Demonkind: Red Samurai Part 2
(Dedicated to all of the lovely readers who fell in love with Renji's very...erm...unique samurai noble line in Red Samurai, and a special shout out to my lovely friend, Walkure Leaud, who requested the original storyline. Couldn't have done it without you! Enjoy the new story!)
Chapter 1: Beauty of Dawn
Renji flinched, groaned uncomfortably in his sleep and stirred restlessly, disturbing the stillness of early morning and waking the lovely, naked man who laid next to him. Byakuya lifted his head and peeked sleepily at his husband through a tumble of silken black hair, then rested a hand on Renji's pregnant abdomen and curled calming reiatsu around the developing baby inside him.
"Ugh..." groaned Renji, "Bya...I don't feel so good."
The noble gave him a light kiss on the forehead and searched around beneath the blankets until he found his abandoned yukata. He set it back in place, then slid out of bed and began to sort Renji's clothing out as well.
"Um, wha...why you doing that?" Renji muttered, catching his breath at the pain that radiated through his midsection, "It's probably just more of those...ugh...oh! Oh, fuck, that hurts!"
Byakuya sat on the edge of the bed, holding Renji's hand and curling an arm around him.
"You are really in labor this time," Byakuya said softly.
"Oh..." Renji panted, "Oh really. Yeah...I just...thought that I was getting...ripped apart by hollows...or w-worse...demons!"
"You've been reading too many of those interactive histories in the king's archive, ne?" Byakuya said, quietly signaling their attendants to go for a healer.
"Y-yeah, Dad's had me...in there...r-researching every k-kinda scary bad thing in existence...g-getting ready, y'know?"
"Yes," said Byakuya calmly, "There is a lot you will need to know to act as the king's samurai, when the time comes."
"Y-yeah?" Renji chuckled weakly, grabbing his belly and groaning again, "He may have to retire s-soon. From what I hear, your cousin h-hasn't given in to him yet, but they...are to...gether all the time. I think it won't be long before...OW!"
Byakuya rubbed Renji's abdomen soothingly and squeezed his hand.
"Tetsuya has admitted to me that your father is very determined. But even if he does wear down my cousin's defenses, I do not believe that it will require Katsuro to leave the king's service."
"Hah..." panted Renji, "I w-was kidding! I just meant that a young guy like Tetsuya is..."
"I know what you meant," said Byakuya, shaking his head.
He started to say more, but broke off as Tetsuya flash stepped into the room, still looking half asleep, dressed in a yukata that Renji knew he had seen his father wear before, his wavy hair still mussed and his cheeks slightly flushed. Renji rolled his eyes in amusement and gave a short, pained laugh as Katsuro arrived a step behind Tetsuya, looking rather more composed, but no more dressed than his lovely friend.
"H-hey, Tetsuya," Renji managed, "Sorry to wake you guys..."
"I only just left the healing center about an hour ago," said Tetsuya, glancing at Katsuro for a moment, "Your father was just...helping me wind down a bit after work."
"Yes," Katsuro agreed, "Just a gentle massage. It was all mostly very proper."
The flush on Tetsuya's cheeks deepened. He shook his head and placed his hands on Renji's abdomen, his blue eyes glowing softly as he invoked his healing powers.
"It is good you called for me."
"Is everything all right?" Byakuya asked quickly.
"Everything is fine," Tetsuya assured him, "But I hope you have a name prepared, because this baby is ready to join us."
"Shouldn't we move him to the healing center?" asked Katsuro.
Tetsuya shook his head.
"No time," he explained, "The area, here, over the reiatsu cluster has lost almost enough consistency for the baby to pass through. I am going to test it once, then deliver the child."
He glanced at Renji's flushed face and smiled encouragingly.
"Would you like a pain block before the birth?" he asked, "I will make sure it does not make you lose consciousness."
"Oh...hah, yeah," panted Renji, "No pain is good...give me that...b-but, I don't wanna miss..."
"You won't," Tetsuya promised, "And I assume you prefer a kido method to a needle, ne?"
