PAIRINGS: Ukoku/Koumyou (*shock*)
SUMMARY: "People believe what you tell them"
AUTHOR NOTES: Okay, first time writing this pairing, so be gentle when you say it sucks. Just so you knnow, their characterization was bloody hard and I ended up with tons of cliches in it. So this is more a rough version than anything.
" . . . every time a child says, `I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead." – “Peter Pan” by James M. Barrie
The night was getting old. The moon hung on its own, casting its light upon all it could see. And the moon spied two men, sitting on their verandah, sipping sake like it was late evening. The forest around them was as silent as the wind that night and the only sound that travelled was the sound of clinking porcelain cups and the soft breathy voices of humans. There was quiet laughter etched on their faces and the moon gazed upon them long and hard.
“Ah yes, that was rather amusing wasn’t it?” Koumyou spoke after a while, “Why did you do that to him?” He let his eyes slide down to his apprentice of sorts. Ukoku rolled his eyes playfully and shifted away from the moon’s baleful gaze. Koumyou saw and Ukoku knew he saw. But they never spoke about it. It was the rule of the game they were playing.
“To rattle him, I suppose,” Ukoku said, “Sanzo-sama, sanzo-sama all the time. I couldn’t make out whether he was talking to you or insulting me,”
“I suppose it could be interpreted both ways,” Koumyou sighed gently, “But really, those rumours you spread to his pupils—,”
“Rumours are but the truth to those who believe it,” Ukoku entered in Koumyou’s sentence faultlessly, “I never said it was the truth.”
“True, true,” Koumyou said, holding his palms up in surrender (but Ukoku knew better. Koumyou never gave up so easily), “But they did ask and you remained silent.”
Ukoku had no answer to that, so he gracefully took another sip of his sake. The taste felt old and bitter and Ukoku wondered why Koumyou had such bitter spirits. Koumyou liked sweet things (as he told Ukoku almost every time to bring something), so why this brittle sake? Ukoku let the taste roll over his tongue as if it was a hidden clue to Koumyou’s enigmatic puzzle.
“But why fairies Ukoku?” There was a pained expression on Koumyou’s face (Ukoku knew it wasn’t real, but he jolted all the same), “That WAS rather…well, extreme?”
‘Extreme’ was putting it mildly. By the end of the day, the reverend of Jinzei Temple was severely questioned about his ideas and many students left. It was quite an outrage really, especially when there were two esteemed priests such as Koumyou Sanzo-sama and Ukoku Sanzo-sama were visiting.
Ukoku took his own pipe and blew softly. He could hear the sound whistling in his ears and smirked to himself, “People believe anything a Sanzo would tell them.”
“You haven’t answered my question Ukoku,” Koumyou patiently said, “Why fairies?”
Ukoku allowed himself a rare smile (only for Koumyou, only him), “People believe anything you tell them.”
Koumyou said nothing, letting the wisps from his pipe veil his face. The soft smile had faded slightly, “Ah…so if I told them you weren’t a Sanzo, they would believe me?”
Ukoku said nothing. Bait, throw, hook; this was their pattern. Sometimes, Ukoku thinks they circle each other with swords in one hand and roses in the other. They were rivals as they were friends (strong words, strong words, yet the most powerful one has yet to be uttered).
“Probably,” And there was no bitterness. Becoming a Sanzo was too easy, too easy in the end. So he killed him. So what if Koumyou knew? So what he never received the chakra? It didn’t change anything. Ukoku got what he wanted (and it was never enough. Dog eats dog, human kill youkai and youkai kill humans), “They love you more than me.”
“I wonder if fairies do exist,” Koumyou said, setting his pipe down next to him and looking at Ukoku. The gaze was soft (charcoal brush, colour change. Sometimes, it hurt to look, sometimes, he needed to look deeper) and Ukoku met it headlong (I can bear your gaze. You don’t have power over me. Lies)
“Who knows?” And Ukoku let his hand cover Koumyou’s own and smirked (killing Koumyou would be the most beautiful thing ever. But Koumyou alive was more beautiful. Letting him die, letting him live. Such hard decisions. Act soon, act soon, the moon is turning and the sun is rising).
When Nii Jienyi wakes up, he turns to his side. The smell of nicotine was bitter on his lips and he resisted the urge to scrub the last vestiges of sleep off his face. He looks at his ceiling and wonders if fairies exist. The wish vanishes and Nii Jienyi stares out the window. The moon was fading and the sun was rising.