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Only Time: Deja Vu

Chapter Fifteen

By J. Marie

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Warning!! This is a lemon yaoi fanfiction starring Nakago and Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi. It is rated NC-17. This will be the final chapter of "Deja Vu", Story Arc 1 of "Only Time". If you wish to continue reading "Only Time", please keep an eye out for "The Sacred Power", Story Arc 2 of 'Only Time". Hope you liked everything so far! See ya on the next story arc!

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Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time
And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time

Who can say
why your heart sighs
as your love flies
- only time
And who can say
why your heart cries
when your love lies
- only time

Who can say
when the roads meet
that love might be
in your heart
And who can say
when the day sleeps
If the night keeps
all your heart

Night keeps all your heart

And who can say
If your love grows
as your heart chose
- only time
Who can say
where the road goes
where the day flows
- only time

Who knows - only time

Who knows - only time

-- "Only Time" by Enya

 

Keisuke sighed loudly when a knock came at his door. The sandy-haired youth beneath him rolled his eyes, and rested his head on the older man's shoulder.

"Hey, guys?? Are you dressed? Can I come in??"

"He's like one of the Four Horsemen. Pestilence, I believe," Keisuke moaned, not wanting to tear himself away from his lover.

Chiriko giggled softly, and gently pushed away Keisuke's touch. "Better see what he wants. We should be impressed he didn't sneak in through the window again," the youth sighed, and sat up, pulling on a kimono.

"But I'm ready for him now. I installed an electrical ward on my window," Keisuke grinned, also getting up and finding his kimono.

Chiriko was the one to answer the door, pulling it open and giving Miboshi a sour look. "Between calling me, visiting me, and generally sticking around, this makes the seventeenth time you've managed to ruin sex for me in less than a month. I'm beginning to wonder if you're trying to piss me off," the boy said darkly.

Miboshi brushed past him, wrinkling his nose at the smell of sex in Keisuke's room. The older man gave Miboshi an evil glare when the pink-haired boy entered the room. "I know it's the middle of the night, but I thought it would be better for me to come in normally. I just told Mrs. Yuki that I forgot some important medication in here, and needed to pick it up. I really didn't want to catch you guys naked again," Miboshi said quickly, brushing off the glare.

"How kind of you. Why, pray tell, are you here then, since you didn't forget any medication?" Keisuke asked sourly. He wanted to strangle Miboshi.

"I had a dream. A dream from Seiryu. Like before. What about you, Chiriko?" Miboshi asked.

"Oh, of course. Even though I'm a Suzaku seishi, Seiryu sends me dreams all the time," Chiriko rolled his eyes.

"Seriously! It's important! And itĎll be from Suzaku!" Miboshi cried.

Chiriko sighed and glanced at Keisuke. "I haven't fallen asleep yet, Miboshi," he sighed. Miboshi blushed furiously.

"Oh. Right. Well, I need you to go to sleep now, and I'll sleep on the couch. Wake me when your dream is over. I need you to help me interrupt from your side, to make sure I have everything right," Miboshi said firmly.

Chiriko stared at him. "First of all, that's obnoxious. Second of all, what makes you so sure I'm going to have a dream sent from Suzaku? Third of all, how is this so important it couldn't wait until morning?" the boy gasped in exasperation.

"Don't you have your own home, Miboshi? You stay over here so often I'm beginning to wonder if I should buy you your own bed," Keisuke sighed.

Miboshi however, was not taking anything lightly. "Seiryu said you would have a dream sent from Suzaku tonight. And it's very important. My dream concerned Nakago. And if I'm right, yours will concern Tasuki. They need to be awakened," Miboshi said firmly.

Chiriko stared at him, dumbfounded. Even Keisuke's irritation faded away. Neither boy had received any sort of help or information from inside the Book of the Universe of the Four Gods in a month. This was important.

"Alright.... I'll try to go to sleep. I guess you can rest on the couch or something. And be quiet," Chiriko sighed, heading back over to Keisuke's bed.

"Just as long as you don't get naked around me, or have sex around me, we're hunky-dory," Miboshi nodded sagely, pulling out his sleeping stuff from his bag. Miboshi's presumptuousness irritated Keisuke immensely, and he gritted his teeth.

