The Lover's Festival

by Hikari

Disclaimer: Angel Sanctuary and its characters are owned by the great Yuki, Kaori-sama and her fabulous pair of hands. Very Important Author's Notes for (06/25/01):

Ok Minna-san, this fanfic is about a couple whose relationship I consider so beautiful, that I even over look the fact that they are related. If you are an Angel Sanctuary fan and have seen the OVA or read the manga, you already knew before I told you that Setsuna and Sara are brother and sister. And sure, even thought in their current personas the love they share can be called incestuous, if we consider the other facts we can make small exceptions for their relationship.

-Like, the fact that Setsuna is actually the re-incarnation of the Organic Angel Alexiel.
-Or, that Sara is the re-incarnation of the angel Gabrielle.
-Or that they love one another so greatly that they are willing to die or suffer, one for the other.
-And of course, the most important fact... that this is not real life!

Also, comments are greatly appreciated and kindly welcome.


Long light-brown hair danced freely with the wind while its owner looked at the city she would soon be leaving. Hands firmly placed on the balcony's railing, she tightened her grip trying hard to hold on to her sanity. The red-stoned fantasy ring she wore on her left hand's fourth finger shone with suppressed fire in the afternoon sun.

Her sad smile broke into a sob as a couple of tears escaped her eyes. Sliding slowly to the floor, she pulled her knees towards her chest and hugged herself fiercely hoping, for her own well-being, that the pain would subside with the passage of time. Taking a deep breath, she tried to still her cries, knowing well that nothing good ever came out of it.

Staring intently with chestnut-colored eyes at the thin metal band that had always been a part of her dreams and salvation, she held her hand away from her and tried to take herself back to the time she had first acquired it. Leaning her head back, she could already sense the feelings of security and comfort sooth all her worries away. "Onii-chan," she whispered to the wind, her mind... thousands of miles away.

=^^= FLASHBACK =^^=

It was July 6th, the day before Tanabata's Festival, and nine year-old Sara could hardly sleep. Pushing her sheets aside, she got out of bed placing bare feet onto the cold room's floor. Padding over to the open window she smiled at the clear night's sky. She could see every star out tonight.

Remembering what she had made just for this occasion, she hurried over to her nightstand and opened the drawer taking out two small cloth dolls. Going back to the window, she took some string and hung them together outside. The dolls stood for Tanabata and her husband Hikoboshi, who loved each other not wisely but too well.

As the old legend told, the God of the Firmament had a very beautiful daughter called Tanabata who would weave beautiful garments for him to wear. One day, as she was weaving another garment for him, she saw a handsome man leading an ox, and immediately fell in love with him. Her father, being the perceptive God that he was, figured out how they both felt and they were married soon after.

Unfortunately, because the love between Tanabata and Hikoboshi was so ardent and consuming, they both neglected to do their duties. Tanabata forgot to do her weaving, and Hikoboshi permitted his ox to wander at his leisure over the High Plains of Heaven. The God of the Firmament became so angry at such irresponsibility that it was ordered that henceforth the Celestial River should separate the lovers.

Only on the seventh night of the seventh month, provided there is good weather, will a flock of birds form a bridge across the river so that -this way- the lovers may meet. However, if rain so happened to fall, the river would grow too wide for the bridge of birds to form, causing the lovers to have to wait another year so that they may have the chance to see each other once again.

"Hopefully," Sara whispered as she went back to bed. "Tomorrow's night-sky will be just as clear."


Setsuna snuck into his sister's room. Walking towards the window, he opened the shades to let the sun's morning rays in. He looked towards the bed and saw Sara sleeping face down, abundant brown hair shimmering in disarray over her light-green pillow. Her small mouth was parted slightly as she breathed, the corners of her lips curving in a serene smile.

He sucked in his breath. 'Sara always managed to look like an angel.'

With his hand trembling slightly, he moved stray locks from her face and smiled at the picture she made. "Sara," he called softly. "Sara, wake up."

Sara grumbled as she pressed her head further into her pillow and turned the other way, the sheets wrapping around her like a cocoon. "~ive more min~s 'Kaa-chan," she slurred.

A spark of mischief ignited in Setsuna's eyes. He was going to wake up Sara, whether she felt like it or not. Going to the foot of the bed, he grabbed the end of the sheet and pulled with as much force as a ten year-old kid could have.

The sheet slid easily off of Sara's body, causing Setsuna to lose his balance. With a little cry of surprise, his butt hit the floor in a great thud. The sheet he had been holding, covering him completely from head to toe.

At the sound of something being knocked over, Sara forced her to wake and sat up in bed, trying to rub the sleep off her eyes. As her vision focused, she saw her sheet in a bundle on the floor, and heard Setsuna's voice complaining as he battled with it.

Letting a little giggle escape her throat, Sara jumped off the bed and happily went to help her brother out. "Onii-chan," she smiled as she grabbed the sheet off his hands. "Daijoubu?"

