AN: Hmm...just a little break from work. I just had to write it. Yeah sorry, I know it's short. Spare me, I have yet to write my first lemon. And alas I don't know how.
I don't own Yo jin bo!
It was the point when I no longer crave the smell of blood. The point when I cringed at the thought of slicing flesh. No longer should my instincts boil at the clamor of steel on steel. No more should I taste the bitter sensation of my opponent's fear. Have I grown this weak against this woman's charm? I let out a scoff, mocking my own thought. Am I seriously hoping that this girl could breach my isolation.
That name never failed to bring an odd feeling in my chest. How long was it again before I first uttered that word? I closed my eyes and thought, six months I suppose, and yet it feels I could not say it enough. It was a funny, odd feeling indeed. Something that even in an amount of time I could not comprehend. Perhaps it was the duration that my heart seems to adjust more to this new found feeling. Quite disgusted as I am for my old self, it is still my past. I cannot deny the fact that it is what I have become today. And though I try to bury those same images I have in those nightmares, I thought that maybe this time it'll be alright to dream. For I know now that everytime I wake up, I would see her face smiling at me.
I turned to face her as she brought her body closer, possibly to feel warmer against mine. Silly how I can't sleep anymore without feeling her body next to mine. It was an act I grew accustomed to after years and years of a desolate excuse for a sleep. It was more like a nap, a rest, a way to recover from the pumping adrenaline of murderous intent. Being a rounin meant that you are to sleep with one eye open. I was no exception. After all those years, the first time I could decently call a slumber was the time I struck that blade up her throat, unintentionally of course. It surprised me though when she stood her ground, even after declaring how afraid she was. Confused as I was with her, I was more perplexed at my own self for disclosing such a valuable information of my life. Was I coaxing her to feel sympathy? It was strange, for that night I wanted her to listen. I wanted someone to listen as I foretold my pathetic life at hand..then maybe they'd understand what it was like to be me. Then maybe they'd understand to leave me alone. A nagging voice says to me, but it wasn't that, was it? Suffice to say, I was lonely and I needed company. And her being the only one standing there was my only resource of comfort. Though I never did regret having said those things, I do regret having betrayed her trust. As I stood in front of her that day holding up my sword to her, I could see her eyes full of worry. She's still worrying about my condition. Such a stupid girl she is, I scoffed. Doesn't she know who she should trust?
My thoughts brought back to the woman cuddling my arm. She looks content at having to hold that single arm by her side. I raised my hand to trace lightly at her cheek. It was the same cheek I saw stained with tears as I relentlessly opened my big mouth to insult the existence of life. I let myself smile, feeling that slap that hit my face months ago. It wasn't much, but I believe it hurt her more than it did to me. Then she did the weirdest thing. She cried and laughed at the same time. It was annoying but strangely amusing to look at. Women really do strange things.
The moment I felt her stir, I knew she had woken up. It was dawn and we have to get past the mountain to the next town. Gently I took hold of her against my body, letting her head rest upon my chest. "What time is it?" she sleepily asked. My lips curled up as I caressed her bare arm, allowing a few more minutes to spare. I whispered a soft shush before saying, "It's still early. The sun has not risen. It would be hard for you to see the trail. We'll leave when the sun is up."
With that I heard her sigh deeply, partly glad that she can at least rest some more. I am full aware she's still adjusting to this way of life, and I wouldn't dare force her to do something she doesn't want to. But lately, I noticed, it was harder on her part. Sure she smiled a lot, often for my expense. It did alleviate all the difficulties we came through. She had told me early on, she was from the future. I admit I had my doubts at first, but after spending time with her, sure enough she wasn't from this time at all. What was that she called it? Ah right...computer was it? They use it for internet...or so she calls it. She said it was easier then, that I could know something so quick as to draw my sword. I sighed, holding her tighter. As much as I want to give her a better life, what life is there for a rounin to give? She could take off anytime. Anytime if she wants to. But still she chose to be by my side, stubbornly clinging to me as if for dear life. Stupid girl. Doesn't she know I can't and will never leave her? Even when that time comes when she doesn't want me, I know I'll still be there, clinging to her just as stubbornly as she had. She had become my resolution, my savior, and my soul. I cannot bear to part with her, not now that I am attached to her. She knows too well of my life, too well of my habits. She knows me more than I know myself, much to my dismay and my pleasure.