"He's just lonely, Keisuke. His only other friend is Ashitare, and as long as he's awake and Ashitare's not, it's not good for him to be around him. We're his only friends now," Chiriko whispered to Keisuke as he lay down beside him.

"How'd you know what I was thinking?" Keisuke asked in annoyance, laying back down after giving Miboshi another evil glare. Getting laid with the pink-haired kid around was a real challenge, he had discovered.

"The same way I always know. Just rest...." Chiriko whispered, kissing Keisuke lightly on the lips. Keisuke kissed back, his irritation fading at Chiriko's touch.

"I really mean it about the sex and the naked thing, guys!!" Miboshi cried from the couch, having heard the fearful slurping sound of kissing from Keisuke's bed.

"Can I please strangle him?" Keisuke growled.

"Stand in line," Chiriko giggled, and closed his eyes, trying to relax his body into sleep. After all, Suzaku wanted to talk to him, and only a fool refused to speak with a god.

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Tasuki sighed when he realized his sister was having a bad day again.

Junko lay curled up on her bed, her long black hair tangled. She wore a pair of ratty pajamas that Tasuki was positive she hadn't changed in a couple days. Her sheets were soaked through with sweat, and the room was cast in darkness, with only the barest hints of sunshine slipping through her blinds.

Tasuki bit his bottom lip, and started to clean up her room. School was now officially out, but in a week he was going to have to go back to summer school. At least Nakago would be with him. Tasuki felt as if he hadn't had Nakago to be there during the past month of Junko's nervous breakdown, he would have fallen apart too.

Tasuki pulled back the sheets, and forced his sister to get out of bed. She was limp, and put up no resistance, neither speaking or looking at him. He dragged her to the shower, and helped her bathe, the embarrassment of bathing his sister having faded off a while ago. She just sat in the tub, staring at the tiles with disinterest. Her eyes were dull, and her expression blank. She was like a zombie.

Tasuki looked sadly at his sister. She had gotten so thin, losing her extra weight, but not from a diet. Junko ate next to nothing, and her depression caused her to lose too much weight. Even chubby, she looked healthy and strong, but now she looked weak, fragile, and sick. Even though she did almost nothing but sleep, her eyes had dark circles underneath them.

Junko Ishida was dying, right before Tasuki's eyes.

Junko was silent when Tasuki dressed her in new pajamas, and changed her bedsheets. She refused to eat the food he brought her, and refused to even look at him. Tasuki felt heart-broken. His sister, his pillar of strength, was crumbling, and he could do nothing to save her. Tasuki sat behind Junko and combed out her long, tangled hair, brushing it to shining glory.

He comforted himself with the thought that at least she wasn't trying to convince him she was someone else, some girl named Takiko. Whenever she did that, Tasuki felt his heart tear in two.

He left her on her bed, after making sure she was clean. Junko sat up for only a minute before collapsing back down, listlessly laying on her side.

Tasuki closed the door behind him and began to cry.

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Miaka was frantic.

She had taken Yuiren with her to the mall, but the moment Miaka had turned her back, Yuiren had disappeared. Miaka ran up and down the mall, checking all the stores, searching for her young daughter. The auburn-haired woman envisioned many different forms of death and abduction of her child, and was making herself sick with worry.

She found Yuiren in the food court an hour later.

Miaka blinked. This was something she would expect from her bottomless pit of a son, but not her quiet, soft-spoken daughter. Miaka didn't really understand Yuiren very well. Yuiren was very smart, and despite her soft-spoken nature, had a will of iron. While at Yuiren's age Miaka had been obsessed with dolls and shoujo manga, her daughter was preparing to become a doctor, and obsessed over some dream boy. Miaka often wondered if someone had made a mistake, and Yuiren was actually Yui's daughter, not hers.

But there was Yuiren, more alive and animated than Miaka had ever seen the pretty little girl, laughing and talking to a couple of teenagers, eating ice cream. As Miaka approached, she realized the two teenagers were Tokaki and Subaru of the Byakko Seven.

Miaka stood just behind Yuiren, completely dumbfounded.

