Pairing: Benkei x Yoshitsune
Warning: Male x Male relationship
A/N: My first story for Genji ^^. Set in the first game, 'The Dawn of the Samurai'. I don't know if this is good enough as a fanfiction hehe… But I got the idea to write for this game since last year when I played it for the first time and couldn't get it out of my head even if I tried to. Hasn't beta-ed yet, I guess she's busy, so sorry if there are any errors both in grammar or spelling in this fic.
Last… Solemn thanks for my friend, Icha-san for borrowing me the book 'Anthology of Japanese Literature'. It was really helpful. I found the poem that was the root of the story in the book too. ^^ sorry I late to return the book back to you last time.
And for all Reader-san tachi who spare their times to read this short fic. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu. Don't flame me, please. It won't get me anywhere. Critics and advices are much more appreciated.
The water was frozen into solid mirror of ice in the pond. Oushu, Hiraizumi. Fujiwara No Hidehira provided them a residence near the village as a temporary shelter and his appreciation upon Yoshitsune's firm refusal to give in his amahagane in exchange for a peaceful life under Hidehira's concern. There, they were struggling to become stronger after suffered an utter defeat from Kagekiyo back when they were attacking Rokuhara Palace with ridiculous self-confidence, without enough thinking.
Yoshitsune grimaced painfully, he remembered Hogen every time he look at Minazuru walking lonely in front of the house. Although the girl already said that she is alright and would try her best to replace her father as a Tamayoribito's folk, it still hurt him to lose someone important. He swore under his breath that he will take a revenge for the Tamayoribito's leader. At least for now, Lady Shizuka was saved. As Hogen did suggest him from the beginning of his journey, he would never let Heishi have the priestess and use the power of Yosegane for evil means no matter what. He will get stronger, and then…
The young Genji flinched slightly as his name was being called. "It's you, Benkei?" He held his breath for a while, resisting a strong urge to clutch his chest and tried to calm himself with the cold air he inhaled slowly down into his lungs.
"What's wrong?" He asked finally after questioning himself for being really nervous every time the monk called his name.
Benkei followed Yoshitsune's steps into the white garden, standing behind his lord who eventually stopped walking before a cluster of blooming tsubaki, he realized the other's eyes were staring in far distance.
"Benkei, we have to defeat Heishi quickly." Benkei halted the hand that unconsciously reached out for Yoshitsune's corded hair and draw it back in a light clench to the side of his body.
"Of course." He answered in firm low tone.
"We have the first Amahagane. If we secured the second one in Konjikido's trial, then we will get an even stronger power from Shukenten to destroy Heike once and for all."
"My sword will always fight alongside you, Yoshitsune-dono. We will fight the Heishi together."
"Uhm." Yoshitsune smiled a little from his shoulder.
For a couple minutes Benkei waited for another words, put his sight only for his young lord, ignored a curious glare and sweet giggles coming from Minazuru hiding behind a nearby snow-veiled tree. He loves Yoshitsune, as the time passed they fight together; it grew larger until it was almost unbearable for him to being satisfied only with staying by Yoshitsune's side without he could to express his feelings for him.
Should he say it? Did he have enough courage to say it much more than his loyalty to die for Yoshitsune's sake?
Benkei raised his head, his shallow thought interrupted by the soft voice he wished to possess. He trailed the young Genji's brown eyes; they still framed the flaming red tsubaki, this time in soothed eyes.
"The flower, although they are covered in cold snow, but the color's still stunning in this freezing garden." He paused a moment, nudged a calyx until the snow that was covering several blooms falling onto the ground, then he continued. "They are beautiful, right?"
Benkei let out a rare smile on his face, "Not as beautiful as you, my lord." He muttered in a very low, almost inaudible voice.
"Huh?" Yoshitsune turned his head fast to his loyal companion.
What was he just said? He wanted to make sure. But the look on Benkei's face didn't change a bit even after their eyes met, ceased him to asking further. He diverted his face away, looking as calmly as he could. It was fortunate that Amahagane doesn't react to his personal emotion. If it does, maybe the stone would resonate loudly in rhythms with his heart beats.
Yoshitsune lowered his head; the snow that started to flow down from the blurry sky couldn't ease his anxious. His body was cold, but he felt as if a hot spring blurted out inside. The cold air couldn't enough anymore to calm him down. Quickly he turned his body to the residence's front gate and took a step away,
"Let's go. We have to finish our training quickly."
Benkei widened his eyes; that was the limit for him. He couldn't bear his feelings anymore. Before the final battle with Heike. Before the possible death come to him.
"Wait! Yoshitsune-dono I-I…"
The young lord halted his steps just before his feet stepped the ground outside the gate. He turned back his body and walking towards Benkei.
"What do you want to say, Benkei?" He asked. His eyes looked solemnly.
Benkei clenched his hands tighter; he couldn't look his beloved lord directly at his eyes. "I… eh?" He jolted slightly. His hand was suddenly taken by Yoshitsune and placed on his cheek. Benkei's hand cupped the cold cheek perfectly; he could to feel the edge of Yoshitsune's lips moving on his palm as he speaks. It gave him another sensation he never felt before he met the young Genji and devoted himself to him.
"I know." He cut in. "But you do understand this is not the right time. Become stronger, Benkei. And don't easily throw your life away. We will talk about it together after we defeated Kiyomori and bring peace back to Heian-Kyo."
Then Yoshitsune withdrew himself from him, an artificial-looking stoic expression still graced his face. He stepped backwards and turned, disappeared across the wall of the front gate.
Benkei was still standing at the exact place, his hand hasn't moved supported among thin air. His brain shouldn't be frozen easily by the snow, but this snow that he touched, the snow that hasn't melted yet.
He looked at his palm, there is a single white snow conceitedly resided on it. Slowly it melted, and the liquid humbly adjusted with the shape of his hand.
Will he be? Once he touched the snow with his warmth. Would it melt into his arms too? Benkei closed his palm, absorbed every drop into his skin. He prayed a palindrome of chant. Now, he had a reason to keep alive.
Kiyuru kōri no
Kimi ga kokoro mo
Ware ni tokenamu
Setsuka means "Snow Flower."
Heishi = Heike. What's the difference? It's the same.
Tsubaki means Camellia. The color of the flowers in the game was red. In the glossary of flower that I found, Red Camellia means "You're a flame in my heart." (aw…)
Heian-Kyo was the earlier name before the city named Kyoto in later period. Heian-Kyo means "The Capital of Peace."
The translate of the poem at the ending:
Like the ice which melts
When spring begins
Not leaving a trace behind,
May your heart melt toward me!
It was Anonymous. Compiled in "Kokinshu" or "Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems". It was completed in year 905 under the order of the imperial, and contains 1,111 poems. The preface to the work by Ki no Tsurayuki (died 946).