This is my first songfic, one I've had in my drawer
for a while.  It's based off of the second OVAs,
episodes 4 and 5.  So of course, it's in two parts.  
The songs come from Key the Metal Idol OST.

The idea came from an errant thought concerning
episode 4.  Chichiri mentions that he cannot sense
Tamahome, Miaka, or Tasuki when they cannot find them.
 Yet how come he is the first one to arrive at the
scene once Tasuki is about to kill himself?  The rest
just evolves from there.

Warning:  Contains major spoilers for the OVA as well
as hints regarding the series.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Night Flower
By Sakata Ri Houjun
Song by Rie Hamada

******************

~Ai no kuni o samayo, watashi o mitsuke dashite
 Tsubasa niwa mada surikireta hazu no kokoro kakushite

 Please come find me while I'm wandering lost in the
land of love
 The soul I'd thought had worn off from my wings, I
hide away~

"Man, what a waste!" Tasuki grinned as he sat on the
railing of Nuriko's house and heard the full story of
Tankou's appearance from the others and me.  Nuriko
and Chiriko stared at his reaction in surprise.

"If I was there, I would've kicked Tenkou's all for
ya!" Tasuki laughed, clenching his fists.

"His wounds must be healed already," Chiriko murmered
to Nuriko.

"He's a baka," the crossdresser returned.

"Tama!  There's nothing to worry about, buddy."
Tasuki tried to be comforting, emphasis on 'tried'.
"There's still three more stones out there.  You
didn't need those four old ones anyway."

Inwardly I groaned.  Tasuki never was good with words.

"I don't think that's what he wants to hear," Nuriko
commented.

Tamahome lifted his head, smiling.  "Don't worry about
me.  I'm not going to let this thing beat me."  He
trotted off happily only to smack his head on a
branch.  Even as he assured us that he was fine, he
reeled form the blow to fall into the pond.  After
jumping from the water, Tamahome then proceeded to
walk straight into the wall.

"You almost fell sorry seeing a guy that bad off,"
Tasuki commented.

"Tasuki-chan," Nuriko called, sneaking up behind him.

"Yeah?"

"Can you read this?"  Nuriko held up a sign.

"Delicacy..," Tasuki read.

"Right."  Nuriko grinned as he powered up his
bracelets and pounded Tasuki.  "Try to remember what
it means!"

I frowned as my lover went sailing by into the wall.
I knew that Nuriko and Tasuki had always joked around
like this before, but was it really necesary at a time
like this?

"We need to find some way to make him feel better, no
d."  I turned to Hotohori.

"That's impossible."  His gentle voice was etched with
concern.

"Anyways, Mitsukake posses the clues to the last
stones and Nyan Nyan's looking for him now, no da."

"Is that our only hope?  If all the Suzaku
Shichiseishi were assembled, we might be able to share
our strength with Tamahome."  Hotohori looked at me
hopefully and I sighed.

"I think Miaka's even more depressed than he is, no
da."

"Why is that?"  Upon hearing my lover speaking softly,
I turned to face him.  "Why does she have to be
tortured?  He makes her cry.  He hurts her.  Yet, she
still oves him so much."  He was facing the wall and
my heart began to pound at his words.

Tasuki looked down.  "I just don't understand."

~Watashi no mune o someta ikusen no hanabira wa
 Kanashii kurai anata o koishiku saseru

 The thousands of fallen petals which stain my soul
 Make me yearn for you, to the point of being
melancholy~

I reacalled last week at Lake Taichi where I found
Tasuki giving Miaka mouth-to-mouth.  He was saving her
life, but the look on his face as he stroked her cheek
made my heart clench.  I've felt jealous before, but
never quite as strong as I did then.  I knew he loved
me, but I was afraid to know if he might feel the same
way for another.

Tasuki stood and turned to face us with a grin.  "I'm
such an asshole, running Tama off like that.  I'll go
and find him and Miaka, and then we can get started
looking for the other stones."

His eyes locked with mine for a moment and I couldn't
help but notice he had that same look as he did that
day at the lake.  "I'll go with you, no da," I
indidted.  Shock passed behind his eyes before he
shrugged.