"Yeah...oh yeah!" agreed Renji, blanching at the thought of a needle, "I'd pass out for sure and miss everything, just seeing one of those damned things!"
"Really, Abarai," sighed Byakuya, smiling and shaking his head.
"Very well," Tetsuya said, smiling kindly and sending a gentle throb of kido through the redhead's shaky body, "Take a slow, deep breath and let it out again very slowly."
Renji took a couple more panting breaths, then inhaled slowly, with Byakuya stroking his hand gently and breathing with him. Tetsuya loosed a swirl of reiatsu into Renji's body and let it curl around the baby's reiatsu. He lowered his head slightly, focusing deeply, then applied slowly increasing pressure.
"Breathe out now," he instructed the redhead.
Renji and Byakuya breathed out slowly, together as Tetsuya attempted to move the reiatsu cluster.
"Easy," the healer said quietly, "I am going to let go of it."
Renji gave a sigh of relief and fell back to panting softly as Tetsuya's power abated.
"The cluster is fully matured and has separated from you inside. The next time, it should emerge. Are you ready to have this baby, Renji?"
"Ah...hah, hell no!" Renji laughed, "But it doesn't seem like I have much choice now, so let's go for it, ne Tetsuya?"
"Such a sharp wit amidst such discomfort," said Tetsuya, glancing up at Katsuro, "You must be an Akabuke."
"You know it," Renji said proudly.
Katsuro smirked and gave Tetsuya a wink.
"All right, you two. Enough of that," Renji huffed, "I'm having a baby here. This is no time for you to be flirting!"
"I don't know what you're talking about," said Katsuro, shrugging.
"Okay, Renji," said Tetsuya, "Take another deep, slow breath and let it out just like you did before."
Tetsuya sent his reiatsu into Renji's abdomen again, curling it around the baby's reiatsu and waiting as Renji took a few last panting breaths. Then, the redhead breathed in, paced carefully by Byakuya. As he began to breathe out, Tetsuya applied pressure, carefully coaxing the baby's reiatsu upward, guiding it gently in it's path as it worked its way through the weakened section of Renji's abdominal wall, and out to where it settled in Tetsuya's waiting hands. He set the glowing cluster in Renji's waiting arms, and Byakuya and Katsuro leaned closer, watching with brightly lit eyes as the glow around the baby slowly began to fade, and the cluster shimmered and took on a humanoid form. As the baby's features began to emerge, the men watching, caught their breath happily.
The baby squawked unhappily and began to cry, as his skin remained a glowing pale color and his wet eyes shined a pretty red-brown. The strands of his black hair ended in red tips that looked like tiny flames and his delicate looking fingers and toes had pearly nails like Byakuya's. The first light of dawn broke through the open balcony doors, and, touched by the light, the boy ceased his crying and touched Renji's smiling face with an outstretched hand.
"Oh my god, Byakuya!" Renji said, grinning widely, "I can't believe something so cute just came out of me!"
"He is...beautiful," Katsuro said in an unusually soft tone.
Renji caught his eye and reached out to touch his hand.
"Dad," he said quietly, "I want to know if it's okay with you, for me to call him Akemi. He was born at dawn...and he is..."
"Beautiful," Katsuro finished, gazing with adoring eyes down at his grandson.
"I won't if it makes you uncomfortable," Renji went on.
"It doesn't make me uncomfortable," said Katsuro, feeling a gentle twinge inside as he felt Tetsuya's eyes come to rest on him, "I think it's very fitting."
"Akemi," said Byakuya, looking into their baby's eyes, "Beauty of dawn, welcome."
Kazuki flash stepped into a widened portion of the forest trail he was exploring, then stopped and examined the signs carefully. Another flash step sounded and Akabuke appeared beside him. Kazuki nodded briefly.
"It is as we thought," he said quietly, "There were two that came along this trail...the one I banished and one more."
"Can you see if he came back this way?" asked Akabuke, studying the trees as his mate performed a quick search of the area.
