The glorious tale of Ashita no Ousama doesn't not belong to me—Not even in my wildest dreams could it ever be mine. This belongs solely to the mind of Yachi Emiko-sensei. I can only borrow the characters she created. This however is dedicated to one author that cheered me up when I needed it and introduced me—albeit unknowingly—to Ashita no Ousama. To leavesfallingup—this is for you. Because sometimes even the most humble of us dreamers need some kind of Muse to brighten our days. Many thanks to you.
On that note this fic will cross-over with one other story that I adore. But I'll leave that for you dear readers to find out soon enough.
"But I can only write what the muse allows me to write.
I cannot choose, I can only do what I am given,
and I feel pleased when I feel close to concrete poetry - still.Ian Hamilton Finlay
Sasaya Yuu was trying to relax. She was determined to try and relax. She was attempting with all her might to find ways to make sure that she WILL BE RELAXED. One look at her own wane expression on the reflective storefront windows confirmed her worst fears. Yuu-chan was failing miserably at relaxing. She might as well slink back to the apartment she shared with her husband of two years and tell him that his plan wasn't working. Strolling down the brightly lit Tokyo streets is in no way conducive to getting her "writing juices" flowing. She might as well tell him that her ideas—and whatever 'creative juices he may think she possess, instead of gushing forth from inside her subconscious like an effervescent, bubbling fountain—has sputtered to a halt without so much as a by –your-leave. And that strolling might actually make it spurt to a pathetic trickle.
Yuu shook her head slowly. No… she couldn't say those words. More importantly, she couldn't tell him that. Telling him would only result in him making loud (read: shrieking, ear-splitting scream beyond any discernibly human decibel level) accusations once more that she needed more self confidence and that it wouldn't do for her any good to doubt her skills after all this time. And then he would lay on the guilt by saying that he made every and all effort to give her all the chance in the world to seek what she wanted from life and that even their marriage takes second place in pursuit of each other's dreams.
And so here she was—guilt-stricken and despondently bare of thoughts—strolling as per his instructions. All day long she has hunted for ideas. She spent the better part of her sabbatical immersed in the world of theater—but she did it as an audience—her other self has remained a silent, albeit approving shadow in her mind. She wonders now if all those trips throughout the famed theater quarters—West End and Broadway—have intimidated her.
She didn't feel cowed, to be sure being once hailed as the toast of the Japanese theatrical world as well as receiving rave reviews from many foreign theater critics have long proven her right to stand in the world that she chose for herself but there is an emptiness in her mind—a sense of waiting for something inevitable. But for what, that she hasn't the faintest clue.
She has been pacing relentlessly along the four walls of the apartment until fed up with her apparent writer's block her annoyed husband simply opened the door and chucked her out with a loud bellow to clear her head and use the Tokyo evening street life to get—as he so eloquently put it—her noggin workin' again.
Sigh. If that were so easy a task I wouldn't have been pacing all night. Touya no baka
With another sigh, she cast a disparaging glance at her surroundings and noted that she has reached a newer part of the city. The realization that her feet moved on autopilot even in the midst of her distracted state assured her on some level. She took a closer look at where her feet had taken her. It had huge billboards that featured the newest fashionable products and the hottest television shows. Most of the items sounded familiar enough but the shows were relatively unknown to her. Perhaps she when she has the time she would ask Maki-chan for some insights on what's popular in the local shows. The huge track lights focused on something above her head caught her notice once more and this time, she forced herself to pay attention.
Did I wonder all the way to Akihabara? Nah, that's not even humanly possible…right? Ah… I miss the bright lights of Broadway…there's always something there for me to-!
SASAYA Yuu found herself stopping suddenly it's a wonder to those that saw her if she was shot or if she stuck her foot on something nasty on the littered ground. Her eyes stared rather intently at something that caught her eye that even her body had to play catch up when her head refused to move resulting in a mild case of whiplash. A part of her wondered what it was she was looking at. Belatedly, her mind informed her that she was ogling a poster. What kind of poster it was seemed immaterial.
Her eyes zeroed in on one of the figures placed within the splashy collage of images. It was a girl…in so much that it was girly shaped and had a girly figure dressed in what looked to her like an exquisite copy of a Maiko's traditional silk outfit. Her hair was styled in the elaborate coiffure of a geisha in training; her facial features wiped clean of any individuality or tell tale mark. It was a face that looked like it was copied off a doll—all except for her eyes and the look in them. Or more specifically the depth of abyss in her gaze—the sheer absence of anything remotely human or emotional in them. There was nothing there…nothing as trivial as human concern or emotion tainted the doll-like figures serene gaze. It was both empty and filled to the overflowing. It was the gaze of a phantom…a goddess…a fanatic or a heretic…a doll given an illusion of life.
Her eyes were caught by the faintest glimmer of gold. She sucked her breath when she realized that the eyes of her doll were gold. Yuu wondered if perhaps the illusion of otherworldly apathy was caused by a skillful manipulation of make up and special effects. One look at those eyes and Sasaya Yuu found that she really couldn't care. She wanted the living doll on that poster. She has to find who she was. Everything else could wait until she finds the owner of those phantom eyes.