Tokaki grinned and looked up at Miaka. "Hey! You're Tamahome's mom, I remember you! I never forget a girl with such a cute ass!" the silver-haired youth bubbled happily. His twin sister smacked him hard on the back of his head, sending his face into his bowl of ice cream.

"Ecchi!" Subaru cried in sisterly irritation.

"Yuiren?" Miaka asked. Why had her daughter run away from her, to visit with the reincarnations of Byakko warriors?

"Hello, mother! I was just visiting with my friends! I didn't scare you, did I?" Yuiren asked calmly, as if running away to eat ice cream with perfect strangers was the most normal thing in the world.

"Just tell me where you're going next time..." Miaka said weakly, staring at Tokaki and Subaru in fascination. The Byakko seishi had saved her life in their past incarnation, helping her fight off the Seiryu Seven and escape. However, in their past lives they had been husband and wife, but now they were twin brother and sister. Miaka only hoped, due to the fact that Tokaki and Subaru did look alike, that they hadn't been related in their past incarnation.

"Alright..." Yuiren said calmly, and turned back to her conversation with the teenagers. The silver-haired twins seemed fascinated by her, and they spoke as if they had known each other for years.

Miaka's cell phone rang and she weakly answered it, wondering why she felt so odd about this whole arrangement. "Hello?" she asked.

"Miaka?" came Taka's voice. "I just got a call from Chiriko and Miboshi."

"So..?" Miaka asked in confusion, staring at her daughter like the girl was a stranger to her.

"So, we're inviting Tasuki and Nakago over for dinner tomorrow night. I need you to buy the ingredients, and plan what you're cooking," Taka said.

"Huh? Why are we inviting Tasuki and Nakago over for dinner?" Miaka asked, wondering if everyone she knew and loved was losing their mind.

"Because Chiriko and Miboshi will be there. With the book. They had dreams from Suzaku and Seiryu, respectively. It's Tasuki's and Nakago's turn, apparently," Taka said in a slightly shaky voice.

Miaka blinked. "But what if Nakago...?" she asked fearfully, trailing off, not wishing to voice the possibilities of Nakago returning to his old persona.

"We'll have to trust Miboshi on this one. Miboshi swears that the taint of corruption has faded from the Seiryu Seven. Nakago shouldn't return to the way he was, because Miboshi didn't return to the way he was.... I've been having strange dreams lately, too. I know you have, but you won't talk of them. Things need to happen. Or the Universe of the Four Gods will be destroyed. And you're a part of this Miaka, as much as I am. We have to settle this. It won't just go away," Taka said firmly.

"Alright.... Dinner for tomorrow. So what do sociopathic megalomaniacs like to eat, anyways?" Miaka asked in a shaky, sarcastic tone.

Taka chuckled lightly over the phone. "I don't know. Let's just hope he doesn't want to eat me anymore," Taka sighed.

"Yeah. Right. Talk to you later," Miaka said, abruptly hanging up on her husband. As much as she loved Taka, lately the strain of her strange dreams, Yuiren's increasingly odd behavior, Tamahome's mopiness, and Keisuke's obsession with the book was wearing her down. Takaís rekindled devotion to the world where his soul originated from only wore on her nerves.

"Let's go, Yuiren," Miaka said sternly.

"Where are we going, Mother?" Yuiren asked casually, bidding her new friends good-bye.

"We're going to go figure out what I'm going to feed a former psychotic madman," Miaka said bitterly, as she headed off with her daughter. She was more than a little angry.

The Book of the Universe of the Four Gods refused to let her live her life out in peace.

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Tasuki accepted the dinner invitation to Tamahome's house happily. Not only would it be good to get out of his stifling house, but Tamahome seemed generally interested in inviting both him and Nakago, which pleased Tasuki. Maybe he could have his friend back, the way they used to be.

Nakago raised an eyebrow at the dinner invitation, but put up no arguments. Tasuki seemed eager to go, and Nakago saw no reason why not. Even if Tamahome's mother seemed terrified of him, she was at least a good cook.

Tasuki's attention was turned towards his sister, who was making a rather unusual trip to the front window. She ignored both Tasuki and Nakago, and opened up the curtain, staring outside with an expression of fear.

