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Flute and Willow

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Part 1

 

            "How dare he!" Nuriko said as he stormed into his room. "I can comfort Hotohori-sama all by myself!" Needing to vent his anger, the violet-haired seishi grabbed a nearby table and lifted it above his head. "Who the hell does he think he is?! Just because he can play a flute and I can't doesn't mean he can get near him! Hotohori's mine!!" He then promptly threw the poor table at the wall, making a table shaped hole before it smashed to pieces when it landed far outside the palace walls.

            "Oh dear. I did it again," he said sighing and sinking onto the bed.

            A knock came on his door. Why couldn't the others leave him alone? Couldn't they see he just wanted to be alone? "Chichiri, Miaka, go away," he said not even bothering to ask who it was. He felt the person's chi fade then return as whoever dared disturb him cautiously opened the door. A pair of hazel eyes peeked through the crack and widened when they saw the damage the room's occupant had done to the wall.

            "What do YOU want, Chiriko?" snapped Nuriko.

            The sandy haired seishi on the other side of the door winced when he heard his name. He didn't like doing this, lying to them like he was. He could see these were good people, but if they truly were a threat, as Nakago had said, then it was his duty to see to it they were stopped.

            He inched the door open a bit more. "Nuriko-san, can I come in? I'd like to talk to you."

            "Go away. Don't you have some comforting to do?" he snapped.

            "Please Nuriko-san. I'm really sorry about what I said before. Please," begged the younger seishi.

            Seeing the latest cause for his jealousy wasn't about to disappear willingly, he sighed trying his best to ignore the sudden urge to kick the flute carrying seishi into the next province. "All right, but make it quick."

            "I just wanted to say, I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to make you jealous, Nuriko-san. I thought since that Hotohori-sama loved Miaka-sama..."

            The violet haired seishi looked up at the younger seishi. "I know Chiriko. You didn't know how I felt about the emperor. How could you, if I kept my true feelings hidden. Ever since he found out my secret, I stopped fawning over him. It was hopeless really. Right from the start. I should've known he'd never love me."

            'Chiriko' placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I truly am sorry, Nuriko-san. Can we still be friends?"

            Nuriko smiled. "Sure. We're both Suzaku's seishi, right? I don't see why we can't be friends."

            The sandy haired seishi stared at the older man for a moment then remembered he was still clutching his flute. "Would you like for me to play something, Nuriko-san? It would help you feel better," he asked timidly. Nuriko just sat there, staring at the sandy haired boy. "Nuriko-san?" The longer he stared, the uneasier 'Chiriko' felt. Did he suspect something?

            On the contrary, Nuriko was totally unaware of his 'friend's' true identity. He was actually just now noticing how handsome the younger seishi was. 'He has such gentle eyes. So kind.'

            "Nuriko-san, are you all right?"

            Nuriko snapped out of his reverie and began to blush. "Ah- gomen, Chiriko. I, um, just noticed something."

            "N-nani," the other seishi asked nervously.

            "I never really got a good look at you before. You know, you're rather good looking." Nuriko blushed furiously.

            The younger seishi blinked, startled at Nuriko, then began to blush all the way upto his hair roots. "A-am I?"

            "Um-hmm," replied the violet haired man inching closer to 'Chiriko'. "You're not as beautiful as Hotohori-sama, but you're kawaii just the same."

            "Um... Nuriko-san, I'd better be going." 'Chiriko' made to leave when Nuriko grabbed his arm and spun him around. The younger seishi had the look of a deer caught in the headlights as Nuriko's face inched closer and closer.

            Suddenly, 'Chiriko' felt lips pressing gently against his. Nuriko was kissing him! He opened his mouth to protest, only to succeed in allowing the other seishi's tongue to enter it.

            'Why even bother,' he vaguely heard a voice say in his head. After a few moments of struggling against the iron grip of Nuriko, he decided to obey the voice and calmed down, wrapping his arms around the violet haired man's waist.

 

            The summoning ceremony was a complete disaster. Believing they had all seven seishi, they attempted to summon Suzaku only to lose their only copy of the 'Shi Jin Ten Chi Sho' and discover that the 'Chiriko' they had come to know was an enemy.

            He had stood there calmly throughout the whole thing and when Suzaku failed to appear, he raised his flute to his lips and began to play. The flute's music had caused them all great pain, had it not been for the timely appearance of the true Chiriko, the Suzaku seishi and Miaka would all have been killed.

            Nuriko went to sulk in a corner while Hotohori and Mitsukake crowded around Chiriko and Tamahome, Tasuki, Chichiri, and Miaka went after the impostor. After a minute, the violet haired seishi began to pace back and forth anxiously waiting for any sign of news of 'Chiriko.'

            No, not Chiriko, Amiboshi. He was never one of them, yet he acted and treated the others as if he was. He even said he loved him. Was that a lie too? A way to lower his guard or had the Seiryuu seishi truly loved him?

            Nuriko refused to believe that the love he shared with the sandy haired seishi was a charade. When he looked into his lover's eyes when he had been found out, he had seen utter despair and longing for forgivness. Remembering that look on Amiboshi's face, he suddenly bolted from the palace's shrine.

            'Suzaku, please let him be all right. Don't let Tama and Tasuki hurt him too much,' he prayed as he headed back to his room.

            "Chiriko, Amiboshi, whoever you are, I forgive you. I know it's not your fault. You were only doing what you had to, as Seiryuu's seishi," Nuriko whispered, sinking onto the bed, still warm from the two seishi who shared it. Leaning against the headboard, he wrapped himself in the blankets, smelling the lingering scent of him and his lover.

 

            After what seemed like an eternity, the other seishi had returned with Miaka, who was clutching Amiboshi's flute to her chest. The solemn looks on their faces told all; 'Chiriko'/Amiboshi was never coming back.

            Nuriko had run to the shrine as soon as he heard the others had returned. He stared for a few nanoseconds then began to say something. But before he could get anything out, the still burning ceremonial fire flared and the godsawfully ugly face of Taiisukun appeared in the flames, scaring the life out of Tamahome and Hotohori.

 

            After the manager of the 'Shi Jin Ten Chi Sho', had given the seishi their power ups, she sent them from Suzaku's shrine to talk to Miaka alone.

            Now Nuriko had the chance to 'talk' to those who had gone after Amiboshi. He could no longer hold back the tears. He came up to Tamahome and Tasuki who were fighting over the redhead's shiny new tessen. "Amiboshi wasn't truly an evil person! How could you! Brutes!" he sobbed. He then promptly punched the two stunned seishi, causing them to fly over the railing and several hundred feet across the palace grounds.

            With that said and done, the violet haired man ran back to his room and slammed the door, almost tearing it from its track. He then flung himself onto the bed and cried his heart out. For the first time in his life, Ryuuen Chou cried. Not even when his younger sister Kourin had died did he shed a tear. Now all the grief and pain, coupled with the loss of yet another person dear to him, had finally burst free and refused to be controlled until he had fallen asleep, exhausted.