Like every time he received a customer for a third appointment , which according to the law of Oiran was the one were the customer had been accepted as such and could fully access the body of the courtesan offered when they had high ranking, Yukimura had to undergo special preparation.
And he hated it. Squatting in front of his bedroom mirror, he tried to tie his hair in a different hairstyle without much success. Observing his reflection, he put his finger to his lips, wondering whether or not to add a touch of makeup. There were two types of male Oiran, the effeminate, delicate and sweet, looking like the most beautiful women and usually favorites of the men's frequenting prostitutes, for them makeup was a most beautiful effect, while he rather belonged to the second type , as he was more manly, his body hard and firm and well toned , these type of Oiran were ridiculous with makeup on.
But he was also an amazing blend of delicate grace and seeming strength which had greatly helped to make him popular while making it difficult to put him under categorization. His nose was straight and fine, his cheekbones high , his lips were a softer pink and more full than that of an average man, his eyebrows were oddly split which accentuated his full of life hazel eyes. Yukimura had the chance to say he was a rare pearl classified in the two categories, he was both beautiful and dangerous ... it doesn't mean he wasn't feeling ridiculous to have to apply red lipstick and face powder ... he was still a man for God sake.
Exasperated, he pushed the mirror away and let himself fall on his back, stretching out full length on the cold floor of his room. His hand came to rest in front of his eyes for a moment cutting the world of troubled thoughts that haunted him , Masamune... Masamune... Masamune .
Yukimura was just wondering how he could have been so stupid to let himself fall madly in love with this man ... it was ... just impossible for them ... and how painful to be fully aware of it. Yet he dreamed ... he dreamed of seeing him smile day after day, to run his hand through his hair, to hear him laugh heartedly , to discover Masamune expressions... and he knew that it would remain thus, a simple dream .
Removing his hand from his eyes, he turned his head , resting his gaze on a jewelry box placed on a shelf. This jewelry box was special for him and not just because it was hiding a double bottom but mostly because of what that double bottom contained. It was a valuable thing that Sasuke offered him, something that would collapse all of his world if it were to be discovered, something that offered him respite, something that allowed him to keep his sanity as long as possible, one thing that prevented him from finishing like all those others Oiran addicted to opium or something else and the others that were half dead wandering the alleys.
It was something that Sasuke had developed specifically for him after several years. It was actually a drug so much like many circulating in the area. Bit it wasn't intended for Yukimura. No, because the young Oiran poured this drug without the knowledge of his customers , particularly fort he most horrible, the most demanding and the most selfish, they still thought they had one of the best nights of their lives, while what remained of Yukimura dignity was preserved , it was give and take ... if it wasn't for the fact until this had finally become essential and systematic ...
It was all Sasuke could do for Yukimura who refused to flee with him for reasons that were his own. Yukimura vaguely remembered that there wasn't much left of it, the ingredients for the drug were rare and Sasuke should go away to search for them, it wasn't the first time, in those moments Yukimura was left alone, forced to please his customers the way it was expected of him.
Yet , for once, it didn't bother him. From Masamune, Yukimura 's mind wandered to Mitsunari. Yukimura wasn't sure why, but he knew that the young man, as whimsical as he was, respected his as a human being ... Yukimura began to think he might have been less painful to fall in love with someone like him.
"Yuki ? Can I come in? " Sasuke voice suddenly, pulling him out of his deep reflection.
Yukimura straightened up suddenly, surprised . " Sasuke ? Come in, yes . " He said.
And when he was just thinking about Sasuke... Yukimura had to wonder whether the ninja didn't have the ability to be connected to him. He had wanted to talk to him. Sasuke was his confidant and he wanted to tell him about Masamune but something had prevented him to do so and it was even more difficult because the russet haired had made sure to avoid him all day long, it hadn't escaped Yukimura .
When the young ninja opened the door Yukimura would have preferred that he wasn't still wearing that sullen and angry look he had, well he and only been wearing it since Yukimura had returned from his workout with Masamune but that Yukimura wasn't aware of it...
"I need you to help me tie my hair. " Yukimura asked .
Without more chattering, Sasuke came and sited
behind Yukimura and began to move a comb in his hair. A heavy silence
fell between them , neither of them knowing how to start a conversation
that would obviously be embarrassing, although it does happen from time
to time, Yukimura was usually always the first to break the silence
starting any conversation but this time he was beaten by Sasuke.
"That Date Masamune... he doesn't deserve you." he said, unable to contain himself.
Frowning at this statement, Yukimura interrupted his follower catching the wrist that repeatedly passed the comb. He turned to face the more than serious look Sasuke gave him.
"What do you mean by that , and how do you know Masamune ? " Yukimura 's voice took on a serious tone.
Sasuke scowled more when he heard the familiarity Yukimura used to talk about this man. His instinct was rarely wrong, he had hated this man the very moment this one had set his eyes on Yukimura, how he wished he had a weapon in hand when that damn dragon dared to touch him. Sighing, he shrugged.
"I saw how he kissed you , that vile man. I wonder how you permitted him to approach you ... he doesn't deserve you and will never deserve you, he is arrogant, impulsive and think nothing but to fight ... men like him ... their hands are too stained , too dirty to touch you ,you are Taiyû and..."
Yukimura refused to let him continue, he rose quickly, upset that his friend had followed him and spied on him , even though deep down he knew that the other had done it because he wanted to protect him, he glared furiously at Sasuke .
"How important is the rank of a whore in front of a samurai, Sasuke ? " he blurted out.