"Idiots," she said drolly.

Tasuki peeked out behind her, and saw a young boy with short black hair and blue eyes standing on the sidewalk in front of his house, staring at Tasukiís sister intently. Beside him was a white-haired youth with ice blue eyes, who stared just as intently at Junko.

"Hatsui and Urumaya. Always together. Inseparable. I always thought they were gay. But they're so stupid. They died for me not once, but twice. You'd think they'd learn. It's like they want to die a third time or something. They were the only two who didn't know. But in the end, it didn't matter. If it weren't for the seven of them, Genbu wouldn't have ate me alive. Bastards," Junko said bitterly. It was her voice, her persona, but speaking words that made no sense coming from her lips.

The woman abruptly closed the windows and turned on her heel, heading back for the safety of her bedroom.

"Who the fuck is Genbu?" Tasuki asked after a few minutes of silence.

"I would assume he would be the man in the painting she made a while back," Nakago offered.

"Right. 'Cuz that explains everything," Tasuki scoffed.

He would have given an eye to find out what the hell was going.

Not so long now.

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The next night came slowly for everyone.

At 5pm, on the dot, due mostly to Nakago's prodding, Nakago and Tasuki knocked on the door to the Sukunami residence. Tamahome threw open the door, and grinned uneasily at the pair before him. It had been his parents idea to invite them, and he had only done it because they asked. He still felt uncomfortable. But Tasuki smiled at him easily, and despite Nakago's frosty gaze, Tasuki's warm smile eased some of Tamahome's apprehension.

"Hey, guys! Nice to see you! Come on in... My mom's not quite done with dinner yet," Tamahome said as casually as he could, leading the boys inside, politely taking their coats while they removed their shoes.

"It was real nice of you to invite us both over for dinner, Tamahome," Tasuki said, trying to ease the tension he could feel. Tamahome still felt uncomfortable, and to be honest, so did Tasuki. So many things had changed.

"Yeah well, it was my parentsí idea actually. They wanted to invite you over. And Chiriko and Miboshi," Tamahome shrugged.

"Really? Chiriko and Miboshi?" Tasuki asked, trying not to sound disappointed. He had hoped Tamahome was trying to make a peace offering.

"Yeah. Lately, Chiriko and Miboshi have gotten kinda close, and they're both studying some important history book with my Uncle Keisuke. He's gonna be here too, as well as Yui-san, and Tetsuya-san. Which is really kinda funny, cuz they left the Rainbow Twins at home... Oh. Sorry," Tamahome caught himself and apologized, wincing slightly. The last thing he wanted to do was insult Tasuki all over again.

"Huh? Oh. Look, Tamahome you don't have to act differently around me. I'm still the same person. I mean, Rainbow Twins isn't really that much of an insult, and to be honest, they do act gay. Just go easy on some of the other words, okay?" Tasuki smiled sadly. He was slowly realizing things would never go back to the way they were.

"Right. Well, um, to be honest, I have no clue what's going on. Everybody's trying to act normal, but I can tell everyone is hiding something from me. I feel seriously left out," Tamahome pouted.

"Perhaps it's something meant for intelligent people to understand. In which case, you shouldn't feel left out, Tamahome. Tasuki will be as dumbfounded as you are," Nakago smirked.

Tasuki favored Nakago with a hot glare. "Hey! No fair using big words around me!" Tasuki cried, punching Nakago playfully on the arm.

"I was hoping you might learn to use them, but alas, you seem to prefer talking like a idiot," Nakago grinned, grabbing Tasuki's wrist and spinning the redhead into his grasp, locking the boy down against his chest.

Tasuki squealed in laughter and struggled vainly in Nakago's tight embrace. "Cheater!! And I'm not stupid!! I'm poorly educated!!" he cried. Tamahome blinked at the contact the two boys made in front of him. It was as if he was forgotten by both of them. Nakago was smiling fondly at the smaller redhead in his grip, and Tasuki was giggling furiously. They looked so happy together.

