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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Living Withou
By Cindy Franklin

 

Living Without

Disclaimer. Fushigi Yuugi is the property Of Watase Yuu, Bandai, Flower Comics, Tokyo Television, and others. No infringment was intended in the writing of this fanfic.


Myojuan ran through the streets of Choko. He had to get the Shouka. He knew she was desprately ill. He could swear he heard her calling him from the other village. He should have never gone to that village! He should have stayed in Choko with Shouka! If anything happens to her, he thought, I'll never forgive myself!

He opened the door just after she'd breathed her last. He was too late. "Shouka," he choked. He dropped to his knees by the bed and cry out in anguish, "Shouka!" His dreams, hopes, and plans for the future died that moment. Not knowing what else to do, he stood and left. He saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing.

Shouka had been the only woman he'd ever loved. He had no family but always hoped to start one. And Shouka was going to be the one. He never had the chance to ask her. Even though he knew she loved him as well, he was always too afraid to ask. Words were never his strong point. He usually let his actions speak for him. She never seemed to mind his quietness. She understood him without words. She knew everything about him, like no one else did. If only he could have found his tongue to ask her to be his wife. But now it was too late. He never even got one last chance to tell her "I love you".

He wasn't really sure how, but he had somehow made it back to his house. He looked around at all the vases and jars of different herbs and medicines. Medicines that healed. That cured people. Medicines that could have saved Shouka. He grabbed the nearest pottery jar and with a loud cry, threw it against the wall. It had no sooner shattered, than he grabbed another jar. Crying out in rage and pain, he proceeded to throw another half dozen jars against the wall.

He sank to the floor and brought his hands to his face. Tears, as silent as he ever was, fell from his eyes. He brought his hands from his face, looking at his left palm. The palm that he used to heal. Where the character always appeared. He glared at it accusingly. His healing powers! What a mockery! This great power that was given him and he couldn't even save the one he loved the most.

Well, no more, he thought. I'll never use this power again. He went to where he kept the bandages and grabbed one. He wrapped the cloth around his left palm. He never wanted to see that symbol again. He wanted to forget he ever had the power to heal. Never again would he heal. Not with his powers, not with his medicine.

He looked at his bandaged palm. He had known since a child what that character had meant. Just as he knew where he got his healing powers from. He was a Suzaku Seishi and someday Suzaku no Miko would come. He had often wondered who she would be. What she would be like. Wondered if he would go with her. But that no longer matter. He cursed Suzaku for giving him the power and making him a seishi. What was the point of having the power if it proved to be worthless? It didn't save Shouka.

Shouka. There would never be another like her. Not only did she understand and know him. She had so much in common with him. She too devoted herself to helping others. She didn't have the healing power he had, but she was very knowledgable in medicine. She was kind and gentle. She also loved animals and children as he did. They had talked of it, each hoping to someday have a family. He knew that was her way of hinting to him, but all the same she understood his shyness about asking. She was patient and knew that someday he would.

Unbiddened, thoughts of her came to him. The smile that lit her face when she saw him. The way her eyes sparkled. Her soft voice and laugh. The touch of her hand and lips. How warm and soft she felt when he held her. The way her heart seemed to beat in time with his. The wonderful smell of the flowers she used for medicines. Images that lingered and made the pain even more unbearable.

As the weeks passed he began to push those images away. With the repressing of the memories, came a dulling of the pain. He no longer cared about anything. He didn't bother with keeping his house repaired or even clean. And as for himself. A beard was starting to grow and his hair was getting longer. Nor did he bother about changing his clothes, which were starting to show wear on them.

But most importantly, he kept to his word. He refused to heal anybody. For the first couple of week, people came to him and each time he turned them away. There was another doctor in the village who could take care of them. After a month, they no longer came. Not even the children who used to come for no reason other than to see him. He was quite isolated and content with it.

The only things he did still tend to were his plants. He had always loved plants, even before he became a doctor. He may have let himself and the house go, but the plants he took care of. He made sure they had enough water and sunlight. He even talked to them. They had become the children he knew he would never have. They were the only things he still cared about.

After a couple of months, the storage of food he had was gone. He began to venture around the woods looking for berries. He also fished and did some occasional hunting. Every once in a while, he would go into town and grab anything the food merchants dropped. Since he let himself go, nobody recognised him. To them he was simply another poor person scrounging for food.

It had been several months since Shouka had died, when he ventured into town once again for food. He wandered the streets and saw a fish seller run by, calling his wares. A couple of fish fell to the ground as he passed. Myojuan quickly rushed to the fish and stooped to pick them up, when a movement caught his eye. He turned his head the see a kitten hiding in the shadows of an alley looking between Myojuan and the fish.

The poor thing must be hungry too, he thought. He reached out a hand towards the kitten and said, in a voice he once used to soothe frighten children, "come here, little fellow. There's enough food the both of us. Come on, I won't hurt you."

The kitten timidly walked a few steps forward. Limped was a better word. As it came out into the sunlight, Myojuan could see that it was injured. Undoubtly, by another cat. The worst wound was on it front right leg. There was a long scratch that looked like it might be infected. Myojuan's heart went out to the poor creature. Even though he turned his back on humans, his love for animals was as strong as ever.

As the kitten neared him, he reached out and gently stroked it's head. The kitten purred and rubbed it's head against his bandaged hand. "You have no family either. I'll take you home with me. That way I can take care of those wounds and feed you as well. What do you say to that, little fellow?" The kitten purred and continued to rub itself against his hand.