~Mo ichido
 
 Once more~

Silently I trailed after him through the woods
surrounding Nuriko's house until I knew we were out of
earshot.  "Tasuki..," I began, but my voice failed me
once he turned around.

"Chiri, I'm so fucking confused."  His expression was
sad and uncertain.  I felt my heart break so I pulled
him into my arms.

~Sugari tsuku shunkan suri nukeru maboroshi

 A mirage that escapes your grasp as you near it~

"Don't, koi.  I'm here, no da."  I didn't want him to
be hurt.

Tasuki clung to me and pressed his face against my
neck.  "Chiri, aishiteru.  You know that, right?"

"I've known it since the moment we first kissed, no
da.  We were made for each other."  I leaned my cheek
against his hair.

~Anata no subete o ubai saritai
 
 Everything that's yours, I want~

"I don't mean to hurt you.  I know that I have been
lately.  It's just..."  He pulled away and turned to
go.  "i have to figure out what's going on inside me.
Ya understand..."

"Hai.  Do what you need to.  I'll always be nearby if
you need me, no da."

With a sad smile, I watched him walk away.  A part of
me knew that everything would be okay.  Yet, I was
feeling a sense of foreboding as if he'd never come
back to me again.

~Itetsuita knife kazashi
 Ai wa mau

 Brandishing a frozen knife
 Love dances~

By the time I got back to the others, Nuriko had left
to also look for Tamahome.  When I asked why, Hotohori
answered that Nuriko didn't trust Tasuki to make
things any better.  I shook my head and gave Hotohori
and Chiriko the reassurances they needed to hear.  But
I still felt so uneasy.

At times, I know they must guess at our true
relationship.  But they must be uncertain for they
never confronted wither of us.  I wondered for a
moment how'd they react of I told them.

I began to ask about Mitsukake when I suddenly heard
Tasuki's voice inside my head.  Even though it was
only for an instant, he sounded like he was in danger.
 Then the feeling passed as the thick scent of water
filled the air.  My blood ran cold as the smell
brought back memories of a day I have tried to forget.

"Chichiri, what is wrong?" Hotohori questioned.

"That smell..," I muttered.

"Chichiri?"  Now Chiriko was getting worried.

The scent was disappearing and I turned to them with a
smile.  "Nan demo nai, no da."  My mask easily hid the
unease I felt.  I hoped Tasuki was okay.

~Yoru no hana o chirashite

 Scattering the flower of the night~

By the time the sun had set, we were all beginning to
get worried.  Nuriko had returned earlier to inform us
that he had set Tamahome in the right direction, but
hadn't benn able to locate Miaka.  Now he was glancing
about in concern.

"Where's Miaka and Tamahome?"

"I haven't sen Tasuki around either," Chiriko added.

As one, they glanced at me and I nodded.  With my ki,
I reached out to find our friends.  I started to feel
their presences but a barrier, much like a wet
blanket, prevented me from locating any of them.  I
tried again, but the barrier was secure, a familiar
aura resonating from it.  My blood ran cold as it had
before.

"strange...I can't seem to sense any of their ki, no
da."

~Kowashite, kizutsukete, tojikomete-kokoro sae...
 Motto hageshiku kanjite

 Break, injure, even seal my soul away...
 Respond to me like you mean it~

"i feel uneasy," Hotohori commented.  "We'd better go
look for them."

"Chichiri, did you at least get an idea of where they
might be?" Chiriko asked.

I could sense that much.  "They were near a small
city, no da."

"The closest city is Kahou," Nuriko informed us.  "But
it's still a distance away."

I pulled off my kesa and spread it out on the ground.
"Then we'll have to get there quickly, won't we, no
da?"  My heart began to race as I prepared the
teleportation spell.  I knew something had to be
wrong, but I didn't wish to alarm the others.

~Susketa ai no kakera

 The soot-covered fragments of love~

Kahou came into view as I landed on the ground.  The
others merely floated next to me.  I never envied
their new abilities because I would never have been
able to hold Tasuki in my arms.  We split up then to
make the search easier.

