Disclaimer: I do not own Tactics or its characters for that matter. I am simply borrowing them to voice out my opinion with regards to their pairing. Ok let's not get too serious here, but you get what I mean, Ichinomiya Kantarou is not mine, I just borrowed his name to serve as my pen name…sniff sniff…I just love him…same goes with Haruka…
Chapter 1: Reverie
A rather drowsy folklorist continued to scribble down messily in a rapid pace, his mind unfocused, his head threatened to fall down and hit the hard concrete of which is the wooden desk, which might come in handy considering this young silver-haired lad was slacking off in the middle of working. It would do him good for the desk to remind him to work double time.
Ichinomiya Kantarou, if not often feeling moody, lazy, disoriented or just plain naughty, would naturally make up all sorts of alibis just so he could evade Reiko as he was beginning to see her as the quintessence of his mountainous pile of paper work which if not immediately taken care of, might lead to their poverty once and for all. Not that they can still be considered belonging to the middle class. Ask him just how much he is earning and that would explain it. In short, yes they are quite poor.
All the more reason for Ichinomiya-sensei to strive harder, now is definitely not the time to mourn and to get himself depressed. As you would all know, Suzu's death pretty much left a huge and devastating blow on Kantarou, especially to Youko, the ever reliable and hard-working fox demon who was the one among them who got really attached to Suzu, and even to the famous ogre-eating Tengu, Haruka as well. So it was quite understandable that the folklorist remained under the period of lamentation. But no! Unreasonable still! He'll have to work his butt, err , his brain rather, if he don't want themselves to be lamented for next! And really, starvation is, and will always be, a pitiful way to die, for someone like Kantarou and definitely to the mighty ogre-eating Tengu.
But for some reason, something seemed to be keeping Kantarou from regaining his usual cheery and easygoing mood. Suzu's death was only a quarter of whatever that was keeping him in that disadvantageous state. Sigh, you'll never guess.
From the moment the silver-haired lad laid his liquid auburn eyes on the sophisticated-looking yet delicate black-winged tengu, Kantarou immediately felt the spark, the connection, the yearning, the desire. The feeling it brought about was beyond words, simply inexplicable, but he knew it, this meeting with Haruka will make a humongous impact on his life, so large that even he will be affected. He knew, the minute he had named the legendary tengu himself, Haruka will become his friend, his companion, his partner, forever, until his very last breath. And just how long could a human being's life span last?
With these thoughts swimming in the folklorist's head, he was further stirred away from reality as he felt himself drifting back to that moment. His friend…Haruka…his servant…Haruka…his companion…Haruka…his…Is Haruka really his? His property? No, Kantarou wouldn't want to think of him that way. Despite knowing that he, as their master, indeed has the authority over all the youkai he had named, this amiable spiritualist isn't the type to abuse such power. After all, he wasn't planning on collecting hundreds and thousands of youkai just to form an army of his own to do his bidding, like make him the ruler of the world perhaps, or other more selfishly desires, but rather, to befriend them and to understand them.
As a boy who grew up alone without so much as of a loving and caring family, he thought of compensating it by befriending monsters instead, since they are pretty harmless actually. From them he found his home, comfort, refuge, and simply put, acceptance, that he never gained in the prejudiced society he was living at. And for that, hurting Haruka or mistreating him, would be the last thing Kantarou will ever have the guts to do.
That is why, Haruka wouldn't ever be considered as a mere property or servant or even slave by Kantarou, the master himself. He was more of a family for the loner silver-haired lad, a family that he never got. However, he as the master, should still try to discipline his servants and make sure they will obey him somehow, ensure their loyalty, earn their respect, along with their trust, and eventually, their love.
Love. It left a pretty big mark on the folklorist's mind. If you think about it, you wouldn't need to doubt Youko's love for her master as was made evident by her constant signs of anxiety whenever her master seemed to be taking a long time in dealing with some pesky harmful demon upon the request of clients, which is another way for them to gain money. A rather interesting sideline I must say, ghost busting.
Moving on, Haruka on the contrary, can be quite unstable at times. His loyalty remained questionable as he preferred to keep himself in the dark. He was rather quiet, not at all talkative, not revealing his emotions, and sometimes he gets pretty stubborn as well. And somehow, this left Kantarou feeling quite insecure, afraid that he might wake up one day to find Haruka's glittering room full of sparkling anything, empty. But wait, there's more! Only to discover the black-winged tengu resting on the roof, as usual. Whew… What do you expect? Of course after all they've been through? Haruka wouldn't dare desert his master! Besides, they already settled that before, or have they really?
