Elf (rumielf) wrote in tasukiandmiaka,
Elf
rumielf
tasukiandmiaka

Fanfic: Vindicated

And now for my quick little songfic to celebrate the anniversary. Guess what....I wrote it in a day as promised. :) Nothing graphic but hopefully still sweet enough for everyone. Hope you like it!!

A/N and disclaimer: Just an idea I had for a songfic not too long ago. This is set after the first two OVA’s and pretending the third doesn’t exist. (I do that a lot.) I don’t own Fushigi Yuugi, or any of it’s characters. I just play with Miss Watase’s toys. I also don’t own the song, “Vindicated”. That’s by Dashboard Confessional and I highly recommend it.


Chichiri walked through the halls of the stronghold at Mt. Reikaku in search of his flame-haired friend. His footsteps were quiet and even the rings of his shakajou were silent as he made his way to Tasuki’s room. In the four months that had passed since Miaka and Taka had returned to their world Tasuki had become nearly invisible, only appearing at random times to grab a bite to eat or to find a bottle of sake. The monk was worried about him more often than not and was determined to confront him this time and find out what was the cause of the bandit’s self-imposed solitude though he felt he already knew the answer. He paused just outside the door and then gently pushed it open.

“Miaka,” Tasuki whispered, sitting on the window sill of his room. The view from here was excellent allowing him to look down on the courtyard of the stronghold and further out along the main path up the mountain. He did not hear the door or the soft footsteps that approached him from behind. It was only when a warm hand laid itself on his shoulder that he realized he wasn’t alone.

“Ahhh!!!!” he yelled, nearly leaping out the window. Chichiri reached out a hand and grabbed the front of Tasuki’s tunic, pulling him back inside to safety. Tasuki leaned against the wall and glared at his friend. “Chiri! Ya tryin’ ta give me a heart attack or somethin’?” he asked as his breathing slowed.

Chichiri removed his mask and smiled. “I couldn’t pass it up, no da.” His grin widened. “Besides, it’s the first reaction I’ve gotten out of you since Miaka-chan went home, no da.”

At the mention of their miko’s name Tasuki’s the glare faded from Tasuki’s face and was replaced with a look that was almost sad. “I know,” he said quietly. “I just…”

Chichiri reached over and put his hand on Tasuki’s shoulder again. “It’s okay, no da. I miss her too.”

“But ya didn’t try ta rape her, Chiri. I jus’ wanted ta be with ‘er so much,” he said, trying to explain. The words didn’t come easily but he knew in his heart that he wanted to share his life with her. Why was it so difficult to say it?

Watching Tasuki grope for the words Chichiri understood completely. Tasuki loved Miaka. It was that simple. He came to a decision. “Anou, Tasuki….this might help, no da.” Chichiri reached into his tunic and extracted a small round mirror. “Taiitskun gave this to Miaka when she was searching for us in the beginning.” He handed it to Tasuki. “It’s not much, but it’s something that was hers.” As Tasuki gazed at the small mirror in his hand Chichiri continued. “Miaka-chan wouldn’t have wanted you to spend the rest of your life staring out the window, no da. She always thought the best of all of us, no matter what.” He glanced away from his friend and out the window, the sky reflecting in his maroon eye. “Maybe by living up to what she always thought of us we can ease the pain, no da.”

Tasuki continued to look at the mirror for a moment longer and then glanced back up at the smiling monk. “That’s not a bad idea, Chiri. Maybe she’ll know.”

hope
dangles on a string
like slow-spinning redemption
winding in and winding out
the shine of it has caught my eye
and roped me in, so
mesmerizing, so
hypnotizing, I am
captivated, I am

Two months passed in quick succession, so fast that Tasuki barely even registered they had gone by. With Koji’s help he and Chichiri had turned the bandits of Mt. Reikaku into protectors of the nearby roads. Some of the guys were finding it hard to adjust to the lifestyle but most seemed to take it in stride. The traveling routes that passed near the mountain were becoming safer by the day with the bandits’ work.

