've been through! We fought with our lives to be together!" sobbed as she pressed her head into his neck and hugged his cold lifeless body. The technician wiped a tear away from her eye as she watched Miaka grieve over the loss of her beloved. The officer simply sighed and bowed his head in sorrow.
Unbeknownst to Miaka, nor anyone else in the room, Taka's spirit was in the room, watching Miaka as she cried. Though he knew neither of them would feel it, he placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. "I'm sorry Miaka. I truly am. I never expected this to happen. But then again life is always unpredictable no matter who nor where you are. Don't cry, Miaka. Please don't cry. Be happy and know that I am safe and will always be here to watch over you," he said softly then kissed her cheek again.
Miaka tensed as she felt a soft coldness on her cheek. She gritted her teeth and wiped at the spot with her hand then growled hoarsely as she stood up and bolted from the room as fast as her legs could carry her.
Yui, Keisuke, and Tetsuya screamed out at her in unison and Yui took off after her. Keisuke started to go too, but Tetsuya stopped him. "Yui will bring her back," he said coolly, his sunglasses hiding the worry in his eyes. Keisuke sighed and nodded and the two boys turned the help the officer.

Outside, Miaka bolted down the sidewalk, running as fast as she could go. She knew Yui was running behind her screaming for her to stop, but she didn't care. She just managed to run faster. Finally she reached a park and rocketed across the grass, weaving amongst the trees. It was all Yui could do to keep sight of her as she ran.
Finally, Miaka reached a deserted area of the park amongst a cluster of trees. Once there, she skidded to a halt and screamed up at the heavens, "For the love of life, Suzaku help me!" She panted twice more then wobbled and collapsed to the ground unconscious from exhaustion.

Chapter Four

Genrou and Kouji were jolted awake when one of the other bandits bolted into the room.
"Leaders! Come quick! There's a girl that just appeared out of a red light inside the compound!" the bandit spat quickly.
"WHAT? WHERE?!" Genrou shouted anxiously as he leapt to his feet.
"This way!" the bandit said and bolted back down the hall. Genrou followed hot on his heels.
"Shit!" Kouji cursed as he got out of bed and ran to catch up with Genrou.

A minute later Genrou and the bandit arrived outside in the warm morning light where a group of bandits stood in a huddle.
"Outta the fuck'n way!" Genrou hissed hotly as he roughly shoved people aside. The group instantly backed away to reveal Miaka laying on the ground unconscious. Genrou gasped and was instantly at the girl's side as Kouji trotted out of the main building.
"Miaka! Wake up! Miaka! Speak to me! Say something! Please! Miaka!" Genrou spat quickly as he gently took his Miko into his arms. He could tell instantly that she had been crying cause her cheeks were wet and her eyes were puffy. The instant Kouji saw Genrou fretting over the girl, he knew that is was her absence that had been the cause of Genrou's depression and hoped to Suzaku that her presence here now would cure his friend of the heart ache that had been slowly killing him over the year that he'd been back with the band.
"Okay! Everybody outta my way!" Genrou yelled as he plucked Miaka up into his arms and carried her back into the main building. Kouji quietly stepped aside as Genrou walked past.
"Folks, the main building is off limits till further notice. Go get your pals and get out of here. You have some trading to do in Souun!" Kouji ordered loudly then walked inside as everyone went running off to obey orders.

Inside, Genrou carried Miaka to his room and gently set her down on his bed. After quickly lighting a few lanterns, he returned to her side and pushed stray strands of hair out of her face. "Miaka..." he whispered softly with worried eyes. He started to ask what had happened to her but suddenly, he froze at a thought.
Kouji entered the room and set down a pan of cool water and a cloth. "Here. I thought... What? What's the matter Genrou? You look like you've seen a ghost," he said to his friend with a look of confusion. Genrou blinked and swallowed.
"That's cause I think I have," he answered.
"Spill," Kouji prompted. Genrou looked up at him with wide eyes.
"I... think I know why she's here. Last night... I had a dream... It was different from all the rest. I woke up in a bed of sakura blossoms and a strange figure appeared. IT WAS TAKA!" Genrou blurted.
"Taka... as in Tamahome? One of the other seishi?" Kouji inquired.
"Yeah! He... He said to me that although we've had our differences, I was a best friend to him. Then he said..." Genrou furrowed his brow with a odd look of pain and sorrow in his eyes. "He said 'Take care of her.'" Genrou blinked at Kouji with a look of horror on his face.
"What? You... think he died??" Kouji said going wide eyed. Genrou squeezed his eyes shut and shuttered.
"Yeah. Why the hell else would he give her to me and tell ME to take care of her?" Genrou answered. "Besides... after that, he told me to tell her that he's always around even though she can't see him."
"Wow.." Kouji sighed sadly. "That's... awful. I'm sorry."
"Yeah. So am I," Genrou said with visible tears as he sat down, pulling his legs up tight to him and wrapping his arms around them.

