"I still can't believe I won! I mean, I thought
for sure that that girl from Arizona would..." Mark babbled happily.
Matthew smiled and nodded patiently. His twin had been like this
all the way from the competition, and there was still half an hour's drive
before they got home. Mark had been going through each competitor
one by one, saying he thought they might have won and then explaining to
himself reasons why they might not have won and what they had done that
he should avoid. Maybe it was a good way to teach himself, through
the mistakes of his peers, but Matthew fervently wished he didn't do it
out loud. Still, part of him felt very guilty for wanted Mark to
be quiet. After all, this almost guaranteed that soon Mark would
be in a nice little college half-way across the country, and Matthew would
still be living in his parent's house, probably working at McDonald's or
going to a community college. Sighing, he opened his bookbag.
He had homework he needed to do, and it would take Mark at least the rest
of the drive to get wound down. It was a big victory for him, Matthew
knew, but he still couldn't work up the enthusiasm. Their parents
were sitting in the front, their father nodding approvingly every few seconds
and their mother every now and then turning back to contribute errors from
the other competitors. If either of them were annoyed, they didn't
Matthew opened his French book, and took out the sheet of phrases he had to translate by Monday. He read the first phrase, but it didn't make any sense to him. He tried again, this time mumbling it aloud, but nothing rang a bell. He sighed again and shut the book. He'd work on that later, maybe. Matthew took out a sheet of paper, and began scribbling on it boredly. An image came into mind, and he frowned and concentrated on putting it down on the paper. First the face itself, which was kind of delicate looking. Then the neck below the face, a long neck and a little thin. It looked like it was a girl, thus far. He bit his lip and tried to sketch out where the nose would be. He erased it, then tried again. After that came two eyes. They looked so sad... he struggled to bring that across. It took a little effort, but he was satisfied with the result. After giving her small lips, he went up to her hair. It was short, and it came over one eye a little bit. It was also kind of messy, which made him smile. Mark noticed his twin's activity and glanced onto the page.
"That's pretty, Matthew. Who is that?" he asked. Matthew hesitated, then shrugged.
"Just some girl." He folded the picture up and stuck it in his pocket. "You were talking about that guy wearing the bad shirt, right?"
"Yeah!" Mark nodded. "I can't believe he came wearing that. I mean, it doesn't take that much common sense to know better than..."
Yui sighed as she rolled over in bed to nudge
"Hm..." Tetsuya muttered back. Yui nudged him again. "Huh?
"Tetsuya." Yui whispered again. "I had the dream again."
"Uhhn... right." Tetsuya sat up in bed, and reached to the bedside table to grab the notebook. He checked it off, squinting at the paper in the dark. "Yui-chan, that's every night this week."
"I know that." Yui softly answered. "I don't think they're going to stop."
"Well, what do you want to do?" Tetsuya turned back to her. "Do you want to see a psychologist or something?"
"And tell him what? That I'm getting dreams about people I met when I fell into a book and was transported to ancient China?" Yui shook her head slowly, smiling up at Tetsuya. "I guess we'll just have to live with it."
"If it's hurting you, we have to find a way to make it stop." Tetsuya answered sharply. He paused for a second. "Do you want me to call Miaka?"
"No, I'm fine." Yui reassured him. "I just... I'll get something to drink or something."
"Stay here, I'll get it for you." As Tetsuya slipped out of bed, Yui smiled to herself. He really was sweet to her. She'd been living with him for almost 4 months now, ever since she'd left high school. Her parents weren't really surprised when she moved out of their house; she'd been distant from them ever since... ever since everything had happened. As long as she couldn't tell them about the book, about being Seiryuu no Miko, about everything, she felt closer to her friends who knew and could try to understand when she had her fits of anger or depression. Lately she'd been having dreams, frighteningly vivid dreams of the world she had left behind, and the people she had been with as Seiryuu no Miko. When the dreams had started coming more and more frequently, Tetsuya had begun keeping a record of them in a small notebook. The dreams varied a little, but not much. Sometimes it was a dream of Nakago, of cold blue eyes and cold lies that burned inside of her until she was emptied. Sometimes it was a dream of Tomo or Miboshi or one of the others, looking at her with such apathy. All they cared about was the fact that she was Miko; otherwise they probably would as soon kill her as look at her. And somteimes it was a dream of Suboshi, the last time she saw him, trying to protect her from a friend that had never really intended to hurt her in the first place. The last words she ever heard from him were about about getting revenge for what he thought had happened to her. The others all were following Nakago, really, or were out for their own benefit. She could pass off their deaths, and try to forget. But Suboshi had died for her, and for no reason other than her. Looking back, she did believe he was telling the truth when he said he loved her. And she killed him with it. Yui shut her eyes, trying not to cry. It had been years, but it still hurt to think about what she had done...
"Yui-chan?" Tetsuya leaned over Yui, and she gratefully took the glass of water from his hands. "Yui-chan, are you okay?"
"Ye... yes." Yui nodded, calming down slowly. "Yes. I'm fine. Thank you for the water..."
Tetsuya slid into bed beside her, and kissed her on the cheek. "You know whatever you need, I'll get it for you."
"Right..." she whispered, staring down at the glass. She smiled softly again. "You're so kind to me..."
"I love you." Tetsuya reminded her gently, kissing her on the cheek and taking the empty glass from her. "Now sleep well, all right?"
"Right..." Yui closed her eyes. Another face, a few years younger, smiled down at her cheerfully.
"Good night, Yui-sama!" he added happily. Yui opened her eyes and watched Tetsuya beside her. Maybe she would just
stay awake tonight...
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