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Despite His Strong Hands ...

And, I'm moving this here, since it's technically original. XD Sorry about the spam.

Title: Koyane
Author: kaitou_marina
Beta: Just me... >.>;;; (oh god, it's so bad)
Rating: PG-13 (for language. Oops, forgot about that XD)
Genre: Very light boys' love
Pairing: UBER-one-sided Yutaka/Hikkou
Notes: One-shot. Two of mine and chiba_yuriko's original roleplay characters meet after an extended separation, and suddenly, one finds himself in love. Title is a Shinto reference and the whole thing is littered with Shinto references. Yeah, I've been writing about that a lot recently, I know XD Also, my entire frame of reference for the "delinquent" culture in Japan comes from anime and manga (School Rumble, Fruits Basket, etc.) so it's probably completely and totally off-base, but this isn't reality anyway so, uh... just ignore it? XD GOD THIS JUST SUCKS XDDDDDDDDD It was meant for 'Isha anyway so hopefully she'll get a kick out of it XD

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Minamoto Yutaka felt a sort of kinship with the stray animals of the streets. They were like him, he told himself, all muscle and bone and angry at the world. His fellow delinquents often teased him about this soft spot, because it truly amused them to see one of their strongest making a fool out of himself trying to feed a sardine to a kitten hiding on a fire escape. He didn’t care when they laughed. Someone needed to look out for them after all, and he’d always felt at his best when he used his strength to help those not as strong as himself.

It was one cloudy day when Yutaka was sitting sullenly in an alleyway with his gang that a sound from across the street made something ferocious uncoil within him. Some delinquent wannabe kids had apparently decided that tying up a cat and throwing chunks of crumbling brick at it was a good way to prove that they were tough. When the howls of the cat reached Yutaka’s ears, he sprang to his feet immediately and stalked his way to the street, eyes narrowed.

“Uh oh, they just hit the Captain’s sore spot,” said one of his gang, eager to see him fight, while the rest of them began to place bets on how long it would last.

Yutaka forged across the street, completely ignoring the traffic and kicking the hood of one vehicle that had gotten particularly close, getting himself fired up. Messing with the strays within his reach? He’d make them regret it.

He was met with a surprise as he stepped onto the opposite curb. A shorter, scrawny boy of about Yutaka’s own age with exceptionally light hair was already kneeling down and untying the cat as the four wannabe miscreants moved in and circled around him like a pack of hyenas.

“The fuck are you doing!?” said one, shoving the boy with his foot. The lucky cat was nudged away by the gentle hands of the stray-saver and it skittered down the alley and disappeared under a dumpster.

“That cat is alive. It’s not a toy!” said the boy, getting back to his feet.

The wannabes just laughed.

“Well, now what are we going to do? That’s no fun,” said one.

Another raised his foot suddenly, the surge of muscle promising a lot of pain to follow for his target.

“Guess we’ll have to play with this little pussy instead!”

The blow never fell, because the would-be kicker was promptly dropped by a violent knee to the ribs from Yutaka. That kid was an idiot for facing four punks on his own, but he’d saved the stray, so there was no way Yutaka was going to let them have him.

The other three stared in shock at their comrade on the ground, coughing with the wind knocked out of him, before all leaping at Yutaka at once. This wasn’t a problem for him. These three were small-fry. The cat-saving idiot even had the sense to get the hell out of the way, so he could really cut loose. He dropped the second and third ones with a sharp blow to the jaw and an elbow to the stomach. As he was turning to take out the fourth, he heard the stray-saver yell before a hard blow fell across the back of his neck and shoulders. He blinked and he was on his knees, sparks on the edges of his vision. The little shit had the gall to whack him with a wooden sword! What did he think this was, a street drama?

He jumped back to his feet and the fourth wannabe skittered back in surprise, and then swung the wooden blade again, this time at his head. Yutaka caught it and twisted it out of the boy’s hand violently, surging forward to allow no time for a reaction. He grabbed the wannabe’s head and slammed it against the bricks of the nearest building, grinding his forehead against the wall and making him scream hoarsely as blood began to flow. The stray-saver yelled again, and Yutaka returned to his senses. He threw the boy toward the alley exit.

“Get the fuck out of here,” he growled and the four boys picked themselves up and dragged and scrambled their way out of his sight as fast as they could.

Yutaka hissed and rubbed the back of his neck, turning to ask the stray-saver if he was all right, but discovered that he was staring at him with a look of recognition.

“Yu – taka-kun?” he said hesitantly.

It was then that Yutaka realized that he knew this boy as well. He flailed and pointed, completely dropping his tough façade.

“Ah! Hi – Fu… Fujiwara! W – What are you doing here!?”

Fujiwara Hikkou had been Yutaka’s tree-climbing partner, his biking companion, a childhood friend who knew more of his habits than any of Yutaka’s many siblings (and they knew this for a fact, since Hikkou had been the champion of a guessing game once) and the one person Yutaka never wanted to see him like this.

