Disclaimer: Flame of Recca and its characters do not belong to me. I’m merely using them for my own pleasure. Please don’t sue me. Thanks.
A/N: Phew. I had to review some of the chapters back there. Anyway, this has the original chapters 5 and 6. ^^;; Okay, some people are wondering where the heck is the mush between Tokiya and Fuuko...ah well, we won’t get there until the later chapters. I have to let the chemistry work itself out first. BTW, I do feel bad about killing Raiha...but what else would make Fuuko depressed unless the love of her life was taken from her?
R and R please!
Chapter 3: Talk to me
****There was once a young boy gifted with the element fire, who met a young girl who could heal all sorts of wounds and afflictions. The boy was active, lively and would do anything for the girl he met, which he fondly called ‘hime’. The girl returned his love and both were content in living. The boy was occasionally challenged by countless enemies and foes, all wanting to get his girl. So the boy enlisted the help of his friends, who also had special powers. One wielded the power of earth, another---a boy, who could control metal. The last 2 were next to him in power. A tall distant man who was bound to water, seeking revenge for his sister’s death and a tomboyish girl who was destined with wind, eager to prove herself to the world.
After facing hard battles, the team was successful in beating their main enemy. For now, the boy and girl are living contentedly with each other, both planning for their own home. The man who controlled earth and the boy who lived with metal had their own share of good fortune. The tall distant man went away for a while, unsuccessful in his personal mission. As for the girl who loved wind, she met her own destined partner. ****
That was their world, until now. Tokiya sighed and leaned back on the chair he was sitting on. Everyone was right, he mused. So many things changed. Plenty of events took place in their lives. He was no longer a tall, distant man...but a calm and peaceful teenager, still facing life as it was given to him bit by bit everyday...and healing slowly.
The tomboyish girl, however, suffered a great fall. He closed his eyes for a few moments and tried to alter his thoughts and looked at the most recent events, which took place.
He had agreed to meet Yanagi that morning in a small place. There, they talked and discussed what they should do about Fuuko and her depression. Things were going well already until Yanagi suddenly spotted their subject, standing outside getting ready to do something with the aid of a Swiss knife. Tokiya immediately dashed to her, running as fast as he used to during the days of the tournament.
He could still remember clearly everything that he saw when he reached Fuuko. Blood, spilling down her arm, lifeless blue eyes looking dazed and confused and a mouth, which opened to whisper unknown words. He heard himself shouting and shaking the girl’s limp body, urging her to wake up.
But those eyes didn’t open.
He had no choice but to bring her to his apartment with Yanagi. The young healer took care of the gashed wrist in no time, fearing that Fuuko lost a big amount of blood already. She changed the wet clothes on her body and Tokiya lifted her unto his bed. She was still unconscious, but after a while, it seemed as if she was sleeping. Yanagi confirmed this, and Tokiya had to tell her to go home already for healing Fuuko consumed a lot of her energy. Pale and flustered, she protested but Tokiya’s firmness sent her back to her place.
He glanced at the glass doors of the balcony. It started raining again. He prayed that Yanagi got home safely and protected from the cold. He lent her one of his jackets and a big umbrella to keep her from getting wet. Still, he couldn’t help but worry about her.
And Fuuko. She was still sleeping on his bed, holding the covers near to her and looking like a lost girl. Tokiya stared at her for a few minutes and got up from his position to fix the thick blanket around her. She looked like a really small innocent girl; he smiled and gently placed the covers over her shoulders. Innocent, but stupid enough to earn a scolding from him much, much later. He was about to return to his chair when he felt something grasp his left hand.
She was holding unto his hand, her fingers wrapped around him tightly. His eyes widened and he tried to pull his hand away, thinking that Fuuko must be dreaming of something silly. He tugged carefully, but it only caused her to whimper slightly.
“Don’t leave me,” she mumbled, burrowing deeper into the mattress and pillows and tightening her grip on his hand. Tokiya stared at her, and then decided to let her hold him. He pulled his chair closer and sat on it. There was no use in pulling his hand away. She wouldn’t let him. He wondered what she was thinking of at this very moment.
But fatigue decided to eat him once more, and Tokiya found his eyelids dropping uncontrollably. After all that he did to assist Yanagi and save her, his energy was spent in 5 hours. His head leaned over to the pillow, a few good inches away from Fuuko’s and drifted away to a peaceful slumber.