Let's not be so harsh on the stoic ogre-eating tengu who came to love wearing western suits and to adore anything that sparkles, shines, glitters or, you get the point, since he too, have proven his loyalty and concern for Kantarou. It's evident from the way he gets so alarmed whenever the silver-haired folklorist falls on his knees, clutching his aching chest and gasping in agony, with a little worried "Kantarou!" here and "Kantarou!" there, but is that enough? Who knows if maybe the reason for showing such emotion is because he was more concerned with the size and power of the youkai with which they were about to confront with, rather than in Kantarou's physical condition?
Kantarou's liquid auburn eyes slowly opened wide, surpassing its usual size during his carefree state, upon dwelling in those thoughts. No, he refused to accept that Haruka cared very little for him. If that is so, Kantarou wouldn't be able to stand it! Haruka must somehow reciprocate his--his--
The folklorist's thoughts trailed off as he struggled to think of the right term. Concern? No, too mild. Brotherly affection? Definitely not, it's weird to even think of him as such when their age gap is like, eons. So maybe friendship then? Not either. Kantarou wouldn't want to put a dot on their blossoming relationship when it can still improve into something deeper. So what's left? Love perhaps?
Love? Hey where did that come from? No way would I engage myself in an illicit relationship as a product of homosexuality!
Baka! Who told you to be his lover? You might want to try pouring some muriatic acid on your mind to purify it once and for all! Such malicious way of thinking!
Kantarou slumped on his sitting position, his chin hitting the wooden desk hard. That ought to shake away indecent thoughts out of his brain! What a shame! After managing to recover, he noticed beads of perspiration had already formed on his forehead and even on his nose. That has got to indicate something, hasn't it?
"Kan-chan! You better work faster! Reiko-san will be arriving any minute now! Prepare youself!" came Youko's usual high-pitched voice to warn him, distracting and relieving him at the same time. So much for him and his silly reverie. Time to face the witch (Reiko?A witch?) and to continue daydreaming some other time. Besides, he'll have plenty of time to contemplate and dream of Haruka later, when he sleeps. Good gracious! What was that? D-dream of Haruka? Not again!
Now that's embarrassing. Luckily, no one else was present in this room to witness his intensely blushing face, that his nose and ears practically released steam! What a funny and unusual sight!
Or maybe not. Something rather, was there to witness Kantarou's embarrassing moment. At the sound of the all-too familiar voice, the folklorist's head jerked up until he finally found the source of the noise. Oh, on a typical hot summer day, a typical frequent visitor arrived unannounced, no surprise there, happens almost everyday.
"Moo-chan? What are you doing here? Sugino might blame me again once he finds out you've snuck in here again."
The little green thing, with its perfectly round head and round eyes, stared up at him. It gave Kantarou an eerie feeling that the youkai wanted to tell him something of great importance.
"Muu…Muuuu…Muuuu!!" It was flailing its little arms wildly that it lost its balance and fell to the ground. For a moment, silence prevailed to allow Kantarou to interpret the youkai's message.
"He appears to be describing something big….something dangerous…and…oh darn I wonder what does he mean? I should've just called Haruka over, he's good at guessing in charades…"
The silver-haired lad was unable to finish his thoughts as Moo-chan abruptly stood on his feet and leaped out through the windows.
"Hey where are you going! Chotto matte yo Muu-chan!"
At that same instance, Youko suddenly opened the sliding door of Kantarou's room, not bothering to knock. She looked quite frantic.
"Kan-chan! Do something! Sugino-sama is…is causing a ruckus up there! He was demanding for Moo-chan even after telling him she was not here. But he—"
"Youko-chan take me to him now."
"B-but your work—you have to finish—Reiko-san will—"
"No worries, I'm almost finished. But before anything else, Sugino should be dealt with first. That psychotic white-winged tengu must be put to silence. He's disturbing the entire neighborhood not to mention probably pestering Haruka!"
The two proceeded outside and into the roof, to deal with the said nuisance. Unbeknownst to the innocent folklorist, Youko was having ideas about him and Haruka in her mind. But knowing Haruka, she wouldn't dare blurt it out for fear of receiving a death glare.
"Anything for Haruka-chan, ne Kan-chan?"
Fortunately, Kantarou wasn't given the chance to reply as they already reached outside and was about to climb the ladder up. And well, as expected, Sugino, the white-winged one, was doing his exaggerated and annoying soliloquy again. About what else? Moo-chan being abducted by his claim-to-be wife-stealer Kantarou, with Haruka continuing to ignore him, eyes closed and head resting on his arms as he lay on his back, facing the skies. It was around lunch time by then. It was a wonder the ogre-eating tengu doesn't mind lying under the intense heat of the sun. Perhaps sun bathing appeals to him?
