Fairy Tale: Arabian Nights/One Thousand and One Nights/Sheherazade and Sharyar(Unexpurgated)
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Tezuka/Fuji, Yumiko, Yuuta
Rating: PG 13
Warning(s): Fantasy!AU, crossdressing, just look at the rating
Summary: After the King returned from his trip, people noticed something peculiar about him. Syusuke pretends as a woman to be the King's wife to solve the problem with magic and cunning. He only hopes that his deceit will be forgiven in the end.
Disclaimer: PoT is not mine.
A/N: Originally for iceshade in perfect tales. It's about time for some update, isn't it? I've been neglecting this fic, I realized. So here you go~ I've dropped a lot of plot hints here and there.
The wedding passed in a blur, which Syusuke had been thankful of. Through the entire ceremony, the King clutched his hand, rubbing the back of it with soothing fingers. Though he would have preferred to snatch it away, he stayed calm, not wont to arouse suspicion. It felt so cold and soulless against his skin that he already began dreading the nights and days he would be spending alone with the King. Contributing to his anxiety was the fact that he still had no idea who this demon was, how he would liberate His Majesty and what would happen if the demon continued dwelling in this body. In other words, he was groping in the dark in a race against time. Even he, the usually composed Fuji Syusuke, felt nettled. Perhaps because the King was the person mainly concerned.
One thing to revel in, at least, was the demon's lack of ability to recognize his power, spells and potions. He was literally teeming in magic to maintain his guise and yet the King seemed trusting enough. Or maybe he cared little of anything else but of marrying his bride and getting her soon to his bed. Very soon, Syusuke thought sourly, feeling the King's fingers run up and down his arm in a suggestive manner.
This tiny action, however, he had to admit, conjured a mixture of feelings in him. Near the surface floated his disdain for this creature. But somewhere inside him was the craving for this touch, so familiar yet so foreign to him.
"My cousin is now a queen!" Yumiko said proudly, approaching him and his groom as soon as the rites ended. She somehow managed to appear genuinely pleased, smiling gaily at him while she deftly took his hands off the King's and pulled him to a tight embrace. She turned to His Majesty and inquired, "May I have a word with my cousin?" She dropped her voice and bent closer to him. "She's rather nervous for tonight."
The King quirked an eyebrow. "Well then please assure her that I mean no harm," he said. Mischievous humor glinted at the corner of his eyes.
Yumiko beamed. "Much obliged," she said and steered her brother out of the King's earshot. "He's not as anal retentive as the real King. Are you sure he's a demon? Maybe His Majesty just gained a bit of humor," she said with a laugh. They now stood behind silk draperies for cover.
"Neesan," Syusuke said. He flashed a patient smile. "The real Tezuka Kunimitsu will never order anyone's death."
"Of course you know," Yumiko said meaningfully.
Syusuke's smile grew. "Naturally."
Patting her brother's hand, Yumiko smiled as well. "I've talked to Zara," she informed quickly. "She offered to help."
Azure eyes flickered open. "But does she know – ?"
"No, of course not. She only knows that you are a great mage. Your secret is safe," she assured him.
"That's great. We'll need all the help that we can get," he murmured.
Yumiko pushed the curtains aside to take a peek at the throne room where the King entertained the guests, offering food and wine. "Shall we go? He might suspect if we linger."
Syusuke nodded and took a deep breath. Yumiko clucked her tongue and walked behind him, whispering, "Look flustered. That's what virgin brides often look like." He fought down a laugh and coaxed his smile into a bashful one. He drifted toward the King's direction and was almost immediately pressed to the latter's side.
The reception ended a couple of hours later, everyone well-fed and drunk. The King himself beckoned him to his chambers and led him to the oval bed. "Syuzuka, is it not?" he asked, joining Syusuke in bed, causing the silk sheets murmur and the bed to creak under his weight.
"Yes, my lord," Syusuke replied as timidly as he could.
"A beautiful name befitting a beautiful lady," the King said, inching toward his bride. He cupped Syusuke's cheeks with his hand and bent down to kiss his mouth, quickly, playfully. When the kiss was over, he tilted Syusuke's head up and inspected his face.
Syusuke pretended to blush. He stared right back at the King, studying the brown eyes that looked so hollow but so compelling at the same time. But he shook his head inwardly. He couldn't let this demon manipulate him or he wouldn't be able to free His Majesty.
"Are you afraid?" the King asked, his voice low and husky. It rang in Syusuke's ears, smooth as silk, sweet as honey. But the King did not seem to need a response to act. He swiftly removed the veil over Syusuke's head and ran his fingers through the light brown locks of his hair. He smelled it and touched it to his lips. The pleasure on his mien made Syusuke's eyes dilate in surprise. He shut his eyes immediately and counted to five, not wanting to remember where he last saw the face that always made his gut feel tight and his skin tingle.
When Syusuke opened his eyes again, the King was kissing him again, more fiercely this time. The King slid his tongue through Syusuke's parted lips and let it wander everywhere, lapping like a hungry beast on every bit of Syusuke's mouth. His hands roamed around Syusuke's back, clamoring for the buttons of the tunic.
A snap brought Syusuke back down to earth. At once, he realized that if he didn't make an excuse, his disguise will be exposed. But wouldn't he look suspicious if he pushed or desisted?