I felt her inhale deeply once more, an act she often does near me. Was she inhaling my scent? She adjusts her position, to get a better feel on top of me. She was adorable beyond words, and too intoxicating for her own good. I grinned as a naughty thought spread across my mind. Trailing my hands to her ample bottom, I heard her sharp intake of air as I grin mischievously at her slightly reddening cheeks.
Looks like we won't be leaving anytime soon after all.
"Eh? Leave? But we've just arrived here..." She's looking at me, bewildered and confused.
Yes it was absurd. The fact that I want to hasten our journey was decided in a blur. I want to be there, as fast as our feet would allow us. Certainly that much she would understand. She gave me that smile again, the one that has me itching all over for her. With a nod it was final that my decision was at best. She would not question me again, not after the way I took her arm forcefully and dragged her away from the horror that was the attempted assassination. I remember it too well, the way she looked so determined, making me beg for her to run with me, and to that she added to be a little less rough with her. It was at he bottom of my list then, but not anymore. Her comfort is to me the utmost importance. She is my princess after all.
Days and months, we grew nearer and nearer. And as we near it my heart constricts painfully in my chest. It was a long journey, truthfully harsh. I was thankful for her that she had stayed this long, her patience never warring down. She committed to my request for this journey, and she stood by it til now. I was thankful for whoever God there may be, for giving me this chance knowing that I don't fully well deserve it. It was my resolution, my purpose, my regret. This has been rather fulfilling and yes, it was worth it all.
As I stood at that door, I felt a small hand slowly tightening around the fist I that I realized I was clenching. Her hand was cold, much colder than mine perhaps. I looked at her, feeling unmistakeably weak for a moment, before she reassures me with her brightest smile and saying, "It'll be alright..."
How long has it been again before I last uttered that word? When that door opened with a creak, my throat instantly felt dry as I softly call to her "Okaa-san..."
Such wide eyes, brimming with tears, greeted me at the door. I stood there, a foot less of a distance to where my mother is as she brought her hands to her face, staring at me like some kind of a spirit to haunt her. It wasn't long before she closed up on me, hugging me tightly against her, squeezing my body with the intent of not letting go. I remember it well, the smell of her. The smell of the chicken broth she likes to cook when my disappointed father arrives from another jobless day. I fought it hard. Harder than ever to keep my tears at bay. At least not in front of my mother, and not in front of her. Though it seems I am mistaken when I looked over to Sayori, seeing her tears flowing endlessly down her pale cheek. At least she can cry for the both of us. She did again that strangest thing when she smiled at me, albeit her crying never died down.
I let go of my mother, turning to the woman by my right. It was now that I would declare it. It was now that I want to make it known. "...my bride, Sayori."
It had occurred to me that we were not married, not yet I suppose. But it was at that moment when I will no longer wait. She will remain to be my princess, my resolution, my savior, and my soul. And now with my mother's blessing, she is to be my wife. As she hold on to me, with tears continued flowing, I reached out for her letting her know I meant what I said. Did she know the reason for my haste? The reason I wanted my mother to see her? I guess not, as she looked up at me, blushing at the sudden confession. How easily does this woman cry? I thought. I smiled at her. That rare but genuine smile."Ora...nakanaide..." Baka onna...
It was just as much as it pains me to leave my mother, but truth be told I have no place in their lives at present. She is married to another, my sister having grown to a lady, and my half bothers and sisters playing what seemed like the samurai saving the princess thing. It brings another uncalled for smile, patting them one by one at the head. Having a family would not be so bad. At least not when I'm with her.
We bid them farewell as we continue on our journey. Scratch that, our new journey. What else is there for my atonement? I wish to spend my remaining life, as pitiful as it may be, with her and no one but her. No, we cannot go back to where we started, we just have to go on, keep moving forward. Fearing for her safety, it wasn't long before I am convinced that we definitely need a permanent place to stay. Somewhere secluded perhaps? Only the two of us. And soon...maybe three or four...or five even.
As I think of that, another smile has crept my lips without my notice. I am smiling more often now, do I? Damn that woman. Though I can't say I hated it, it felt good to say the least. I chuckled at my chagrin. She's really rubbing off on me.
"Is there something wrong?" She asked.
Maybe it was unusual for her to see me in such a cheery state. Although I might add that she liked it better that way. Casually, I fixed my glasses, shaking my head as I replied to her, "Its nothing..." before pulling her in a kiss.
