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To Love Again

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To Love Again

Disclaimer: I don't own Fushigi Yuugi, Yuu Watasse does. So since I don't, I have absolutely no money so please don't sue me, thanks.

A.N. This is my first Fushigi Yuugi fanfiction, so be kind please.

As her final wish was uttered, Miaka Yuki knew that her beloved Tamahome would begin to disappear from her world. She knew this would happen. She knew that once all her wishes from Suzaku were granted that any hope of her ever seeing the man she loved again was gone. With a heavy heart and tears in her eyes, Miaka kissed Tamahome one last time and then watched as he vanished from her world forever. Once he was gone, the young teen looked up at the stars that represented her love and vowed to never fall in love again.

Five Years Later....

Miaka sighed as she watched her best friend; Yui Hongo kissed her boyfriend, Tetsuya Kajiwara. Even though she was happy for her friend, she couldn't help but feel jealous that Yui could be with the man she loved and she couldn't. Five years had passed since Tamahome disappeared for her world and she had kept her promise to never be with anyone else but her beloved. Even though men would ask her out all the time, she would refuse. This of course led to a lonely life for the twenty year old college student. It was lonely for the young woman because all her friends were either dating someone or married, so they rarely spent any time with her. And even when they did spend time with the poor girl, they would often bring their boyfriends or husbands along with them making Miaka feel like a third wheel. Sighing again, the young woman looked at her friend and said "Yui, I am going to go home."

"I thought you want to go to the movies," her friend said disappointedly.

"I am sorry Yui; I forgot that I have a test that I need to study for." Miaka said as she began to run towards the apartment that she shared with her brother Keisuke.

As Yui watched her friend leave, she whispered to herself "I hope you will find happiness again, Miaka."

Keisuke Yuki was writing his thesis for his Ancient Chinese History class, when his sister bursted into the apartment and ran into her room. Knowing that this meant that his sister was upset, he decided to leave her alone for awhile before talking to her. It had been years since Miaka entered the Universe of the Four Gods and he knew that she was still sadden about her separation from Tamahome. At first he thought that Miaka would eventually move on but he couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of moving on, his sister dwelt in the hope that she would once again be reunited with her love and they would be married like he had promised her.

Meanwhile Miaka after slamming the door to her bedroom pulled out the Universe of the Four Gods from her backpack. Quickly she opened it in hopes that the red light of Suzaku would draw her in the book once again. After twenty minutes of staring at the ancient pages of the book, nothing happened. Throwing the book to the ground, Miaka ran to her bed and began to cry. As she continued to sob, the opened book on the floor began to glow a brilliant red. The light enveloped the young woman as it once again drew her into the Universe of the Four Gods.

She was still crying on the ground when she heard someone excitingly say "Miaka you're back."

Hearing the familiar voice of Chichiri, the young woman stopped sobbing and got up to hug her friend. "It's good to see you Chichiri!" She said with a slightly sad smile.
"It's good to see you too, don't you know, but I thought Taiitsukun said that you wouldn't be able to come back to our world, don't you know."

Sighing Miaka knew that what her friend had just said was true, but somehow she had come back and she didn't know why. Noticing the young woman's thoughtful expression, the blue haired monk said "Maybe you're need back here in Konan for some reason, don't you know."

"I think you're right Chichiri. So how is everyone doing?" Miaka asked in hopes that she would find out what Tamahome was up to.

"Well, Nuriko, Chiriko, Mitsukake, and Hotohori have all been reincarnated, don't you know. They're all little kids and I check on them often, don't you know."

"And what about Tasuki and Tamahome? How are they doing?" The young woman asked eagerly.

"Well, Tasuki is back with his bandits on Mt. Reikaku, don't you know." The blue haired monk said with a smile.

"Chichiri, what about Tamahome, please tell me about him," Miaka asked desperately.
Pulling off his mask, the young man look directly at his priestess and said "I am sorry Miaka but Tamahome got married two years ago."

Hearing those words Miaka sank to the ground once again and began to cry. The only man she had ever loved was now married. He had forgotten about her, when her thoughts where only of him. Chichiri, seeing the distress that his friend was in, sat down beside her and began to comfort her.

"I am sorry Miaka," He said sadly.

"Tell me why Chichiri, why did Tamahome betray me." She sobbed.
"At first he tried to come back to you but Taiitsukun said that it was impossible. As the years passed he lost all hope of ever seeing you again, so he decided to move on. He met Rika and supposedly fell instantly in love with her. They were married a year later."
As she continued to weep, Miaka felt her heart break into pieces. The love of life had married another and now they could never be together. If she could no longer be with her beloved, then she no longer wanted to be in the Universe of the Four Gods. She was about to asked Chichiri where the scroll was when Taiitsukun appeared out of no where. Scaring Miaka out of her wits, the ugly old woman look at the Priestess of Suzaku and said "You can't go back to your world priestess."

"Why can't I go back?"

"Because Miaka Yuki now that you have re-entered this world, you can never go back to yours. That is why you were not supposed to come back to this world." The old woman said angrily.

"If I wasn't supposed to come back here, then why did the Universe of the Four Gods bring me back to this world?"

"It was the deepest wish of your heart to see your beloved Tamahome again, because of your undying love for him, the Universe decided to grant your wish but in doing so you are now unable to leave this world again."

Miaka was about to protest to Taiitsukun, when the old woman disappeared once again. As soon as the old woman was gone, the young priestess looked at her friend Chichiri and said "What am I going to do, I can't live here. Not without Tamahome."

As he put his mask back on the blue haired monk said "Miaka, you have to make the best of staying in this world. Maybe visiting an old friend would make you feel better."

Seeing the kind smile on her seishi's face, Miaka nodded. Maybe seeing Tasuki and his band of bandits would take her mind off of Tamahome and his betrayal.

Although the blue haired monk had offered the Priestess of Suzaku to use his magic to transport them to Mt. Reikaku but the young woman declined. Instead she saw the walk to the mountain as an opportunity to think about the past. When she first came to the Universe of the Four Gods, she was young and naïve. It was that naivety that had led her to falling in love with Tamahome, who was the one to save her when she first entered the book.

It was a love that went through constant trials and tribulations, and at the end of it all Miaka had always hoped that she and Tamahome would end up together at the end. Unfortunately, their love was never meant to be. And now the poor girl was left with only heartache and pain.

Chichiri watched as his friend trudged across the countryside. Seeing her hurting over the lost of her beloved Tamahome sadden the young sorcerer. He hoped that the time they spent at Mt. Reikaku, with Tasuki would help heal the hurt the young priestess was feeling. As he thought about his fiery red headed friend, the blue haired monk remembered what the bandit told him the last time he traveled with him.