Setsuna's honey-colored eyes stared at his sister's merry face. "Hai. Daijoubu-desu."

"That's good." She turned then to dump the sheet on her bed. "But what where you doing on the floor?"

"Trying to wake *you* up!" Setsuna grumbled. "You really are a heavy sleeper you know."

Sara blushed. "Gomen... I went to sleep kind of late. I was so excited about today."

'Today,' the word resonated. Today was the Festival of Tanabata!!

Grabbing a hold of her brother's hands, she jumped up and down happily as she chanted, "The lover's festival! Today's the lover's festival!!"

Setsuna felt a flush spread through him as he felt the heat of Sara's hands and looked at her happy face. The blush deepening when her arms wound themselves around him in a hug. Then, as quick as the hug had been given, it was over. Sara had pushed him away as she turned to her dresser and took out a cream-colored box.

"Onii-chan," she called as she opened the box and began to part the paper wrapping. "This is what I'm gonna wear today. I've been waiting since New Year's Eve to put it on."

He stepped closer and looked that the light blue kimono with white-flower imprints scattered in design that Sara hugged against her body. She twirled, as she modeled the dress for him, her laughter ringing like tiny holiday silver bells. "And look!" She held up the pastel-pink colored obi that came with the kimono. "Don't they make a beautiful combination?!"

Setsuna tried to get his throat working again. "Yeah," he answered lamely.

Sara's eyes momentarily widened as she bit her lip in a secretive smile. "I got it!" she announced. "Onii-chan, you should wear your kimono too! The brown one with white outlined lily pads on it. You always look very handsome in it."

"I- I don't-" he tried to say, but one look at Sara's hopeful face squashed all his resistance. "OK, Sara. I'll wear my kimono too."


"OK kids," a deep male voice began once they stood at one of the festival's many entries. "You can go to the stands and play games, but be sure not to talk to strangers. Also, don't forget where we're supposed to meet at eight o'clock, alright?"

"Hai." Both children replied.

"And Setsuna," his father warned. "Take care of Sara."

"Hai, Otou-san." He said as he bowed his head. Their parents watched them go off into the crowd of people, hand in hand.

Scorn resonated in Mudou-san's wife as she stated, "I don't like leaving Sara alone with Setsuna."

Her husband ignored the comment, while he brought his hand up to rub the bridge of his nose.

"I don't trust him," she continued as she shot daggers in the direction they had disappeared to. "He's not normal. He-"

"Are you going to start this again?" he interrupted, tiered of hearing her usual complaints.

"Yes! Until I get it through your head that that *child* is not alright." She crossed her arms. "He's never been sick, never been hurt. What normal kid do you know of that had *never* been in an accident?!"

He took a deep calming breath. "You're starting to sound like a paranoid neurotic again."

"I'm serious about what I've been telling you!" She turned furious redish-brown eyes on him. "I want a divorce."

"Do we have to talk about this here? In front of everyone? And at the Festival of the Weaving Lady no less?"

"I don't care." She stated childishly.

This time, it was he who rounded on her with suppressed anger. "We will discuss this at a later time." Placing a firm grip on her arm, he propelled her forward. "You will not cause the Mudou's to lose face!"


Sara skipped down the path swinging her purse around. "Aniki," she called. "Look, I found them."

Setsuna caught up with her, and looked at the arranged bamboo sticks. "Ok Sara, now you can tie your papers on. Did you bring them with you?"

"Un." She grinned as she held up the small blue bag she carried. "I have them in here. Demo..." Sara's eyes stated to look over her brother. "Where are yours?"

"I don't have any," he answered shrugging his shoulders.


"It's alright."

"No it's not!" she said as her face turned serious. "BAKA! It's tradition. We *have* to put poems on the bamboo sticks in honor of Tanabata and Hikoboshi!"


"NO!" she exclaimed while fishing through her purse. "Here." She handed Setsuna some blank colored strips of paper and a pen. "Now you can write her something."

He was going to protest, but one look at Sara's face told him not to press his luck. Sara was a firm believer in festivals and she especially loved this one. 'I suppose that any girl would think that the day when two lovers finally got a chance to meet is romantic." He thought as he clicked the pen and proceeded to write the poems.

"OK, now let me have some of yours and I'll start to tie them on the branches." She said once she had finished attaching hers.

Setsuna finally handed her the last one. Stepping away from the bamboo, they both stared at all the papers that decorated the little tree. White, blue, yellow, red, and green strips knotted on all the branches gave new life to the ritual practice.

"See?" Sara beamed happily beside him. "Just like Tanabata and Hikoboshi when they meet!"


"Onii-chan? Onii-chan?" Sara called as she tried to make her way through the crowd. "Onii-chan, where are you?"