Before the other silence, Yukimura left the room with a heavy step.
"I'd kill him and be more dirty than him rather than let him hurt you . " Sasuke whispered between his gritted teeth .
Yukimura was strongly biting at his lower lip as he now made it to the room where he received his clients. Now it was him who was angry, Sasuke was an idiot, he understood nothing, he had no right to speak ill of Masamune as he knew nothing of him. And what more, Yukimura didn't need him to painfully remind him how his feelings, stupid but how wonderful, would lead him nowhere.
The young Oiran stopped in the hallway and balled his fist enough to whiten his joints. He let out a shaky breath as he leaned his shoulder loosely against the wall and clenched the fabric of his kimono against heart. It hurt so much him. He had seen Masamune looks , briefly touched this skin when they were kissing and Yukimura knew the man had the same emerging feelings. Sasuke didn't knew about that, he didn't knew that Masamune wasn't trying to play with him like all the other men, it was even harder because he knew it was Yukimura himself who decided that it should stop before it was too late.
No, it was not the time to think about that, tomorrow he would see Masamune again, yes, enjoying to be able to see the dragon as long as he could, and when it will end, Yukimura could at least keep the memories that he intended to make, he would be able to keep this at least...
Patting his cheeks vigorously to focus, Yukimura returned his attention to what was the foremost concern tonight. Vaguely, he heard distant moan of pleasures, other than him were already at their task. He felt lucky to have a client like Mitsunari, he had failed in his duty the day before, tonight he was determined to help the young man with all the means available he could muster ... even if it meant that he had to give himself to him, he knew he could do it, because Mitsunari was ... different.
Continuing to move in the dark corridor he met an employee of the brothel, the latter bowed in front of him.
"Yuki, your customer has just arrived, I was about to inform you. "
Yukimura thanked him and slightly quickened his pace, he found a small smile on his lips, Mitsunari was early, maybe because he was overflowing, this had to be really important for him. It would have been nice for Yukimura to have been able to remain innocent for so long.
When Yukimura slid the door open, he found Mitsunari sitting, waiting as usual. This time he was wearing just a purple yukata darker at the base where it was decorated with motifs of falling petals. It was true that the heat and humidity in the room were oppressive, the rainy season was about to start soon.
After Yukimura greeting, he replied only by slightly tilting his head. The young Oiran sat beside him, but always keeping a distance, remembering the day before when Mitsunari was pretty angry. He seemed a little tense and his hands were clenched on his knees and his eyes were shifty like the first time he had come to meet him .
The awkward silence that followed seemed to last an eternity before Yukimura decided he should absolutely start a conversation before one of them exploded, when it actually lasted a few seconds.
"I don't know where we could start . "
Just a few seconds after realizing they had said the same thing at the same time that the ice broke between them and giggles were exchanged. Yukimura had hardly heard Mitsunari chuckle, but he thought it was a good start if the young man was in such a good mood.
"I don't know exactly what questions to ask. " Mitsunari clarified.
The end of his sentence was almost drowned by a violent clap of thunder that pushed Yukimura to rise up. Soon the rain was falling violent and thick on the balcony, it was time to close the wooden panels that opened the piece toward the large garden. By this gesture Yukimura felt like he had created a small bubble, a sort of cocoon where he could put aside his fight with Sasuke and postpone his thoughts of Masamune. He could say that somehow it was the same for Mitsunari when he saw him relax his shoulder even just a little bit. Once the noise was reduced to a small rustling background , thunder always arguing here and there. Yukimura spoke at last.
"And I don't really know what could be helpful or what I could teach you first. " he sat down next to Mitsunari . "What are curious about? "
Mitsunari watched him for a moment , frowning. "Learning to woo Ieyasu would really solve my problem?" and this was the heart of the matter, all of this had a meaning?
Yukimura shrugged his shoulders loosely."It is likely that it will relieves the tension between you, if Ieyasu-dono accept your advances I am sure Ishida-dono would better accept his presence ... you will most certainly wouldn't want to kill him anymore. " the end of his sentence was said lower because Yukimura expressed some doubt about it.
"And if he doesn't accept my advances ? " Mitsunari asked dryly, jaw clenching at this one idea.
"I don't know him personally, so I can't tell you. " Yukimura sincerely confessed . "But I know that it's worth trying."
Mitsunari folded his arms and sighed wearily. " I'll never make a fool of myself in front of him if he had to push me away. " The storm annoyed him, that conversation annoyed him, Ieyasu annoyed him, why did he have to go and develop feelings for this insufferable fool ?
"Well, there has a way of knowing if he will be receptive to your advances or not. "
At these words Mitsunari looked up at Yukimura , attentive. "Oh ? "
Yukimura shook his head. "I can't show you this because it is something very intimate that we must preserve for the person we love, you must share it with Ieyasu-dono and not with me. " Yukimura seemed honestly sorry. His finger ghosted over his lips. It was Masamune who made him understand the importance of this.
"What should I do then ?"
"Kiss him, press your lips against the back of his hand and if he reacts positively ,that if he blush or shows some interest in the action then press your lips against his, he will feel the feeling you have for him."
"Isn't it a little too forward , and how to know if he shows interest ?" Mitsunari himself showed interest, but he seemed to have trouble grasping the concept .
"I'll show you." Yukimura held out his hand .
