Author's note: Started as a parody, but turned into something else. This is possibly the most beautifully concise and artistically inspired fiction I've ever written. The end is as you like it and scales with the imagination. Wanted to work on dialogue and characterization here and think it turned out nicely, considering how long it took to write - a whopping two sittings. xD
Every Sanosuke/Megumi Story
by Karina Kineshi ()
It was a statement, not a question. "Your hand."
He nodded. She motioned. He grinned. She sighed.
The pervasive silence they'd come to associate with their sessions hung in the air. Like some unfortunate fool was, no doubt, hanging from his trousers over a dilapidated shop sign at this moment. Whether they were comfortable or not, they just didn't know. This time was different.
It was always different.
On finishing, the lady doctor tore off the edge and rolled the bandage up with practiced strokes, a wry look flitting briefly on her face before softening. "Are you familiar with Jane Austen?"
"She's a writer." The woman dropped her voice. "Of books."
He gave a mirthful laugh. "How'd I know of that?"
"Oh. I suppose you're right."
Silence again, except for the singular cry of the raven who always came right about this time. If only the bird would eat that persistent cricket who seemed to keep both parties up at night. The same cricket with the power to inspire musings of love (or lack thereof) of everyone within earshot. That goddamn cricket was everywhere.
She started anew. "Well, what about William Wincherley?"
"Who's that guy?"
"Why the fuck are all these guys named William?" His eyes narrowed. "This group giving you trouble?"
"Do you know any Restoration comedy playwrights, at all?" Her voice was rising, though she did allow herself to appreciate the musculature of his right arm as he pulled up his sleeve in anticipation. He was unabashedly protective. How adorably, yet stupidly, naïve. "All right, what of William Shakespeare?"
"Shakespeare? Yeah, I heard of him. And?" He looked up. "Ain't that a waste of energy?"
She stopped unrolling the previously rolled bandage and snipped the ragged end with gleaming shears. There. One perfect line. No loose threads to irritate whatever wound it was placed over. "If people were to write a story about us, what do you think it would say?" She put down her scissors and raised her eyes to his.
The man began absentmindedly rubbing his right hand, squirming on his stool. After a few moments, he purposefully rose to his feet. "I gotta admit, you're kinda starting to scare me."
The woman said nothing.
"But I think," he began, "if someone would, and I ain't saying they really ought to, it'd probably be a pretty hot read. I'd rather it was acted out though."
"Of course you would. And wipe that idiotic grin off."
His smile disappeared, though it wasn't due to her request. "Well, what'd you think it'd say?"
"You really want to know?"
"I dunno, it just seemed like the right thing to ask," he stated, scratching the side of his neck. "You hardly never ask questions unless you want me to--"
"It'd be full of humor, both refined and," she wrinkled her nose, "crude. It's the classic antagonist and witty lover banter. The two are worldly in their own way except to their emotions. It would happen in any time, in any place; the story is classic. Their friends would probably devise a set of clever subplots to get them together."
"Man, you have a way of making me jumpy. And no, I don't mean that way, so put that down."
She replaced the amber bottle of antiseptic on its rightful shelf. "But most of all... it'd be short."
"Short?" The man alternated between standing and sitting frequently now.
Silence again. Thank God. What was supposed to be a fun exercise with probable fascinating results was turning into something somber. Time to salvage it with a joke. "Well," he began, "I'm tellin' you right now, there's nothing short about me."
"See, that's where the crude part comes in." He thought he caught the beginnings of a smile, but shadows always had a way of obscuring her face when he wanted to see it most. "That's all for today. Please try to restrain yourself and don't let me see you for a few days. I mean it."
He turned towards the entrance, and she sighed. She scrutinized her own hands.
"I think I get it though."
"Hmm?" The woman sharply looked up at the man outlined in the door frame.
His voice was low. "I mean, the chase is better than the catch, right? It just ain't fun to watch or read about them after it's done. After they're done being... them."
The air was suffocating. He surprised her into cutting off rabbling thoughts with a violent shrug. "Right," she softly said. She didn't continue and let the quiet settled between them. Something intangible, both perfectly stifling and perfectly uplifting: it was difficult to determine if anything had actually happened. No metaphor could compare. No synopsis could summarize. No elaboration was appropriate.
"Actually, on second thought, come back tomorrow."
"Eh, why the hell for?"
She paused. "I have to check your hand. As always."