They had just come back from a diplomatic mission that Empress Houki had sent them on when the two friends began to talk about old times. Chichiri, who had just expressed his sadness over never seeing Miaka again, saw a scowl on Tasuki face. Knowing something was wrong with his young friend the monk asked "What's wrong Tasuki?"

"Nothing's wrong, so why don't quit bothering me?" The red head said angrily.

"I know you're lying, don't you know, so why don't you just tell me, don't you know."

"Do you remember when I said that I hate women?" Tasuki asked hesitantly.


"Well, that's no exactly true. In fact I am love with someone."

"Who are you in love with Tasuki?" Chichiri asked curiously.

Sighing sadly Tasuki said "I am in love with Miaka."

At first the young monk was shocked at the bandit's admission, but as he though back to the past, the young man always acted differently towards Miaka than he had with other women. He should have noticed it then but Chichiri had too busy trying to make sure the young priestess was happy with Tamahome. At the time, the young man knew that Tasuki's love would go unrequited but now that Tamahome was married, maybe just maybe the young bandit's dreams of being with Miaka would come true. And maybe just maybe the stubborn red head would be the one to heal the Priestess of Suzaku's heart heal. With this thought in mind Chichiri ran up to the young woman and said "Let just use my magic, don't you know. You're looking a little tired don't know you."

As the young monk's words startled Miaka out of her depressing thoughts of the past, the young woman looked up at her friend and nodded. Within minutes the young woman found herself at the stronghold of Mt. Reikaku facing Koji, the bandit's leader.

Miaka was about to greet him when the Koji moved to welcome the blue haired monk. "Well if it's Genrou good friend Chichiri, what brings you back here so soon?"

Grinning wildly, the young man said "Miaka here wanted to visit Tasuki don't you know. Is he around?"

"Yeah, Tasuki is hiding out in his room; let me take you to him."

Following the bandit leader, the young woman and her seishi were led to a room at the end of the hall. As soon as Koji got to the front of the door he said Who's there?" the bandit leader asked and then promptly answered himself, "Why, it's Koji, Genrou's best friend. Oh really? Well, come right in! Thanks, don't mind if I do."

Barging in, they found that Tasuki was in the middle of getting dressed. Turning around to see his audience, the young man blushed and then screamed "Would you get the fuck out of here! I am trying to get changed."

As Miaka ran out of the room along with Koji and Chichiri, she couldn't help but think how hot the bandit looked. Knowing that thoughts like this betrayed her love for Tamahome, the young priestess swiftly cleared her mind of the red head's naked body.
Leaving Tasuki to get dressed, the bandit leader led the young woman and her seishi into the main dining hall. Miaka, seeing the bountiful feast in front of her began to eat while she awaited her friend's arrival. She had been on her third course already when she heard Tasuki say "I see you haven't changed a bit Miaka."

Looking up from her plate of food, the young woman got to see how much the young man had changed over the years. Seeing the man before her, she couldn't believe that it was her friend Tasuki. There he stood with his long red hair held back in a braid. His bangs were as wild as ever and his ears still had earring adorning them. Instead of many necklaces around his neck, he only had one and she could still see his fangs stick out when he smiled. As she inspected him further, Miaka notice that he was more muscular than when she last saw him. Looking at his face once again, she started to blush when she remembered what she had seen when she saw the young man naked.

She was still staring at him, when two fingers snapped in front of her face and she heard a voice say "Miaka are you okay?"

Snapping out of her trance, the young woman blushed again and said "Sorry, I didn't mean to space off like that."

"I suppose you were thinking of Tamahome," Tasuki said as he sneered.

Not wanting to admit she was actually thinking of the young bandit, Miaka silently nodded.

"You know Miaka, what Tama did to you was shitty."

"Tasuki...." Chichiri said in shock.

The young girl, who still was quite in love with her beloved Tamahome, became angry at the young red head's comment.
"How dare you speak of Tamahome in such a manner!" She exclaimed.

Turning around to look at the blue haired monk, the young woman said "It was a mistake coming here, let's go."

As she turned around in a huff, he never saw the sad depressed look that came over Tasuki's face. Seeing the look on his friend's face, Chichiri looked at the young bandit and said "I'll try to talk to her."

Looking up at his dear friend sadly the young red head said "Thank you, Chichiri."

Nodding, the young monk quickly left the dining hall to find Miaka

After looking around the compound for awhile, Chichiri finally found her sitting in a little garden crying. When she saw that her friend had found her, she said "I don't want to stay here anymore. I want to see Tamahome."

"That will only bring you pain." He said sadly. "Besides Tasuki didn't mean what he said. He was just talking before thinking about it again."

Sighing the young woman said "I know he didn't mean it. I was just taking my frustration out on him and for that I will apologize but after I do I would like to go see Tamahome."

Seeing determination in the young woman's eyes, the young monk nodded and then led her back to the dining room where he knew Tasuki would be awaiting their return. As they walked back into the room, the young man walked over to Miaka and gave her a hug. "I am sorry Miaka; I didn't mean to upset you."

"I know you didn't but I am afraid that Chichiri and I are still leaving."

Pulling away from the hug, the young red head said "But you just got here."

"I know and I am sorry that I can't stay but I really need to see Tamahome. I just want to know that what we had together is truly over." Miaka said sadly.

"That's okay Miaka, I understand."

"You do?"

"Yes, I do, but of course that also means I'll be going with you."


"No buts about it, I am going with you and that's final."

Smiling at Tasuki, Miaka said "I would like that."

Using his magic again, Chichiri swift transported them from Mt. Reikaku to Tamahome's village. Once there, Miaka ran to the house that once housed her beloved's father and siblings. After knocking on the door, the young woman waited for someone to open it. Five minutes later, it was opened by beautiful woman holding a baby. As the young priestess looked at the woman, she couldn't help but noticed how much she looked like Yui. She was about to say something, when she heard a voice call from out of nowhere.

"Who is it Rika?"

"It's your friend Chichiri and Tasuki with some strange woman with them." Rika said in a tone that implied that she knew actually who the strange woman was.

Tamahome, who hadn't seen his friends in a couple of months, quickly came to the front door. As he joined his wife, the young celestial warrior saw that his friends were with the woman he had promised to love forever. Seeing the pain and sorrow in Miaka's eyes when she looked at him, Tamahome turned to his wife and said "Rika, can you take Chichiri and Tasuki into the house, I need to talk to Miaka alone."