::A promise was broken
And you did leave me.
Now, I’m all alone.
I’m still alone.
You’re not yet back.
I want you back.
I want your arms to hug me.
I want your hand in mine.::
A pair of deep blue orbs opened slowly. Confused and groggy, Fuuko tried to regain her senses and looked around; searching for pieces to fit the current puzzle she was in. She was under warm covers, on a soft bed but she was in a different place. Did someone kidnap her after she fainted at the park? She could only remember so little. She brought up one hand to rub her eyes.
She tried to pull up the other, only to find that it was enclosed in someone’s hand. There, lying beside her was the head of Tokiya, with his eyes closed. It was obvious that he was asleep. She sat up in a crossed leg position, her hand leaving his. Fuuko started to remember what happened...what she did, and who went to her rescue.
Right. She was standing under the rain, getting ready to kill herself. At that point in time, she was tired of life’s misery and her own. She wanted to see him. The knife seemed to be an emergency exit for her. An express ticket to where he was waiting.
Someone stopped her. Fuuko could vaguely recall Tokiya running towards her after she had made the cut. Grabbing her shoulders, and shaking her like mad. She didn’t want to see him back then. She only wanted to see one person who could truly make her happy.
Don’t give up on me. Not yet. Those were the last 2 sentences she heard before blacking out. Once again, Tokiya managed to come into the scene and attempt to drag her out of her depression and death. Well, he was victorious in one. She was still alive, but she couldn’t say whether her depression was cured or not. She didn’t even know whether to thank him for saving her, or to yell at him for stopping her once again.
Fuuko jolted from her position and saw Mikagami sitting up and crossing his arms. She did the same. “Yeah.” She said in a dead tone.
“How are you feeling?” was the first thing he asked.
“I’m feeling fine.” She replied, curtly.
His facial expression relaxed a bit. “Your wounds are gone, thanks to Yanagi. You’ve been asleep for about 6 hours already.” He stated.
She nodded. “I see.”
“That was a really dumb thing for you to do Fuuko. What brought you to think that way?”
Fuuko eyebrows went up. So this was a lecture? She frowned. What was going on in here? Surely, he was right in being concerned and everything. He did save her life but what right did he have in scolding her like some older protective brother?
And as if he read her mind, Tokiya went on. “I have every right to scold you. You could’ve have died---“
“That was what I was intending to do.” She butted in sarcastically.
He ignored her last comment. “...and no one would’ve have noticed. It was a good thing Yanagi spotted you. She was really worried about you and there you go, trying to end your life just like that. What the hell has gone inside your mind for the past days that made you decide to do this?”
Fuuko rolled her eyes. He WAS lecturing her. Heaven forbid, Tokiya Mikagami was admonishing someone out of concern. Yes, Fuuko had already seen Mikagami for the past days, trying to help her and everything. She still wasn’t used to the immediate concern, especially from someone whom she least expected to help her. And all the more, she wasn’t used to seeing Tokiya in a sudden new personality after being with his icy persona for 3 years.
She wasn’t the slightest bit irritated this time that he was reproving her. She had been thinking about it and maybe killing herself wasn’t the smartest idea in the world. She had thought about that along with the other things before he woke up. Or maybe it was because she was too drained to become irritable and cold…well, whatever it was Fuuko didn’t feel like starting another heated argument with Tokiya. She slowly brought herself back to the present, out of her thoughts and back to Tokiya’s incessant talking.
“...you shouldn’t be doing this. You are so damn lucky that we found you---Fuuko, are you listening to me?”
She groaned inwardly. “Yes, okasaama. I heard every word of your speech and I am sorry for causing you so much trouble today.”
Tokiya’s eyebrow went up as if to say, ‘What the hell…this isn’t a good time to play around.’
Fuuko saw that and cleared her throat. “No, honestly. I’m really, very sorry that you had to go through so much trouble. Both you and Yanagi. It’s my silliness and carelessness that brought this about. I’m really sorry about everything.” She said, her eyes speaking with sincerity.
“Don’t forget stupidity.” He added, unfolding his arms.