Mitsunari looked for a moment his long lancer fingers which were made to hold weapons before taking Yukimura 's hand in his, he could not help but feel their sweetness but also the rising roughness due to the intensive training that Yukimura had been through in the afternoon , but Mitsunari didn't know about that. He brought his hand to him and gently touched his lips to the back of the hand. Yukimura expression turned into a smile of politeness. Mitsunari released him with impatience, not pleased that he can't see where the brown haired was going, he had felt nothing special.
"I still don't understand. "
"I showed you a neutral expression , a polite response to your act , I didn't show any discomfort but didn't show any interest either, see ? " Yukimura had that mischievous glint in his eye , he found some sort of amusement in Mitsunari innocence, while praying that this one didn't notice anything .
Mitsunari nodded, Yukimura expression was quite clear. "Stop wasting my time, if Ieyasu had the same expression, I must conclude that he will not be receptive to my courting ?"
"You understand . I show you the expression that almost all men have when interested ?" Yukimura held out his hand again.
"No more chitchat." Mitsunari said when repeating his earlier gesture.
This time, at the touch of his lips, Yukimura hid e behind his sleeve, smiling, feigning awkwardness and embarrassment, he did everything to prolong the contact while watching Mitsunari with that look that charmed ordinary customers, a look full of promises and desires. One thing that this district had taught to Yukimura and that he used for the sole purpose of being able to escape quickly , he hated to play this comedy as much as he hated lying and betrayal. At that moment it was only for Mitsunari sake, because he at least had a chance to be happy.
Mitsunari turned away abruptly, as if having received an electric shock, and it wasn't the storm that was the cause but rather the look Yukimura had in his eyes. "I've surprised Ieyasu watching me in such a way . But he would never do such a grotesque grimace. "
Hardly had he time to realize he thought aloud that Yukimura gave him a pout, upset by his comment but still enchanted by the beginning of the sentence. "Then you have nothing to fear ! He certainly want you too. " Indeed it was a kind of intuition Yukimura had.
Mitsunari did not take it that way, the glance Ieyasu threw at him irritated him more often than not and he hated when he caught him watching and that idiot would just send him a radiant smile... and Mitsunari hated even more what it made him feel... but now he understood, everything became clearer... Yukimura advice had opened his eyes.
"So if I press my lips against his ... he'll understand. " it was true that he had felt this strange urge to remove Ieyasu smile that way. His traitorous body ...
"If you put your heart into it, it's obvious. " Yukimura said , well this was what he had always heard, but Mitsunari didn't need to know that it wasn't in the branch he excelled, loving feelings were a new thing for Yukimura even if he knew about theory because the dream of all prisoners in there was to find true love . He had always found it infantile and stupid when the only men who had put a feet in were just here for sex... but now ...
Mitsunari growled low in his throat, warriors like him didn't need heart ... whatever, he would do as Yukimura told him it was the goal he had set. If he wasn't able to succeed this then how could he claim to stand beside his Lord Hideyoshi.
Another silence passed during which Mitsunari tried to digest the information he had received while Yukimura busied himself to prepare some tea. The young man seemed to have a great need to relax. The Oiran could easily say that he was disturbed by those feelings. He knew very little, if not no one, samurai as virtuous and prone to righteousness than Mitsunari. He had the chance to meet Masamune who was more outspoken and not afraid of what he felt ... maybe even that he wouldn't otherwise had fallen in love with him ... he was also the lucky not to suffer the same dilemma as Mitsunari. Yukimura and Masamune, whatever their feelings, shared or not, had no hope of romance and that was it.
Yukimura gritted his jaw while serving tea to Mitsunari , stung by a pang of jealousy he quickly suppressed , this feeling had no reason to exist in the red neighborhood, what was he thinking ? It should focus on his task.
"What I can teach you with certainty, well it allows you to release the tension in your body so to speak , and it will probably sate you and Ieyasu-dono at the same time. " Yukimura continued, it somehow embarrassed him to talk about this with Mitsunari, he usually got down to the task without further ado. He felt the heat rising to his cheeks, how many years since he was this sincerely ashamed ?
However, the cold and expressionless gaze Mitsunari gave him before he took his tea made him question himself. The young man didn't seem to understand anything at what he wanted to insinuate ... maybe a direct approach would be more appropriate after all Mitsunari had indeed told him to stop beating around the bush. Without a doubt, Mitsunari was more than virgin, few people were willing to pay for the services of a Taiyû for their first time ... he knew how it could be scary, he would have loved it to have been a bit more prepared for his first time.
"I'm talking about sex. " Yukimura let out.
Suddenly, Mitsunari coughed on his tea, putting the cup back hastily, he coughed loudly to remove the fluid that went to the wrong pipe under Yukimura skeptical glance. The young Oiran let out his stupor and quickly came to help the young samurai to recover.
"Forgive me if I offended you, Ishida-dono. I didn't think ... well, I mean I'm an Oiran and this is why people come here. "
The silver haired pushed him away with a light shrugging. "I know that! All the soldiers do is talk about it when we return from campaign. It's just ... I never imagined that with Ieyasu ... I always thought it was useless if it wasn't to produce an heir." Mitsunari blurted out after regaining his breath, hiding his face in his hand for he was ashamed to say such a thing.
This time it was Yukimura who seemed not to understand, he didn't know how this young man was educated and maybe he would also think this way if he had grown up in a family of warriors and not in a mixed brothel. Finally he shrugged it away.
"This is what people who love each other do, or just for the pleasure, it's not just to produce an heir, it feel very nice too. It's important for a man to maintain what he has below the waist. "as time passed more Yukimura could spoke of it with ease.
