While cleaning out my room, I discovered this only story idea that I came up with five years ago. It was unfinished, but I didn't want to waste a good idea. So, I rewrote it in two days specifically for Chichiri and Tasuki, changing it from a story set in Ireland about fairies, to one set in China about the shinzaho.

It's an AU, set a thousand years, give or take a decade, from the end of the show. They're still inside the world within the book, reincarnated, or something like that.

Spellbound * Prologue By Sakata Ri Houjun

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Koi. Let me into your dreams. Open your heart and hear me. Tasuki, I need you. Don't turn from me now, or all is lost. I am lost. Koi.

Genrou shifted restlessly in sleep, turned his face into the pillow. He could feel him there, somehow. Skin, soft and yielding. Hands, gentle and soothing. Then he drifted into dreams of searing flames and vast mountains that rose high among the clouds. And the scent of him.

The temple rose atop a hill, silver stone spearing into stormy skies. The sound of his mount's bridle jingled brightly as he climbed high over the rolling grass. Thunder sounded in the west over the mountains in the distance. And echoed in his heart.

Had he waited for me?

His eyes, golden as the edges of the magical flame he wielded, shifted, scanned, searching for any holes where a foe could hide. His tessen lay ready. In such a place a man did not lower his guard. Here magic stung the air and could embrace or threaten. Here a god plotted or blessed, and a monk cast his spells in that god's name.

Atop the lonely hill, towering above the nearby stream, the temple stood, holding its secrets. No man rode this path without hearing the whispers of old legends and new spirits.

Had he waited for me?

The horse's hooves rang musically over rock until at last they traveled to level ground. He dismounted at the foot of the hill just as lightning cracked the black sky.

And he was there, conjured up out of storm-whipped air. His hair was a waterfall of sky blue silk over a gray cloak, his skin alabaster with the faint bloom of rose, his remaining eye as burgundy as wine and just as intoxicating.

His heart leapt, and his blood churned with love, lust, longing. He came to him, his beauty staggering. Their eyes locked, he was eager for the older man who was mage, monk, and lover.

"Tasuki, have you traveled all night, no da? You must want something."

"Chichiri." His lips bowed in a smile. "I want everything."

"Only everything, na no da?" His laugh was low and intimate. "Well I guess that's a good enough answer I'll ever get out of you, no da. I've been waiting for you."

Then Chichiri's arms were around him, mouth lifting to his. He pulled the smaller man closer; wild to have whatever he was offering, and more.

"I've been waiting for you," he repeated. "I can't fight this alone. Mikuni is too strong, her dark forces too greedy. Koi, why did you shut me out of your heart?"

He drew the older man away. The temple was gone-only ruins remained, empty, battle-scarred. They stood in the shadow of what had been, before a small house.

"The time is short now," he continued. "Tasuki, you must come to me. Destiny can't be denied. Without you with me, she'll win."

Chichiri lifted a hand to his face, and it passed through him as if he were a ghost. Or perhaps he was the ghost. "I have loved you throughout time. I am bound to you. Come to me soon. Find me. Or I'm lost."

Then he was gone.

The redhead awoke gasping for breath. And reaching out.

~~~~

"Kou Genrou, you need a vacation," his mother said.

Genrou sipped his coffee. He wasn't sure why he'd come home to Brooklyn to listen to his mother complaining about his life.

"I'm seriously considering that right now."

"Try Montana," his father suggested. As usual, no one paid him any attention.

"You need a couple of weeks away from the city life," his mother said. "You're looking tired."

"That's because I'm home, listening to you bitch," he grumbled. "But I have been thinking of taking a trip."

"Good," his mother said. "You've been working too hard. Not that we aren't proud of you. After your exhibit last month I couldn't stop bragging to the point that the neighbors started to hide when they saw me coming."

"That's your huge-ass breasts scaring them, Ma. Besides, I'm fine. Just not sleeping well."

"Have you seen a doctor?" his mother asked, remembering her son as a boy, who had walked in his sleep, and had dreamed of bandits, gods, and battle.

"Ma, I'm fine." Kou said. "I'm planning to go to China." It came out of Genrou's mouth before he'd realized the idea was in his head.

"China?" His mother pursed her lips. "Not to work?"

"No, to.to see," he said. "Just to see."

She nodded, satisfied. A vacation, after all, was a vacation. "Going to look up ancestors, Gen-chan?"

"I might." He was going to look up something, he realized. Or someone.

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The story's just beginning..