"He did not return this way."
"And we did not sense him after you killed the other," added the samurai.
"Which means," said Kazuki, "that either he had a way to leave the area unnoticed, or...he is concealing himself somewhere nearby."
"Lord Akabuke? Lord Kazuki?" called a youthful male voice.
"This way, Hiro," called Kazuki.
He watched as the messenger approached and shook his head unhappily.
"You should not have come unescorted into this area. There may still be a strong spirit demon about. And in addition to attacking our livestock, it might just have jumped at the chance to attack you."
"My apologies, sir," said the youth, "We hadn't been informed of this."
"You hadn't?" said Akabuke, frowning, "But we sent three men back to the palace together an hour ago."
Hiro's eyes widened.
"Sirs, to my knowledge, they never arrived. I was with the king until he sent me to find you. You have a new great grandson!"
"That is wonderful news," said Kazuki, exchanging pleased smiles with his mate, "But let us escort you back to the palace. We will make certain that word reaches the king of what has happened, and then we will join our family."
"Yes sir!" Hiro said, falling in with them.
The three flash stepped together, down the trail that the returning group had taken on their return to the palace.
"I feel the leavings of their reiatsu in this area," said Kazuki, "They got at least this far."
They continued on, their eyes looking into the depths of the forest on either side of the trail and their senses extended. They were more than halfway to the palace, when Akabuke skidded to a halt, his sword coming out of its sheath, and his eyes scanning the area. Kazuki pulled the young messenger close and placed his back to one of the trees, drawing his blade and calling down a star to light the area brightly. Akabuke's eyes continued to pore over the area, looking low to the ground and up in the branches until he caught sight of something tangled in the trees, a distance off.
"Remain here," he told them softly, as he left the trail.
They watched as he followed the light of Kazuki's spell into the trees and found the one that had piqued his interest. He studied what he had seen from a distance, and marked the area with a kido barrier, then returned to the two who waited.
"Our men's trail ends here," Kazuki said softly, as Akabuke returned, wearing an angry expression.
"I found them in the trees, what was left of them. It killed them, but it did not devour them."
"Meaning that the attack was not for feeding," said Kazuki, "This beast has intelligence. And it had some other intent."
"I sealed the remains so that a fully provisioned team can find and examine the area, but I could not determine from the feeding site, which direction the demon went. But I think it safe to say that warnings are warranted, and great caution should be used until we know what the intent was."
"Come, Hiro," Kazuki said, releasing the youth he had been protecting, "We should get back as quickly as possible to make sure that all future patrols are notified of what happened."
The three flash stepped away together, heading back in the direction of the castle. Behind them, the demon waited, concealed far back in the trees, until the men had gone, and the forest was quiet again. It stole back to the barrier that Akabuke had erected and studied it with black, hateful eyes, then extended its tongue and lightly tasted the golden shield.
"Y-yesss," it hissed softly, "Your mate killed mine, so I will kill you...tattooed man."
It made sure that it was alone, then slashed at the barrier, breaking it apart. It descended on its interrupted meal and devoured the rest of the mangled bodies, then carefully concealed the signs. Afterward, it returned to the trail, where it had attacked the three men, and sniffed out the samurai's scent. Angry eyes glittering wickedly, it followed Akabuke's steps back towards the palace.
You will pay!
"Come now, Tetsuya," said Katsuro, sliding a hand into the younger man's, "Renji and the baby are both fine. They are getting some sleep, and after being up all night working, then delivering my son's child, you need some sleep as well."
"I will sleep," said Tetsuya, "But Arashi and I have not been able to train as much as we should, and you know that I am trying to qualify to join the king's norite."
"Which you will do a lot better after you have rested."
"He is right, watashi no itoko," Byakuya said, his eyes weary, but bright as he rested next to Renji.
"Come with me," said Katsuro, "I know just the thing to help you relax."
