Spellbound * (6/6) By Sakata Ri Houjun
Warning: Minor violence, nothing more.
The Temple of Suzaku glimmered with the light of a thousand candles. Chichiri stood in a circle dressed in a simple white shirt and a pair of jeans, his unbound hair a waterfall down his back.
In a swirl a smoke, Mikuni appeared before the monk. Solid now, her flesh as real as his. She wore robes of black edged in crimson, of power and blood. She flung up a hand so that the walls shook. "Where is the shinzaho?"
"Beyond you, Mikuni, where it will remain safe. As will I."
"The moon is rising to midnight, Chichiri. The time of waiting is ending. Your lover has deserted you once again." She stepped closer, careful not to test the edge of the circle, her voice seductive. "Why not accept what I offer you? We will rule together."
"I want no part of your dark kingdom."
"He's lost to you, Chichiri."
"He's safe from you." He threw up his head. "So I have already won."
Lifting his hands, he loosed a power that sent her flying back. "Be gone from this holy place. Or face the death of mortals."
"A battle then," she retorted as a shadow at her feet took on the shapeless form of a demon, red-eyed, fangs bared.
Tasuki drove his mount furiously up the cliff to the castle. Visions came quickly. Chichiri weeping as he watched him sleep. The dark chamber with the globe held between them and the whispering of the spell.
You will be safe and free. There is nothing left, koi. Follow Tama far away from the danger and don't come back if you heart isn't true. Live and be well. What cannot be held is best forgotten.
Terror struck, for Tasuki knew what Chichiri meant to do.
Chichiri fought fiercely, cleaving the demon's head from its body with one stroke of his shakujo that appeared suddenly in his hand. Yet he knew that he would lose when midnight rang.
Mikuni could not break the circle and claim him. But she sent the ground heaving under his feet, watched him fall to his knees.
"Will you ask for pain, Chichiri? Spare yourself. Just give me your hand - and the shinzaho."
"I will not yield."
"You will." She inched closer. "You have no choice. The spell was cast, the time has come. You belong to me now."
"I belong to Suzaku." Chichiri pulled a small vial from his pocket, then flipped its poison chamber open with his thumb. With a last show of defiance, he smiled. "You will never claim what belongs to Suzaku."
He brought the vial to his lips to take the powder.
A horse and its rider burst in. "Baka! You'd rather die than trust me?" Tasuki demanded furiously.
The vial slipped through Chichiri's fingers, the powder sifted on the stones. "Tasuki."
"Harm him, Mikuni, and I'll rip your damn head off!"
Mikuni straightened slowly. "You were a fighter a thousand years ago, Tasuki. You are no fighter tonight."
Tasuki vaulted from his horse. His tessen sang as he opened it to its fullness. "Try me, bitch."
Black balls of lightning shot out from her hands, hissing trails of snaking sparks. Tasuki raised his tessen and called upon the incantation that was ingrained in his mind. Magical flame roared to meet the incoming dark magic. Both spells canceled each other in a burst of light and singed stone.
"Your power is nothing here!" Chichiri shouted, on his feet again. "We are the guardians of this place, keepers of what you will never own, and wielders of holy magic! Fear me, Mikuni! And fear Tasuki who stands with me!"
"He will not stand with you. You will both bow to my will," Mikuni warned. Then she whirled on Tasuki. "You remember death?"
Tasuki tessen clattered onto the stone, and he heard Chichiri's cry of fear and rage. "You will not harm him! It's only an illusion! Tasuki, hear me!" His terror for him was so blinding that he ran to him, leaving the charm of the circle.
A bolt of energy sent Chichiri reeling. Paralyzed and laying next to his lover, he fought for his strength. "Tasuki." He could only watch as his lover knelt on the stones, unarmed, bleeding. "You must fight it," he whispered. Weakly he reached out to the redhead.
Mikuni dragged Chichiri roughly to his knees by his hair. "Give me the shinzaho and I will spare you," she said to him.