It was impossible to see anything! There were so many people around. "Aniki!!" She yelled placing one of her hands to the side of her mouth, the other holding tightly onto a bag with a little goldfish she had won at a festival game.

"Ani-" she cried as someone bumped her into another individual. She rebounded from him onto another person and soon, she was being tossed back and forth by the crowd.

Suddenly, she was pushed out of the masses. Sara staggered trying to regain her equilibrium. That it, until her geta slipped on a puddle of mud and she was launched to the ground- her goldfish flying out of her hand and landing with a splash somewhere within the passer biers.

Without meaning to, Sara's chest began to constrict. The feeling of tears swelled inside of her and before she knew it, she was crying- screaming out into the crowed that she wanted Setsuna with her.

Somehow, he must have heard her... felt her pain, because in minutes he was at her side. "Sara, are you OK?" he asked, his voice filled with anguish. "Are you hurt anywhere? Sara?"

She looked up, then, through her puffy eyes as she gave him a weak smile.

"Sara..." he whispered as he crowded on the ground with her. "What happened?"

"I was looking for you," she sniffed. "But I couldn't find you!" She threw her hands around his body and hung onto to him as she cried. "I was so worried! I thought I had lost you."

"I'm sorry Sara." He patted her head. "I was at one of the games. I wanted to win this for you." And at that moment he produced from his obi a metallic gold fantasy ring with a circular red stone made out of glass.

Transfixed, she merely stared at it. "You won it for me?"

She smiled as he gave it to her. "Yeah," he said while he wiped away her tears.

Placing the ring on the fourth finger in her left hand, Sara smiled at the gift her brother had given her. "Onii-chan?" she began in doubt. "We'll always be together, ne?"

When Setsuna remained silent, she pleaded into his eyes. "Ne? NE?!" She tugged on his kimono-sleeve. "Answer me Aniki! We'll always be together, NE?"

Something within him moved at that moment. It was as if her words would be able to hold them together, even if just out of sheer will. He smiled as he bent down and kissed her forehead. "Hai, Sara."


They made their way through the crowd -this time- together, as they looked for the place where they were supposed to meet up with their parents. With Sara's hand in his, Setsuna paved the way while they enjoyed their green tea ice cream. They could both hear as kids sang "Tenki ni Nari" with the hope of a clear sky that night.

And Setsuna too, in one of those rare moments of his life, wished with everything he had that the star-crossed lovers may be united tonight. That they may find happiness in each other's arms so that they may withstand another lonely year without the person they most care about.


Late that night, once the Mudou's were back at home, Setsuna and Sara were ordered to go upstairs and sleep instead of waiting up and seeing the meeting of the stars. However, Sara couldn't sleep and *wouldn't* sleep! Not until both Setsuna and her, saw Tanabata and her husband.

Sticking her head into the corridor, she heard her parents arguing again but saw no one was around, and ran to her brother's room as fast as she could. Knocking softly, she bit her lip in anticipation as she turned the knob and crept in.

Setsuna was at his window, looking at the sky- the moonlight spilling gently over his features. Sara smiled. Her brother was very handsome.

With her hands linked at her back, she skipped bare- foot over to his location. "Hi." She called softly once she was beside him.

"Sara!" He looked at her. "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to watch Tanabata and Hikoboshi with you." Her voice trailed down to a whisper as she bent her head. "Do you mind?"

"No," he laughed as he scooted over, giving her room to watch.

Leaning into Setsuna, Sara watched as in the heavens the two stars which had been separated through out the whole year, finally became one. The light they produced, shined in a million colors... but the most prominent where blue, green, yellow, red and white.

She smiled as she compared the red in the heavens with the red of her ring. 'Always together,' a little voice in her whispered, while she tried to push away thoughts of her parents possibly divorcing. 'No matter what comes between us, we promised we would always be together.'


Sara's mother gave a light knock on her daughter's door. "Sara?" she called as she entered the room. "Sara?"

The curtains of the balcony swayed with the wind, drawing her attention in their direction. Stepping closer, she saw Sara's body huddled close to the wall, her face streaked with dry tears and contorted in sorrow. How she hated seeing her daughter in such a state.

Deciding it was better not to wake her, she began to back out of the room, all the while cursing the birth of her son. 'I promise you Sara,' she thought fiercely. 'I will *not* let him make you go to hell. I will wipe Mudou Setsuna out of your thoughts, *forever*!'

And closing shut the door she left the broken girl where she lay... dreaming of the times long past, and her star-crossed love. All the while not knowing that deep in her heart, Sara was hanging on to the hope that maybe someday, she too would be able to meet with him again and that this time... they would shine -like Tanabata and Hikoboshi- together as one.

The End?


Little Holiday Notes:

> For those of you who are wondering, Aniki and Onii-chan
mean the same thing. > "Tenki ni Nari" means "Weather be clear."
> And the lover's festival is actually called "The Festival of Tanabata, the Weaving Maiden."

Back to the FanFiction page