A/N: *STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS* This story is a spin-off of episode 33 in the anime with minor alterations. Sakujun's POV of the scene where Shuurei visits him in his room for the last time and makes tea for him.
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANY OF SAIUNKOKU MONOGATARI CHARACTERS OR SCENES. All credit goes to the writer, Sai Yukino.:)
When will you come to see me? I am sitting here in light of the setting sun, drinking sake; feeling impatient for the first time in my life. I am impatient for you to come to me; to play your ehru for me; to make tea for me… ah, yes. The tea. Will you make some ganloo tea for me today? I wonder…
"You need to be at the selection ceremony soon! Why are you sitting here drinking, and not even getting ready?"
The sound of your voice at once puts my restlessness at ease. It is so strange. Never before has anyone intrigued me so much.
"It's because I don't feel like going."
I drink another cup of sake just to irritate you further. I want to see how concerned you are about me.
"You really have no motivation to do anything, do you?"
I feel a strange sense of satisfaction upon hearing you reprimand me. Never before has being scolded by someone felt so good. Once again, I am reminded that this will be the last day I can have you to myself.
"But it's the last day that I can spend together with you. To me, that is more important."
I wonder if you will miss me at all. I want to be someone you can never forget. I want to be special to you, as you are to me.
I see the reproachful look on your face and once again, an odd feeling of satisfaction creeps up inside of me.
"Hey, would you do my hair up for me?"
I want to feel your soft fingers on my hair again. These moments are perhaps the only times you would ever touch me voluntarily; I cherish them.
"Look, I am not your personal maid or anything okay? Why not ask someone else to do it for you?"
How I wish you were. How I wish the days when I was your 'young master' and you were my 'Kourin' had never ended.
"I only want you to do it."
You are only person that I have ever allowed to touch my hair. These moments are mine alone; they belong to no one else.
I see your outstretched hand and grasp it; I wish I never had to let go.
"Could you do my hair… and make some tea for me as well?"
I see an epiphany reflected on your face. Did you finally realize it as well? That this is our last day together? That we may not meet each other again in this manner anymore?
"Alright… Since this is the last time."
I feel the gentle strokes of your comb on my hair and enjoy my private moment of happiness.
"You seem sort of quiet today… Have you had too much to drink? Are you not feeling well?"
The concern laced in your voice gives me a warm feeling inside. I don't quite understand it… Why does my heart react to you in this manner?
"Ha ha… No, that's not it. I have a very strong stomach when it comes to alcohol."
"Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seen you drunk before."
The irony of it… I, who does not get drunk on even the strongest alcohol, am drunk on emotions when it comes to you. This sure is a first…
"That's very true."
Nobody else can possibly make me feel this way. You are special…
"Alright, I'm done! If you're not going to the selection ceremony then you should try to get some more sleep. I'll pour a little hot water for you."
Once more, your concern warms my heart. You really are so special to me that I, who has never been interested in anything before, am ready to make a gamble for you. However,
"I really prefer Ganloo tea."
I wonder… Am I special to you? I wish to think I am. You are the one person I can never grow tired of…
I wish you wouldn't shoot down that one request so easily.
"Because. Wait a second, the shelves look a little different. There is a lot more empty space… ah! Ganloo tea is the only kind of tea leaf you have!"
Now, will you still refuse to make Ganloo tea for me? My lovely little maid… My fate rests in your hands…
"It's only fair since you rejected an engagement with me so bluntly. I don't think it's asking too much to let me savour a little sweet thought from you; especially now, since you're leaving."
Have I reached your conscience? Will you let me savour that sweet Ganloo tea of yours just this once? Am I special to you?
"Here! Have some hot water."
I look at the cup you just placed in front of me and I wonder… Why…?
"Are you worried about me?"
I don't think you hate me enough to shoot down my request so bluntly. If you are worried, it will make me happy…
"Well, yes. You've been acting more strangely than normal so I am a bit concerned."
Knowing you, I realized it must have been like that. Nothing escapes you…
"You're very kind. Very well then, I shall drink it."
How can I possibly refuse something you are giving me out of concern? You are the one person I have truly given importance to in my life.
"There! I've had some. Now I'd like you to make some Ganloo tea for me."
Would you still refuse?
"No way! You've been drinking wine, and a lot of it. If that wine mixes weirdly with Ganloo tea in your stomach then you could end up making yourself sick! Just have the hot water today and get some decent rest, okay?"
Your concern touches me. But, I wonder… would you still say that if you knew the choice you were making? I grab your hand beseechingly, like a child… how strange…
"I don't care. I don't mind if I get sick! This is going to be the very last day I can have you make tea for me."
Never before has anyone been so special to me. Never before have I wanted to be so special to anyone. I want you to choose me… Will you?
"Now, come on!"
You do not realize how important this is to me. I want to drink Ganloo tea made by your hands, just this once. There may never be another chance. I decide to take one final gamble…
"If you do not brew any Ganloo tea for me then I am afraid I am going to die."
I have told you the truth. Yet, why do you look at me so disbelievingly? Do you not think I would make such a gamble? Or is it that you don't want to believe?
"That is something a child would say!"
Yes, I know… I don't understand it myself. Why is it that when it comes to you, I act differently? Sometimes, I do not recognize myself… But it is a nice feeling…
"Say, do you remember the promise you made?"
Of course I do. That is what is holding you to me in the first place. But… is that all?
"Of course I do. I will return your hairpin as promised. But you seem awfully busy right now, so come back here after you have finished everything else."
I want to hold on to it just a little longer. That something that ties you to me… By holding on to something important to you, have I become important to you too…?
"You know, I wouldn't mind having it back right now. In fact, I insist you return it right this minute!"
Your harsh tone puts me off. Is that hairpin more important? Now I am tempted not to return it…
"Don't spoil my dreams now. Dreams… Do I have one?"
You. It's strange how the answer came so naturally. This is the first time I have actually nurtured something like a dream… It is amazing how you have changed me. I chuckle to myself upon this realization.
"What's the matter?"
I look at you fondly. You are my first and last dream.
I am tempted to tell you the whole truth as you pour hot water into my cup again; that I have mixed a slow-acting poison into the hot water – the only poison I am not resistant to; that I had the antidote mixed into the Ganloo tea leaves. That I, Sakujun Sa, gambled my life on you. I want to tell you so that in your guilt and regret, you will never be able to forget me. So that at least then I will become someone important to you, someone irreplaceable; just as you are to me.
But I won't. This is the first time that I have ever felt like doing something for someone else's sake. It's a strange yet warm feeling. You truly have changed me in a way no one ever has before.
You push the cup of hot water in front of me. I chuckle to myself thinking about how you have unknowingly sealed my fate with your own hands. Yet, strangely, I do not mind. I even feel like I have won though I have lost… Odd…You are the only person who can win a bet against me. You are the only person who has the right to control my fate.
Even death, looks inviting when served by you… my love.
A/N: Hope you liked it! I have always liked Sakujun a lot! :D Like Shuurei says, he hasn't openly done anything to her personally. Plus, he has such an awful lot of charm that it's kind of hard not to like him! :P I am currently having a major obsession with Saiunkoku so look forward to more fanfics! Oh, and please do read my other stories as well! :) Thank you! And as always, PLEASE READ AND REVIEW! ^_^