Mitsunari turned his attention to his teacher, " Obviously it's important for a soldier to maintain his katana ... "
The look gave Yukimura him marked so much disbelief that Mitsunari felt like slapping him to make that look disappear, still controlling his inner demons, he raised a questioning brow instead.
Yukimura tried the all out, although it was still early in the night, he wouldn't continue to play this game with Mitsunari, he suddenly put his hand on the Samurai the crotch " I mean that." he quickly withdrew his hand.
Mitsunari looked where Oiran had put his hand, understanding creeping on the line of his face. Really, it was a lot of information all at once, he seriously thought to come back another day for the rest, after all he had reserved the Taiyû for the week so he could take his time ... ah , but could he even stay in the same room with the man of his heart if he didn't learn more soon? Yukimura continued before he had time to share his thoughts.
"Of course those who have no one to share something like that came here just for a little pleasurable time... and there are those who prefer to do it with other men too, it helps to relax , keep your head cool before a battle from what I know. "
And that was exactly what Mitsunari needed the most if he wanted to put all his potential at Hideyoshi service. "I guess that was what Hanbei wanted me to learn, Hideyoshi-sama has no time to teach me anything if it isn't to be the best soldier. " his determined look plunged into Yukimura's. " Please Yuki , teach me. "
Yukimura sighed before scratching his head, he had no real experience with virgins and it was starting to get seriously heavy. " You prefer to top or bottom ?"
Yes, Yukimura thought it was going to be a loooong lesson. "I guess instinct will do the rest . Come here. "
He stood up and pushed Mitsunari to follow him toward a wide draped futon placed behind an opened curtain. Yukimura sat comfortably leaving his legs spread and his kimono open to show and baring his skin a little. The young man sat at his side, but still formal as always.
"Go ahead, touch me. " Yukimura said widening the opening of his kimono.
Hesitant at first, Mitsunari finally put his hand on one bare shoulder. Yukimura skin was soft, supple and just lightly tanned, unlike his which was pale and bore signs of battles. Slowly he moved his hand wanting to discover what was presented to him. He was surprised to feel the muscular torso under the clothing. Yukimura smiled, this approach seemed to work better.
"That's strange. " Mitsunari blurted.
He began to wonder how it would feel to touch Ieyasu like this, to have such a closeness with him, to learn how to discover the body that the other hid ... would it be this pleasant? His heart skipped a beat when he noticed that his thinking had made him lost himself and Yukimura now stood before him, his shoulders completely cleared of tissue and cheeks slightly reddened and that his hand was ... very low on the Oiran body.
"You learn quickly. Touching the skin is important to raise the desire. " Yukimura pointed out to him, playful. It was too late now, too late to realize that he had begun to consider Mitsunari as a customer like any other.
"Hun . " Mitsunari muttered, hastily removing his hand, he wasn't sure to want to go further ... it was just too ... different from anything he knew about.
He had no time to realize that Yukimura pushed him to lay on the futon, curbing his instinct shouting at him to push away from the other man, Mitsunari watched the smile he showed when he leaned over him, a smile he had never before displayed in front of him .
"I'll show you something else. Don't move please," he said, tacitly implying that Mitsunari should observe his actions.
Once again , he put a wicked hand on Mitsunari crotch. The silver haired youth violently jerked back and gasped, only Yukimura had anticipated his move and began to gently caress the young man member through the fabric, all without Yukimura 's eyes ever leaving Mitsunari own. Maintaining eye contact was essential if he wanted to get his trust.
Mitsunari gradually gave way, relaxing the rest of his body on the soft futon and although he kept his breath under control, the heat became more present where Yukimura exercised his caress. Carefully he removed the cloth, not hiding his smirk when he saw the bulge that his ministrations created under the underwear, the Oiran began to wonder if he could still remembered how to do that and if he wasn't a little rusty, but he tried anyway.
"Ah ! " Mitsunari let out before covering his mouth with his hand when Yukimura pulled the half hard cock out of the last reaming fabric.
First it was a quick flick of a tongue as a warning, then a pair of wet lips gently passed over the sensitive skin of his penis. Soon, too quickly, blood came down into his crotch, Mitsunari couldn't understand what was happening. Then it was his breath he could no longer control as Yukimura repeatedly engulfed his member, now fully engorged in his mouth, his caressing tongue was amazing ... it was amazing , he struggled with all his will not to let out any sound from his mouth.
"Mmnh . " Yukimura moaned while he had all of his cock in mouth.
Mitsunari hissed, the vibrations more than pleasant began to create a kind of knot in his belly , his free hand, the one that wasn't gripping the mattress for dear life, found Yukimura hair, he clenched it to keep one foot on the ground. He tried to focus his eyes on Yukimura pendant who moved to the rhythm of his movements, not the sensual mouth that covered him, not the hand that kept stroking everything Yukimura couldn't swallow or those hazel eyes staring at him with attention.
" Nh ... " it rose, it became intolerable, again and again and again, it was too much, unbearable, more than anything he could ever endure. Mitsunari fist tightened in Yukimura hair. "No!"he suddenly exclaimed.
In a sudden move he pushed Yukimura away from him
pulling him by his hair, Yukimura couldn't restrain an exclamation of
pain so much he thought Mitsunari had ripped a piece of his scalp. He
grabbed the wrist of the hand which was holding him trying to escape
Mitsunari vice grip.
"Ishida-dono!" He eventually screamed, ready to defend himself using force.
