Usual disclaimer: I don't own Hakuouki (though I wouldn't mind having Kazama!) or any of it's characters but all original characters are my own.
Chapter One: Electrified Undercover
"All great lovers are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction."
Chizuku knew the moment he approached, some part of her instinctively felt the presence of the demon lord of the west, though she was still shocked as she turned that he was standing there in front of her in the hall of the geisha house. She was suppose to be here to gather information for the Shinsengumi and instead she was getting herself into trouble. It was a wonder she kept her mouth from hanging open the way she was gaping at the unexpected arrival of Chikage Kazama.
She was so close to him that she thanked the gods for the white make up she wore as a part of her disguise. She could feel the warmth in her cheeks when Chikage dropped his serious expression to put on a smug smile with nothing more than a "Hmm", as noncommittal a sound as possible when she was so concerned as to how he would react to her presence.
"Um, I…" She hesitated, not certain of what to say as it was the longest they'd been face to face without him trying to kidnap her. The first time they'd met was at the Ikeda Inn, when he'd injured Okita. The second was when they interrupted her on the street as she was working with the Shinsengumi, he'd promised her he would come for her again but she hadn't expected to see him here.
"Prepare some sake." His command, and there was little doubt most of what he said came out as an order, confused her further.
Chizuku blinked at him, that hadn't been what she'd been expecting from him at all. She was rather dumbfounded at how poor her luck could actually be.
Chikage glanced away from her and she was glad to be free of his ruby gaze, taking a breath she didn't realize she was holding while under his scrutiny. He was distracted by some rowdy laughter of a group of men in another of the many rooms owned by the establishment.
"I grew tired of the irritation of their voices so I left." His tone was cool and flat, much as she'd always heard him. As he turned his eyes back to her there was a lazy amusement in those crimson depths that didn't match with what he was saying. "Drinking sake with those rotten men, would be blasphemy for the sake."
I couldn't help but widen my eyes a bit, my mind on fire with questions. "He's choosing to speak poorly of the men he says he's allied with? Why? Does he not recognize me?"
The disturbance of the loud men forgotten, he narrowed his eyes at Chizuru as he spoke again. "Move it. You're a geisha here aren't you?"
"Oh, yes!" Chizuru answered too quickly for it to be subtle but she hoped that her quick retreat to start warming the sake would make up for that lapse in demeanor. When she returned to the room he was already there, seated properly where one should be to speak with one of the geisha. She couldn't help but settle herself again, her shock at his appearance hadn't completely left her, but it had worn off enough that she hoped she could continue to fool him. If she could entertain him until he left then she could return to her mission of getting information from the other men.
Sitting across from him by only a few feet she had to admit, he was handsome in his own way. His wheat colored hair wasn't in any particular style but the roguish manner in which it framed his face still fit him. He possessed a pale completion and dignified features, perhaps he was a noble like Sen. It was his eyes that were both hypnotizing and chilling, the ruby depths reminding her all the time of how effortlessly and without mercy he could spill the blood of his enemies. Yet, the exotic nature of them mixed with his unshakable superiority drew her in, she knew she couldn't look away without giving herself away as a fraud.
Though as she appraised him, she realized his eyes were flickering over her as well and she needed to break the silence somehow. Hoping the sound of her own voice would help ease the tension she felt. "The sake will be ready soon. Please wait a moment."
It was obvious, but she needed to have said something or she would have gone mad. It also gave her a moment to bow and take her eyes off the demon, somehow she worried he could read her all too easily with that unnatural gaze. She wasn't expecting the question that followed.
"Although you are a geisha, you speak in the common tongue. That is strange, is this your first time?" His tone was slightly dull, but it had enough of an edge that she could tell he was making small talk and she needed to keep up.
"My deepest apologies, I ah…" Chizuru put her hands up slightly as if she were going to cover her mouth but remembered at the last minute not to touch the make up on her face for fear it would smudge. "No. My humble self just started here and I have not become accustomed to this manner of speech yet."
His expression didn't change; he didn't give a moment of his thoughts away no matter how hard she stared at him. Then he spoke in the same placid manner. "If you were a geisha of the Shimabara, you would have been raised here."
Chikage was silently amused at making her stumble over her story, Chizuru was an awful liar, but that was all the more reason to marry her. If she could keep nothing from him then he could more easily trust having her within his household. Keeping a straight face was difficult when she physically jumped at his revelation.
"Huh?" Chizuru was losing her story quickly. "Um, that's right! I'm sorry! I must have not remembered correctly."
"Is such a mistake even possible?" Chikage had to admit at least the girl didn't seem ready to easily give up, even if her flailing was like a child who had picked up their first stick to practice with.
Chikage dropped his gaze, unable to keep it with her cover so quickly being blown by her actions, she was doing her best to think of any way to salvage this situation. "Ah…well…"
Sadly nothing was coming to mind and silence broke between them again for a while with her unable to pull up her eyes as she racked her brain. There was a smirk on his face and he'd canted his head slightly at her but she was looking at his lap and not his face, she had a hard time focusing when she stared right into his eyes.
"What do I do?" Chizuru thought to herself. She could feel herself getting more nervous each passing moment, afraid of how he would react once he'd decided she was here as a fake.