Nodding, the young woman ushered the two men into the house and quickly closed the front door behind them. Once the door was closed, Tamahome led the young woman to back of the house, where his family laid buried. Stopping once they were there, Tamahome leaned over to kiss the young woman passionately on the lips. His lips had barely touched hers when Miaka swiftly pushed him away.

"Don't you dare kiss me, you bastard!" She exclaimed angrily. "How you could marry another when you promised to yourself to me? I thought you loved me!" She cried out.

"I do love you Miaka, I always will. I tried to find a way to come your world but Taiitsukun said it was impossible. But now that you're here, we can be together." Tamahome said and then once leaned down to kiss Miaka again.

But once again his actions were rebuffed; only this time it was because the young woman had slapped him. "How dare you!
"But Miaka I love you."

"I don't care if you love me or not, you have a wife and a child. I will not become your mistress!" She exclaimed.

"You don't have to; I will leave my wife for you, Miaka. I could never love anyone but you."

"You should have thought about that before you married someone else." The young woman said in a pissed off tone.
While Tamahome continued to try to convince Miaka of his love for her, Tasuki and Chichiri were comforting Rika who had begun to cry as soon as her husband left with the young priestess. Although they were married, the young woman knew that if Miaka were ever to come back into the picture, Tamahome would leave her. It didn't matter how much she loved him, he had always loved the Priestess of Suzaku more. When she first married her beloved, Rika knew that she would always take second place to Tamahome's first love. She had hoped with time that he would learn to love her, but she knew that he never would and never could.

As the two continued to comfort the young woman, Tasuki's anger towards Tamahome began to grow. He had always hated the way he made Miaka cry and now he was doing it to someone else. He could never fathom how such a jerk was able to get two kind hearted girls to fall in love with him. Sighing he knew that part of his anger was because he loved Miaka so much that it hurt. Growing up he had always hated women, they were conniving and deceitful, but when he met the priestess everything changed. Because of her caring and beautiful nature, the young red head knew that she was different from all other woman. As time passed, he grew more and more in love with Miaka, hiding it only because he knew that she loved Tamahome. Because he truly loved her, he wanted her to be happy with the man she loved.

Chichiri watched as his friend continued to think. He knew that the red head was trying not to let his anger get the better of him. Of course if he did lose his temper, the young monk wouldn't blame him. He knew Tasuki's feelings for the young priestess and now that Tamahome was married, he had hoped that Miaka would realize the young bandit's feeling for her while she stayed the mountain. But unfortunately, Miaka had decided to confront her ex-beloved, make the situation a total mess. Not only would the young woman probably be hurt by Tamahome but Rika would suffer as well. As he look at the Rika's lovely face covered in tears, he sighed and hoped that everything would turn out for the best.

Meanwhile Tamahome was still trying to convince Miaka that he loved and wanted to marry her. The priestess however realized what a fool she had been by visiting him. Not only had she come to see what an asshole the young warrior was but she had also inadvertently broken up a family as well. Turning away from the man she once loved, Miaka went back to the house to collect Tasuki and Chichiri so that they might leave. Entering the house, the young woman came upon her two friends comforting Rika. Feeling sorry about the conflict she had caused, Miaka went to the woman and said "I am sorry, I should have never come here."

Looking at the young woman with tears still streaming down her face she said "Don't be, I knew that this would happen one day. I hope you and Tamahome will be very happy."

"Rika, Tamahome and I aren't together. I can't be with a man who is married. I wouldn't wreak a marriage like that."

Smiling sadly, the young woman said "Don't you understand that he never loved me? It was you he loved. He will continue to love you always and forever."

"I know that Rika but I can't be with a jerk like and neither should you. You should be with someone who truly loves you and not with someone who only tolerates you." She said sadly. Then she turned around to her two friends she said "Let's go, I don't want to see Tamahome ever again."

Nodding in agreement the two got up to join Miaka. Chichiri was just about to use his magic to teleport them back to Mt. Reikaku, when he felt a tug at the back of his shelve. Turning around the young man came face to face with Rika. Standing behind him, clutching her son, the young woman looked up at the blue haired monk and asked "Can I come with you?"

Looking at the young woman in shock, the young monk said "Why do you want to come with us, don't you love Tamahome?"

"I do indeed love him but Miaka is right, I deserve love not indifference," she said with a sad smile.

Miaka, putting her arm around the young woman said "It would be are pleasure to have you along with us, Rika."

As soon as the young woman said these words the young red head knew that he couldn't bring Rika and Miaka back to his mountain bandits. So turning towards to Chichiri, the young bandit said "How about we go to the palace, we haven't seen Empress Houki and little Boushin in awhile."

After nodding in agreement with the young man, the young sorcerer quickly transported the four of them to the imperial palace in Konan. Once at the palace, the young priestess took Rika and began to give her a tour of it. When the two women were gone, Chichiri looked at Tasuki and asked "So when are you going to tell Miaka how you feel about her?"

"I am not going to tell her how I feel, especially after what happened with Tama."
Sighing the blue haired monk said "Maybe after Miaka gets over Tamahome's betrayal, you should tell her."

"Chichiri somehow I don't think Miaka will ever get over it," He said sadly as he began to walk away. As he continued to walk towards the palace, the young bandit looked back at his friend and shouted "I am going to see how Hotohori's son is."

When Tasuki disappeared into the palace, the young monk sat on the ground and began to think. It looked like his plan of getting Tasuki and Miaka together would never work. The young man was just too stubborn to tell the young priestess how he felt and Miaka's heart was still broken. With these odds again the two of them, Chichiri would be an old man before anything happened between his two friends. But even though he knew the odds were against him, the young man knew he couldn't give up. He would see his two friends smiling again, no matter what actions he had to take.

Sighing he knew that getting Tasuki and Miaka was the only issue had to deal with but he had to do something about Rika as well. She was a beautiful kind hearted woman, who was basically in a loveless married. It made him sad that someone so sweet could be treated so horribly. She deserved better than that, Rika deserved a man who love and protect her no matter what. As he thought about her kind and gentle face, the young monk began to blush. It was then he realized his feelings for the young woman. He hadn't felt anything like since his fiancée died, yet he knew he couldn't do anything about it. Not only was Rika still married to one of his best friends but he also knew that she could never love someone who looked as hideous as he did. Banishing any romantic thoughts of the gentle woman from his mind, the young got up from the ground where he had been sitting and went to the temple of Suzaku to meditate.