He made a sound of surprise as Katsuro swept him off his feet and carried him out the balcony doors, over the railing, and sailing down into the king's gardens. He angled towards the healing pool and slowed as he reached it. He set the exhausted healer down and set a privacy barrier in place, then turned and looked down into Tetsuya's weary blue eyes.
"I thought you wanted me to sleep," he said, glancing at the healing pool, then back at Katsuro.
"I do," said the samurai, "And you will. Now, I will have to ask you to trust me. Remove your clothes."
Tetsuya froze, his heart pounding. He swallowed hard, a blush rising on his skin and his body trembling softly.
"Trust me," Katsuro said again, letting his own clothing fall away to reveal his well sculpted, tanned and tattooed flesh.
The sight of him left Tetsuya dry-mouthed and breathless. He tried to make his lips move, to make his voice sound, but could only stare helplessly at the beautiful samurai's enchantingly marked form.
Why is this happening? I can fight the fiercest of hollows and plunge headlong into battle without hesitation, but the moment I see him, I freeze like a deer. What is...wrong with me?
He stood perfectly still, looking up into Katsuro's warm, red-brown eyes and thinking the words he could not say.
I trust you.
And as though he had heard, Katsuro smiled more widely and stepped forward, then slowly removed the yukata that he had loaned the younger man when the massage he had hesitantly consented to had been interrupted. He kept his eyes locked on Tetsuya's and only observed out of the corners of his eyes just how beautiful Tetsuya's body was.
Pale and softly glowing...flawless skin, silken black hair that fell in unruly waves to his shoulders, wide, sapphire eyes and a lovely, guileless face. His body was slender without being overly thin and every curve and line of face, breast, back, bottom and thigh was delicately drawn.
"Come into the water," Katsuro said, taking his hands and coaxing him forward.
He guided the younger man out through the warm water and to the gentle falls, where Katsuro stopped him and sat down, then positioned Tetsuya between his opened thighs. Tetsuya shivered as he settled his back against the samurai's tattooed chest and felt the man's warm, flaccid member touch his lower back. He closed his eyes and turned his head so that he could just hear the steady beating of Katsuro's heart. The samurai's hands moved, first gathering the soothing healing water and gently bathing his exposed skin, honoring the curves of his body with reverent fingertips and resting his chin lightly on top of Tetsuya's head.
Tetsuya's eyes opened again to see the hypnotic dance of tattoos, to follow them down over the samurai's tanned breast, along his torso to where they disappeared into the water. He wanted to see more...to see them all again...as he had for a moment when Katsuro had stood naked in front of him and undressed him.
"Let everything go," whispered Katsuro, "All of your cares, all of the day's tensions, everything that holds you back from peaceful rest. Let the water soothe everything away. Be at peace."
And when he did let go, the peace swept over him in a lovely warm wave, casting everything away and leaving him sleeping soundly in Katsuro's arms. The samurai remained in the water for some time, stroking his soft, wet hair and lightly tracing the curves of his face with gentle fingertips. He waited until he was sure the younger man was sleeping deeply, then used a soft throb of kido to ensure he would not wake when he was moved. He lifted Tetsuya's pliant body out of the water, dried the both of them off, then dressed them, before lifting the younger man into his arms and carrying him back into the palace, and to his bedroom. He set Tetsuya in his bed and turned to go, but was stunned when he heard two soft words rise up behind him.
His eyes were barely opened and he had to be nearly senseless.
But that, Katsuro thought, is when the heart speaks most clearly.
Smiling, he slid into the bed next to Tetsuya, catching his breath as the lovely young shinigami turned into his arms and settled again. Resting his face against Tetsuya's, he drifted off to sleep.
Out in the gardens, the demon gazed hatefully at the healing pool from within the nearby bushes. He had wanted to attack the two men that had come there, the pale, black haired noble that smelled suspiciously like the one that had slain his mate, and the larger, tattooed man. But the gardens were too well guarded during the day, and the shinigami and his mate were strong. He would have to sneak up on them...perhaps lure them out into the forest...
The beast sensed the spirit king nearby and slipped deeper into the gardens to wait for nightfall.