"Poorly educated? You've had the same education I've had," Nakago snorted, grappling with the redhead, who still hadn't managed to escape. Their flirting was so obvious that Tamahome began to blush, but couldn't look away. He'd never actually seen two boys flirt openly in front of him, at least with the knowledge they were actually gay. Unless, of course, you counted Nuriko and Hotohori, but Hotohori never flirted back, and as far as Tamahome was concerned, Nuriko was a woman with a penis.

"Yeah, but I slept through most of my classes," Tasuki giggled, twisting around and standing on his tiptoes, bringing his face inches away from Nakago's. Nakago grinned, appreciating the gleam of Tasuki's fangs.

"I might have to give you incentive to stay awake then," Nakago purred, nearing his face to Tasuki's so their lips nearly touched, their eyes searching the other's.

Tamahome politely cleared his throat, which caused Tasuki to squirm away from Nakago's touch, blushing as brightly at Tamahome. Tamahome's lavender eyes were a little wide in astonishment, and his face felt on fire from embarrassment. Nakago frowned in disappointment, displeased with how quickly Tasuki pulled away from him with Tamahome around.

"Uh, sorry. Forgot you were there," Tasuki offered, his eyes lowered, and trying desperately to keep the grin form his face. There was something way too amusing about making Tamahome blush.

"Ummmm..... Let's go to the living room. Chiriko and Miboshi aren't here yet, but Yui-san and Tetsuya-san are," Tamahome said an octave higher than normal, and started to scurry for his living room.

Nakago bowed to Yui and Tetsuya when he entered, and Tasuki absently waved at them. Yui smiled brightly at Nakago, but Tetsuya sat quietly studying both young men intently.

"Oh, hello, there!" Miaka bubbled as she came into the living room. "How are you, Tasuki? Where have you been lately? I haven't seen you here in over a month!"

Tasuki blushed and stared at the floor. "Sorry, Miaka-san. I've been, uh, busy..." he said, giving the tiny, auburn-haired woman a hug.

"Oh, well don't be a stranger! And it's nice to see you, too, Nakago!" Miaka said casually, though her smile suddenly appeared strained when she turned it on the blonde youth.

"My pleasure, Mrs. Sukunami. You are looking radiant," Nakago complimented her politely, causing the woman to blush and giggle like a teenager.

Tasuki stood just beside Nakago, their body language drawn towards the other, so even standing apart, they seemed to be together. Miaka blinked, picking up on it immediately. Between them was a tangible desire to be touching, to be intimate. She could almost feel the strong emotions pouring off from Tasuki towards Nakago. She was a baka when it came to most things, but she knew love when she saw it. But it appeared to be a one-sided love, with Tasuki's ki directed at Nakago, but the blonde gave nothing back that Miaka could see. She frowned, feeling an instant concern and sympathy for Tasuki.

"You two seem close," Miaka frowned.

Nakago blinked, surprised at Miaka's intuition. He had taken her for a complete idiot. Tasuki blushed slightly, his expression all she needed to confirm her intuition. "We've become good friends, Miaka-sama," Tasuki giggled nervously, his eyes a little wide.

"Of course you have," Miaka said patronizingly. "I'll go back to dinner now. I'm almost done."

Tamahome showed Tasuki and Nakago seats, and sat down himself, staring at the couple apprehensively. He wanted things to go back to normal, but Tasuki seemed so different. And Tasuki seemed so attached to Nakago. Tamahome shifted his gaze to Nakago, meeting the other's frosty stare.

"So, how's Soi doing?" Nakago asked casually.

Tamahome blinked. "Why ask me?" he asked defensively.

"I noticed that over the past few days you two were talking. I assumed you were friends or something. She's not normally so congenial to people," Nakago said icily, which caused Tasuki to bite his bottom lip and stare at Nakago.

"I guess we're friends or something. We hang out occasionally. We talk a lot. She's pretty cool," Tamahome said defensively, narrowing his eyes.

"Yes. Soi's a very special woman. I'd hate to see her hurt," Nakago said coldly. Yui fixated her dark blue gaze on her most powerful seishi, trying to study Nakago.

"Couldn't hurt her any worse than you did," Tamahome said bluntly. Tasuki was staring at his hands, silent, thoughtful. Even a little jealous. Soi had something with Nakago that would never go away. Maybe it wasn't true love, but it was something that ran deep. Something that ran deeper than his relationship with Nakago, or so he thought.