Meanwhile as the two men went their separate ways, Miaka continued to show Rika around the palace. After introducing her to Empress Houki, the young girl took her to a secluded garden near the palace gates. Sitting down on one of the benches with her new friend, the young priestess looked up at the woman and said "I am sorry."

Smiling Rika said "Miaka, stop apologizing none of this is your fault."

"You are being too kind Rika; I know for sure that this is my fault. If I had never visited Tamahome, you and he would still be together."

"And I would still be with someone who doesn't love me. No Miaka, I am glad you came to visit Tamahome. You made me realize that I am worth of more than a loveless marriage." Smiling at the girl once again the blond headed woman said "I still love Tamahome more than anything in the world but I no longer wish to use me as a replacement for you."

Glancing at Miaka once more the young woman then said "Miaka, do you believe after being hurt by Tamahome that you could ever fall in love again?"

"No, I don't think I can. I don't think I can trust anyone with my heart again."

"How sad," the young woman said with a sigh. "To think you will never learn to love another because of one man."

Looking at her new friend in shock, she said "And you are going to tell me that you could fall in love again after everything you been through with Tamahome?"

"I know it will take time to get over the hurt, but I hope that one day that I will be able to get over my beloved husband and love again." She said sweetly. Then putting her hand on the young priestess' shoulders she said "Besides if you keep hiding from love than you'll end up lonely for the rest of your life. And I am sure Miaka, that there is someone out there who loves you just as much as Tamahome, perhaps even more. When you find that person please give them a chance."

"I don't know if I can," the young brunette said sadly.

Getting up from the bench, Rika looked over to Miaka and said "I hope you do because Miaka you deserve to be happy."

Smiling at the young blond, the young priestess also got up from the bench and linked her arm in Rika's. Then together they walk back to the palace so that Rika could check on her son.

As they entered the large palace, Miaka saw that Tasuki was playing with Boushin and Rika's son Kenshin in the throne room. Seeing the red head playing with the two lovely made something stir deep inside her heart. Ignoring it, the young priestess joined the young bandit on the floor with the two children. Tasuki, who was so engrossed in playing peek-a-boo with Boushin and Kenshin, didn't notice that Miaka had entered the palace until she sat down besides him. Although he tried to ignore the closeness of the young brunette, the wing seishi couldn't help blush at the thought of how close he was to the woman he loved.

Rika, who had noticed the blushed, smiled. She hoped that this was a sign that Miaka was indeed loved by someone else. She knew that if Tasuki did indeed love her new friend, that he would make her happier than Tamahome ever could. Knowing that she had to tell the young girl of her suspicions, the young blond cleared her throat in order to get her friend's attention.

Hearing a noise from behind her, Miaka looked up at Rika and said "Is something wrong?"

"Not at all Miaka, I just thought with you complain how hungry you were before, that we should get ourselves something to eat."

Laughing in embarrassment, the young brunette said "You're right I could go for something to eat." Standing up, Miaka said her good-byes to Tasuki and the two babies.

As soon as the two left the red head's presence Rika turned towards her friend and said "My friend there something I think I should tell you."

"What is it?" The young girl asked worriedly.

"I think your wing seishi; Tasuki is in love with you."
"That's ridiculous; he hates women so he can't be in love with me. Besides even if he were in love with me, I wouldn't feel the same way. Tasuki is only a friend and nothing else."


"But nothing," Miaka interrupted. "Stop talking nonsense and let's go get something to eat."

Grudgingly Rika nodded and followed the Priestess of Suzaku to the dinning room.

Meanwhile, after the two women left the throne room, Tasuki continued to play with the two children. As he played all kinds of games with them, he finally made up his mind to tell Miaka exactly how he felt about her. It was the only way he would find out how she felt about him. If she loved him as well, then he would ask her permission to court her. If she felt only friendship for him, then he would move on, but he didn't think he would ever love another as much as he loved the young brunette.

Empress Houki, noticing that her young friend was distracted, said "Tasuki, I take the two children to the nursery. Why don't you get something to eat?"

Nodding at the Empress' suggestion, the red headed bandit got up from where he was playing with the children and went to the dining room. Entering the room, the wing seishi saw Miaka talking enthusiastically to Rika. Upset at the fact the young woman was not along, Tasuki was about to leave when he heard Rika say "Would you excuse me Miaka, I am going to go check on Kenshin."

"Okay," the young woman said with a smile.

After Rika took her leave of Miaka, the young man sat down next to the young woman. Clearing his throat to get the priestess' attention, the young red head said "Miaka there is something I have to tell you."

"What is it? Are you okay Tasuki, you're shaking."

"I am fine Miaka," said the young man continued to shake. "I just want to tell you how much I love you." He said in a scared tone.

"I love you Tasuki, you're one of my best friends." The young woman said as she began to hug the young man.

Sighing as she hugged him, the red head said "No Miaka, I meant that I love you in a romantic way."

Shocked at her friend's admission, the young priestess said "Tasuki, I don't know what to say."

"Please say you love me too."

"I can't Tasuki. I still love Tamahome. I am sorry but I only see you as a friend."

Sadden by the fact that the one woman he had ever loved had just rejected him, the young bandit said "It's okay Miaka; I mean who could ever love a stupid jerk like me."

Getting up from the table, the young man took his leave of Miaka and went back to the room Empress Houki had set up for him. Pack the few belongings he had brought with himself, Tasuki left the palace and made his way back to Mt. Reikaku.

As he journeyed towards his home, he couldn't help but think about Miaka and how much he still loved her. He knew that he would love her to the end time even through she thought of him as just a friend. He knew that no one would ever love him. He was insensitive at times and he never knew when to shut up. These were qualities that he knew could never attract a woman's attention. But he hoped that for once that someone see beyond his bravado and see that he was a man that wanted to be loved. Shaking these depressing thoughts from his mind, Tasuki hoped that Miaka wouldn't follow him once she found he was gone from the palace. The last thing he needed was to see her again.
Meanwhile Chichiri had just come back from meditating at the temple, when he saw Rika walking around the gardens of the palace. Walking towards her, the young monk greeted the young woman who seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. As soon as she heard the soft of hello said to her, she looked up at the sorcerer and smiled.
"Hello Chichiri. I haven't seen you all day, what were you up to?"

"I was meditating in the temple," He said with a smile. "How do you like the palace so far?"

"It wonderful, everyone here is so kind."

"I am glad you are enjoying it here Lady Rika."

"Me too," She said with a sweet smile. "Chichiri, if you don't mind can I ask you something."

"Sure, what is it?"