“Whatever Tokiya.” She shrugged. “Wait a minute...why am I actually apologizing to you? I mean, I really did want to see hell at that time...so why did you stop me?”
She was also thinking about that. Why did he undergo the pains of having to save her when he could actually let her go and be spared from the agony? And Fuuko would be gone from the world she detested so much. Why did he save her? They would have both been happy had he not interrupted.
Fuuko turned to Tokiya awaiting his answer. The latter was deep in thought, his arms crossed once more. There was a heavy pause before he replied. “I was worried about you.”
Her eyebrows almost reached her hairline. Just what did he say right now? Fuuko wanted to shake her head in pure disbelief but her ears had not lied to her. Tokiya Mikagami was worried about her. THE Tokiya Mikagami.
“And just so you know,” he continued. “I’m not doing this for Yanagi. I’m doing this for you and also as a favor to my sister up there.”
Fuuko bit her lip. This was just great. Tokiya was just added to the list Yanagi and the others were already on. Great, another one. She could not bear to handle another nosy person who would keep on following her forever and ever, bugging her about handling death and such issues.
“I appreciate your concern Tokiya...” she began slowly. “But, I really don’t need anyone to take care of my right now. I’m okay, now. See? I won’t try to kill myself anymore. Besides, you probably won’t understand---Aachoo!” her words were cut with her sneezing.
He handed her a box of kleenezx. “Thanks...” she said and sneezed again.
“Wrong Fuuko.” He smirked. “Number 1, you are obviously NOT okay because you have been under the mercy of the flu. I’m expecting a hint of fever any minute now. You’ve been under the rain for too long that your body’s about to give up on you. And number two, even if you didn’t have a flu, I’d still keep you in my house because you’re still not emotionally stable.”
Fuuko finished blowing her nose and stared at him with her jaw open. “Oh, no...I’m perfectly fine with the cold thing, Tokiya. It’s not as if I’m going to die any moment now…and as for my emotional instability…I’m working on it! I don’t need anyone right now to bug me on the topic.” She grumbled.
“Stop complaining Kirisawa. Yanagi ordered this. I would have sent you home hours ago if she had not requested anything...”
“Yanagi again? See, that is the problem. Why the hell are you following her? I mean, I want to go home and I’m sure you want me to. Let me out of your place already Tokiya...I want to go home now. Anyway, you wouldn’t have any space for me in here...” she began arguing with him.
“Fuuko, are you saying that my apartment’s small? Take a good look around you first will you?”
He was right. It was pretty big. Fuuko opened her mouth once more. “Well, where am I going to stay then? I mean, you live alone and there’s...”
“I have a guestroom.” He answered briskly.
“But what about---“
“NO IFS AND BUTS.” Tokiya raised his voice a few decibels higher than usual. “Fuuko, you are staying here until you get better. Period.”
Fuuko slumped onto the bed, in a defeated position. She still wanted to argue and kick Mikagami’s butt, but she had to confess that she was feeling a bit weary and dizzy. She sneezed again and lay back on the pillow, breathing loudly.
“You see,” Tokiya stood up and placed his hand over her forehead. “You have a fever right now. I bet this wouldn’t have come as soon as this if you hadn’t exerted that much effort into arguing with me, knowing that you’d lose anyway.”
“Shut up Mikagami.” She muttered darkly, swatting his hand away. She was near to pouting like a little child. Fuuko groaned in frustration, she was going to be stuck with this arrogant person until she gets better which seemed a long way off from now. Fuuko coughed. She can’t be sick...she didn’t want to get sick. She wanted to be alone once more.
Fuuko felt loneliness creep up to her side and her vibrant spirit was shaken. If she wanted anyone to take care of her, it would be Raiha and not Tokiya. Her loved one was indeed much gentler with her than he was. He would be...no, he’s strict, sarcastic and has a tongue that matches hers. What a perfect guy, she though wearily. Fuuko didn’t want to stay with him for any longer than 2 minutes.
But she had no choice. Her eyes became heavy again.