Mitsunari blinked, realizing what he was doing he gently let go of Yukimura as he tried to regain normal breathing while Yukimura rubbed his aching head to appease it, he couldn't help noticing how Yukimura lips had become red and swollen ...
"I ... my apologies , I didn't want to hurt you."
Yukimura first looked at him with an angry frown but he quickly gave him a sweet smile . "It doesn't matter... but be aware that violent clients are not allowed here... "
Hardly had he finished his sentence that he also let himself fall on the bed pushing his luck as far as putting his head on Mitsunari shoulder. The young man had the faint smell of blood on him, it wasn't really foreign to brown haired who didn't find any discomfort in it. Seeing that the samurai wasn't rejecting him, Yukimura continued .
"Well, should be my turn to apologize ... I'm so tired " Masamune harsh training began to take effect on his body. "I think I unconsciously tried to finish quickly ... it should have been too intense for a beginner. " he nuzzled Mitsunari yukata, it felt really good now that the youth was more relaxed.
"Hun ... may be I should go. " Mitsunari began to try to rise, Yukimura cuddles were embarrassing him.
Tenderly, almost plaintively, Yukimura put a hand on his shoulder. "Would it be to much for me to ask you to stay a little longer? Your company is rather pleasant for me. " he didn't knew why but he didn't wanted to be alone, not right now.
paying attention to the fact that he was used as a human pillow,
Mitsunari thought Yukimura deserved it. It wasn't a big deal and he too
could enjoy some rest. He leaned back , looking at the decorated ceiling
while the candles fames projected strange shadows on it. Yukimura
didn't saw the rare ghost smile passing over his lips, but he felt
Mitsunari arm holding his shoulders.
"Thank you. " he just said as his eyes closed, lulled by the rhythm of Mitsunari breathing he fell asleep with no time to curse his treacherous mind that made him believe for a moment that he was in Masamune arm.
As he walked at a fast pace into the streets that usually were not as filled int the day at the red light district, Yukimura remembered vaguely that he was out on a market day. Once again, it was surprisingly easy to get permission to exit from the owner wife, the smile she had shown him had left the young man taken aback even more because this time her husband, much stricter a she was, had been present and had shown his opinion with a hard and prolonged stare at his Oiran ... may be his wife had said something to him.
Yukimura shrugged at this thought taking up the pace of his walk, he had woken up calm and at peace like he hadn't been since a long time ago. The prospect of another day spend with Masamune had driven away all the bad thoughts from his mind and even if the samurai was the main reason for those thoughts. At this point it didn't matter .
"Yukimura . "
The voice that called out seemed to barely be a whisper and rang through the street noise. Sasuke stood on his way and the fact that he had called him by his real name showed how serious he was. Their eyes met and an awkward moment fluttered between them. Yukimura, not knowing whether to ignore him and continue his journey or take time to listen to what his longtime friend had to say. He eventually chose the second option, taking a step toward the oldest to give him a semblance of proximity. He made a slight dip of his head to signify that he was listening.
"I ... I wanted to apologize for last night ... " he said, never releasing the youngest eyes.
The long haired brunet had expected anything but this coming from Sasuke, he usually was too proud and too hardheaded to come to apologize so soon, especially after Yukimura had tacitly granted that he was right. The young man shook his head.
"No, Sasuke , you're right in a sense and I can't blame you for worrying about me. " he gave in to him, but he still needed to make a point clear. "However I refuse that you still treat me like a child, I can take care of myself. And I know what my duties are, you should stop trying to run my life for me. " He said without intended real animosity.
On hearing these words Sasuke scowled, mothering Yukimura was what he had always done, and be reminded in that way that he was increasingly unable to maintain his innocence and prevent him from becoming a true adult in this rotten world .
"That's why I said I 'm sorry idiot. " he couldn't help but to state.
Yukimura laughed softly at those word not having understood that the phrase had a deeper meaning. He grabbed Sasuke hand. " Well then , if it's all clear between us, why don't you come with me to meet them ? Then you would be reassured once you will know them better, I promise ! "he exclaimed as he already led the former ninja after him among passersby, ignoring the protests and attempts to escape the other made.
It was only after leaving the confines of the red light district that Sasuke stopped all struggle not without letting out a heavy sigh of weariness ... and Yukimura wanted to be treated like an adult? He should learn how to behave as such first.
When they arrived at the dojo, Yukimura doesn't bother to notice that no one was waiting outside for him and entered still holding Sasuke wrist. He quickly understood why Masamune hadn't come to welcome him then. The one-eyed dragon was now caught in a discussion with a man whom the Oiran had never seen before.
I was a man probably older than them with hair a little more dark brown than Masamune but plated back. His face was pleasant and had an air of wisdom but tinted in severeness, his brown eyes were bright. He also had a large scar across his left cheek to the jaw. Yukimura could not tell if it was an old one or not. He wore the same kind of training clothes Masamune hand only his gray and blue kimono was hold together hand tightened in a better way around his chest and his hakama was of a darker gray.
Seeing Yukimura approaching, the man stopped all discussion and turned his gaze toward the young man. Masamune did the same and turned to him and Sasuke, he frowned as his gaze passed over the Oiran hand, holding the wrist of another man before resuming to his impassive stance when Yukimura released the other one.
"Yukimura ? You're early. " he noticed.
Yukimura bowed. " Hello, Masamune-dono , and yes, but only by a few minutes . " he said cheerfully. As always he became radiant in presence of the samurai.
Masamune shrugged. "Whatever. I wanted you to meet Kojuuro." He pointed to the man next to him.