"Do you think Lord Tasuki is in love with Lady Miaka?" She asked boldly.

"Why do you ask such a thing?"

"Because earlier at the palace, I could have sworn that I saw Lord Tasuki blushing when Lady Miaka was sitting next to him."
Knowing that this mean that his friend's secret was out, the blue haired monk sighed "Yes, he loves her very much."

"I am glad. I would like to see the priestess happy."

"I would like that as well Lady Rika," He said with a smile.

Smiling Rika took a good look at the man before her. He was a very handsome man and well as very kind, but she couldn't help but feel that he was hiding behind so kind of mask. As the young blond continued to assess the young monk, Chichiri began to blush. During his time meditating at the temple, he had realized that he had feelings towards his best friend's wife. He knew that he had just met her, but he couldn't help but feel love in his heart for the young woman. It was the first time since his fiancée had died that he had ever felt thing way about another woman. Yet he knew he couldn't do anything about it. Rika was a married woman, who just happened to be married to his best friend. It was a situation that could cause nothing but trouble. So he decided that he would just keep his feelings to himself.

Determined to keep the Lady Rika at arms length, Chichiri smiled at the young woman and said "Well, I am going to find Tasuki. I will see you later, okay."

After she nodded in agreement, the young man took his leave of the young woman and went to search for his young friend. As he walked into the room the young Empress had set aside for the young bandit, Chichiri noticed that it was empty. Thinking that perhaps that his friend was with Miaka, the blue haired monk searched the rooms for his two friends. Ten minutes of searching for them, the young man finally found the young priestess in the dining, crying but still Tasuki wasn't with her.

Stepping towards his young friend, the young monk asked "Miaka, what's wrong?"

"Oh Chichiri," she said as she ran over to her friend and began to sob on his shoulder. "Tasuki told me that he loved me and I told that I only loved him as a friend. I really hurt him, Chichiri."

Patting her on the back, the young sorcerer said "Miaka, please don't be sad, you were just being honest about how you felt about him."

"But I wasn't being honest to him and now I have hurt him."

"Miaka, what are saying?"

"Chichiri, I think I am fall in love with him. I told him I didn't because I think it's too soon after Tamahome hurt my feelings."

"You're right you need to heal from the pain that Tamahome has caused you, but you shouldn't have lied to Tasuki. He has loved you for a long time and he deserves nothing but the truth."

Sighing Miaka said "You're right; I have to tell the truth. Do you know where I can find him?"

"I think he left the palace. He wasn't in his room and I don't sense his chi anywhere. I think he might have went back to see Koji. Do you want me to transport you there?"

"Thank you but no. This is something I have to do on my own. I just hope he's willing to hear me out."

Breaking away from her friend, Miaka left the dining room and started her journey towards Mt. Reikaku.

As she began her journey to the mountain, she couldn't help but think how stupid she had been. If she had been really smart it would have been Tasuki and not Tamahome, that she would have fall in love with when she first entered the book. But she had been immature little girl, who go swept off her feet by the first guy who saved her. She was blinded by her love for him, refusing to even think of any other man but him. Even when she had finally left the book world, she continued on like Tamahome was going to be with her any moment. She dwelt in loneliness and heartache because she refused to give up the dream. And she could admit that there was still a part of her who still didn't want to give up the dream. She would always love Tamahome but Miaka knew that it was time to let someone else in her heart. And who better than Tasuki.

When she first met the red head, she through that he was loud and obnoxious. He always said what was on his mind no matter how hard Noriko would hit him. As time went on she could see that he possessed a gentle heart. He care for others around him and was sad went he lost someone close to him. Also as she began to think back to the past, she finally noticed the signs that the bandit was indeed in love with. He always protected her at all cost, even if was against the man she love. It was now that the young woman realized that Tasuki loved with a passion that rivaled Tamahome's.

But could she really tell the young man how she felt, considering she herself had just realized that she had feeling for him. Miaka didn't know how or why she had begun to have feeling for her wing seishi. Maybe it was when she first met him and he had almost kissed her. Or maybe it was she saw him naked for the first time. It didn't matter how or why, she just knew that she wanted to be with him. She wanted to once again be held by someone who truly loved her. She knew it seemed fast that she would able to love again, but wasn't that how love work? Miaka knew that love happened un-expectantly and by chance, and she was going to take that chance. Now matter what the cost, she was going to tell Tasuki had she felt. Even if he rejected her for hurting him, at least she would have finally told the man she loved, how she truly felt about him. With this purpose in mind, Miaka began to swiftly ride towards the mountain. Not stopping for food or drink.

Finally after a day's ride, the young Priestess of Suzaku made it to Mt. Reikaku. With her heart in her throat Miaka approached Koji was guarding the entrance to the bandit's hide out. Seeing the anger in the man's eyes as she began to approach him, Miaka knew that she had hurt Tasuki and badly. She knew that she wasn't going to be welcomed here at the mountain but she had to tell her wing seishi the truth no matter what the cost.

As Koji approached the bitch that broke his best friend's heart, he gruffly said "What are you doing? Haven't you caused enough trouble?"

"You're right Koji I have but please let me see Tasuki."

"Why so you can break Genrou's heart again?"

"No, I promise you I am not going to break his heart again, please let me see him."

"Fine, I'll let you see but if you hurt again, I will kill you." He snarled.

After nodding in agreement with Koji, the young woman made her way to where Tasuki's bedroom was. Knocking on the door, she heard a muffled voice say "Fuck off Koji."

"It's not Koji Tasuki. It's me, Miaka."

"What do you want?"

"I want to talk to you, please open the door," she begged.

After hearing some scuffling, the door opened to reveal a red eyed Tasuki with a scowl on his face.

"What do you want to talk to me about? Did you come here to rip out my heart and crush it again?"

Seeing the hurt in her wing seishi's eyes, she took a deep breath and said "Tasuki, I didn't exactly tell you the truth back there at the palace."

"What do you mean?" He asked hesitantly.

"I mean that I love you and not just as a friend but romantically."

"Are you bullshitting me because if you are I am going to be mad."

"No, I am not, I love you." She said with a smile. Then leaning over towards the red head, she kissed him softly on the lips.

Pulling her towards him, the young bandit deepened the kiss. Finally the woman that he loved was in his arms, but as they kissed all the young man could think about was Tamahome and how Miaka still loved the insensitive jerk as well. Pushing away from the sweet embrace of his love, Tasuki said "I can't do this Miaka, not when you still love Tamahome. I don't want to be second choice. I want to be your one and only and until you get over your love for Tama, I don't think we should do this."