"Haruka, let's get down now and have lunch. Besides, this heat wouldn't do you good either, unless you want to end up being barbequed." Kantarou greeted cheerfully as soon as he had reached the top of the ladder. Youko only shook her head as she remained standing below. And there she thought his master would try and dispose of Sugino.
"You-you wife-stealer! What spell have you used this time to magnet my Moo-chan? Where is she?" Sugino yelled, his teeth gritted, his eyes narrowing into slits. Ooh how frightening…
"S-Sugino, no need to yell, I'm only inches away from you. And about Moo-chan, how many times do I have to make it clear to you, she's always coming here of her own accord. Oh and by the way, she just went out by the window of my room awhile ago, you might want to go after her."
Upon Kantarou's mentioning of Moo-chan's whereabouts, Sugino wasted no time to search for his 'wife'. Now that left Kantarou and Haruka finally. Just the two of them alone again, after such a long time that it made the silver-haired lad feel nervous about it.
"Was that a lie to merely get him to leave so you could have me all to yourself?"
Kantarou practically jumped, obviously stung by the sudden unexpected question. Luckily he found his voice to answer.
"Is that bad?" was his soft reply, sad auburn eyes lowered its gaze to the ground, which is the roof.
Haruka remained in his position, without the least bit of intention to move or even to open his eyes. But upon hearing Kantarou's heavy sigh, he continued. "I meant it was bad if the first part was a lie. You wouldn't want to try and misdirect Sugino."
That made Kantarou light up a bit. With the usual cheery and radiant smile, he spoke: "It wasn't a lie, Moo-chan indeed paid me an unannounced visit awhile ago, well not that they ever come here announced…b-but I was meaning to ask if having you all to myself is—"
"Kan-chan! It's past lunch time already! You might want to get down here now and eat! Skipping meals is not proper just because you don't like what food we have here now, which is your fault since—oh don't get me started! Just tell Haruka-chan to come down here too!"
Oh the moment was ruined. Gomen Kantarou, you'll be given another chance to have a heart to heart talk with Haruka some other time anyway, so just be patient.
The folklorist's radiant face vanished as quickly as it came to be replaced by a gloomy and zombie-like frown which made him look all the more funny than he already is.(Kawaii Kan-chan!) And so with a heavy heart, he dragged himself to the ladder to descend, while Haruka made use of his black wings to lower himself on the ground, which made him land first.
"Hey no fair! You could've carried me with you! Why won't you share the pleasure of having wings with me? You're stingy, you know that?" Kantarou pouted, giving the ogre-eating tengu an accusing look to somehow make him guilty. But it's useless of course.
"You have your feet and they're working just perfectly, not to mention you have the ladder over there. Don't be such a sloth and make use of your resources well before they disappear. Really Kantarou, you and your rotten tactics."
"Haruka! That was rather a mean thing to say!"
And with that, Kantarou continued to act all sulky, practically sinking to the ground just to get Haruka's evasive attention, while the latter just went on ignoring him. Youko could only watch as she gave her master a faint sympathetic smile.
Somewhere not far from the Ichinomiya residence, a dark figure stood unnoticed, remaining inconspicuous though misplaced. It was watching the 3 oblivious people inside the house; it has its eyes particularly to the silver-haired lad and the handsome ebony-haired man who had just revealed his black wings earlier.
"Oh this is going to be lots of fun! I can hardly wait to meet you…"
It smiled, revealing no teeth but just abyss, endless and hollow.
Author's Note: Greetings everyone! Please review if you had fun reading and I hope you do because I'm not taking no for an answer…(LOL)…Anyways, please voice out your violent reactions if there's any, (which I hope there aren't) regarding the characters and of the descriptions I used to them like the color of their eyes, hair, etc. etc…and also with their behavior…Feel free to correct me if I got them wrong. Again suggestions are very much welcomed and will greatly be appreciated. I also encourage everyone to continue reading, I assure you this fanfic has plenty of good stuffs in it. But sad to say, I'm not really in favor of two-males-kissing-hot-and-passionately and those kinds of things, it just makes me puke! Embraces and hugs won't hurt but the aforementioned display of affection, it's just way too extreme and well…it is definitely not acceptable, that's it for me. So if any of you are expecting for that to happen in this fic, sad to say, it won't. Not ever. So there just to make things clear. So much for the LONG author's note, I'll end it here. Hopefully, I'll receive feedbacks and reviews soon enough, thanks! (Do I still have to mention this is the first time for me to write a Tactics fanfic? Well now you know…)
P.S. I wish for Kantarou and Haruka's relationship to be of pure love and not tainted by pure lust. I also don't want to write an erotic fic, never. I'm just too innocent for that! (lol) But I do love shounen ai though…ja ne!