Myojuan smiled a little as he petted the kitten. Then he gently picked the kitten up and tucked it partly into his shirt. He grabbed the two fish and quickly made his way home. When he entered the house, he put the kitten on the floor and set one of the fish in front of it. The kitten immediately began to devour the fish. Myojuan couldn't help but laugh as he watched it. He knew the kitten would be fine, once it's wounds were taken care of.

After they both had eaten, he picked the kitten up and looked it over. It was a male he noted, though he had no intentions of naming it. It'd probably take off after it was healed and well fed. Most of the injuries were minor and didn't really need his help, but the scratch on it's leg was a differant matter. It was definately infected and needed tending. "I would use my powers on you, but I swore never to use them again", he said.

Taking the kitten, he walked over to the shelf were he still had jars of medicines. He grabbed one, as well as some bandages, and sat down on the floor. "This is going to hurt a little", he told the kitten, in a gentle voice. He began to clean the wound, which the kitten didn't care for. Myojuan had a hard time keeping ahold of it and taking care of the wound as well. The kitten calmed down once Myojuan started to bandage the wound. When he was finished, the kitten licked his hand then quickly scrambled up his arm and snuggled itself next to his ear, purring happily. Myojuan smiled and lightly scratched it's head. "You're welcome."

Even after it's wound healed the kitten stayed with Myojuan. He enjoyed having another being around. The kitten slept next to him at night and woke him if he slept too late. It also aquired the habit of climbing up onto his shoulder and resting there. Myojuan didn't mind. He found the kitten purring next to his ear to be rather soothing. Myojuan himself got into the habit of constantly petting and scratching the kitten. He loved the kitten dearly, as the kitten seemed to be fond of him.

He fished more often in order to feed the kitten, but he ventured into town from time to time. He heard of a plague that had been infesting the town. A plague that would cause great pain before the person died. With effort, he ignored what he heard. He had turned his back on humans and no longer cared what happened to them. But even though he told himself that, deep inside he felt himself being torn apart at the thought of people suffering.

One day, when he ventured into town, he ended up fighting with a young girl over a fish. What's wrong with her, he thought angrily. She looks like she can afford to get her own food. But she had followed him to his house and even asked for him to heal her. He knew she had whatever the townsfolk were suffering from and that it would eventually kill her, but he still turned her away. Even when the others returned and begged. He swore never to use his powers and he was going to stick to it.

But then they mentioned Shouka. How could it be? She'd been dead for a year now. He watched the three depart, his heart pounding. Shouka. Could it be that she was actually alive? He felt himself being torn in two. One half of him wanted to run into the town and see if she was indeed alive. The other wanted to shut the door and think no more about it.

The kitten, sensing his distress, climbed up onto his shoulder, purring and mewing into his ear. He reached up absently and began to stroke it's ear. The kitten purred more and rubbed itself against his hand. "What should I do?" He whispered. The kitten mewed. I must go to her, he thought. I must see for myself.

He shaved, cut his hair, and dressed in clothes that he hadn't worn in a year. He rubbed his chin. It felt strange to actaully feel the skin again. Not to mention, not having to look through his hair anymore. The kitten sniffed at him, unsure of whether this was the same person or not. But the scent didn't lie and he clamber up onto Myojuan's shoulder. Myojuan reached up and took the kitten off his shoulder, setting it back down on the floor.

"I'm going into town, little fellow. I want to stay here." The kitten couldn't figure out why Myojuan was leaving at this time of night, but it went to his bed and curled up. Good boy, Myojuan thought. I'll be back soon and I'll bring you a fish.

He and the two he helped in the town, entered Shouka's house. What he saw before him was the same girl he turned away, being held by some grotesque creature. That girl. There was something about her. He had noticed it before when she entered his house asking for his help. Could she be the one he had heard about, since he was a child? Suzaku no Miko?

The girl called the creature that was holding her, Shouka-san. He couldn't believe it. Shouka had become this creature. It was she who was the cause of this plague. How could this be the same woman he loved? Yet, it called him by name. Accused him of not coming back. Not coming back. Shouka knew him better than that, so how could this ever be her? But, before his startled eyes, the creature reverted back into Shouka. He felt his breath catch. It was his Shouka, as beautiful as he remembered her to be. They looked at each other.

Shouka, he thought. "Juan." She always called him that. That voice. Those eyes that looked into his soul. A horrible creature erupted out of her back, grabbing the girl and the others who tried to rescue her. She never took her eyes off of him. "The only way to get rid of it is to kill me."

NO! It couldn't be! How could he kill her?? He looked into her eyes, knowing that she would understand him. She did, but she begged him to end her pain. Pain that the creature was causing her. His love. How could he kill her? But how could he allow her to go on like this? The memories that he had surpressed for the last year came to him again. All the wonderful times he had spent with Shouka. Now he was going to lose her...again. With a tear sliding down his cheek, he slowly took the bandage off his left hand.

Gathering his chi, he focused it on the creature. It screamed out, letting go of the others, before it was destoryed. He rushed to her, catching her before her head hit the floor. He didn't see how the others were, and at that moment didn't care. They were alive, so he didn't need to concern himself with them. His only concern was Shouka, who was dying. Shouka.

He gently kissed her. She opened her eyes, which shone with a brightness he'd never seen before. She reached up and stroked his cheek. "Juan. Goodbye, Juan."

He pulled her close, burying his face in her hair. "I love you, Shouka." He felt her hand stroke his cheek again before it slowly fell away. He felt her last breath leave her body. Though she said no words, he heard a whisper in his heart. "I love you, too, Juan."


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The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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