Turning away from the woman that he loved, Tasuki went back into his room and closed the door behind him.

Meanwhile back at the palace, Chichiri was still pondering his feelings for the lovely Rika. Even thought he knew that she was his best friend's wife, he could help but feel drawn to her. In many ways she reminded him of his beloved Kouran, who had killed when a flood destroyed his village. He had vowed then to never love another but now it looked like Suzaku was giving him a second chance. Knowing that he had to take this chance, the young monk decided to tell Rika exactly how he felt about her.

Rika had just put her son down for a nap when she saw the young monk coming towards her. Surprise to see the mask off of Chichiri's face, the young blond asked "Are you okay Chichiri?"

"I am fine Lady Rika, thank you for asking," he said with a smile. "But I was wondering if we can talk somewhere private."

"Of course," she said.

Leading her away from the palace, the blue haired monk brought her to the lake that he always went fishing in. After the two sat down and chatted for awhile, the young sorcerer looked at the lovely blond and said "There is something I have to tell you Rika."

"What is it Chichiri?" She asked worriedly.

"I don't know quite how to say this but...."

After a long paused, Lady Rika became nervous and shouted "but what?"

"But I think I am falling in love with you." I know you're still married to Tamahome but I can't help feeling attracted to you Lady Rika."

"Seriously," she asked in wonder.

"Yes, from the moment I met you I couldn't help but feel as if you were my soul mate."

"This is so sudden."

"I know, but I just wanted you to know how I felt about you," he said sincerely.
"Then Chichiri there is something I have to tell you as well," she said with a smile. "I am falling in love with you too. That's why I left my home to come with you."

"But I thought you love Tama, no da."

"Yes it's true I did love my husband, but when I met you I couldn't help but fell we were meant to be together Chichiri. Unfortunately for us, our love can never be. I am a married woman and as long as I am married, nothing could happen between us. I am sorry," she said as she began to cry.

As her sobs continued, Chichiri held her in his arms. He wished that they could just love each other but having an affair with Rika could lead to both their deaths. It was a risk they couldn't take. So after comforting the young blond for awhile, the young monk carefully pulled away from her and said "Even though when can never be together Rika, I will always love you."

"And I you," the young woman said as she kissed him on the forehead.

After she looked at her beloved one last time, the Lady Rika walked away knowing that she could never be with the man she loved.

Chichiri, who wanted to get away from far away from his beloved as possible, transported himself to the bandit's hideout to see how Tasuki and Miaka were faring. Unfortunately, he got his coordinates wrong and ended up transporting himself into the young redhead's room. Upon looking around the room, he noticed that his young friend was crying on his bed. Approaching the young bandit, Chichiri, placed his hand on Tasuki's shoulder and asked "Are you okay?"

As soon as the young red head felt the hand on his shoulder, he jumped in fright. After seeing the young blue haired monk, the young man calmed down and said "No, I am not."

"What happened?"

"Miaka told me that she loved me.

"That's great, no da."

"Well it was until I told her that we should wait until she gets over Tamahome." Sighing in frustration, the red head looked at his friend's masked face and said "I don't want to be her second choice. Somehow I feel she only wants me because she can't have Tama."

"Damn it why does everything have to be about Tamahome."

"Because he what caused this whole mess in the first place."

"I just wish he would disappear, no da. Then you could have Miaka and I could be with Rika."

"Rika, huh? When did that happened?"

"From the moment I met her."

"We're just a couple of hopeless men. I knew there was a reason to hate women."

"How can we hate women, when we can't even live without them?" The young man asked with a sigh.

"You know what screw Tamahome! I love Miaka and Miaka loves me, that's all matters. Chichiri, I am going to fine the woman that I love and tell her that I was wrong."

As he watched the young red head, Chichiri that he too could forget about his friend and be with the one he loved.

Meanwhile Tamahome made his way to the palace determined to win back the affections of his beloved Miaka. Now that Rika had left him, he knew that would have a chance with the young brunette all her had to do was find her.

As the young man with the ogre symbol on his forehead made his way to find his beloved priestess, the red haired bandit found Miaka outside staring up at the night sky. Taking a deep breath, Tasuki sat down by the woman that he loved and said "Can we talk?"

"About what, " the brunette asked curiously.

"About what an idiot I have been. Miaka, I love you so much, I don't care if your over Tamahome or not, I just want to be with you."

"I want to be with you too."

After caressing his face with her hand, Miaka lean forward and kissed the young man passionately on the lips. As breaking the kiss, the young priestess took the bandit's hand and lead him back to his room. That night Miaka made passionate love to a man for the first time. She had given Tasuki what she had never given Tamahome and she didn't regret a thing.

Snuggling back down besides the bandit, she fell back asleep not knowing Tamahome had been searching the countryside for her. So while she was spending her time in her beloved's arms, the young seishi had gone to the first place he could think of to look for Miaka, the palace.

While at the palace of the former emperor Hotohori, the young man ran into his wife Rika and their son. Looking at the man, she still held love in her heart for, the young blond sadly asked "What are you doing here or should have I even bothered asking?"

"I came here for Miaka, have you see her?"

Sighing she said "Even if I knew Tamahome I wouldn't tell you."

She was about to walk away from him, when the young man grabbed her by the arm and then proceed to slap her face. "How dare you not tell me you bitch!"

Holding a hand against her face, Rika scowled at him and said "I don't know what I ever saw in an asshole like you. I wish I never married you."

"We were never married bitch!" he said with a snarl.

"What do you mean we were never married. I was there when we exchanged vows in front of a monk."

"You only thought, he was a monk sweetheart! He was actually a con-artist friend of mine. I would have never married you not when it would betray Miaka like that. I only made you believe that we were husband and wife so I could have sex with you. And even the sex was bad. I should have never had anything to do with a bitch like you."

Turning away from her, he then said "I don't need you anyway, if I know Miaka she probably went to Mt. Reikaku with Tasuki and Chichiri. After he left the palace, Rika fell to the ground and began to weep. As she cried, she prayed that Chichiri and Tasuki would able to stop Tamahome without getting hurt.

While Rika continued to pray for her friends and beloved's safety, Tamahome made his way quickly to the mountain fortress. Since he was running on anger alone, Chichiri, was able to sense his presence right away. Knowing that this meant trouble, the young blue haired monk made his way to where Tasuki and Miaka were still sleeping. With Tasuki and Miaka finally being together and Tamahome stopping at nothing to get the priestess back, the young man knew there a battle was inevitable. A battle that he knew without a doubt would cost of them their life. Even though he didn't want to fight a friend, he knew that would be no other way of stopping Tamahome.