A knock came to the door and Syusuke held back a sigh of relief. The King tore his face away from his bride's and asked in a very coarse voice, "What is it?"
"Tea, Your Majesties." Syusuke bit his lips, trying not to smile. He knew whom the voice belonged to and he thought he never felt more grateful in his life.
"Come in," snapped His Majesty, apparently not welcoming the interruption. He glared at Zara as soon as the maid entered the room, but she avoided his gaze.
"His Majesty likes tea?" Syusuke asked although he already knew the answer. Tezuka Kunimitsu never slept without drinking a cup of chamomile tea. It calmed his senses, he used to claim.
"Oh, yes," Zara replied enthusiastically, nodding at the small smile that Syusuke gave her. "He always has a cup at night. Never fails. Would you like a cup too, my lady?"
Still wearing a dark look, the King said, "She can share mine," in the coldest manner possible.
"Certainly, Your Majesty," Zara said. Clutching the now empty silver tray, she bounced to a curtsy and fled the room.
The King, muttering angrily, drained the cup in one huge swig and cast his attention back to his bride. He started toward him, kissing her neck, her clavicles, her shoulders... But as though remembering something, he paused to frown. And then he yawned.
"You seem terribly exhausted, my lord," Syusuke said, wearing a faint smile. "Perhaps you should rest first?"
"No. I don't need to –" But he yawned again. His eyes narrowed, he watched Syusuke icily. "Stay."
"Of course," Syusuke said obediently. "I'll be here when you need me, my lord."
Draping his arms over Syusuke, the King pulled the sheets over the two of them and did as suggested.
Only when he was certain that His Majesty was in slumber did Syusuke dare stir in bed. Gently, he removed the arm around his chest and quietly rose from bed. He stole a few minutes to check his reflection and fix his bedraggled state. Without bothering to change into nightclothes, he sneaked out of the room and prowled silently down the corridor, his bare feet scrunching the thick carpet beneath. When, finally, he reached his sister's mahogany door, he knocked.
"Syusuke," Yumiko said upon seeing him. She was already in a fresh set of sleeping clothes, a light green tunic that flowed freely around her body. Urgently, she gestured him inside and toward a study desk lit yellow by a gas lamp.
"What did you find?" He asked, poring over the thick, brown book that lay open on top of the desk. He dropped to the chair and began flipping the pages.
Yumiko shook her head. "None so far. We only know that this demon is mischievous, lustful, ill-tempered," she said, dragging a chair to the left of her brother. "But it's not distinctive."
"No such thing as the Demon of Rikhastra?" Syusuke inquired, his smile faltering slightly. "Or even forest-dwellers?"
"There are many forest-dwellers," Yumiko pointed out. "That's the problem. There's too many of them."
Syusuke took a deep breath and expelled the air in a sigh. "We have to find out tonight," he said in earnest. "I don't think I can have more encounters like the one tonight."
"Didn't go well?" Yumiko asked. "Did Zara arrive too late?"
"No," Syusuke said thoughtfully. "She arrived just in time. I just –" he hesitated, something he wouldn't have done in front of anyone but his sister who knew him so well. "I underestimated the task."
"Demon or not, you see and feel Tezuka touching and kissing you, don't you?" Yumiko asked, watching her brother's face illuminated by the lamplight. Syusuke did not reply, but the silence was enough of an answer. "Very well. We will find out what this demon is before sunrise."
Just trying to find out the demon's identity hadn't been easy. Syusuke felt drained and his head kept drifting off, but he tried to focus on the book. He trusted this book. It had everything he needed. He knew he would find out what he wanted there, somewhere…
"Syusuke, look," Yumiko said, bringing his brain back to full concentration. She pointed to one long paragraph with the heading Ylvana, guiding his eyes with her finger down the paragraph. "A forest-dweller feeding on betrayal and confusion… not quite a demon, but a spirit that can jump from one human to another. But he can only be defeated by the possessed one himself who should have enough desire to get rid of Ylvana and to gain full control of himself again." Yumiko frowned at Syusuke. "How can he get rid of Ylvana if he isn't even aware that he is possessed?"
"A physical or mental stimulus, perhaps?" Syusuke asked dubiously. Spirits were not quite as powerful as the demons, but they were more complex, more difficult to get rid of because of their attachment to the corporeal.
"Do you think it's possible?" Yumiko asked. "The potion you used… it wasn't just a sleeping draught, was it?"
Syusuke shut his eyes and tried to think. And then he smiled sincerely for the first time tonight. "No, it isn't. I can use it to suggest actions and thoughts and –"
"Something like hypnosis," Yumiko said, also smiling.
Gaining confidence once more, Syusuke rose and nodded. "We'll have to see," he said almost triumphantly. "I'll leave now before anyone wakes up. Will you tell Zara to come see me first thing in the morning?"
He reached the King's bedchamber a few minutes later. The candle on the candelabra that stood on the bedside table was just an inch tall and would probably burn out within the hour. Syusuke sat on the edge of the bed, watching the King sleep peacefully. A fond smile touched his lips as he recalled the same placid face watching him feign sleep. He blew the candle flame off and, guided by memory, he eased himself beside the King, curling up to the familiar warmth and the familiar scent.
~to be continued~