The man didn't answer and made no sign of greeting to Yukimura, his gaze was fixed on Sasuke and the both oldest men seemed to have become impervious to the two youngest conversation.
"I feel like I know you, have we met before ? " Kojuuro asked , turning to Sasuke.
The ninja merely show an enigmatic smile. " Who knows ... I traveled a lot before settling in this city. "
Actually Sasuke knew very much who this man was, him who last night had completely threw his plan into the water. he had been there every time he had tried to locate Masamune, his piercing eyes staring into space as if seeing through the walls or the leaves that he used to hide. That night, instead of finding Masamune he had spent it trying to escape this man vigilance. Then he ended up watching him instead since he couldn't get rid of him. He watched while he was cooking for a wayward lord who barely touched the food ..., he watched him while he was watering a small beautiful garden where vegetables grew ... and he had completely forgot about Masamune and the mission he had given himself. He had forced him to reflect on the fact that he was mothering Yukimura too much... that it can be wise to trust his friend if only for this time...
"This is my friend Sarutobi Sasuke, and my name is Sanada Genjiro Yukimura , I'm pleased to meet you . " Yukimura said bowing to Kojuuro .
Having finally gotten his attention taken away from the ninja, the man bowed in turn . "Katakura Kojuuro . " he replied , Masamune had made it clear for him not to boast his title of second in command of the Date clan army. Why ? He wasn't aware of that but he had a hunch.
Once the presentations and smiles of courtesy were exchanged, Masamune spoke again.
"This is Kojuuro who will handle your training from now on Yukimura, he is the best teacher you can find in this dingy hole of a town, I don't have the patience for that, you see ? "
Yukimura fired up and his voice was high when he addressed Kojuuro. "Really? I am honored Kojuuro-dono ! I hope to meet your expectations and progress quickly in your teaching. " he exclaimed, his fist tightening.
"Kojuuro-dono ? "Kojuuro whispered, he seemed embarrassed by so much enthusiasm . " We'll see that. " he added.
Sasuke slightly laughed drawing attention toward him again. "I see that my friend are in good hands. Okay well I think it's time for me to make my leave. "
Yukimura grabbed both Sasuke hands hoping to refrain him, the way how the one eyed samurai tightened his jaw attached a triumphant smile on the ninja's lips. "You don't want to stay with us Sasuke? I 'm sure it will not bother Kojuuro-dono and Masamune-dono . " Seeing how Masamune crossed his arms , Sasuke thought he wasn't really in accord with that.
Sasuke shook his head, he had seen enough and something here was making him feel uneasy, he cast a glance at Kojuuro. " No, Yukimura , I still have work to do at the tea house, just return on time and everything will be fine, unless you prefer me to come get you ? " He had added that as to remind Masamune that him, he could be with Yukimura when he wanted to.
This time it was Yukimura who shook his head . " No, I 'll come back alone,don't worry and do your best . " he dropped his hands and after a last smile and a wave of the hand the three men watched the ninja leave the dojo.
"He seems to be quite a jerk. " Masamune hissed between his teeth.
"Masamune-sama . " Kojuuro rebuked him with a sigh. Then he turned to Yukimura . " Can I see your hands ? " he asked out of the blue.
Yukimura, initially taken aback by the question sought Masamune eye, he remained expressionless if not bored looking and watched the nails of his hand with disinterest when in truth he was inwardly delighted by the other reactions. " Uh, yes. " Yukimura continued after a few seconds , he presented his bare hands to Kojuuro .
"Hmm ... " the man hummed, taking Yukimura long fingers, examining his hand every nook and cranny. "Those definitely are lancer hands . "
Ah so it was like this, the youngest found in a certain pride in the statement. " The warriors of my family used the spear for generations! ... Ah ... but I was separated from them at a very young age. " his face darkened slightly at the thought.
Kojuuro then noticed the necklace proudly adorning the young Oiran neck. He frowned into consideration ... there was much more behind that boy one could imagine at first glance, he would say a few words to Masamune about it later. " It doesn't matter whether you are noble or not when it come to natural talent ... and judging by what Masamune-sama told me about you ... "
" Hey! I finally finished preparing , Did I miss something ? "
Keiji chiming voice loudly sounded when he entered the dojo, cutting the end of Kojuuro sentence. He too had come to dress in training clothes, only his outfit had thrown a silence following his entry , Kojuuro didn't know how to react , Masamune refrained from making a comment, and Yukimura just frowned, wondering again how Keiji had been able to convince even his tailor to make such clothes. Who could have made a colorful hakama purple on top and lavender at the foot and then associate it with an orange kimono with yellow sleeves which had been dyed a garish red at the end.
" What ? No, you aren't going to train? I thought Kojuuro had said it would be more encouraging for Yuki-chan if we all trained with him ?" Keiji asked after a long silence.
Kojuuro sighed and began to discuss with Yukimura about morning exercise and breathing method while Masamune pinched the bridge of the nose as he was the only remaining one to shut Keiji interrogations.
"Damn , You thought we were about to train to mount a traveling theater ? "
This time Yukimura could not refrain from laughing whole heartedly in front of the sulky expression Keiji had, even Kojuuro snickered behind his closed fist.
"You're a real tiger in battle. " Kojuuro stated.
The man had just made Yukimura experiment a new sequence he taught him, the young man hadn't had to be pried to had his personal touch as it was instinctive. He beamed , literally, after having succeeded in surprising his new teacher.