Tasuki smiled to himself as he watched a group of bandits working to rebuild an old bridge that had been falling apart. I wonder what Miaka-chan would think of this? he thought to himself. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out the small mirror that Chichiri had given him; the mirror that had inspired him to be what Miaka always thought he truly was. “Miaka, ya’d prob’ly get a kick outta seein’ the guys fix up th’ roads,” he said quietly, still looking at the mirror. Then he gasped and dropped it on the ground, stepping away as it fell near his feet.

For a brief moment he’d sworn that he’d seen Miaka, brushing her auburn hair and looking right back at him.

vindicated
I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right
I swear I'm right
swear I knew it all along
and I am flawed
but I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now
the things you swore you saw yourself

Miaka dropped the brush she’d been holding and stared at the mirror over the bathroom sink. “No…” she breathed, reaching out a hand to touch the cool surface. “It couldn’t have been…”

“Miaka!” Taka’s voice called to her from down the hallway. Footsteps growing closer jarred her from her thoughts and she quickly composed herself, picking up the brush again to finish her hair. Taka leaned around the corner and grinned at her from the doorway. “You ready for dinner?” The two of them were heading out on a date, one of the many that he had been taking her on lately.

Her green eyes met his and she smiled, her heart still beating fast. “I’m ready, I just thought…” she trailed off, unsure if it was wise to mention Tasuki or any of her seishi from the book. Taka had always been sensitive to the subject and often changed topics if she ever brought them up.

From the look he was giving her he had finished her sentence in his mind. The smile on his face faded to a scowl and Miaka looked down, unwilling to face that expression. “Miaka, who did you see this time? Chichiri, Hotohori? Maybe you saw Tasuki, is that it?” His voice was getting louder and Miaka hurried to calm him.

“Taka, I probably just saw a reflection from a passing car outside,” she said, taking his hand. “Yes, I miss the other, but I made the choice to be here with you, remember?”

His expression softened and he squeezed her hand. “I know, I’m sorry.” Pulling her forward into his arms he held her tight. “I just worry sometimes…I worry that you wish you had stayed with them instead.”

Miaka closed her eyes against Taka’s chest without saying anything. How could she ever explain that sometimes…she did indeed wish that exact wish…

so clear
like the diamond in your ring
cut to mirror your intention
oversized and overwhelmed
the shine of which has caught my eye
and rendered me so
isolated, so
motivated, I am
certain now that I am

For Chichiri and Tasuki the time continued to pass, bringing with it the changing seasons and changes in their lives. The Empress had heard of their efforts to protect the safety of the roads near their stronghold and had thought so highly of it that she offered jobs to any of the bandits that wished to protect the roads in other parts of Konan. Some of the younger ones had gone, excited for the chance to be paid to see and defend a new place. Tasuki and Chichiri were employed to travel from each small faction and ensure that things were going as well as they were at Mt. Reikaku. Chichiri took to the job with a sense of relief. He’d always felt the need to be traveling and being stationed at the stronghold for so long had been wearing on him.

Tasuki was glad to be traveling too, though for different reasons. The small mirror that had shown him the glimpse of Miaka continued to show him occasional moments of her life, always as though he were looking through a mirror near her. The day before he and Chichiri had agreed to set out and become overseers he had seen one moment that made his heart stop…

He watched through the mirror as Miaka ran into the room and shut the door behind her. She was crying and had her face hidden in her hands as she leaned against the door. Though her voice was muffled she kept repeating one word: “Why?” As she lowered her hands and stared bleakly out the window, away from the mirror he caught sight of something that flashed on her hand. A ring with a large diamond in it. He stared at it, unsure of its meaning until Miaka’s broken voice caught his attention again. “Why did I say yes? I love him but I don’t think I can marry him anymore.” She sobbed again and the image faded, but not before he caught one last plea from her.