I figured that my beloved would be at a tavern
somewhere, enjoying a drink or two.  I headed towards
one building when I noticed a figure staggerng through
the shadows.  Curious, I moved closer as the man
entered the light from a streetlamp.

It was Tamahome!

~Korogaru yoru no machi de
 Kakomarete yuku hohoemi kakeru tanshi notsubasa ni

 Trundling about the town at night
 Surrounded by the wings of a loving angel~

He winced and held his ribs, bleeding from several
places.  Still, he gritted his teeth and walked on.
"Miaka..," he muttered.

I decided to follow Tamahome once I recognized
Tasuki's handiwork.  He headed straight into an inn
and moved towards a flight of stairs.  An elderly man,
probably the manager, was guiltly staring up the
stairs as a fightened voice cried out from behind a
closed door at the top.

"No!  No, Tasuki!  Help me, Taka!"

~Iki mo dekinai hodo anato motometeru
 
 I want you so much, I feel I'm suffocating~

My heart stopped and I felt tears coming to my eye as
I stared at the doorway in shock.  I hadn't expected
this.  I couldn't be true.  What was going on?

The manager looked over at me as Tamhome began
climbing the stairs.  I put a shaking finger to my
lips to silence him as I hid myself from view.

~Subete ga moetsukite mo kamawanai

 Let it all go up in flames; it's all the same to me~

Tamahome opened the door.

"Get outta here, right now damnit!"  There was no
mistaking the rough voice of my lover, distorted with
anger and lust.

"Leave Miaka alone," Tamahome replied quietly.

"Taka!" Miaka cried.

"So, ya made it here even though you're hurt.  How did
ya know where to find us?"

Tamahome glowered.  "When it comes to Miaka, I know
everything."

"It's too late," Tasuki mocked.  "Miaka belongs to me
now."  I shook my head, disbelieving what was being
said.  Was I truly losing the one I love again to
another, being betrayed by my trust and heart once
more?

"Perhaps I need to refresh your memory!"

Tamahome suddenly went flying backwards down the
stairs with a crash as Tasuki appeared in the broken
dorrway, his tessen in his hand.

"Taka!" Miaka screamed as she tried to push past the
bandit to get to her beloved.  In a swift movement, my
lover seized her.

"Come back here!" She began to plead as she tried to
fee herself from his strong grip that I knew so well.

Tamahome got up slowly, scowling.  "Tasuki...I won't
forgive you for hurting Miaka.  You're not yourself."
He got to his knees.  "I'm the one who makes her
happy, ask her."

"Is that so?" Tasuki snapped.  "How can a man who's
about to disappear make Miaka happy?"

Miaka began to plead again to which Tasuki roughly
commanded for her to quit whining.  This wasn't right.
 Where was the gentle man who cried when our friends
had died, who held me through the cold nights of our
wandering, whowhispered gently how much he loved me?
My heart felt as if it were being torn from my chest.

~Tokedashita ai wa kotoba

 Love melting with words~

Tamahome was taking deep breaths, gained his feet, and
began to slowly clomb the stairs.  "Miaka is crying...
  You're making her cry.  You're not that type of
person.  You're straightfroward and honest, a man's
man.  What could've happened to change you?  The on
who's getting hurt by seeing you like this..."
Tamahome paused as he reached the top step.

"Is Miaka!"

"What are ya talking about?" Tasuki yelled, delivering
Tamahome a blow to the chest with his foot, sending
him crashing down the stairs a second time.  "Don't
bullshit me!  You don't have any strength left.  How
are ya going to protect a woman, huh?  Watch me,
Miaka!  I'm going to burn this pathetic loser to a
crisp!"

I prepared a barrier to throw around Tamahome in case
Tasuki followed throughwith his threat.  I loved
Tasuki, but something was wrong with him.  Even though
it would kill me, I wasn't afraid to fight him.  I
would stop him form hurting others until he could
fight whatever had altered him.  Silently, I prayed to
Suzaku to give Tasuki the strength to fight it.