Masamune grinned at it when he heard Kojuuro while he again sent Keiji falling on the mat. It wasn't even funny anymore, he knew that the wandered didn't really have the will to fight against him ... he preferred the beginning of the day when they were all facing Kojuuro who was giving them training advice before he decides that it would be nice to see if his teaching method was successful in duel. Anyway for Yukimura it looked like it was good on him .
"Ahhh ! " Keiji sighed heavily. "You are monsters, I call for a break, I can't stand up anymore . " He dropped his training weapon and fell lazily on the ground without worrying if his request was approved or not.
"I 'm bored with you anyway ... so boring. " Masamune replied , already going away to the back of the room where he took a canteen out of a bag and began to drink the content .
"They are right, do you want to make a break Sanada ? " Kojuuro had no choice but to agree to the indiscipline of some of his students.
Yukimura shook his head, wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand and continued to repeat his actions, wooden spears in hand. " Not yet, I almost mastered the movement. " he said between breaths .
Kojuuro smiled sincerely. "Continue like that. " it was rare to see a student as fervent . He decided to fight against his own fatigue and continued to oversee Yukimura .
Keiji painfully rose to reach Masamune in his corner, from where they were they could perfectly see Yukimura and Kojuuro but they were just far enough to be able to talk without the others hearing them. The larger of the two didn't needed any encouragement to finally say what was in his heart about this situation.
"I love the face you have when you look at him ... "
Masamune's eye rolled to the ceiling, and that was it he thought, he would still be obliged to hear one of Keiji interminable speech ... yet he didn't felt the desire to interrupt him, maybe he really needed to heard what the other had to say it out loud.
" I really thought you had brought him just to pass the time and you'd throw him right after you were bored of him. " Masamune to Keiji in disbelief, he hadn't expected this . It wasn't so cruel, right ? "I mean ... you seem serious with him . I think he really touched your heart . It's so nice to see that, that's what I always say, right ? Did you think about taking him with you, to make him join your army ? "
Masamune ran a hand through his hair , this issue ... " Actually ... I saw right away that he had something I was looking for ... maybe not for now through , maybe it will take time ... but I want that one day he fight with me at his fullest , without restraint, I want to feel it in him and that if I make any mistakes his spear would pierce me right here. " He put a finger to his heart , his face animated with the idea that he could one day live that kind of passion , a real duel with equal strength , which would last until the end, a true rival .. and the end of the world could come it would matter to them. Masamune wanted to feel something like that in hi life. " Could he really do it if I was his lord ... I don't know . "
"It's very deep Masamune , but it looks like you. " At these words Masamune shoved him and after a protest, the vagabond vigorously rubbed the sore spot . "Hey, it's going to leave a mark. "
"Let it be a lesson, pretty boy, I don't need to hear your lovesick talk. "
Keiji shrugged. "Well, actually that wasn't about that I wanted to talk, it just happened. The truth is that I intend to leave soon ... tomorrow actually. "
Masamune let nothing through. " Took you long enough. I was beginning to think you would never leave me alone. " a smirk showing a little tooth appeared when Keiji folded his arms and started complaining, grumbling about some men without heart and nasty and insensitive against Masamune.
Kojuuro was trying to make Yukimura lose his balance while he repeated his move. The oldest had a hard time, not once had he managed to break the younger attention. The samurai took a quick glance at his master , seeing that he wasn't paying attention to them, he thought it was time for him to have the conversation with Yukimura which burned his lips.
"There was something I wanted to talk to you about. "
The Oiran immediately ceased any activity as Kojuuro serious tone interlocked him. He turned his gaze to the man still falsify smiling, an habit he had when he sensed someone was displeased with him, wishing to show that he was just simply happy that Kojuuro has given of his time even if it had only been for an afternoon .
"I'm listening, " so far, the other hadn't asked his opinion and didn't had any fear to reprimand him when he did something wrong, so Yukimura could only wonder what was the matter.
" You aren't just employed in a tea house , I'm wrong ?... You're a Oiran , right?"
The hard look Kojuuro gave had Yukimura shivering in discomfort, instinctively trying to protect himself he put his arms around his upper body, and as he opened his mouth he couldn't form a word at first, lost without knowing what to say, and then as he looked away he muttered. " ... I am the rank of Taiyû. "
He hadn't expected that Kojuuro sighs and began rubbing his temple and started pacing on the tatami mat, "Masamune-sama is an idiot ... " he growled taking his face in his hand.
But the weakness of the tone he had used didn't escape Yukimura, because his amazement and shame turned into panic, he suddenly grabbed Kojuuro kimono. " He mustn't know ! Please don't tell him ...I don't want him to look at me differently, I don't want him to think I have other motives to be here than to be with him, like if I had been using him to fill my debt and set me free , I - "
Kojuuro interrupted him, raising the hand that hadn't returned rubbing at his temples to prevent impending headache. "Stop , I recognized you has value, I 've told you so. Whatever you are, I felt by the way you fight that your intentions were honest, that's not why I worry. " Yukimura relaxed and released him, his face still worried he continued to listen to the samurai. " Masamune-sama ...he could react really violently if he found out. I don't want any of you to get hurt in any way and Masamune-sama first, the better for both of you would be you stop to seeing each other. We'll leave this town soon for the battlefield, and after we'll return to Oshu for some time and then there is a good chance that he will forget about you... so you should do the same made before it's too late, it would hurt less like that."