Inside her curiously chaotic mind, a new play was suddenly emerging. She has been toying with the idea of remaking for the Japanese stage a play that haunted her ever since she first saw it on the London stage. Something burned inside of her and she knew that soon she'll have it made.Fantasma dell'Teatro—she will recreate it on the stage. All she needs is to find that girl.
"What did you say you did?"
Touya Ichii wondered if somehow the non-stop flight from New York to Tokyo had been a bad idea after all. Surely all that cabin pressure and the inevitable jetlag could be attributed for his misery this night. He rubbed a hand across his face once more and tried to focus on the fact that his beloved, often times kooky mate is running up and down their bedroom wearing a smile worthy of the Mad Hatter as she spoke in her usual million-words-an-hour speed. With a sigh he held up a hand and halted her harried speech.
"Say that again." He muttered, snatching a longing look at their bed while keeping a watchful eye as his wife tried to catch her breath.
"Do you think the cops would mind that I took this from one of the street corner bulletin boards?" The words spilled out of her as if she was in such a hurry to say them lest they fly away from her. The gleam in her eyes told him that she was excited about whatever it was that took her fancy. The blush on her cheeks could be explained away by her tendency to rush all around the place. The trembling on her hands however was another matter entirely. He decided that he needed more information. If she was inconsiderate enough to wake him, and demand that he listen to her craziness at all hours of the night, it better be over a goddamned good reason.
"Was it really on a street corner?"
He pinned her with one of his more piercing sinister looks—one that brook no argument and made more than one presumptuous actor or over-reaching newbie director from pushing him beyond what he deems necessary. His wife stared at him with wide innocent-looking eyes. Puppy eyes. They were a dead give away that whatever would come out of her would not be pretty. He heaved another deep sigh and prepared for the worst. He wondered for a moment if he could ever be braced enough for the woman he married and came to the conclusion that he wouldn't have traded her for anything. Not that she needed to know that right now.
"Well…technically…it was on the corner…and technically it was a street."
"Yuu-!" he started to scold her but she interrupted with another barrage of words that effectively drowned out his reprimand.
"Ok ! I kinda-somewhat-technically ripped it out of a storefront somewhere in downtown Tokyo where I was strolling—which by the way was your idea-!"
"—and there it was and there was something there—well, someone there and it just caught my eye and she was there and there was something about her eyes-!'
"What the heck—you ripped it out of a store because you saw something? Tell me I didn't actually hear you say that!"
"Well, not something—actually more like someone that looked like something…" she muttered with a stubborn look blooming on her flushed face.
"Make sense damn it!" he ground out. He hated it when her almost uncanny ability to write poignantly gets buried beneath nerves and excitement that all he is left to work with is a huge mass of unfathomable gibberish trying to pass itself off as human language.
"I'm trying to! And it does make sense if you'd just pay the simplest attention to what I'm telling you! If you'd just shut up and listen to me before you start shouting like a grisly that just finished hibernating-!"
The insult bounced off his skin with nary a single dent. He was used to her unusually descriptive choice of words. There was no real heat in them and he knows well enough that her barbs would only hurt when they're whispered through barely parted lips. As long as she was screaming at the top of her lungs—then everything was fine.
"I wasn't finished hibernating! That's the reason I'm shouting! Now focus your mind you freaky woman before I strangle you with that poster!"
"Look! Look at her and tell me what you see!" she practically shoved his head into the poster, making him wonder how his head manage not to puncture the damned thing. Grumbling and muttering curses at stupid, obsessive playwrights that has less than no idea how to treat a star that just happened to be married to them, he gave the poster a cursory look, prepared to dismiss the matter so that he could return to bed and hopefully to sleep. He decided that he would agree with whatever she said and nod at all the right times. He was an actor dammit. He could certainly fake interest at 2:00 a.m. in the morning if he needed to.
"Look at what? I don't know what you want me to see-!"
"Just look will you!"
"I cant look if you're showing me head first into the damned thing alright? Sheesh! Move the damn thing a few inches will you?"
"Fine! There! Now you can look right?"
"Fine! Fine! I'm looking! I'm looki-!"
Gold. The figure had eyes of gold. Haunting eyes…compelling eyes the color of old gold. Florentine gold. The gold of icons and statues. The gold of the ancient world. Eyes that looked like it belonged to that world. Eyes no human should have. Eyes no human could have unless they were possessed or obsessed or both. Consuming golden eyes of a heretic or an angel.
"What the hell pair of eyes are these…? Is this a person?" he asked incredulously, eyes still firmly focused on those unbelievable orbs.
"Tell me where I can find her, please?"
"Her?" A further glance informed him that it was indeed a her. Until the moment Yuu spoke he was not aware that he was staring at the figure of a woman. The face was remarkable, true—a face as close to a mask as could be created through expert make up and lighting. But they were nothing compared to those fallen eyes. His eyes went back to gazing into the eyes though. He would've stayed that way had her question not caught his attention.
"What did you say again?"
'Help me find her!"
"How the hell should I know how to do that?"
"EHHHHHHH…? You don't know? Touya!"
He closed his eyes and promptly buried himself back into the warmth of their bed. He could wait until she calmed down and became rational. For now, he could set aside the enigma of golden eyes and his still screeching wife. Famed stage actor Touya Ichii decided then and there that he would never suggest an evening stroll for his wife ever again. At least not when she was left unsupervised. He's certain he wouldn't survive another night like this one.