~Kuchibiru wa yoru no hana chirishite

 My lips scatter the flower of the night~

Tamahome laid on his back at the foot of the stairs.
Grimacing, he rolled slowly to his side.  "You're
right.  I'm pathetic and right now, I weak too.  As
you said, I make Miaka cry.  I scared of disappearing
and what's going to happen to us, but i love her.
That I cannot change."

Tamahome hunched over, got to his feet again, and
started up the stairs once more.  "People may laugh...
and it hurts.  I know I don't look heroic, but for
Miaka's sake, I'll the be the most pathetic un-hero of
man.  Beside you all accepted me as a fellow seishi.
You al made me feel almost like part of a family.  My
feeling for Miaka will never change."

He reached the top of the stairs and closed his eyes.
"If I must die, I'm glad it's you.  Kill me."

"Sure.  I'll be glad to."  Tasuki grinned evily.

"Tasuki."  Miaka's gentle voice distracted him.  "The
reason I cry is because I love Taka with all my heart.
 It's just the way girls are put together.  We cry
over the people we love when we're happy and sad."

"Tasuk," I whispered as Tears streamed underneath my
mask.  "Fight it."

~Aishite, iyasarete, toki hanastu-kokoro sae...
 Motto hageshiku kanjite

 Love, comfort, even let go of my soul...
 Respond to me like you mean it~

Intense emotion washed over Tasuki's face.  His eyes
widened in shock as he fell back from the couple
several steps.  "I..."

Tamahome moved to stand beside Miaka.  "Tasuki..."

"I..."  Tasuki chocked.  He character appeared on his
arm as he raised his tessen up on clenched fists.  The
character then blazed brightly as he leaned back,
holding his weapon above his head.  "I won't betray my
firends!  I won't do it!"  Tasuki slammed his tessen
into the ground and fire exploded everywhere.

I threw my prepared barrier around Tamahome and miaka
as they were blasted down the stairs.  "Tasuki!"
Tamahome screamed.

I ran from my hiding spot and shielded the two of
them, protecting them from the fire with my kesa.  The
fire would certainly alert the others.  Looking up the
stairs at the inferno, its creator and my lover within
its center, my heart squeezed in fear.

~Sadame nara
 Yasuragi mo, nukumori mo iranai

 If it's meant to be
 I want neither peace nor warmth~

"Chichiri!" Tamahome cried, trying to push past my
barrier.  "It's Tasuki!"  I couldn't look at him and
his voice rose in panic.  "Please!"

Miaka's voice was caught in a frightened whisper.
"Tasuki...Tasuki..."

Nuriko appeared by her side.  "miaka!  Are you
alright?"  I felt the other seishi appearing,
including one other familiar presence.  My body
relaxed in relief with this knowledge.

"What should we do?" Miaka wailed.  "Tell me what to
do!"

Comfortingly, Nuriko reassured her.  "It's okay now."

Hotohori and Chiriko stepped up beside me to calmly
look on.  "He seems to have made it," Hotohori
commented.

"Hai," I answered as I let out the breath I had been
holding.

"Good for him," Chiriko added.

"Miaka. Tamahome."  I turned to the couple, a smile on
my face.  "Don't worry, no da."  I pointed to the top
of the stairs.  "Look at that, no da."

In amongst the burning rubble, Mitsukake appeared,
surrounded by his green healing light.  In his arms,
he held the crumpled form of my lover.  Tasuki opened
his eyes slowly.

"I'm still alive?"

Mitsukake grinned.  "A guy like you can't die that
easily, can he?"

Tasuki chucked.  "Mitsukake...Shut up, would ya?"

I watched as Miaka embraced Tasuki with tears in her
eyes.  He glanced up at me in shame as she started
calling him an idiot.  "Yeah," he agreed, closing his
eyes.  "I'm stupid alright.  What a baka."

~Itetsuite knife kazashi
 Ai wa mau

 Brandishing a frozen knife
 Love dances~

"What happened?" Nuriko asked as the flames died away.