Yukimura trembled imperceptibly. Ōshū ... so they came from so far away ... only the incoherent movements of his lips allowed to say in what distress these words had put him. " I ... I just wanted to envoy the little time I was granted with him, with someone like him, someone normal. It doesn't matter if he forgets me ... but for me it's impossible to do it. " His voice broke and Kojuuro thought he had never seen so much sadness and happiness mixed in a single smile and he doubted that he would see another one like this one day. Yukimura was happy, just happy to have met Masamune, but now he was so sad , so sad that the time has arrived to say goodbye...
He had been caught in this semblance of normality that had been offered to him, this little piece of what he could have been , of what should have been his real life, this escape from his daily reality... but Kojuuro was right ... and regardless of the number of times that Sasuke proclaimed how he remained pure and innocent, the fact remained that he had been dirtied for so long and so many times. He no longer had the right to remain with Masamune ... it was his punishment for letting these feelings invade him. How could he had be so stupid to forget that…
Kojuuro didn't knew how to respond. What was the most fair choice to make ? Had he just made a mistake
"Hey Yukimura!" called Masamune who finally had ceased squabbling with Keiji .
Hearing his voice was the last straw, he had no time to notice it but Yukimura legs had already carried him out of the dojo. Vaguely he heard Kojuuro voice calling after him, it doesn't mattered, nothing mattered. He didn't cared about the rain that soaked his clothes making them heavy on him, he didn't cared about the ringing in his ears that prevented him to heard anything but his thundering heart, he didn't cared about his eyes clouded with the effort he made to restrain his tears, after so many years without shredding a single one, he didn't cared at the protest of his muscles as he tried to get away as quickly as possible from the place he was. Why, when he knew very well that it would end like this ... why did he continue to expect something inwardly, why did he allowed himself to break because of few words told by a man who wasn't even Masamune ?
No, he had only told the truth, his truth, the truth of a samurai who had to take the welfare of his Lord before anything, and Yukimura was a nuisance, a breach in the armor he had created for his master...
His foot came down on a too slippery cobblestone, his speed, pain and fatigue finally made him fall. He felt himself fall to the ground as it it was in slow motion, he would end up in a muddy puddle. How ironic for the disgusting prostitute who wanted to play the innocent. However, the impact didn't came. Only one arm tightened around hi waist and helped him to remain on his two feet. Then the rain stopped, the buzzing stopped, his sight gradually returned while soothing warmth grew in him when he was brought against his warm chest .
"Easy there. All right. "
A Suppressed sob shook his shoulders. He had lost all desire to escape now, there was a feeling of emptiness when he straightened, his hazel eyes looking at Masamune who with one hand was holding an umbrella and with the other was holding Yukimura against him. His face blank and his lips let out little gasps that showed the effort he had to do not to let Yukimura escape him, he didn't knew why, but the dragon had thought at the moment that if he did let go of Yukimura, he would lose him forever.
"Let me go Masamune, I have to go home. "Yukimura 's voice was cold, unemotional, he had become Yuki. The fact that he hadn't added any honorific alerted the dragon.
"What did he told you ?" Masamune tightened his hold on his waist.
"I have to go . " he repeated, monotonous.
"What did Kojuuro told you ! ?" He barked, slightly shaking Yukimura , his stubbornness had enraged him .
The Oiran eyes widened, ... was this what Kojuuro wanted to save him from? It was true that he would have liked to never see Masamune this angry. " He ... he told me that you would leave soon. " he wasn't obliged to say everything ... after all he already had hidden so much from Masamune. He was so tired of this, Yukimura bit his lower lip.
"Old fart . " Masamune grumbled, looking towards the dojo. " That 's why you've bolted like a rabbit ? Idiot." he lightly struck Yukimura on the head. Seeing the lack of response to it , he decided to remove some wet strands away from Yukimura forehead . " Look ... we'll talk tomorrow , there will only be the two of us, but you have to come in the morning this time okay? "
Yukimura looked at him for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity, was it reasonable to accept ... one last time ? Yes, Yukimura and Masamune needed this last time. And because he was stupid, he let his instincts guide his lips toward Masamune's, one last time, one last kiss , tender, gentle, loving ... a goodbye kiss .
"I take that as a yes . " Masamune said ,letting go of Yukimura half heartedly, he handed him the umbrella. " Take it . "
Yukimura found back a spark of life in his eyes. " What? No. I 'm already soaked anyway."
Masamune forced the umbrella in his hand. "If you catch a cold and you can't come tomorrow ... " he said in a threatening tone . " The dojo isn't far ,but you you still have a lot of road ahead of you. "
The long haired brunet couldn't find the strength to talk back, so he smiled, hoping that the other didn't notice how it was forced . " Thanks for everything Masamune-dono, I don't deserve so much." ah, if Masamune knew ...
"Go now, since you were so eager to go home. " Masamune pushed him, he wouldn't be able to let him go anymore if he had to see Yukimura in this state for one more second, and he had an urgent discussion planed with Kojuuro …
"See you tomorrow ... " Yukimura said , his voice getting lost in the whispers of the rain.
The rest of Yukimura day happened with automatism, without life, he let himself be carried by the flow without really understanding, without thinking. Then in the evening when he was getting ready to receive his client before his mirror, he saw it. He saw this little drop falling down along his cheek. And there was another one on his other cheek, and when the first fell to the ground it was quickly replaced with another ... and another and yet another. A low moan forced the passage in his throat ... and eve thing shattered, the floodgates opened, Yukimura poured his whole soul out.
He who thought he had long since forgotten how to cry .