“Suzaku, help me, please,” she whispered.

That moment spurred him into action and he told Chichiri that night that he’d agree to travel as well. He knew now what that ring symbolized. That was Taka’s mark on her, his way of showing everyone that she was taken and was going to be married to him. Taka was his friend and fellow seishi but Tasuki had often wondered about how the two of them would get along as the time passed. Miaka was more strong-willed every day and Taka had a need to control every situation. Chichiri had occasionally join him in his musings and the two of them agreed that unless Miaka and Taka could reach a compromise things might not end up as well as they had hoped for.

Tasuki found himself wondering if Miaka would ever come back to their world, and if she did, would she be proud of him? “Ne, Miaka, funny how it would mean th’ world ta me to know that ya were proud o’ what I’ve done here,” he said out loud one night. Chichiri mumbled and rolled over in his sleep nearby. Tasuki glanced at him and lowered his voice before looking into the mirror again. “Would I be someone ya’d want to be with?”

vindicated
I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right
I swear I'm right
swear I knew it all along
and I am flawed
but I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now
the things you swore you saw yourself

Miaka’s attempts to tell Taka that she couldn’t marry him were brushed aside as simple pre-wedding jitters. He talked often about their life to come and even talked about children though he had never mentioned them before. Miaka did want children one day, but she couldn’t have them with Taka. It had taken her over a year to realize that she loved him but didn’t want to spend her life with him.

Unfortunately Taka seemed to become deaf any time she started to bring up her concerns such as his jealousy, his desire to forget anything in regards to The Universe of the Four Gods, and above all, his assumptions about her. She was growing more tired every day of giving in to keep the peace between them. Each day her temper started to flare a little more and she would push it away until she was alone and could talk it out to herself.

“Chichiri, Tasuki…I hope you both are well,” she said during one of those moments to herself. She glanced at the vanity where the pictures she had taken of her seishi sat in frames in front of the mirror. “Chichiri, I wish you were here to give me some advice on how to tell Taka, once and for all, that I don’t want to be with him.” A crooked grin crossed her face as she picked up the group photo taken on their way to retrive the first Shinzaho.

Her fingers traced the faces of her friends and lingered on Tasuki’s fanged visage. “I wonder what you’re up to, Tasuki.” She had a mental image of him and Koji throwing party after part in the stronghold, complete with sake and bad singing. A giggle escaped her before she could stop it. While that was the image that Tasuki had always tried to project Miaka had often believed that there was so much more to him.

Ever since leaving the book the first time, even before Taka had come back into her life, her thoughts had often lingered on Tasuki in a not-so-innocent way. The night at the inn had been frightening only because she knew that he wasn’t in control of himself. Hikou had been influencing him at that point. Miaka idly wondered what kind of couple she and Tasuki would have made. She knew she loved him, possibly even enough to marry him if there was ever a way back into the book. Yet one look at her left hand reminded her that she had made the promise to Taka, even if it was unwillingly.

Tears welled up again in her eyes, this time of frustration. “I have to tell Taka. I have to tell him that it’s over. And I have to do it today.”

so turn
up the corners of your lips
part them and feel my fingertips
trace the moment fall forever
defense is paper-thin, just
one touch and I'll be in too
deep now to ever swim
against the current

“Taka, I can’t marry you. I’m sorry.”

“What are you talking about? What do you mean, you can’t marry me?!”

“Just that. I love you, I always have. But I can’t live the rest of my life walking on eggshells around you and denying a certain part of me that exists. I can’t just forget that I am the Priestess of Suzaku and all that happened because of me.”

“It’s about that damn book again, isn’t it? You do wish you had stayed behind!”

“I chose to stay with you because I thought that we belonged together. Taka, I’m a person, not a trophy! I have my own thoughts and dreams and goals! And I have a past that you were a part of no matter how much you want to forget about it.”

“Miaka, please…don’t do this. We can work this out. You know we were meant to be together. Please, I’m sorry. I’ll do it right this time.”