"Now then, shall we end this little play, Yukimara Chizuru?" Chikage had grown tired of making her sweat and wanted to move on.
She gasped and her head shot up to look him in the eyes, trapped as an animal that knows it's time had come when he narrowed his eyes on her again, focusing them more than usual as he spoke. "You most likely received orders from the Shinsengumi to inquire the motives of the roshi here."
Her moment of shock had passed and she relaxed slightly after he finished talking. The question was the first thing that came to her lips and she just spit it out. "So, you knew all along?"
This time he raised a golden brow at her when he replied. "Do you think I wouldn't recognize you?"
It was slightly insulting, and the way she hardened her expression when Chikage mentioned it made him realize she had concerned herself with it at all. He smiled as he reached over to take her chin, gently pulling her closer despite the slight pressure she was putting on his fingers to pull away. "My eyes definitely were not wrong about you. This presentation makes you suitable to be my wife."
"Huh?" Chizuru's eyes widened further at the compliment from Chikage and she put a hand up against his chest as if to push him away. His own hand reached up to take hers, the one not still holding her chin to force her to look into his eyes. They were alive with a passion that only made her more afraid. "Now I want to make you mine even more."
"Let me go, I'm not your wife." Her protest was weak, her voice barely rising, and she didn't struggle as much as she could have, and another arm was still at her side. She felt imprisoned by his scarlet eyes, and even if he hadn't been holding her chin and even with her protests she wasn't sure she would have looked away if he had let go of her.
"I am praising you. Be honored." He replied, his baritone striking a cord in her midsection that only served to frighten her even more. He was preparing to kiss her, and she'd never been kissed, she certainly never dreamed that when she did it would be like this.
His lips were inches from hers and she shivered lightly but she still did not protest as much as she could, her next word barely a stuttered whisper. "S…stop."
It was the last moment of protest she was allowed before his lips had landed on hers, far softer than she had imagined. For a moment she was still, shocked that she'd just been kissed for the first time, and then she realized it didn't feel as bad as she feared. His embrace was far gentler than she would have ever expected and after a moment she found herself returning the tender pressure. As she stopped pushing away from him she felt his arms wrap around her, drawing her closer. Though even as he pulled her into his lap he broke the pleasant contact, grinning slowly as the kiss came to an end.
There was smugness to his smile that made her want to slap him as he watched her turn pink even through her heavy make up. His next words saved him that injustice not for what they were, but for the overwhelming softness of his deep voice. Chizuru knew she'd never heard him speak so gently, and wondered if she ever would again. "What is it you fear so deeply Chizuru? Do my advances mean more to you than you let on?"
Once she'd gotten over the latest of many surprises she wasn't sure how to answer his question, instead she remembered she was suppose to be angry, he'd just stolen her first kiss and she could never get that back. Her previous desire returned and she narrowed her gaze just before she slapped him. His head barely turned but judging from the ways his eyebrows vanished into his bangs he had not predicted that answer.
"You…you…" She shook with barely controlled emotion and then dashed from his lap while he was still getting over the shock of her having slapped him. She had almost made it to the door when he appeared in front of her, his gaze was less than pleased, his eyes almost seeming to glow with a sinister inner light as he fixed his glare on her.
Then his head snapped downward as he was stuck from behind and the moment of tension passed for Chizuru, instead she was blinking at the small form of Sen who was holding a hand in her hand, the weapon she'd just used on Chikage. "That is enough! Chizuru, go home."
"You bitch…" Is all Chizuru heard as she dashed away from the scene, not wanting to be present for any more of the demon's rage. Pressing a hand to her chest once she stopped several blocks away from the geisha house. Brown eyes turned toward the sky, the cloudy horizon not offering her any answers for the inexplicable pounding of her heart. "Is it just the after effects of running away?"
She didn't have time to think about it, she was still far from the Shinsengumi headquarters and men had stopped nearby. "Oh a geisha out so far from her house…what a strange sight without an escort."
Their voices had sneers that weren't friendly…she would need to continue running, and that was nearly impossible in this outfit. She didn't make it half a block before one of the men grabbed the back of her kimono and threw her into the dirt.
"Aw, come on girl, what sort of reaction is that. I thought Geisha performed for anyone with the money. You wanna act so rude then I think I should get a freebie." She felt him start to pull at the front of her kimono and she grabbed at his hands in sudden realization of what he wanted to do.
This was not like only a few minutes ago when Chikage had pushed her into a kiss, her protest was met with a backhand to her face that left her seeing stars as she felt him continue to pull at her outfit. Fear gripped her, the Shinsengumi had no reason to know she was out, and this was a back way to the manor she was used to taking when dressed like a man. There would be very few people to see, more or less help her at this time of night. She screamed but feared that her cry for help would go unheard.
Well a lot of this is just re-describing the scene as it happened in the OVA episode. Nonetheless, I really wanted to do a Chizuru/Chikage fic and that scene seemed a perfect time to fit in a small alteration. This fiction will work more around the initial duties the Shinsengumi had and not the larger war the later part of the games/anime turned into. Just because it fits easier with ideas I have.
To my reviewers:
Normally I'd comment to questions or larger reviews in this section but as it's chapter one I don't have any of those yet. I would however, greatly appreciate some feedback on what I've done so far.