title: December 19th
fandom: Fushigi Yuugi
characters/pairings: Nuriko/Hotohori
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Snow, and wings... some things are never forgotten.
notes: for my caro-chan, for her prompt for my advent ficalendar. oh, i struggled with this for a while, and now i'm starting to write his at 3:20 the day of. O_o apologies in advance for just... all of it, the typos... =/ sorry!!!

The human fell down in the snow, staining the purity with his blood. His dark, matted hair spread out around him. The fairy's wings quivered. "We should..."

Suzaku looked sternly at him. "Do nothing. It is a human death. It means nothing."

"But he need not die..." Nuriko said sadly, his purple wings drooping. The human was beautiful, despite the blood. Maybe because of it. It made him look fragile. Look.


Nuriko started to flutter down to the ground. Suzaku grabbed his elbow. "No. I forbid it."

Glaring over his shoulder, Nuriko pulled his arm free. "Am I not supposed to be an adult now? Stop telling me what to do!"

Quickly, he flew down to the human's side. Suzaku hated all humans, and would try to avoid being near any of them. Gently, fearfully, Nuriko prodded on the human's shoulder, trying to turn him, or...

The human opened his eye, and looked at Nuriko.

He was beautiful.

"I will care for you," he promised. The human didn't seem to understand, though. He closed his eyes again.

He looked up into the trees, but he didn't see Suzaku's fiery wings. He would have to figure out how to do this alone.

The human's body got very hot, so Nuriko removed his outer shell. His soft, pale flesh was quite beautiful, even where it was torn up. Nuriko packed the wound with a slurry made from his hair, some roots, and snow. For a while, he thought the human might die. He thought about going back to his village, and getting a sage. Getting Suzaku.

Suzaku would never come to help a human.

It took three nights, but the human started to look better, his temperature went down, and his wound got better. He covered the human up, using his own cloak, and fluttering his wings over him.

After a few days, he started waking up for more and more of the day. He tried to talk to Nuriko, but his words were coarse, and ugly. Still, they spent all day together, and Nuriko tended to his wounds, and they developed a sort of understanding for each other.

The human had a rich, beautiful voice, long, lovely hands, and thick hair. Nuriko liked to listen to him, after he got used to the guttural words, liked to flutter around him and watch his eyes follow him. He liked it when the human touched him. He liked the way the human smelled, too.

He was falling in love with the human.

The human was walking around and was even helping to fish. He would be going home soon... Nuriko couldn't help being a little sad about it. Though, he should go home as well. Suzaku would be angry that he had been going for so long.

Fortunately, the human wasn't in a hurry to leave. He even seemed to make excuses to touch him. Nuriko liked that, so he lingered near the human. He was picking up a few of the human's vulgar words; he said them, though they didn't sound right from his lips.

The human touched his hair, and he blushed. His wings would flutter nervously, and he would duck his chin down. It was funny... he only ever got that way around Suzaku before, and lately...

Well, Suzaku didn't approve of so many things that he did. But this human...

It was just a crush. A harmless crush.

Soldiers dressed like the human came the same day that Suzaku came back for him. The human was upset when he flew up to see Suzaku, and he could only catch a few words here and there of the humans' conversation, but his human wasn't happy with them, either.

He kissed Suzaku on the cheek, and promised him he'd be right back. He just needed to say goodbye to the human, even if the human wouldn't understand.

He fluttered back down, and the human's fellow soldiers drew their swords. He drew closer to the human, and looked around fearfully. Suzaku was right... he needed to get away...

"I'm sorry. I'm glad I could help you."

The human grabbed his arms, and spoke fast, shaking his head.

Nuriko smiled, and kissed the human's mouth quickly. "I'll see you again sometime. We have to go back to our own people. Thank you."

The human's eyes widened. Nuriko touched his lips softly, and turned to fly away.

Crushing pain blinded him, and he cried out. He fell to the ground, hard. He looked over his shoulder, tears pouring his cheeks.

The human was holding his now broken wings in his fist. "Why?" he asked, his voice cracking.

"Don't go," the human said in his own ugly language.

Nuriko looked up at Suzaku, and moaned. Suzaku looked horrified, and shook his head before he... he flew away.

The human put his arms around Nuriko and said something, murmured. Nuriko hung his head down.

Nuriko opened her eyes to see the Emperor leaning over her, his brow furrowed. She started, and her hand flew up to her hair.

She must look a mess...

"Y-Your Highness... to what do I owe this pleasure?"

"We could not sleep. We... had a bad dream," he said casually, looking Nuriko over. "Were you asleep?"

Nuriko sat up. It was interesting to her that he would even ask that since he had to wake her up... but the Emperor had a bad dream? "What did you dream about, if you don't mind me asking?"

The Emperor looked away. "We dreamed... of a past life. We... Mm. It does not matter. However. We were thinking... of love."

Well, of course. Ever since that bubble-headed brat had just disappeared, she was all Tamahome or Hotohori could think of. At least the Emperor wasn't walking into ponds. "Love was a bad dream?" she teased the Emperor lightheartedly.

The Emperor scowled. "We... I. I am afraid... if I were to... approach the one I loved. I would end up. Destroying my love's wings."

Nuriko tipped her head to the side. Well, actually... she could see that. The Emperor had been so... mm, naïve about courtship. She put her hand on the Emperor's arm, a little hurt to see him shudder. She pulled away quickly, tightening her robe around her body. "Don't worry about that, Your Highness. Miaka isn't the type to be pinned down. Besides, Tamahome and I will be there to keep you in line." She winked at him. "We're all celestial warriors together, right? So, don't give it another thought. We support each other, even in love."

"Miaka?" the Emperor repeated, looking confused. "No, that's not what I..." He closed his mouth deliberately, looking into Nuriko's eyes. Nuriko felt self-conscious, and concerned. Had she missed the point? However, a moment later, the Emperor smiled. "You're right. I'm sorry. You're right. Thank you, Nuriko. I... We are glad that we have... friends to rely on."

It happened so fast, it must have been a dream. Hotohori leaned in, and kissed her, touched her cheek gently. He pulled back, looking into her eyes, before sighing, and standing up.

It happened so fast...

"Goodnight, Nuriko. We are sorry... sorry we disturbed your slumber," he finished quickly, exiting Nuriko's chamber.

Nuriko stared in wonder. Eventually, she sunk down into her bed.

Dreaming... she must have been dreaming...

Nuriko sat in the window of the tower, looking out across the forest. He hadn't been aware of Hotohori's presence, but he didn't pull away from the arms that came from behind him to envelope him.

He still loved the smell of the King, still loved his hair, and his eyes, and the deep, rich tone of his voice.

Even without his wings.

"My precious," Hotohori murmured into Nuriko's ear. "You know I hate it when you stare out the window like this. I feel like you will fly away from me."

"Can't," Nuriko said, hollowly. Was Suzaku bound to anyone? Had he forgotten about the foolish fairy who let a human clip his wings? Was Suzaku telling his story as a caution to young fairies going out into the world? Hotohori's arms tightened around him, and he made himself smile, turning to look his King in the eye. "Don't want to."

Hotohori smiled, and kissed him, deeply. "That's what I like to hear," Hotohori murmured. "Come for a ride with me. I love you, Nuriko."

Nuriko wanted to cry. Riding was... the worst feeling in the world. Almost like flying, but so damned trapped on the earth. He touched Hotohori's lips.

"As you wish, my King."