Nakago smiled. "Good answer. Treat her well. I'd really hate to have to rip your heart out for hurting her," he said calmly.

That statement paused Taka Sukunami. A brief glimpse of holding Nakago's heart in his hand flashed through his mind as he entered the room, hearing Nakago's threat. Taka fixed a probing glare on Nakago, his jaw working.

Nakago met the gaze, and never flinched. Tasuki chewed on his lip, wishing the subject would change from Soi. He felt incredibly jealous of the woman, and of the obvious concern Nakago had for her. Tasuki was jealous of how Nakago protected her, ensured Tamahome would not hurt her. He wondered if maybe Nakago loved her and didn't know it, and that thought sent a pang through Tasuki's heart.

Taka looked away after a minute. Nakago's gaze was disconcerting to say the least. If eyes were the windows to the soul, then Nakago's soul was a frozen tundra. "Hello, Nakago. Tasuki. Nice of you to come," he said carefully, every misgiving he ever had about wakening Nakago clamoring in his mind for attention. Taka ignored them all. Too late to back out now. They would just have to pray that Nakago was free of his corruption.

"Hello, Taka-san!" Tasuki said brightly. Taka grinned at him and paternally tousled his hair. It was odd that this boy who was young enough to be his son used to be one of his closest friends in their past life.

"So, what's this about you and Soi?" Taka asked casually, turning to his son. Tamahome blushed and looked away.

"Nothing. We're just friends. Nakago here just turned into her big brother on me. No need. Like I said, me and Soi are just friends," Tamahome repeated, staring at his knees.

Nakago turned from Taka and Tamahome, and noticed that Tasuki's face was set into a deep frown again. He wondered what the redhead was thinking. He gently brushed his fingers across Tasuki's, which caused the redhead to look over at him sadly. Nakago offered him a small smile, a sight so rare that Tasuki had to smile back. Nakago brushed his fingers across Tasuki's once more before breaking the contact, hoping Tasuki would get past his dark mood. Tasuki brightened a little, reaching up and touching his fingers where Nakago had touched. He hoped Nakago and he could stay like they were now forever. Happy and together.

Yui raised a blonde eyebrow, picking up on the brief and silent exchange between Tasuki and Nakago. She was not as empathic as Miaka was, but her intelligence allowed her to easily deduce their relationship was certainly not platonic. Tetsuya continued to brood, wondering what was going to happen, and beginning to feel guilty. They were taking away Nakago and Tasuki's innocence. Maybe taking away the good in Nakago. He kept wondering what would happen to his sons, if they had to awaken soon.

The doorbell rang, and Miaka opened the door to her brother, who had a pair of teenage seishi with him. She smiled at Chiriko who clutched the book nervously, and then Miboshi, who twiddled with his pink curls nervously. Keisuke gave his little sister a hug and led the boys inside.

Miaka was suddenly somber, and apprehensive. A million what-ifs ran through her mind, but she merely led Keisuke and the two young seishi to her living room, completely silent. She couldn't find any words. She was too scared.

Keisuke stepped aside, and Yui and Tetsuya focused on Chiriko, who nervously entered the room, book in hand. Miboshi stood just behind him, his lavender eyes wide with apprehension. Taka and Tamahome fell silent, father and sonís eyes riveted to the book.

Chiriko's hands shook as he laid the book on the coffee table before Nakago and Tasuki. "I... need you touch this book, guys," he said in a nervous voice that cracked.

Neither Nakago and Tasuki needed any prodding. Tasuki's eyes burned red, and Nakago's eyes burned blue. Their expressions were blank, and their bodies seemed to surge forward of their own accord. The book began to burn an intense purple, filling the room with the glow.

Nakago and Tasuki touched the book at the same time.

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Do you know what deja vu is really like? To experience something you felt in a past life? No?

Then imagine this.

Imagine you have gone through life, believing you are a certain person, who does things a certain way, because of things that happened in your life. You speak a certain way, act a certain way, because that's part of you. You are you, and no one can take that away from you. You have a sense of self, a purpose in life.

And then you remember your past life.

