One Last Time


"Yui!" shouted Miaka as she ran down the steps of the library, "Wait for me." Yui stopped and waited for her best friend to catch up with her. "Where are you going?" Miaka asked breathlessly as she reached Yui.

"Somewhere," she answered as she continued walking.

"I know that," Miaka said grinning, "but where are you going?"

"Somewhere alone. I don't want to leave you out or anything," Yui added quickly, stemming Miaka's outflow of words and her hurt expression, "It's just something I have to do by myself."

Miaka looked at Yui for a long moment before nodding," Okay then, have fun Seiryuu no Miko, and I want a full report when you return!" she said teasingly and slapped Yui playfully on the back. Yui grinned at her friend, before moving off once more, waving to Miaka as she broke into a run.

Leaving Miaka behind, Yui dodged through the crowded streets of Tokyo, heading toward her secret place. She stopped only once to buy some flowers at a flower vender, before quickly heading towards a very secluded spot in one of Tokyo's many parks. Running down a path in the park she headed her secret place near the center of the park. Yui moved off the path into a very small, very quiet clearing, surrounded on all sides by bushes and trees. Pushing through the shrubbery she entered the clearing and stopped, gazing at a stone that stood upright in it's center. Dropping to her knees in front of the gravestone, she gently placed the flowers before it.

The stone was small, white, and obviously hand made with several names on it.

The Guardians of Seiryuu


This was her memorial to her dead Guardians. All of them had died for her, for her deluded wishes to beat Miaka, and some of them had even been the ones to show her down that path.

Amiboshi. The nice one. He was Suboshi's older twin brother, whose power lay in the music created by his flute. A warm soul who had wanted to leave violence behind him and lead a normal life. Amiboshi had fallen in love with Miaka, saved her life, sided with Miaka's Guardians, and then had allowed his brother to borrow his body to save Yui's life and got killed in the process. I envied you for your ability to forgive, for your kindness and love, you're one of the ones I miss the most.

Ashitare. She hadn't know the wolf man very well, but what she had known had scared her. He had been a cold, animal killer who's death had gained her the Shinzaho. But even you were innocent in your own way. Nakago used you, controlled you, just like he did me. What would you have been if you had been left alone?

Miboshi. A small Guardian who had control over minds, bodies, and shadow creatures. He had distracted the Guardians of Suzaku while she had summoned Seiryuu. You were evil, Miboshi, no matter what you did, you served Nakago of your own free will. You distracted the Guardians by possessing Chiriko, and he was just a child too!

Nakago. The Shogun of Kutou. A powerful Guardian who had manipulated Yui like a puppet in an attempt to gain godhood. He had also orchestrated the deaths of Tamahome's family and many of the Guardians of Suzaku. I hate you Nakago, of what you made us do for you, of your plans, of your manipulations. I hate you for turning me against my friend, for every lie you told me, for what you did to the others. Only Suboshi knew that you weren't what you seemed, and I didn't listen when he tried to tell me.

Soi. Nakago's lover and mistress of storms. I can only pity you Soi. For your love of Nakago, for your blind obedience of his will, although I suppose I wasn't much better when it came to blindness. I also admired you for your strength, that you loved someone enough to die for them. I don't know if I would have been that strong.

Suboshi. Amiboshi's younger twin brother. His power and his weapon was the ryuuseisui. Suboshi had an intense devotion for those he cared for, namely his brother and Yui. He had killed Tomo to save Amiboshi's life, killed Tamahome's family because Nakago had ordered him to, and would have done worse to Miaka because Yui had said Miaka had hurt her. Then he had given his life for her twice. Suboshi loved her. I remember you, Suboshi, my shadow, you followed me everywhere, you guarded me from everyone, you tried to protect me from Nakago, but I didn't listen. You killed for me, you died for me, and I never noticed you, not once. I miss you, your blind devotion, your love. Losing you and Amiboshi hurts the most. Tears slid down her cheeks, but she didn't brush them away. Yui felt a cool wind brush past her, drying the tears and pushing the hair from her face. It sang in the trees, swirling around her still form, seeming to want to hold her close and comfort her. Silly, she thought, it's only wind.

Tomo. The painted Guardian whose magic lay in illusions created by clam shells. I feel no pity for you, Tomo. You chose your path, you enjoyed what you did, the lies you cast. You worked for Nakago of your own free will. You led Nakago to this world with your clams, and I hate you for that. I'm almost glad that Suboshi killed you, saving Amiboshi and Miaka from your spells.

Yui looked up from her thoughts and noticed the sky was darkening. I should get home, mother will be worried and so with Miaka, she thought as she stood up and prepared to leave the clearing. The wind was still with her, wrapping her in it's cloak. Looking down at the memorial, she said softly," Rest well my Guardians," before turning to leave. She was stopped by the sound of voices talking together shrilly beyond the bushes.

"I told you I heard something."

"So, what's yer point?"

"Well, I want you to check it out," the first voice demanded.

"Why should I?" the second voice whined.

"Oh, shut yer jabbering, I'll look for yah, if you two will just shut up," a third voice said in exasperation. Yui froze. What should I do? Hands pushed the bushes aside, revealing a young man's tattooed face. An earring hung in his left ear and a black hat was askew on his head. When his eyes saw Yui frozen in place like a deer before headlights, he grinned evilly and turned his head to yell to his companions. "Hey come and look at this fellas, it's a girl!"

Two other heads pushed their way through the bushes, as two more young men, dressed similar to the first also looked at her. The three pushed their way into the clearing as she backed up and ran into a tree. Not again, please not again! The wind picked up, throwing leaves around the clearing as if in anger.

"Comere girly, we only want to have some fun," the first leered, reaching for her as Yui drew back, shaking her head helplessly. Before he could touch her, something struck his hand viscously, cutting deep and drawing blood. The young man yanked his hand back with a yelp of pain and anger as his two companions looked around the clearing for his attacker. Seeing nothing, the trio assumed Yui had done it, even though she hadn't moved, and the struck one reached for her again, this time in anger.

Once again something struck his hand, cutting deeper, as another something struck the ground at his feet, gouging up a huge chunk of grass and earth. The three stepped back in suprise, their eyes widening as they looked at the air around Yui. The wind was wilder now, as she followed her attacker's gaze and saw the last thing she expected to see. Spinning protectively around her body was a ryuuseisui, its ends whirling furiously as it feinted at her attackers. No, it can't be ... it is. It's Suboshi's. It was identical, even down to its coloring. The ryuuseisui's ends shot out again, aimed straight at her attackers, gashing wide wounds as it struck them. They stood stunned for a moment, before the little common sense they had returned and they ran screaming from the clearing.

The wind whipped furiously for a few more seconds before slowing to a gentle breeze, and the ryuuseisui stopped spinning to hang languorously in the air. Yui felt all the strength go out of her as she fell to her knees. She felt someone's arms wrap around her, holding her tight, as she buried her face in someone's shirt, shivering helplessly.

"It's okay, Yui-sama," a familiar voice said soothingly, "I won't let anyone hurt you." Yui looked up into Suboshi's familiar face. His blue eyes gazed down at her tenderly as he gently brushed her hair out of her face. That was when she noticed she could see right through him.

"You're ... " she whispered as he placed a finger lightly over her lips, silencing her.

"I know," he replied softly, as he began to fade out of sight. The breeze picked up, and his form blew away, like smoke in the wind. Yui stared at where he had been, feeling her throat tighten as she looked shakily towards the memorial. Suboshi's name had been erased from the stone.


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