title: Fire of Love
fandom: Fushigi Yuugi
characters/pairings: Nuriko/Suzaku, Hotohori, Tamahome
rating: G/Teen
warnings: godsex
summary: Nuriko is taken away by a dream.
notes: for Caroline, for her rare pairings ficlet. and a nice choice, i must say... there may seem to be some pronoun confusion, because i'm trying to follow the example of the manga, which is to respect Nuriko's wishes on the subject. i'm going for something here... ^_~

It was hardly ever not a hot and sticky day, but Nuriko was certain that the feast of Suzaku was designed to be on the hottest and stickiest day of the year. She wished that she could go into the pool with the priests. Or even be on the dais with Hotohori-sama. But she was just a lowly celestial warrior, and she and Tamahome were stuck on the sidelines with the rest of the court.

She had never liked going to temple. She found them to be slightly creepy. She stopped going when she was a child after she got into trouble for hearing 'a voice' from the statue of Suzaku. She had evaded the feast for the last few years that she had been living at court, but with Miaka still gone to the other world, and so few warriors collected, Hotohori-sama was certain that a big feast was essential to the morale of the country.

A big feast meant twice as much incense, twice as many priests chanting, and twice as much fabric clinging to her sweaty skin as she tried to stay 'festive' for her emperor. Her hair had already fallen down, too weighted down by the humidity, and she was sure she'd pass out in a second if she couldn't get any fresh air.

She watched Hotohori-sama, and tried to keep still. His robes must have weighed at least as much as hers, plus he had on his full ceremonial headdress, which probably weighed at least as much as an elephant, and it made it so he had to keep his head and back perfectly straight at all times, but he didn't even appear to be sweating.

She smiled up at him, but he didn't see her. He never did.

Perhaps Nuriko might have been prepared for it if she had been listening, but she assumed the voices were from the priests, and she had long tuned them out. Tamahome was napping quietly next to her, so when she did hear the voice, she couldn't even ask him if he heard it, too. It seemed to be whispering her name. Her celestial name, which seemed like her real name when he said it. She looked around, trying to find the source. She looked everywhere but the statue of Suzaku. She didn't want to look at it, but the voice compelled her and so she did. The ruby eyes were glowing brightly, so brightly, they seemed to be on fire, and then Nuriko realized that it was on fire, that the whole statue was on fire. No, not just the statue, the temple, everything was fire, all around her. She tried to scream, but the heat choked her, and she fell.

He was caught in the arms of his lover. The heat pressed against his naked flesh, but the fire inside of him was a billion times hotter. He grasped at his lover desperately, trying to claw his way back into the embrace that made him feel whole.

"My Nuriko."

He shuddered at the sound of his voice. So regal, so refined! Arms slipped around him, and legs insinuated themselves between his, and lips touched his neck, scorching him.

"Open your eyes, beloved."

He was afraid to, afraid that it would just be a dream. Something ephemeral that would slip away, leaving him with only the memory of loss to clutch to his chest. He was afraid that he would not be able to keep his eyes open long enough to really see. But he could not deny the voice. It was the voice of his heart, his soul, his everything.

Suzaku smiled gently. "My Nuriko. My chosen love. I miss you."

Nuriko surged forward, flinging his arms around his god's neck. "Lover... I need you..."

The world turned upside down and inside out... his back was pressed against something, something smooth and soft, but sturdy. Suzaku's hands ran over his sides, cupping his rear and tracing the lines of his hipbones. "Mm, I like this form on you... So beautiful... And mine. All mine."

"Yes...!" Nuriko purred, lost in the fire of Suzaku's breath.

Suzaku's mouth moved up Nuriko's belly, starting just below his belly button, and making their way to his heart. He laid his hand over Nuriko's heart, and sighed. "You are the fire of my soul, beloved. I put my strength in your love."

His lover's mark on his flesh burned so hot, it could have seared the flesh from his bones, and he was lost, lost to Suzaku's touch, his kiss, his passion, like the tide against the shore, just breaking against the awesome strength and power of the one he loved best of all.

Nothing could ever quench this flame. He could spend eternity locked in this rhythm. It was the beating of his heart, it kept the flames alive.

Suzaku ran his tongue over Nuriko's cheeks, soaking up his beloved's tears. "Oh, my love... my heart... my fire... I can't bear being parted from you, for even this long..."

"Then keep me here!" Nuriko begged, breathlessly. "This is where I belong, isn't it? With you, in your arms? I don't fit anywhere else. No one else will ever see me."

Suzaku ran his hands through Nuriko's hair, sending flames down its strands that danced over him, but did not pierce through him. "Only a little longer, my love... I could not bear it if it were to last even a moment longer than it shall... I need you back with me..."


Violet eyes snapped open. For a moment, Nuriko was lost between worlds. There was someone hovering over him, kind eyes watching hopefully, as long, perfect hair trailed down over him. "Nuriko? Are you all right?"

The voice was cultured and elegant, but it wasn't right. The hair was mahogany, and pristine, but it wasn't on fire. In fact, it was very cold, so cold, Nuriko felt like his skin might crawl right off. He whimpered, shivering.

Hotohori reached out to touch Nuriko's face. "Nuriko? You're all right now, you're safe..."

A hand was reaching for him. Fleshy and weak, it wasn't his lover's touch... "No! Get away from me!" Nuriko slapped the hand away, and kicked himself back to the top of the bed.

Hotohori stared at her, dumbfounded, and everything clicked into place.

Nuriko slapped her hands over her mouth, and moaned. "Ho-Hotohori-sama! I'm so... so sorry! I... I didn't know it was you, I didn't know..."

Hotohori smiled gently. "It's all right, Nuriko. How are you feeling?"

Lost, she thought, miserably. Lost and cold and so hungry and there's no food that ever satisfy and I need the fire back... "I'm fine. Don't worry about me. What... What happened?"

Hotohori furrowed his brow. "We were at the temple, praying to Suzaku to bless us. You screamed, and then you passed out. You were burning up with fever, and under the influence of some kind of seizure. Your mark started to glow, and then it was burning. It scorched your dress. We didn't know what to do."

Everything sounded familiar, but not, like the memories were there, but they were on the other side of a glass from what Hotohori-sama was saying. She felt so helpless, grasping for the threads of something that was now out of reach. She felt bereft. "I... I heard a voice... I think I had a dream."

Hotohori put his hand on top of Nuriko's hand. She looked down at it, puzzled. Shouldn't this be sending her into fits of ecstasy? How long had she chased after just a small bit of his attention, and now he was touching her, and nursing her back to health.... but something felt wrong. She felt like there was something missing from his touch, and it made her feel colder.

"Are you all right? Do you require... anything?"

She shook her head. It was gone, whatever it was. She was back in the palace, living in someone else's clothes, chasing after someone else's dream... "I'm fine, Hotohori-sama. Please, don't worry after me. I'm just fine." She smiled brightly, and she could see him put the concern aside.

"All right then, but get some rest. I will have the servants bring you something to eat and drink. Take care, Nuriko. Suzaku needs you." He smiled at her kindly.

The words echoed inside of her, but they had lost their meaning. She kept up her brave face, though, and promised that she would do as he had said.

Anything for the one that she loved.