Title: Shelter
Author: Silverookami
Pairing: Kasanoda x Tetsuya
Rating: PG-13 (for shounen-ai/yaoi references)
Summary: It wasn't long after they first shared sake that they began sharing a futon.

Disclaimer: All properties relating to OHSHC belong to Bisco Hatori.

Notes: Kasanoda and Tetsuya need more love. I am doing my diligent best to deliver.



It wasn't long after they first shared sake that they began sharing a futon.

It hurt him to think occasionally that their relationship had really started as more of a matter of convenience, of mutual usage, but he couldn't argue with the truth. He trusted Tetsuya like he could trust no other. Tetsuya's entire reason for being in the Kasanoda-gumi was for his sake alone, and he never once felt the need to question the young man's dedication.

Late at night he would rise and stand by the window and worry over the course his life was taking. He felt helpless to turn back and choose a different path, to second guess now, after all this time had passed, the decisions he had made. He had been out of high school for little over two years when word had reached him of the death of his father. He had felt numb at the time even as Tetsuya had flown in and given him the news and whatever solace Ritsu had been willing at the time to accept. His vacation cut short, and his future options as well, he'd returned home with his friend and begun the difficult task of taking over and leading the kumi in his father's stead.

His education had been rigorous, and he'd been attending business and economics classes at the university level until that point, so from an academic standpoint he was more than competent to look after his family's concerns. When he failed or faltered in those aspects he had the knowledge and support of the men who had served his father so long and so loyally, a fact he appreciated deeply in his first rocky months.

It was taking longer to grow accustomed to the pressure placed solely on him, the expectations not only of his men, but of the other shadowy members of the Yakuza world. It had only been five months after he had ascended to the head of the family that the first person tried to take his life. He had scoffed many times at his men when they tried to make him go armed everywhere, when they followed him outside the estate, trying so hard to go unnoticed by their boss but failing miserably at being subtle. It had actually been a surprise though that the first time had happened in his own garden, his place of safety and solitude, that a man had tried to take his life simply because he was now the Oyabun of the Kasanoda-gumi.

Ritsu felt almost nothing as the gun was pointed towards him, as he heard the audible click of the hammer cock back, signaling his own imminent death. Perhaps he felt a moment of surprise that he would die in his garden, hands covered in soil, his beloved plants left to endure without his care. He didn't feel scared, not as the man smiled, not as he watched the man's finger begin to squeeze with aching slowness on the trigger.

Tetsuya's broom had come down hard across the back of the man's head. Once again, Ritsu felt little as he watched his servant beat the man, except perhaps a sense of rightness, a tiny feeling of relief to know that someone truly was always looking out for him, and that he was glad it was Tetsuya. After a moment of watching, he stood slowly and walked to his servant, placing a hand on his shoulder in a halting gesture. The boy was panting loudly, staring down at the bloodied form on the ground, eyes as wide and sparkling as the moon. The broom dropped from suddenly numb hands and he had stumbled from the body and up the stairs, into the house and immediately to the bathroom. Ritsu followed and gently held back his hair as he had emptied his stomach.

His other men had taken care of the body, sending the unconscious man back to whomever owned him, to be dealt with. The men hadn't agreed with that decision, but Ritsu was unwilling to make a choice he couldn't take back later when his mind had settled and things would seem clearer. He let others take care of cleaning up the mess in his garden as well, while he attended to the mess that was Tetsuya. The boy was shaken, his ponytail over one shoulder and his fingers raking through it with savage ferocity, eyes staring forward and unseeing until his master entered the bathroom. Ritsu hauled him away by the wrist and to a room in the back of the house where he often went to think, the room that had once been his father's study. It had been spartan in his father's time, but the new master had endeavoured to make it more roomy. A plump couch sat along the wall, a widescreen TV opposite, many plants filled the room and pictures from his school days adorned the tables, it was a room that was now undeniably his. His. The Fourth Master of the Kasanoda-gumi, and it seemed like a good day to start acting the part.

He grabbed a bottle of sake from the cabinet on the wall, and a couple of glasses. He had already gone through the ceremony of sharing sake from the same glass with most of his men soon after he had ascended, and remembered with a certain measure of happiness that Tetsuya had been first. They drank and talked until late into the night, until the young man's eyes had started to slide closed, until the worry and confusion had been washed from his face by countless tears, and he had fallen asleep against his master's shoulder.

The next morning, Ritsu feeling rather rough, but Tetsuya acting untouched by a night of hard drinking, they had begun to plan.

"He was Sendo-gumi." the boy had confirmed, something he'd mumbled incoherently the night before, amidst a great many other ramblings. With this confirmation at least Ritsu knew who the enemy was, and now where he needed to focus his attention. To that end Tetsuya was useful. Many nights they spent talking, Ritsu doing his best to glean every piece of information, every scrap of knowledge the boy could offer. Time passed in a vacuum, outside awareness trickled to a drought, and his sense of frustration and paranoia grew as each day passed.

When would the next attack come? Could someone slip in past their new heightened security? Was it safe to leave the kumi without guards? Would he ever feel freedom again? So his men ran the businesses, they came to him for approval and the big decisions, but for the most part he stayed in his room away from the petty details that made up every day life. Tetsuya was with him, sweeping or dusting, doing his cooking and laundry, or telling him for the millionth time the weaknesses of the Sendo-gumi and it's leadership.