“I’m sorry, Taka. I love you but I have to go now before I change my mind. Forgive me one day.”

so let me slip away
so let me slip against the current
so let me slip away

so let me slip away

“Chichiri, somethin's gonna happen, soon.”

“What are you talking about, no da?”

“Jus' a feelin' that I keep getting'. Like a tinglin' on m'skin.”

“I think I know what you mean, no da. It reminds me of when Miaka appeared.”

“D'ya think she's comin' back? Maybe this time fer good?”

“That I don't know. She may not even be coming back, no da. This could be something that's connected just to her in her world, no da. A big event or something emotional.”

“Can ya hope over ta Grandma and find out?”

“Tasuki...”

“Please, Chiri.”

“Daaaaa...I hate it when you make that face. Hai, I'll go. If anything goes wrong here get back to the stronghold and I'll me you there, no da.”

“Thanks, Chiri.”

vindicated
I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right
I swear I'm right
swear I knew it all along
and I am flawed
but I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now
the things you swore you saw yourself

Tasuki waited for an hour after Chichiri had gone before giving in to the temptation to pull out the mirror. He gazed into it, trying to wish Miaka's appearance again. “If you want t' come back, Miaka, I promise ya that ya'll never want for anythin'.” He grinned at his reflection, imagining her green eyes. “I've done a lot since ya left, a lotta good stuff that I think ya'd be happy with.”

In her room, alone Miaka hoisted the duffle bag onto her shoulder and took a long look around. She had to admit, if this didn't work she would feel rather dumb. Still, ever fiber of her being was practically vibrating with a strange energy and had been ever since she had finally left Taka. The only link that she could think of that was within her grasp was the mirror. Ever since that first moment she had seen Tasuki, or thought she had seen him it had felt like someone had been watching her from any mirror she was near.

She walked to the full length mirror that hung on the closet door. For a long moment she watched her own reflection, wondering if this was even possible. Would Tasuki be on the other side? Or was this some sort of dream? She reached out and touched the glass then froze as she saw Tasuki, faintly, his reflection a bare outline over hers.

Miaka heard him speak for the first time since she'd returned to her world.

“I think ya'd be happy with me. I love ya, Miaka-chan. Come an' see what I've done since ya left. Come back and I'll make ya happy again.”

She saw him hand touch the glass and the move her hand to cover his.

Both Tasuki and Miaka gasped as their fingers touched.

Tasuki grasped her hand and pulled her through the small mirror as though it were Chichiri's kesa. The mirror fell, forgotten as Miaka stepped onto the ground in front of the seishi. Quickly Tasuki glanced down at the hands that were still linked and noticed that there was no ring anymore. Miaka followed his glance and smiled at him, tears wetting her eyes.

“I left him, Tasuki. This is where I belong.”

Tasuki watched her for a long moment. “Ya mean, you're stayin'?”

Miaka nodded. “Yep. If you don't mind a houseguest until I find a place of my own.”

With a swift movement Tasuki stepped forward and embraced the slender young woman. “Miaka, ya can stay with me forever if ya want.”

The tears finally spilled from her eyes and she clutched Tasuki. “I think I'd like that.”

my hope
dangles on a string
like slow-spinning redemption

“Miaka!”

“Chichiri! I'm so happy to see you!”

“It's good to see you too, no da. So you're staying with us?”

“Actually Tasuki pretty much proposed here on the spot.”

“Miaka!!! Don't go tellin' him that!”

“Daa...Tasuki finally gets to show off and have a family, no da.”

“It's about time too.”

“Don't ya start, Miaka!”

“Just say you love me and I'll leave it be for now.”

“...”

“Anou, you've been waiting for this for how long, Tasuki?”

“Alright! I love ya, Miaka. Will ya marry me?”

“I love you too. And only if Chichiri performs the ceremony.”

“DAAAA!!!!”

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