Tasuki began shaking, he face turning red, and tears
falling down his cheeks.  "It's all my fault.  All of
it.  Gomen nasai.  I had no control."

Miaka began to rub his back as he sobbed.   "I was
watching Miaka cry and wanting to stop her tears when
i was surrounded by water."

My blood froze again.  "Water...?"

"I thought I was going to drown and I blacked out.
The next thing I know was that I was attacking Tama."
He glanced up at Tamahome.  "Gomen, buddy."

Tamahome merely nodded as Tasuki continued.  "I had
always liked Miaka, but suddenly I loved her and
wanted her all to myself.  I couldn't explain or stop
what was happening to me."

~Yoru no hana o chirashite

 Scattering the flower of the night~

I couldn't stand to hear much more.  "I'll go upstairs
and retrieve their clothing, no da."  The glanced at
me as I turned.

The fire was out now but I had to be careful of the
blackened wood.  The room itself had remained
untouched by the flames.  I wandered over to the bed
and was very aware of the wrinkled sheets.  Without
realizing it, I had begun to trace shaking fingers
across the fabric.  This was where my lover had raped
Miaka...

The thought was almost too much for me to bear.

~Kowashite, kizutsukete, tojikomete-kokoro sae...

 Break, injure, even seal my soul away...~

"Chiri?"  I turned to find Tasuki staring at me with
apologetic eyes.

"It was a spell that had posessed you, no da."  Even
as I said this lightly, my face was grim and pained.

"I stopped before anything happened..."  He glanced
away and bit his lip.

"Still...Doushite?"  I pulled off my mask just so he
could see my tears, see how much this was killing me.
I loved him, what need was ther in hiding?

"I was so confused."  He closed the distance between
us and embraced me, trembling.  "Demo, not anymore.
Aishiteru, Chiri.  What Miaka andTama told me
before...  It's true.  You know it too..."

I pulled away.  "You knew I was there?"

He smiled.  "You and I are meant to be together,
remember?  Besides..."  Tasuki gently brushed his lips
against mine before continuing.  "You broke the spell
on me."

~Motto hageshiku aishite

 Love me like you mean it~

I sighed and wrapped my arms around him to kiss him
back.  It didn't matter even if he had raped Miaka, I
loved him so much.

He broke away with a shaking laugh.  "The others must
be getting suspicious by now.  We'd better get back."

I put my mask back on.  "Hai, no da."  I grabbed
Miaka's jacket while he shrugged into his.  The others
were waiting, looking up the stairs as we came down.
I handed Miaka her jacket and Tasuki began shacking
again as she slowly tucked her shirt back in and
buttoned her jacket up.

Everyone turned to stare at Tasuki as he shook his
head and fell on his knees before Tamahome and Miaka.
"Gomen.  Gomen nasai.  I can't apologise enough."  He
looked around at everyone before bowing low to the
couple again.  "Gomen.  Gomen nasai."

Miaka smiled.  "It's okay, Tasuki.  You've apologised
enough."

"Right," Tamahome agreed.  "You were under the enemy's
influence."

Mitsukake quietly observed the three of them.  "People
aren't fully aware of their oun emotions.  What a
despicable spell."

I felt worried as I recalled Tasuki's story.  "He said
he saw water before he was affected, no da."

"Tasuki, what kind of water was it?" Chiriko inquired.

"It came out of nowhere...  It was really weird..."
He stood up to face us more directly.

Suddenly, water exploded from nowhere into a huge
wave, washing over everyone, and surrounding Miaka in
an enormous bubble.  My blood ran cold again as the
smell of water from before filled the air.  My mind
raced back to the first time i ever smaell this scent
and the whole senario made perfect sense.

"The smell!"  I cried out as the water trapped up in
place.

"The enemy," Hotohori agreed, remembering my earlier
reaction.

A familiar pair of marrow eyes appeared, followed by a
man who I thought I'd never see again in this
lifetime.  He locked his malicious gaze on me as i
gritted my teeth in anger.

"Why does it have to be you?  Hikou..."

***************************************

Continued in the second part:  I'll Be Here For You