After a few minutes, Yui returned to the precinct.
"What happened, Yui? Where's Miaka?" Keisuke asked the instant he saw her.
"She uh... went to visit Suzaku and Konan," Yui answered.
"She what?" Keisuke said.
"Well... she's still got two seishi there as well as friends in the palace, right? She should be fine. Suzaku always knows what he's doing with her," Tetsuya said calmly. Keisuke and Yui both sighed.
"Yeah. I suppose you're right," Keisuke answered quietly as the police officer blinked at all of them wondering what the hell they were talking about.
"So... what about..." he started.
"Miaka went to visit some friends. She'll be fine. We'll take care of this stuff," Keisuke said to the officer. Yui and Tetsuya nodded.
"Okay. Whatever you say," the officer said with a sigh.

After their conversation had ended, Kouji left the room to do some chores leaving Genrou alone with Miaka. Genrou carefully wiped her feverish face with the cool wet cloth then sat and watched her as she slept.

Two hours later, Kouji poked his head in the room to check up on the two servants of Suzaku. Miaka was still out in Genrou's bed and Genrou had since fallen asleep in a chair beside the bed. Kouji sighed and shook his head with a soft smile. "Genrou, you might actually become a REAL man yet," he whispered softly with a chuckle as he turned and walked away, shutting the door behind him.
A minute or so later, Miaka stirred in the bed and opened her eyes. She blinked her vision into focus and looked around. Her brow furrowed when she found she was in a strange place, then she caught sight of Tasuki snoring softly in a chair beside the bed in which she lay. 'Leikaku! I'm at Mt. Leikaku!' she thought to herself with astonishment.
Then, as she looked at Tasuki again, her mind reminded her of Taka and she sighed sadly as tears welled up in her eyes again. She squeezed her eyes shut and turned over, burying her face in the pillow as sobs overtook her once more.
Tasuki awoke at the sound of her tears and his breath caught in his chest beneath a lump in his throat as he saw his beloved Miaka crying into the pillow. He slowly got up and sat on the edge of the bed then wrapped his arms around her.
"Shhhhh... Miaka..." he whispered into her ear as he hugged her tight. Miaka jolted at first from his touch but then slowly turned around to face him.
"Ta.. Taski... I've got... some bad news," Miaka said. He nodded and waited for her to go on.
"T-Taka...he..." Miaka tried her hardest to say the words her friend and seishi needed to hear. "He was... killed in a car accident," she finally blurted out and hugged Tasuki, crying into his chest. Tasuki gasped slightly then sighed and held onto her as his own tears spilt from his eyes.
"I know," he answered. "He... came to me in a dream. He wants you to be happy. He said he will always be here with you, even though you can't see him," Tasuki said, trying his hardest to keep his own emotions together. Miaka blinked and looked up at him in shock.
"You... you SAW him? In a DREAM? He told you??" she asked frantically.
"Yes. He did. At the time, I hadn't a clue what the hell he was talking about. He just said that and walked off," he answered. Miaka furrowed her brow as she thought about it. "Miaka..." Tasuki continued as he looked at her. She looked back at him. "He... he's okay. He's not hurt anymore. He's at peace. He's happy. He want's you to be happy too," Tasuki told her with a soft comforting voice. Miaka looked at him as she registered his words in her mind. She sighed and buried her face in his chest again.
"But... it's just... so unfair! After all we went through... all we fought... And for what? For him to be taken from me anyway?" Miaka said with a muffled voice as she melted in his embrace.
"Life.. is never fair," he said with a sigh as he thought about his own life and troubles.
Tasuki sat there holding her tight as her tears flowed then slowly began to die down. Finally, her tears subsided and he loosened his hold on her as he looked down at her.
"How about we go find something to eat?" he said softly as he tilted her chin up to face him and wiped her tears away. Though eyes still full of sorrow and grief, she managed a soft smile to him.
"That would be great. I only ate half of my lunch today," she said as she sheepishly looked down at her hands.
"Wow! That IS bad! Well then, let's go find some chow. I haven't even had breakfast yet," he said with a cheerful fanged grin as he stood up. Miaka let out a small laugh and slowly got to her feet. As Tasuki wrapped his right arm around her waist, she started and look up at him with a look of surprise. There was a bit of uncertainty in his eyes but still he smiled to her warmly. She sighed and allowed him to guide her like that out of the room and down the hall. She thought the sweetness Tasuki was showing was extremely unlike him, but right now she needed his support too much to ponder if there was more to his touch than just a friend's comforting embrace.

More to come when Penguine sends it to me!