When his mother had died and his family moved, Yutaka had felt useless and weak. He took to the streets to take out his frustrations and before long, he was tangled up in too many things that he never wanted Hikkou to be around, so he’d decided not to seek him out or see him again. And yet, here was Hikkou, clinging to him joyfully as though he weren’t the least bit afraid despite what he’d just seen. He still knew Yutaka’s true self.

Before Yutaka could gather his wits, he found himself dragged to the small shrine that Hikkou’s family ran. He was taken to the living quarters and an ice pack was gently applied to the back of his neck before Hikkou shuffled off again to get tea.

Yutaka stared around the living room, the cold bite of the ice pack waking him up a bit. Nothing had changed around here, he noted, other something vague missing… Hikkou returned with a rattle of pottery and put a steaming cup in front of Yutaka, though he didn’t feel much interest in the tea at the moment.

“You asked what I was doing there, but what were you doing there?” said Hikkou, regarding him now with large eyes. “What happened to you? I… found out where your new place was, but you were never there.”

Yutaka wasn’t sure how to answer that yet.

“I guess I was spending too much time ‘playing,’” he said, distracted again by what felt off. “I – sorry. Things have been hard…”

“I’m so sorry… I – I kept looking for you at festivals and ceremonies here,” said Hikkou, a slight hiccup to his words as though he was trying to fight back tears.

“Hey,” said Yutaka, holding out a placating hand, “Ah, look, I really am sorry. Look, I haven’t done a visit in years, so let’s go out to the shrine, okay?”

Hikkou nodded and stood up and the two walked back outside together. As they walked through the garden, Yutaka suddenly realized who hadn’t come to greet them when they came inside.

“Hey, Fujiwara, where’s Oba-chan?” he said, feeling a bit cold in a way that had nothing to do with the ice pack he had been holding on his neck.

Hikkou smiled tightly.

“Okaa-san passed away.”

“Eh!? Oba-chan did!?” said Yutaka, grabbing Hikkou’s shoulder in surprise.

“Mm…” said Hikkou, his reply as taut as his smile.

Yutaka was so flabbergasted that he didn’t even realize when they’d reached the offering box in front of the shrine. He found himself, out of well-ingrained habit, fumbling in his pocket for coins to toss inside. He dropped the money inside with a clatter and carried out the bows and claps with automatic ease. As he paused to pray for a moment, he found his brain still frozen, unable to even think any words. Hikkou filled the silence instead.

“Why didn’t you ever come back?” he said, his voice thick.

Yutaka found he couldn’t look Hikkou in the face. He stared at the bell above the box, the break in the clouds where the ruby of sunset was flowing through, until his own cowardice began to sicken him.

“I was angry,” he finally said. “I mean, God didn’t save Kaa-san and took her away. I didn’t want to be around any god.”

He, Yutaka, hadn’t been able to save her either, despite his strong hands…

Hikkou’s eyes only seemed bigger in the fading light of day. He turned to face the setting sun.

“God doesn’t take life away,” he said. “Life is brought forth and watched over, and when it ends, it returns to where it came from. Like my mother…” He held out his hand and the red sun danced across it. “I’m so glad I was born to her. Even now, she always gently watches over me. Your mother, as well, I’m sure…”

Yutaka felt a little wide-eyed himself now. Watching his childhood friend, he felt a gush of feelings from somewhere within himself, a mix of emotion that was both tender and fierce. He hadn’t needed to protect Hikkou from himself. He wanted to be someone who watched over Hikkou as well. He felt a rush of blood to his face as his heart beat harder against his ribs.

“It must have been lonely, wasn’t it, Hikkou. I’m sorry,” he said.

Hikkou hiccupped again.

“You called me by my first name,” he said.

“Of course!” said Yutaka, giving him a thumbs-up. “And, if you’re willing to forgive this old Yutaka-sama, I’ll visit all the time again, just like before!”

And Hikkou was hugging him again and laughing.

“Of course I forgive you, idiot!” he said.

“From now on…” Yutaka said, then shook his head.

“Yutaka-kun?” said Hikkou, tilting his head a bit.

Yutaka didn’t explain.

“So!” he said, turning back to the offering box while digging in his pockets for more change, “Let’s do this properly this time!”

Now he could pray and pray hard, because if he was going to walk away from his gang and start over again from the beginning, he’d need all the help he could get. If he could meet the gods halfway on his promise, he would be more than satisfied.

From now on, I promise I’ll watch over you too.

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
la_vie_noire
Nov. 29th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
Aaaah, new character! XD I'm reading, Mari, I'm taking my time, and I have to say that IS FRESH AIR the way you researched this. I hate, hate, hate the faux Japan I see around so much with characters talking, dressing, eating, watching tv like Americans. This is great, seriously, I love it like always!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )