Ordinary World belongs rightfully to SIN Productions © 2005. Plagiarism is illegal and is considered a crime. Ronin Warriors is © Sunrise, Inc. Lyrics to Ordinary World are © Duran Duran. All rights reserved. Comments and criticism are welcome. Rated PG-13/R for yaoi and angst, one of the greatest combinations ever. Would you like fries with that?
This story was originally a song-fic which was banned according to FFnet's TOS. If you would like to read the story in it's complete form go to my website listed on my author page.
Sage had been the summer and Rowen the unbidden winter. The two seasons were the precise opposite and there had been nothing more for Sage to do but bolt. Sage x Rowen vignette. One-Shot. COMPLETE.
Too many times the days were rained out. All the warmth of the day sucked out by droplets of water cascading down upon Sendai relentlessly. Sage wished he could say he hated the rain but the weather reflected his mood as of late.
Life had become predictable, inexorably boring but that was the way the Dojo worked, much like a well-oiled piece of machinery. There wasn't a single item out of place or in disrepair and the room spoke of unspoiled cleanliness that had always been habit. It would seem inappropriate for him to think so but the sparkling room managed to grate on his nerves for it feel under the category of staleness that had become so unappealing.
He kept the room dark with only a single candle at the edge of the windowsill; it's small reflection flickering timidly in the shadows. The wind angrily howled at the walls urging the cherry blossom trees to knock insistently at the windows reminding Sage that the summer had passed him by and that winter was only a moment's notice away.
Sage hated the winter, almost as much as he hated chaos and disorder. The cold crawled under your skin to the very bone and made you long for hazy summer afternoons long forgotten. Nature died and retreated underground in anticipation of spring's first light, as the rivers and streams froze somehow forgotten in time, and that's how Sage felt when whispers of last December's misgivings echoed in his memory.
Winter was well suited for Rowen though, like stars cold and crisp hanging overhead like tea lamps hung in earnest of celebration. Shades of blue, it might as well been shades of white, because that was how Sage viewed the whole mess of it. He could no longer make the distinction between frost and the archer.
It hadn't started out that way and he knew more than anything it was his own fault. He could stomach the blame, he could live with the guilt, but winter made him feel empty, like a shell of his former self and he knew it had nothing to do with the guilt and everything to do with Rowen.
It had happened last Winter, accordingly. Some how in the mixed up world the two had become best of friends and worse, the best of lovers. The time seemed to slip by unnoticed and in a tangle of webs Sage had been trapped. He hadn't meant to find love in Rowen, but the bond between them had proved to be too strong to deny and like a drug he succumbed to those teasing azure eyes and creamy milk-white skin that warmed to his touch.
It wasn't love. It never was love, lust was the more appropriate word. At least he had thought so at the time.
He knew he had been a bastard to him but if he hadn't the cage Sage had built around himself wouldn't have held him much longer. The details of the last day were vague as if Sage's memory had suddenly turned reclusive, not wiling him to remember it in its entirety for his own good.
It had been a Thursday, much like today and in the dead set middle of winter, with the kind of dread hanging over like the ever-present dark storm clouds that clung to the sky in anger. He had been waiting for Rowen to return in the flat they had both shared at the time. He had purposely left all the lights off and waited with a foreboding anticipation for the familiar sound of keys unlocking the door.
Although details were unclear as to what happened he vividly remembered he had felt like his life was passing by without him while he stayed dormant and restrained at Rowen's ever-bidding side. He wasn't one to voice his complaints out loud about his worries or feelings and so Rowen had remained forever in the dark, innocent to the damage done and incapable of predicting the bombshell Sage had been about to drop on him.
That day he decided that love or lust, whatever the circumstance, wasn't what Sage wanted to settle down for. After the war all the Ronins were somehow required to transcend from battle ready samurai into average young men without consequence or objection, nevertheless Sage found himself to be the only one who found the change difficult. And after New York everyone had been so eager to return to a normal life, but his armor still haunted him in ways he couldn't understand as if it wasn't ready to accept retirement, reflecting his own feelings in a way.
He wasn't sure if he had waited there for minutes or hours, standing like a statue in the apartment's living room in Toyoma. He couldn't recall the details of the room, dark as it was, and the sudden question of whether the room had carpet or wood floors plagued him inconsequential as it was. Was there a TV? Was there two windows, or one?
He remembered the couch…
The jingling of keys in the door had snapped Sage out of his daze and Rowen had walked into the dark room with a handful of books and a bag full of groceries.
Sage didn't waste time, his patience lost long ago in the battle to overcome the unyielding feelings of entrapment he had come to live with. He pounced on Rowen like a tiger in the dark, grabbing Rowen's chin and looking straight into the obstinate depth of his cobalt eyes. He then had kissed him hard and adamant, demanding everything from Rowen in that instance and Rowen didn't resist, dropping his bag and books on the floor, forgotten.
He remembered the couch…
Sage had picked Rowen up, his feet dangling inches above the floor and tossed him unceremoniously on the couch, and felt the lust again rise up in his chest, to his throat, until it burned and overtook his brain. He ripped his shirt off, then saw to the pants, and watched with a half-smile as Rowen began to furiously pull at his own clothing as their undressing became a contest to see who could shed their clothes quicker.
Sage was on top of Rowen just as Rowen was throwing his boxers off. It was passion unhindered, wild, untamed, loud and ardent. He remembered the scratch marks across his back, he remembered the bite marks on his chest, and he remembered the way Rowen had a crazy sated smile on his face after they were limp and exhausted.
Standing up Sage began to slowly redress as Rowen watched from the comfort of the couch, naked and content to just sit there and curiously peer up at him as Sage's mouth went dry.
Rowen raised an amused eyebrow. As he spoke his accent was more evident, as it was typical after any kind of raw emotion from him. "Heya Sage, what's the hurry?"
There was no accusation from Rowen but he must've sensed his hasty retreat because the amusement glowing in his eyes faded in an instance and his expression turned dark.
Rowen sat up, grabbing his boxers from the floor and slipped them on. "Where are you going?"
The demand was up in the air and Sage wasn't quite sure he should answer it, but he had never been one to back down from telling the truth and being straight to the point. He hesitated a moment and then took a calming breath before turning away from Rowen and hiding his face in the shadows before admitting in a low voice, "I'm leaving."
"I'm sorry Rowen."
He didn't say a word, and that was what made leaving harder on Sage. No words of hatred or hasty words of love to try and hold him back, instead Rowen remained eerily quiet perched on the edge of the couch staring across the room at nothing.
Sage's bags were already packed and awaiting him in their bedroom. He silently slipped in and out, bags in hand and didn't dare steal another glance down at the unmoving archer. He walked briskly past him to the door, and out of his life forever.
Since then he moved back to his family in Sendai and back to his duties at the Dojo, which he sought condolence in. Here he had no friends, no lovers, and only his family and the dojo for comfort.
There were no letters from Rowen. No phone calls. When he occasionally talked to Cye there was no mention of Rowen, and he knew that it was his punishment and necessary for Cye to do in order to protect the blue haired man.
Life had seemed to digress.
It was wrong of Sage to admit that he didn't feel guilty for leaving, but it was true. There were things in life he needed to learn and staying in Toyoma he would've never learned the hard lesson of regret and loss. Before life had been simple and straightforward, he had been a Ronin Warrior, he had to save the world and yield a mystical armor.
He hadn't expected an attachment to anyone, his independence was worn on his sleeve and for Rowen to be able to tear that away with the bat of his eyes it had all seemed so terrifying a concept that leaving had been the only solution he could come up with. The spider web around him was never there, imagined as it was much like the one Dais could weave with his armor, it had been woven with fear.
And so Sage did not feel guilt nor did he hate himself for his lack of judgment. He couldn't blame the world for his astoundingly bad luck or Rowen for casting his spell, there was just nothing left to say about it.
Sage still believed there was beauty in the world, and now more so his eyes were open and he could see it and appreciate it. In a way that had been Rowen's fault too, the way Sage imagined himself catching the sun in the palm of his hands…only to grab air and have nothing to show but hope itself.
The rain never let up and continued to pour down in a remorseless matter. He could smell winter in the air, even in the Dojo. Now instead of fearing a blossoming love he now feared the lonely, unforgiving cold that seemed to never melt from his heart.
Sage knew he would never bring himself to apologize. He knew that his place wasn't in Toyoma anymore with Rowen, no matter how much his heart would protest, because Rowen deserved more than a man who had been wrong about love and still was so unmistakably lost.
Sage walked wordlessly to the window and looked numbly out into the cold sheet of rain that seemed never-ending. He knew he would survive another winter as much as he knew Rowen would, although lingering in his mind were the warm, hazy summer days when the archer and him first found themselves sweat laden and naked entangled in sheets. And forever etched in his mind would be the sweet picture of Rowen looking up at him with that sheepish smile that was only intended for Sage, and no one else.