Ironically enough, we found ourselves taking the same route we took before. That wretched path of disaster. It was reminiscent, and oh so surreal how we have come this far. But it was...nice to come down by this road once in a while. It was the same reason they are here together now, wasn't it?
A few more steps and there it was, the fateful hotsprings their foolish gang had gotten into. Had I been looking elsewhere, I would've failed to notice that deep red color now staining her cheeks. I wonder what is she thinking? Surely it would not matter if we bathe together now, wouldn't it? Or was it something else? I didn't gave it much thought as I started to undo the bindings of my clothes. Looking over to her, I watched her stood still, clearly hesitant to do anything else. Grinning, I stalked to her. Her face beat red with embarrassment, I could almost laugh at the way she fumbles at her kimono.
"Do you need help with that...O Hime-sama?"
I stared at her, watching her eyes grow wide at the use of the title. It was lately when I found out it was a good use of a tease to get her excited. At times, just by the mention of her name, she blushes deeply at the sound of my voice. I never knew I could even had that effect on her...til now. It was a new found weakness for her that I know I'm going to enjoy exploiting. It was unbelievable how she could be so modest at a time like this. "Wait...I-ittosai..."
I chuckled at her feeble attempt to clutch at her remaining clothes. Another tease won't hurt, will it? "Are you gonna take a bath with your clothes on, Hime-sama?"
She pouts at the honorary. "Mou...stop calling me that...," she protests. Yes, I am fully aware she is indeed not the princess everybody else so exclaims. But there is something to her secret identity that drives my pride for it is only I who must know it. She is my Sayori and only I can call her that.
"Would you prefer Sayori instead?" Making sure to empahsize her name, I brought one hand to firmly held her chin up to my face. Her face was so red it was almost hilarious. I heard her say a small "hai..." before I lean in to capture her lips.
Gone were her shyness as she holds on to my shoulder and willingly allowing herself deeper into the kiss. Piles of clothes puddled at her feet, and soon my clothes joined the neglected pile as I guided her into the warm waters of the spring. The last time we were there was to relax and recuperate. It wasn't much of a choice to be with Tainojo together in the bath. Now that I think about it...I really hated that guy's guts and yet I have to admit every bit of what he said was in fact, the truth. Ugh...dammit.
My thoughts were again disturbed by her small query. She was facing me, eyes full of concern. Was I muttering out loud? I sighed deeply, ridding my head of any other thoughts aside from the woman in front of me. Even through a slightly foggy glasses, I could see her fully. Her slender physique, her smooth arm, her long legs...all of it, every inch of it, I drank in her body in my memory. I could not care less if this body wasn't Sayori's. As long as I know she's in it, it may as well be Sayori's.
I hugged her tightly, my thin but muscular body molding into her petite frame. "I love you...Sayori." Those words wasn't used much. And as far as I'm concerned I have no need for such. I could show her much more than I can say. But if it would make her definitely happy about it, why should I rob her of that single luxury.
I saw it again. Those she called tears of joy. It was puzzling, but if it was because of joy and not misery, then I wouldn't mind at all. She sure cries easily. I wiped her cheeks with my right thumb, and giving her that smile I know she loves. "I make you cry a lot huh," I said. She shakes her head indicating otherwise, and lounges herself to me, this time taking me by surprise as she gingerly traces her lips on mine.
"I love you too Ittosai!" she exclaimed.
I laughed softly. It really does feel different when that sentence is being directed at you.
How long has it been before my last dream? How long has it been since I dreamt of something other than my past? I smiled and looked at the woman sleeping beside me. Not long ago, I suppose. Not long ago, I dreamt about my future. Yes, it was a dream, and a good one at that. But right now, as I stare into my wife's peaceful features, its good to dream, and to live in it as well.
My hand unconsciously, protectively, hovered over her stomach. I give in to the smile that was forming on my lips. I smiled earnestly, loving the feel of her skin against mine. She stirred in her sleep, cuddling closer to me. Now I definitely know it was to get her warmer.
How long was it? I would say a year or so. The past made me as to what I am. And the present healed me as to who I am. I no longer crave death. I desire life. A life that is worth living for her and for me. I am a murderer, a criminal, an outlaw to many. But I am also a friend, a lover, and a husband to one. And soon enough...I will be a father to a few. If only I could see him now...Chichi-ue, you're wrong. This is what I desire, and the path I have chosen. An eternity of atonement, a never-ending path of retribution. The road of carnage has ended, and a new route has opened. This is my resolution, my contentment, and my conviction.
AN: Thank you for reading!