He offered his master everything, and when he had given up all the information he had, he offered more, and the lonely and tired fourth master had gratefully accepted. He worried that his men would not approve when, and if, they discovered the truth. He worried that he was using Tetsuya just as a release for his frustration and desires. He worried mostly that this could not last and that the person who cared most about him could only wind up being hurt on his account in the end.

Tetsuya tried with gentle words whispered close to his ear and soft touches to reassure the other man, and on nights when those simple devices didn't work he used more persuasive methods to calm and pacify his master. Ritsu wondered often what Tetsuya could possibly be getting out of this strange relationship, to what end was the beautiful servant boy using him, but never came up with an answer and lacked the confidence to ask him outright. As he lay beside him at night, his breathing slow and shallow and the soft fall of his hair curling elegantly around his neck like a golden curtain, Ritsu began to question what he himself was taking from this arrangement. By this point he knew all the other boy knew, there was no more he could learn that would help him protect himself and his people, so why did he continue to look forward to the still moments of the night when Tetsuya would sneak softly into his room after all the others were sleeping?

"You think too much, Master." the boy chided in a sleep-muddled voice.

"Go back to sleep, Tetsuya."

"I can't, not when I can feel you over-thinking things even in my dreams." He smiled softly. "Even you need to rest, to stop worrying over everything. We can only control those things in front of us, so why should we waste our time fretting over all the things we can't affect?" When given the opportunity Tetsuya could be very wise, very observant, despite the fact he was only the same age as Ritsu.

"Not thinking these things over can get people killed. It can get me killed, you--"

Seeing that his words were not working much to help his master, Tetsuya began to use his lips, and his body. When he finally felt his master give over from his worries and pay attention, he used his heart and healed his master in the only way he knew how.

The next morning when Ritsu awoke he was once again alone in his futon, just like every morning. If the men knew anything about their nightly ventures, they also knew enough to stay quiet. Life went on for some time like that. Months passed and no new attacks occurred within the kumi, although men had reported small entanglements with servants of the other local kumi that operated in nearby territory. It seemed now that every rival had their eyes set on the young leader of the Kasanoda-gumi, untried and untested, and perhaps easy to pick off and claim what was his.

He rarely went outside, rarely heard from friends. The news that filtered back to him was that everyone had done well for themselves, and when he saw on the news that Fujioka had followed her dream and successfully become a lawyer, he could only feel happy and not the least bit jealous of her husband, Suou Tamaki.

Things couldn't stay that way forever though, and so it wasn't a huge surprise one night when Tetsuya didn't return promptly from a shopping excursion. Ritsu was in a state of near panic, the men assembled in the front courtyard and about to head out in search of the young man. It wasn't even questioned that their master might just be being paranoid, it was entirely too possible that something else had occurred.

Before they could leave a rumpled figure had banged on the closed doors of the Kasanoda-gumi, he stumbled in as if blind and fell heavily to his knees before his master. Blood has soaked into the thin fabric of his shirt and clung wetly to his skin, and it caked his hands in dried rivulets. He was untouched himself save for a bruise marring one of his wrists and a cut on one cheek.

"You needn't worry anymore, Oyabun. No one will interfere with you ever again." he'd spoken in a quiet voice, and as Ritsu ran his hands tenderly through hair matted with crimson, Tetsuya had lifted deadened eyes to him and he felt something tremulous inside his heart break. "He came to me," the boy whispered, but not the tender and loving whispers Ritsu would've given anything in that moment to hear, but a whisper that sounded like a sigh from the grave. "He came as my brother and asked me to kill my master. I could sooner kill myself, and when he would not accept my answer, I killed him."

Overcome and uncertain, Ritsu pulled the boy up and led him past the line of sombre men, giving curt orders as he passed. People were dispatched, a list of things to be done, and most of all, everything had to be erased as efficiently as possible for Tetsuya's safety. Deep in the house a bath was poured, and Ritsu sat him on the tiled floor as he showered him off, the water rosy pink as it rushed towards the drain. The tub was large and he joined him in it, holding the other man close as they soaked up the warmth of the water and each other.

No longer caring, he openly brought Tetsuya into his room that night, and with gentle words and soft touches of his own, brought the boy closer to the surface, out of the depth of his melancholy. The love they made that night was frantic and passionate, and afterward he held Tetsuya to his chest as the boy cried out his anger and grief, the torrent of emotions he'd been locking inside.

When he calmed and laid curled against his master, Ritsu's hands twirling through the length of his hair he heard his master's whispered question. "Why are you here, Tetsuya? If this is what happens, then what good am I to you? For you to have to do something like this just to protect me..." he trailed off into thoughtful silence.

"Even when things are hard, even when I have to do things I don't want to, I know that you will always be here waiting, Master. I need you, you're my shelter from the storm." he replied simply, his words holding no anger or resentment for what he'd been forced to do that evening. As always his voice held only the depth of his love and loyalty. Ritsu pulled him closer and smiled into his hair.

The fell asleep tangled together, and in the morning when he awoke, Tetsuya was still in his arms. Ritsu swore that he always would be.




Jan 19 2009