::Where are you when I need you the most?::
Tokiya watched Fuuko sleep quietly for the second time. Satisfied that the girl managed to accept defeat in their recent argument, he settled himself comfortably on his master’s chair and relaxed for a while. It was hard to put up with Fuuko whenever she wanted something so bad...especially now. And the fact that Tokiya had not gotten any rest since he brought Fuuko in did not help in any way. He was still tired, yet he forced himself to stay awake. He was grateful that she didn’t try anything bad while he fell asleep for a few minutes beside her. But now that she knew about the plan of him keeping her in his apartment, she would do anything to get out. And because of that, he must keep awake. Knowing Fuuko, she would try all sorts of things just to escape him.
Tokiya frowned. Was he despised that much? True, he WAS cold and showed nothing but an untouchable aura whenever he met the Hokage. But that was 3 years ago already. He was sure that he had changed a lot...most especially over the summer.
So why were they still dreading him, except for Yanagi?
Because he didn’t take the time to be with them. Tokiya answered his own question and upon realizing it, sighed and felt his shoulders droop. Right. He never did really spend time with them over the 3 years. That was long. He was already 19 and still his former teammates refused to go near him. Well, he thought, not that they refused to go near him but they were indeed uncomfortable. He shook his head. Maybe it was time that he showed them the results of his previous exorcism.
But not now. He had other things to think of. Like Fuuko, for example and how he would help her get out of this mess. ‘Boy, aren’t you really concerned?’ a voice taunted him.
Shut up, he thought, glaring into space.
Though, the voice was right. He was concerned about Fuuko. He did manage to surprise himself by saving her from committing suicide. Tokiya still wasn’t sure of his intentions. It was just...something, which kept him near Fuuko. There was a magnet somewhere there. He just couldn’t figure it out.
Tokiya Mikagami, one of the most intelligent people in history, did not understand the makings of attraction.
He slapped his forehead. Attraction? That word nearly brought him to spitting the tea he was drinking to keep him awake. He was definitely NOT attracted to Fuuko, he told that voice in his head sternly. She was not his type [and probably no one will ever be] and she still loved Raiha even though he was basking in the other world by now. So, out with the silly idea and focus on helping her.
Still, he couldn’t keep himself from staring at her. 3 years was a long time and Tokiya had noticed something about Fuuko. She had grown out of her tomboyish shape and even though she was looking incredibly thin and frail, Tokiya couldn’t help but notice the womanly curves on her body.
Stop it Tokiya, he warned himself.
So Fuuko grown up into a woman. So what? The corner of his mouth lifted to form a smirk. Just because this fighter had grown out of her tough and boyish exterior doesn’t mean he’d fall head over heels for her. That would be stupid. And so unlike the Tokiya everyone knew.
The Tokiya everyone knew wasn’t a pleasant image to think of. He sighed, knowing that he had to change his reputation from being iceman...to something else. Well, whatever it was that he was going to show them, it would have to be better than before.
“That’s number 2 on my mid year’s resolution...” Tokiya muttered quietly. He checked the clock for the time and saw that it was nearly 11 pm. That was weird, he thought. Time flew so quickly whenever he took time to think about certain issues. He removed his eyes from the clock and brought them back to Fuuko’s dozing figure. He debated with himself for a few minutes, whether he should go to bed and leave her alone or to watch her sleep.
Tokiya wanted to sleep. He needed it badly. So what was he going to do now? He was worried that the girl would get up in the middle of the night and sneak away to do something as foolish as killing herself. Then again, he would still fall asleep on the job. He was extremely tired, for some reason.
He decided to sleep outside on the couch. He’d leave the door open. That would enable him to hear anything. Tokiya stood up from his chair and proceeded to go hit the showers. With one last glance at Fuuko, he swung the door open and left it as it was.
“Who is it? Who are you?”
“Fuuko, it’s me.”
“Wha...What are you doing?”
“Fuuko, I came here to check on you. It seems like you haven’t been doing so well these past months. I’m very worried about you.”
“Is it...is it really you? Am I dreaming?”
“It’s me. I’m talking to you through your dreams. Don’t worry. This is real.”
“Everything...everything’s been terrible. I’ve missed you so much. Where did you go? Why did you have to leave me here alone?”
“You very well know that I couldn’t stay here any longer...”
“Even so! I tried to follow you...I wanted to be with you again.”
“You tried to follow me in the most idiotic manner, Fuuko. Why did you do that? You scared the living lights out of your friends.”
