I Miss You

Disclaimer:The song "I Miss You" belongs to the band Incubus.

To see you when I wake up,
is a gift I didn't think could be real
To know that you feel the same, as I do, is a Three-fold utopian dream...

She was gone.
The knowledge somehow made him feel hollow, the echo of the ceaseless storm thundering throughout his frame. The rain had started soon after she left and had not stopped since.
It was amazing how quiet and dark the palace was without her sweet, lovable personality around to fill the halls with her ringing laughter or her sweet smile that made the day brighter every second.
He could see her perfectly in his mind now, so deeply had she imprinted her image on his soul in so short a time. Dark brown hair falling down the sides of her voice, loving hazel eyes including everyone yet nobody but him all at once. The memory made him ache with loss.
Of course, his heart had been aching for her even since he had been a child.
He trembled, fighting the tears that rose within him at the sound of her voice echoing through his mind--No! He could not allow himself to wallow in misery while his country was in chaos! Kutou's infringement upon Konan's borders was a terrible portent of the inevitable clash between the two countries, and it was his duty to protect his people.
But wasn't she a duty as well? Priestess of Suzaku. Suzaku warrior Hotohori. Connected by gods, brought together by fate, obligated to serve the needs of one another.
Then why did the need to serve and take care of her seem significant to the vast joy that came in simply being around her? Why couldn't he focus on the troubles at hand rather than her, wherever she was now?
And why did it hurt so much to see her look at his fellow warrior with eyes of yearning and love while he only received bare glimpses of affection? Why did the jealous rage boil within him as the young man who bore the ogre symbol unconsciously wooed the heart of his beloved?
Would he ever truly be able to make her his empress? Would she ever...love him?
These were the questions for which not even he could answer.

You do something to me
That I can't explain
So would I be out of line,
If I said I miss you.

She was the first girl he had ever kissed. She was also first girl who had ever hugged him, who had ever trusted him so fully. She was the first girl to say she loved him.
It was a strange feeling, love. It made you consider things you would never have thought about before, made you the unwilling participant in the games that person played.
Love was cruel. Love was beautiful.
Truthfully, he had never thought about women that way before. He had the duty of taking care of his family, who had only a sick father to take care of them. Money was the thing he loved most, though it had proved as elusive and fleeting as the memory of her had been in these past few months.
Or was it really? All that was gold and tangible eventually faded away in the end, but the image of her soft hair falling through his fingers, the gentle looks of affection she gave him, the craving within him to open his heart to her did not leave him so easily.
He was...afraid. Fearful that he would never see her again, that he would never get a chance to fulfill the deepest longings of his soul. Would she ever return to him with bright eyes and a smile like he had known her? According the calendar, she hadn't been gone all that long, but to him it felt like an eternity of endless despair.
Would it be right to say he loved her? To say that she had won his heart and conquered him so easily? No, that couldn't be right, could it? Of the many games women played, he thought himself immune to them. As long as their was only his family and himself, he was invincible.
But hadn't his father once said that even the strongest of heroes fell? He didn't want to dwell on it.

I see your picture,
I smell your skin on the empty pillow next to mine
You have only been gone ten days, but already I am wasting away.

Pushing back a few strands of violet hair, he gazed unhappily into the mirror at his reflection. Not yet beautiful enough to win the emperor's heart, or so he had deducted from his many failed attempts to win the emperor's heart during Miaka's absence.
He hated her, in a sense. She had given away his secret, the one great thing he treasured most, the darkest piece of his soul. When the evil Miaka appeared from behind the mirror and revealed his secret to both Hotohori and Tamahome, he had been enraged. The look of shock and horror on their faces at the revelation had stung almost as deeply as the death of her. If it wasn't for the fact that she showed more interest in Tamahome towards the end, then he would never have been able to forgive her.
He glanced at the earring in his hand before tightening his fingers around it. There were very few things that shone clearly in the darkness, his earring was one of them.
Miaka was the other.
Looking back at his reflection, his first thought was how ruffled his hair looked. His next one was a contemplation on change.
There weren't the actions of a young man that he was performing. Was Ryuuen even alive anymore within him? Had Kourin completely replaced who he was? It was too late for the the young girl, but could the young man that had once thrived take his place a person within his damaged soul?
Lifting a hand, he placed the warm digits over his celestial symbol, where it burned faintly for a moment before fading. Who was the person in the mirror? The monster they had fought on the way to Taiitsukun's palace had been a reflection, a manifestation of all the doubt, anger, and darkness that rested in Miaka's soul: was the reflection of the young woman he saw now in his mirror any different?
"Not yet," he whispered softly to no one, "I'm not ready quite yet." He shut his eyes. "Oh Kourin, give me strength..."
Was Kourin even listening any more? Was he simply placing faith in a memory too long gone to renew? If he went on much longer, would he waste away just as she had?
But there was hope, wasn't there? He had a priestess to protect, a young girl with a warm heart who could easily bring them all happiness, even to his own dying one.
Perhaps it would be Miaka who would save them all.
If she ever came home to him.

I know I'll see you again
Whether far or soon

There is a palace in the center of a country known as Konan. The weather is dreary; rain is falling from the sky as if some grand immortal has left the clouds heavy with sorrow. Inside the palace there are three individuals, each connected by the transient memory of a young girl who came and left far too soon for their cause.
But they live on, if only for the sake of a brighter day. When the rains will stop and love flows as easily as the rivers that wind through the country. When trust conquers fear, and a soul is saved. When an emperor finds his heart, and a country finds salvation.
They lie in wait as the rain continues its eternal rhythm on the rooftops. The sun goes down. The stars shine brightly in the midnight sky. And three young men dream of peace and hazel eyes that bring the sun.

But I need you to know, that I care
And I miss you.