As the teal haired man's battle aura came closer to the mountain, Chichiri quickly barged into Tasuki room and shouted "Wake up and get dressed."

Hearing their friend's screams, the two got up and quickly got dressed. Once they were clothed Tasuki asked "What's going on? What did you wake up?"

"Tamahome is coming to Mt. Reikaku and he means trouble"

Growling Tasuki said "If he wants a fight, then I'll give him."

Putting his tessan in its holder, the young red headed bandit went out to met his former friend now turned enemy for the battle of his life.

As Tamahome made his way to the bandit's hideout, he saw that Tasuki was block his path.

"Get out of my way, you asshole, I want to see Miaka," he said angrily.

"If you want to see her then you'll have to get through me."

"If that's the way you want it," the teal haired man said with scowl. "I beat you one Tasuki, I can beat you again."

Using his marital arts skills, Tamahome lunged towards Tasuki. As his foot knocked the bandit to the ground, the young man laughed "You think you can beat me. You're no match for my strength."

Growling at the thought of the asshole beating him, Tasuki got up from the ground and took out tessan and said "Rekka Shinen."

Concentrating all of his power to his weapon, the young red head prayed to Suzaku that it would be enough to stop Tamahome. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough and when the smoke and fire finally cleared, the teal haired man stood their smirking.

"You're stupider than I thought."

Bring his fist back, Tamahome proceed to punch the young man in the face. As the young man continued to kick the crap out of Tasuki, Chichiri came out of the hideout to help his friend. Seeing that the bandit was badly hurt, the blue haired monk decided that it was time that he too took on Tamahome. Kneeling down next to his injured friend and said "Tasuki if we combine both of our powers together we'll be able to defeat Tamahome."

"But if we do that we'll kill him."

"There is no other way Tasuki, if we don't do this he'll kill you and take Miaka against her will."

Knowing that his friend way right, the red head bandit stood up and took out his weapon once again and said "Rekka Shinen."

As Tasuki utter the words that brought power to his weapon, the young monk directed his powers along with the young bandit's. With the strong concentration of power directed toward Tamahome, the young teal haired man was unable to run. When both attacks reached the young man, he disintegrated into nothing. Leaving only a pile of dust where their once friend stood.

Knowing that they had just killed the man they considered a good friend, the two men fell to the ground and began to grieve for the man that Tamahome use to be. As the continued to pray for their once dear friend, Miaka came out of the bandit stronghold to see what happened.. When she saw Chichiri and Tasuki on the ground and no signs of Tamahome, she began to freak.

"Where is he Tasuki?"

"He's gone Miaka. Chichiri and I had to kill him"

"You do you mean you killed him?" She asked angrily.

"There was no other way, Miaka. It was either kill or be killed." Chichiri said sadly.

"It all because of me. You were hurt and Tamahome was killed because of me," she said as she begin to cry.

Getting up from the ground, Tasuki was about to comfort his lover when she brushed him off by saying "Chichiri can you take me back to the palace, I don't feel like being around here right now."

After nodding to his priestess, the blue haired monk turn towards a very upset Tasuki and said "Don't worry my friend, she just needs some time."

Once they were gone, the bandit went back to the room he spent the night with Miaka and began to mourn once again. Because he had no other choice to kill Tamahome he had just lost the one woman he had ever loved.

Meanwhile back at the palace, Miaka, refusing to see anyone locked herself in her room. Leaving her alone so she could have sometime to mourn, Chichiri went to the garden where he hoped he could find Rika. Fortunately he had found her there reading a book. Taking her into his arms, he kissed her passionately. Breaking the kiss, he looked at her and said "I am sorry to be the one to have to tell you this but Tamahome is dead.

After hearing those words, Rika coldly said "I am glad he's gone that lying bastard. He deserve what he got."

Shocked at his beloved harshness, the young blue haired monk asked "Rika, did something happen between you and Tamahome while I was gone?"

Sighing she said "I found out that we were never married. He did an elaborate con just so that he could have sex with me." As she began to cry, the young blond asked "Can you still love me after I been so defiled?"

"Rika, I will always love, my feelings about you will never change."

Taking the young woman into his arms once again, he kissed her passionately. After breaking it off once again the young blue haired monk said "I know this is sudden, but I would like for you to become my wife and Kenshin my son. That's if you want to." He said nervously.

"I won't have it any other way," she said as she hugged him.

As he held his beloved in his arms, Chichiri thank Suzaku for bring Rika into his life. Now that he had a love of his own, now all he had to do was make Miaka see how much she was hurting Tasuki. He only hoped he could make her see reason before it was too late.

After Rika left him to take care of her son, the young monk walked in the direction that he saw Miaka ran off in. Knocking softly on the door, he hoped the young priestess would now be in the mood to talk to someone. When he heard her say "come in," the young monk walked in. Sitting on the bed besides her, Chichiri hugged his friend and said "Miaka, I know you're hurting right now but Tasuki is hurting as well, no da."

"I know," she said she sniffled. "It's my fault that you and Tasuki had to your best friend.

If I hadn't come back here in the first place now of this would have happened."

"Miaka if you hadn't of come here, Tasuki wouldn't have miserable for the rest of his life and so would have I. It because of you I met Rika and feel in love with her. It was because of you that Tasuki has been happier then he has ever been the last couple of years. If you don't stop feeling sorry for yourself, you are going to lose the best thing that ever happened in your life. Please Miaka, stop blaming yourself for Tamahome's death and move on, because without Tasuki is miserable."

Looking up at her friend's maskless face, she said "You're right. I've been so caught up in self-pity that I didn't realize how much I was hurting the one I love. Oh Chichiri I been such a fool. How can he ever forgive me?"

"He'll forgive you because he loves you."

Smiling at the thought of how much the red headed bandit truly loved her, Miaka nodded in agreement. She was about to ask him to bring her to the bandit's mountain once again, when Chichiri got up from the bed and said "I am going to bring Tasuki here, there's something I need to talk to him about anyway."

After nodding again, Miaka watched as her friend disappeared.

Chichiri looked up at the bandit's hideout once again and sighed. He hoped that this was the last time that he would have to transport back and forth from the palace to the mountain. After a brief pray to Suzaku, the young monk nodded to the guards and made his way to the red head room. Not caring enough to knock, the man barged into the room only to find that Tasuki wasn't there. Knowing that Koji would be the one to know where his friend disappeared to, the young man quickly searched for him. Finally after thirty minutes of search the compound, the young monk finally found Koji eating in the main dining hall.