“I don’t care about them! I care about you. I want you back here with me. I didn’t care if I had to make a pact with the devil or someone as long as I could be with you once more. I can’t...I can’t take the pain any longer. You know I can’t. You can see me, right? I’m suffering right now.”
“I know it’s hard for you. But there’s nothing you can do about it anymore---”
“Yes I can! I’ve read about those reincarnations books...or I really could try dying already. Don’t you see? I’ve got no will to live anymore if I’m not beside you.”
“Fuuko, don’t talk like that. And you can’t bring me back by means of that reincarnation magic you’re talking about. The only way you’ll get to see me again is when you enter the world I’m living in right now. Mind you, suicide won’t get you in here.”
“Then WHAT should I do? I’m living point-blank here. I’m confused.”
“I’ll tell you what you should do. Stop acting this way. Don’t build walls around you. People are trying to reach you Fuuko. Don’t isolate yourself from them. They’re trying to help you. I’m telling you right now that you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT do this by yourself. Admit it. You need them.”
“You sound like Mikagami.”
“Do I? Well, speaking of Mikagami, you should pay attention to him. I think of all the people, he’s been the one who’s been most dedicated to helping you. I believe he’s right in keeping you here for now. You need his help.”
“Great. So now, you’re taking his side.”
“I’m not taking any sides. This is what’s best for you. Trust me please.”
“...I guess, I guess I’ll try.”
“That’s my girl. You do know that I love you.”
“I know. I just...I just miss you so much.”
“I miss you too. But missing me like this won’t help. You’ve got to move on.”
“Everyone’s telling me to move on. They don’t know how hard it is.”
“I can see how hard it is. You’re strong Fuuko. You can handle this.”
“What makes you sure I can? I’m not even sure of myself.”
“Just trust me. I know. Besides...there’s an angel there who’s watching over you like crazy.”
“Mikagami is no angel, I assure you.”
“Fuuko, you still manage to make me laugh here in the afterlife. Go with Mikagami. You both know what it feels like to lose someone. He can talk to you better than anyone else in the Hokage.”
“Fuuko, I’m going now.”
“No! Don’t leave yet. I still want to speak to you...”
“My time’s over. I hope you understand what I’ve told you. Will you try to do it Fuuko? For me?”
“Don’t cry now. It hurts me to see you cry.”
“Raiha?!” she jerked up from her sleep and stared into the emptiness of the room. It was real. He was there. He talked to her. Yet...It was too soon; too soon for her to handle. Just the sound of his voice made her long for him again. “Raiha...” her lower lip trembled.
Her tears made their way to her eyes once more and started to fall down.
Tokiya nearly dropped his glass and quickly turned his head to the open door of his room. He was sure he heard Fuuko crying. He placed his glass of milk on the counter and padded across the kitchen towards his room. A warm bath helped him clear his thoughts and relax. He had changed from his clothes to comfortable pajamas and was simply enjoying a glass of warm milk when he heard someone sobbing cry. The stillness of the night was enough for his ears to sense anything.
He entered the room and before him was a sad scene. Fuuko’s arms were wrapped around her legs and she was crying---actually sobbing.
She didn’t respond but shook her head. Leave me alone, that was all that it took for Tokiya to get the message. But he decided to be stubborn and walked to the bed and sat on the edge of it. He placed his hand on the shaking shoulder.
“Daijoubu?” and he waited for her to answer.
“I’m…I’m fine...just had a bad dream.” She said in a muffled voice.
“What would that dream be about?”
“Fuuko, if it was nothing then why do I see tears falling from your eyes?”
Fuuko stopped for a moment and paused. Tokiya could hear her breathing heavily. “It was...it was a dream. Raiha was there...and he was talking to me. He was there, Mikagami. I wasn’t hallucinating. I was talking to him...” she said, shakily.
“He talked to me...about things. He was telling me to move on...well, I don’t know anymore. All I know is that he left me again. It was too soon. It was just too soon for me to handle. I want him back Mikagami...because I miss him so much.”
::I miss you so much.::
She felt herself breaking into a million pieces again. But this time, she wasn’t alone. Fuuko felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around her and bring her into a tight embrace.
::You don’t have to do this.::
At first, she was taken by surprise...then she decided that she didn’t care anymore. She missed something when Raiha died. The comfort of someone hugging you and making sure that you’re all right. The feeling of being protected. For the longest time ever, Fuuko had felt alone and empty. But now, there was someone giving her the opportunity.