"You are in bondage to me for a hundred years times ten, then. This pain you feel will be yours until you bend your will to mine." She lowered her gaze to his mouth. "A kiss," she said, "to seal the spell."
Tasuki's fingers covered those of Chichiri's. Feeling his power flow into him, he loosed a spell and disappeared. Mikuni looked up in confusion as they both reappeared at the far end of the room. Tasuki stepped in front of Chichiri and raised his tessen.
"You're toast now, bitch." The bandit's eyes burned. The pain swirling through him only added to his strength. "Can you burn, demon?" he demanded and brought the tessen down like fury.
There was a cry, inhuman, as fire consumed the woman. A blinding flash followed this. The ground heaved and lightning struck. The explosion lifted him off his feet. Even as he grabbed for Chichiri, Tasuki felt himself hurled into the dark.
Visions played through his head. Someone told him to sleep, but he shook off the words. He had slept long enough.
He came to, aching in every bone. He could see the last of the stars just winking out. He tried to shake off the dream.
The cat, Tama, was watching him. Dazed and in pain, he pushed himself up and saw that he was lying on the stone floor of the temple. The scent of smoke and blood still clung to the air.
"Chichiri." Panicked, Tasuki heaved himself to his feet. And nearly stumbled over him.
Chichiri was sprawled on the ground, his face pale, bruised, his clothes torn and scorched.
"Chichiri," he said again. "Chichiri."
He stirred. "Tasuki. You protected me."
"You should know by now that I would have." He cradled the older man against him. "But you sent that damn cat to lure me away, away from you. Why?"
"I wanted you to be safe, no da. Mikuni made you doubt me again."
"And then Taiitsukun showed up."
"She wasn't supposed to interfere," Chichiri said as he got up and strolled towards the door that contained the shinzaho. "The air is clearing of Mikuni's evil," he added as he stepped through the door.
"It's over, then?"
"Hai. She's been destroyed. And the shinzaho remains safe."
"You were going to take poison."
"I couldn't face what she had in mind for me."
"If I'd been there a moment later, you would have killed yourself. Couldn't you trust me enough to help you?"
"I was afraid to , no da."
Chichiri strode towards the shinzaho and placed his hands on the globe's smooth surface. "Tasuki, you met your fate. You came to me when I needed you. In this holy place you fought against dark and deadly magic. You've saved my life and protected this relic, and in so doing fulfilled your duty as a seishi."
He smiled. "You are brave and true. And Suzaku will now grant you a wish to honor that loyalty."
"Like unlimited wealth or incredible sexual power?"
Chichiri's chin went rigid. "If that's what you want. But be sure of what you wish for."
"Money? Sex? Power, maybe? So, just what do I want?" He narrowed his eyes in consideration, then stepped towards Chichiri and the shinzaho. He placed his hands on the globe, covering the cerulean-haired man's with his own. "You."
"You. I want you."
"To do what , no da?" he asked, then blinked when Tasuki roared with laughter. "Oh, don't waste a wish on that, na no da."
"I want all of you, Chichiri," he said. "No restrictions. For better or worse," he continued, "for richer or poorer."
Chichiri couldn't get his breath. "You want me, no da? But I don't have any hold on you."
"Don't you?" He lowered his mouth, buckling the monk's knees with his kiss. "You can't lie to me." He captured his lips again. "You were born loving me. You'll die loving me."
"Look at me," Tasuki murmured, easing back as Chichiri trembled. "Beautiful Chichiri. Koibito."
"Tasuki. You love me?"
"I was born loving you." The kiss was deep and sweet. "I'll die loving you."
Chichiri's breath released a shudder of joy. Love. Trust. Acceptance. The room was filled with a warm red glow that came from the shinzaho they were holding. Far off in the distance, they both could hear the keening cry of a bird taking flight.
"Tasuki." Chichiri smiled as he leaned in for another kiss. "Your wish is granted."
So, what do you think, ne? C&C will be much appreciated, no da.