Suddenly, you aren't you anymore, but you are who you used to be. Your mind is filled with two lives, two experiences, two emotions, two desires. You're split down the middle. Past and present have no meaning. You have no sense of self, because there is too much you. You're drowning in yourself, and all the different aspects of your soul. You have not one purpose in life, but two.

Imagine that you feel a certain way about a certain person. And you feel a different way at the same time. You love. You hate. Their is no distinction. There is both. You are drowning in duality, and in the confusion of remembering a life that is no longer alive.

Eventually, one will conquer the other. Your more powerful emotions will conquer, and you will develop a new self, created by the combination of the two. You are not who you are, or who you were, but who you will be.

That's what deja vu is all about.

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The screams had faded, and the red and blue lightning had ceased to crackle. The purple miasma of light had ended from the book. The seishi symbols faded and reality forced it's way back into the Sukunami residence.

It was over.

And yet, it had just begun.

Both Tasuki and Nakago had stood up, and were standing before the other, considering each other. Both Yui and Miaka sobbed from the sudden rush of pain they had experienced, a familiar pain they had once experienced when Gods had entered their bodies. Taka and Tamahome stared at each other, trying to distinguish who was who, as if the lines between their selves had blurred. Tetsuya and Keisuke were speechless, terrified. Chiriko and Miboshi were silent, expectant. The room was pregnant with tension.

Tasuki stared at the man he loved. The man he thought he knew, but realized he didn't know at all. He stared at Nakago with the eyes of two people, trying to adjust and become one. Hate, fear, love, and desire mingled in equal amounts. He felt torn, and he felt his heart tear in two.

Tasuki was in love with the madman who had orchestrated the death and destruction of so much that he loved. He was confused, lost in the depths of his dual incarnations.

Nakago stared at the boy he had learned to trust, the boy he had allowed so deep into his life, into his heart. He saw Tasuki as the Enemy, as the fool who stood in his way, and he saw Tasuki as the boy who gave him pure and unconditional love, and asked for nothing in return. He was torn, and ripped apart, filled with remorse and with desperation.

But Nakago made his decision. He knew what he wanted. What he really wanted. He reached his hand out to brush the tears from his lover's face, to offer comfort to the suffering Tasuki.

But Tasuki backed away, his eyes wide in terror. Nakago's arm froze in the air, hanging limply. His deep blue eyes grew wide. He had let Tasuki past his defenses, past his covering of ice, and now he was going to pay for that mistake.

He should never have gotten involved.

Tasuki gasped in emotional pain and turned away from Nakago, and ran from the room, from the house, as fast as he could. He ran as quickly as a bird that took to wing. He turned his back to Nakago and fled in his pain, in his turmoil, in his fear.

Nakago's arm dropped to his side, and he covered his heart with ice. It was easy to do. He remembered how to do it well. To not care about anyone, or anything. Nakago, complete with memories of his past life, turned to his Priestess, to the woman he had tried to force into wishing him a god long ago. Yui stared back, trembling in fear.

"Is there a particular reason why you have just ruined my life, or did you just feel an extraordinary suicidal urge?" he asked coldly.

Nakago was now in full memory of his past life. In his past life, he had been the engineer of countless tragedies. His pain, and his desire for vengeance for a world that had given him nothing but misery had driven him to commit atrocity after atrocity. He even learned to enjoy the suffering he inflicted on others. For if he hurt, then everyone must hurt too.

The Nakago of this life had no particularly strong moral drive, no healing or compassionate nature. The one person who had been able to heal the darkness and pain in his heart had just fled in fear of him. Yui, Miaka, Taka, Tamahome, Tetsuya, Keisuke, Miboshi and Chiriko cowered before the blonde, wondering if they had perhaps made a mistake. They wondered if Nakago was possessed once again by pain and vengeance, by the need to destroy.

And as Nakago stood before them, proud and cold, awaiting his answer, the gathered group wondered if they had just puppeteered the means of their own destruction. Once again, they stood before Nakago, fearing their demise.

Do you ever get deja vu?

 

End of "Deja Vu", Story Arc 1 of "Only Time".

To be continued in "The Sacred Power", Story Arc 2 of "Only Time"...

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