::I want to be comforted.::
She accepted it, and pressed her face against his chest. Her tears and sadness mixed with the soft clothing and she found herself being pulled closer. Fuuko buried her pride along with her stubbornness and let tears flow free.
He simply stayed there, cheek against her hair and whispering
It’s alright. I’m here for you.
They both stayed there for quite some time. Fuuko, herself buried in Tokiya’s arms...and he, holding her tightly. Tokiya waited for her tears to subside. It took quite some time, but he didn’t care. It was fine with him. Just knowing that he was making her feel slightly better was enough for him to endure a hundred hours holding her like that.
For him, the moment was almost perfect.
But even the saddest moments end. Soon, Fuuko pulled back wiping her tears with the back of her hand. Tokiya didn’t let her go just yet.
“Are you feeling better?” he asked gently.
Fuuko nodded, still wiping her tears away. Tokiya brought one hand to stop her and the other wiped the corner of her eye with his thumb. He brushed away the drops of liquid slowly and carefully. Fuuko closed her eyes and exhaled slowly.
“You know...you really look ugly when you’re crying.” He told her softly, while continuing his act of kindness. “You should lighten up a bit, Fuuko. I know it’s been really hard for you and all, but you should try. It would hurt...right?”
“I know...” Fuuko sniffed. “It’s just that I find it really hard to let go of the pain.”
“Pain isn’t easy to remove. “ he agreed. “But that’s why I’m here.”
She nodded, her face against his chest once more. “I’m...I’m glad you’re here. There were many nights when I just woke up from nightmares and had no one beside me. It was hard and scary. I was all alone.”
“Well, you did move away from the rest.”
“That’s why I regret it so much.” She whispered. “I’m tired of feeling this pain. I just want everything to be alright again. And Raiha...he told me to move on. I can’t seem to...”
“Fuuko,” he told her resolutely, “stop thinking that you can’t. You CAN. I believe you can. You shouldn’t torture yourself like this. Hell,” he said, his hands cupping her cheeks, “You don’t deserve this.”
She was forced to stare into his pale blue eyes, full of concern. While hers were filled with anxiety and pain, his were calm and peaceful. Not to mention, capturing. Fuuko never did notice his eyes. All she knew before was that he could send daggers with them. Now they weren’t the slightest bit icy.
Fuuko tore herself away from his eyes and pulled back. He let his arms fall to his sides and he looked at her, expecting something to come out of her mouth.
So she complied with his request. “Thank you,” she stammered a bit as tints of pink went up her cheek. “I’m sorry if I woke you up or anything...I think I even wet your clothes...”
Tokiya stared at his pajama top. Indeed, there was a wet spot by his shoulder and upper torso. He smirked in reply. “It’s alright. I wasn’t asleep yet. And...um, I don’t mind if the pjs are wet. I don’t favor them that much anyway...”
He was right. What was with the pajamas he was wearing? Fuuko found herself smiling. They even had cookie prints. How cute, she giggled faintly.
Tokiya noticed her reaction. She was smiling. “What?” he asked. “I’m sorry, but I only managed to iron these things. The others will just have to wait...and you should keep your mouth shut.” He said, mock-grouchily as Fuuko started laughing softly.
“You look like a cookie monster with that scowl on your face.”
“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes. “You should get some sleep now.” He said, pointing to the alarm clock on his bedside table. Past 12 midnight.
Fuuko glanced at the machine and agreed with him. She felt much better. A huge load was lifted from her shoulders and she was grateful for that. “Yeah...” she yawned involuntarily and covered her mouth. “Sorry.” She blinked.
“Well, go to bed.” Tokiya told her, pushing her shoulders down gently, enough to make her fall back into the cushioned mattress. He pulled the covers around her and tucked them. “Good night. I’m by the couch if you need anything. Oh, btw...I’ll be needing this.” He snatched one pillow from the bed and with that, he stood up and headed for the doorway.
Fuuko squirmed a bit and turned to face him. “Hey, Mikagami...”
“Hn?” he turned his head slightly.
“Do you sleep with your hair down?”
He made a motion to throw the pillow at her.
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