As Koji saw Tasuki's fellow seishi enter the room, he stopped eating and said "I am not telling you where he went."

"Koji, it's important, Miaka really needs to talk to him."

"Chichiri don't you think she's hurt him enough. I refuse to see that bitch cause my friend pain again, so I will not tell you where he went."

Sighing, Chichiri reluctantly left Koji and decided to focus on Tasuki's chi so that he might find his young friend. Sadly the blue haired was unable to sense his friend's presence. It was like the young bandit had disappeared altogether.

Meanwhile as Chichiri was searching for Tasuki, the young man was making his way towards his family home. It was the one place he thought he would never return but Tasuki also knew that no one would ever find him there. No one knew of his child home and the young man decided to go there as a means to just disappear for a while, even if it meant dealing with the overbearing women in his family.

So after a two day's journey, the young red finally made it to his home in Tai-Tou. Knocking on the door of his family's house, Tasuki prepared himself for the worst. About two minutes after he knock on the door, a big busty woman with red curly hair answer the door. Seeing her beloved youngest child Genrou, Ming gathered the bandit in her arms and gave him a giant squeeze. As Tasuki began to turn purple from lack of oxygen, he hoped the decision to return had been a good one. But he knew with a family like his, it might turn out the worst mistake he ever made. No matter what the situation would be, he knew he would use the time away to try and get over Miaka and his love for her. Maybe if he could forget about her, the pain in his heart would go away.

Clearing thoughts of Miaka out his head, Tasuki pulled away from his mother in order to get some much needed oxygen into his lungs. As the young man tried catching his breath, Ming asked him "So what brings you back here after five years?"

"Nothing, I just wanted to see you guys." He said nonchalantly.

"Don't lie to me Genrou! You didn't just come here to see your family; I think your running away from something."
"So what if I am."

"Because my boy, whatever the situation is, you can't run away from it. You have to deal with it one way or another."

Knowing that his mother was right, Tasuki sighed and said "I'll deal with it eventually, mom. I just need sometime to clear my head little."

Decided not to say anything else about her son's problem, Ming looked at her son "It's good to have you back Genrou. We missed you while you were gone."

Smiling at his mom, he said "I missed you too."

While Tasuki stayed at his childhood home in Tai-Tou, Miaka was becoming a nervous wreck. After Chichiri told her of the young red head's disappearance, the young woman began to think the worse of the whole entire situation. She hoped that her beloved Tasuki was okay and that Chichiri would be able to find him soon. As she though over the weeks that lead up to this moment the young priestess couldn't help but feel that her love for the young bandit was being tested just like it was with Tamahome when she first entered the book. She just hoped that at the end of the test she will still have the man she loved and not end up alone. She could only pray to Suzaku that everything would turn out for the best. The only thing she could do now was hope that Tasuki would be returned to her.
As Miaka stayed at the palace, Chichiri traveled around the land of Konan in hopes that he would find out where the wing seishi was hiding.

After three days of searching, the young monk finally picked up his friend chi near the village of Tai-Tou. Happy that he finally felt his friend's life force, the young man entered the village in hopes of finding the young bandit so that he might talk to him. Even though he knew that the young red head was very hurt by Miaka' actions, he hoped that Tasuki would be able to listen to reason.

Meanwhile Tasuki was looking around the market place. He had been home for three days and still he was unable to forget about Miaka. In fact, he came to conclusion that he would always love the young priestess no matter what. And even though he wasn't sure if the young brunette still wanted him, the young bandit had gone into the market place for the sole purpose of finding a beautiful diamond ring so that he could ask his beloved to be his bride.

As the twenty four year old was about to leave the shopping area, he bumped into someone. He was about to curse the person out, when he looked up and saw Chichiri standing right in front of him. Looking at his dear friend, Tasuki said "How did you find me?" "Well it took me awhile but I finally felt the presence of chi here, no da." He said with a smile. "Anyway I think it's about time you come back to palace and talk to Miaka." Sighing the bandit said "Chichiri I don't like being told what to do, you know that. But I'll let it go this time since I was about to go there anyway." "Good it about you two started talking, no da."

Throwing his kasa in the air, the blue haired monk entered it pulling Tasuki along with him. Finally after five minutes, the two men appeared right in the room where Miaka had been staying. Glad to finally to have in the same room together; Chichiri said "I am going to leave the two of you alone, no da." Leaving room, the magician locked the door behind him with his magic, so Miaka and Tasuki wouldn't be able to get out unless they resolved their feelings for one another. Of course knowing his two friends, that could be quite awhile. So while they were locked in the room together, Chichiri decided to visit his beloved Rika so they might start planning their wedding.

While the monk went to talk to his fiancée, Miaka and Tasuki was busy staring at each. Finally after what seemed like an hour to the bandit, he shouted "Well do you have anything to say to me or you just going sit there and stare at me!" "You're right we should talk. Tasuki, I do love you."

"But you can stand being with someone who killed the man you once loved, is that what you're going to tell me. " Taking the brunette's hand into his, Tasuki then said "I love you for the moment that I saw you Miaka. You were unlike any girl I have met and I could help but to love you. But you were already with Tamahome, so I wished that you would find the happiness that you deserved with the man you loved. After you left, I tried to forget all about, but I couldn't. Then you came back here and finally I got to hold you in my arms and love you like I always wanted to love you. And know I never want to let go. I don't care if I'll always be second best with you, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Getting down on his knees besides Miaka, the wing seishi pulled out a box from his pocket and opened it. Showing her the beautiful ring he had bought her, the red head said "Miaka Yuki, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Shocked the young woman looked down at the red head and then looked at the ring. Not knowing what to say, she just stared at him and said nothing. Frustrated at Miaka's silence, Tasuki said "Well do you want to marry me or not." Finally the priestess broke her silence and said "Yes, I'll marry you."

Smiling the bandit put the ring on her index finger and then proceeded to kiss her on the lips. After breaking the passionate kiss, Miaka looked at her finance and said "I am so sorry for being such an idiot the past few weeks."

"Miaka, you were the only one being an idiot; I was being one as well. Look lets forget it and just look to the future."

Nodding in agreement Miaka caressed her beloved cheek and proceeded to kiss him once again. As the two make love, Chichiri was talking to Houki and Rika. With the Empress' permission, the two lovers decided to have their wedding at the palace. Since he was one of the Suzaku Seven, the wedding was to be a state affair held in a manner that befitting a man of the young monk's stature. They had decided that the wedding would be held in six months time, so th