Disclaimer: Don't own 'em; if I did, Young!Nurarihyon would've lost more of his clothing against Hagoromo-Gitsune. Rawr.

Warning(s): Pale purple prose, random haiku, citrus content.

A/N: Written for LiveJournal's SpringKink community and the May 2012 round; the prompt was Nurarihyon no Mago, Nurarihyon/Yo-hime: gentle caress - home is where the heart titlerefers to the first time that Nurarihyon laid eyes on his human princess, as well as her essential qualities that enchanted him. Borrowing plot details, language and semantics from Vol. 8 of the VIZ manga.

Thanks to Ranuel for keeping the plot moving and Empath-eia for her sharp eye!

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Moonlight x Cherry Blossom

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He lounges on the threshold, lazily admiring the way the silver moonlight turns the garden into an ink painting, a subtle study in white, grey and black. The cherry tree is in full bloom, its branches heavy with heady-scented blossoms; a few float on the still surface of the pond. Not a breath of wind disturbs the perfection of the tableau. Exhaling a cloud of smoke as he taps out his pipe, the Supreme Commander of the Nura Clan allows himself a moment of utter contentment.

Tomorrow the House will be in a bustle when his subordinates return from their missions... but not tonight. Tonight is for the serene contemplation of beauty.

The moonlight also seeks beauty, as it creeps across his legs and enters the room. It encounters the first silken tendrils coiling across the tatami mats, and Nurarihyon indulgently watches it gild the dark strands. As the pale beams reach further, he rises and follows their path. Seating himself next to the futon, he waits. Soon, silvery light caresses the sleeping woman's face, and he admires the delicate fans of her lashes.

She is never lovelier than when she is kissed by the moon, and his heart softens anew. Brushing gentle fingertips across her cheek, he stoops and presses his lips to her velvety skin. Princess Yo sighs his name and turns into his touch, smiling in her slumber, and Nurarihyon considers fully waking her, then decides against it - not yet, anyways. She has been tired lately, her sleep restless, so he will allow her to dream for now. The dread Lord of Pandemonium, Supreme Commander of the Nura Clan, Leader of the Edo Night Parade of A Hundred Demons... brought down by a slender human woman who bound him with nought but her gentle spirit.

No wonder his subordinates think him mad.

Princess Yo rolls onto her back, exposing the elegant column of her throat. Stroking clinging strands of hair away from her skin, Nurarihyon twirls several around his fingers as he contemplates how she brightens his life, his world and he loves her so much... he often wakes, drenched in sweat, and has to reassure himself that she still breathes, has not been taken by the shadow of death that haunts the path of all humans. Reflexively rubbing the slight indentation on his chest where Hagoromo-Gitsune tore out his heart, Nurarihyon knows his lifespan has been shortened... but he will still outlive his darling by several centuries.

She stirs, probably sensing his agitation, and he tries to calm himself, but it is too late. Great, dark eyes slowly blink until she focuses, and Princess Yo smiles softly. A slim hand reaches for his cheek; he captures it and kisses her palm. "My lord?" Her voice is husky with sleep, and it tugs at his desire.

Stretching out on the futon beside her, Nurarihyon props his chin on his palm as he tucks her hand against his chest. "My princess," he purrs. She blushes, but closes the distance between them until her lips press against his. He releases her hand to tangle his fingers in her hair, keeping her in the sweet moment. Sighing, she invites him inside her mouth, and he takes full advantage until they are both breathless.

Burrowing beneath the quilt, he discovers that she's already loosened her sash, and she hides behind her sleeve when he teasingly raises his eyebrows. Folding down the bedding, Nurarihyon runs his fingertips along her collarbone, pushing aside her thin sleeping robe until her silky skin is revealed to the moonlight. His touch raises goose-bumps, her nipples hardening, and he captures one between his lips, flicking it with his tongue until she moans, shifts beneath him, catches hold of his robes and pulls in silent appeal. He quickly divests himself of his clothing, sliding naked beneath the quilt, smirking when she blushes at the sight of his prominent erection. However, his expression quickly changes to something lustier when her slender fingers encircle his shaft.

As Princess Yo confidently caresses him, Nurarihyon thanks whichever gods might be playing voyeur that she quickly overcame any maidenly panic on the night of their wedding nearly a year ago, two weeks after the clan's triumphant return to Edo.

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The rest of the clan was still raucously celebrating the marriage of their Supreme Commander and his princess when he took her to bed. The room had been prepared, the futon screened by silk panels and draped with soft quilts, food and drink near to hand should they require sustenance. A shielded lamp inside the embroidered screens cast soft shadows, creating a sense of intimacy after the bright lights and loud clamour of the main room.

Closing the doors, Nurarihyon found his hands shaking... but that was nothing compared to the tremors his knees experienced when he turned and saw Princess Yo kneeling beside the futon, haloed by the soft lamplight. Her eyes were concealed beneath her bangs, and then she bowed deeply from the waist. "Please be gentle, Lord Ayakashi," she whispered, and he could see the fine silk of her sleeves shimmering from the trembling of her hands beneath.

Nurarihyon abruptly realized that there was a marked lack of suitable waiting-women among the clan, and also that there was an extremely good chance that a sheltered girl like Princess Yo may only have the vaguest idea of what was expected this night. Yuki-Onna would have been a prime candidate to assuage her fears, but she was sulking in her home village; Nurarihyon missed his lieutenant's strength in battle, but not her obsession with him. She would come around, eventually – possibly not until the princess had gone to join her ancestors – but he was fine with that.

Making a mental note to acquire some suitable attendants for Princess Yo, Nurarihyon took a deep breath to steady his fluttering nerves as he circled the futon and seated himself beside his wife. Reaching for her hand, he brought it to his lips, then smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. "I was going to ask the same favour of you."

She blinked rapidly, then hid a nervous giggle behind her sleeve. "You are teasing me, my lord!"

"Perhaps." Encouraged, he turned over her hand and kissed her palm, then leaned in to nuzzle her cheek. When he lingered, she haltingly turned into his touch; tilting his head, Nurarihyon waited for a single heartbeat before pressing his lips to hers; she sighed as her response went from apprehensive to warm and then yearning. Shifting closer, Nurarihyon kept her in the kiss until her fingers tenderly caressed the markings beneath his eyes.

When he peered through his lashes, she was watching him, her grey gaze misted and soft. "Your eyes are so lovely, my lord," she whispered. "Like golden chrysanthemums."

"Not half as lovely as you, my princess," he murmured. "Shall I compose a haiku?"

She blushed. "If it is your desire."

Sitting back, he thought for a moment, then declaimed, "Pure, fleeting beauty – soothing the heart of yokai – sakura allure."

"Oh, well done!" Princess Yo clapped, then shyly offered, "You seem fond of cherry blossoms."

"I adore them." Moving closer, he smoothed his fingertip along the pale edge of the innermost layer of her clothing. Her outermost kimono was made of deep cherry-red silk, shot with silver threads, and the half-dozen layers beneath were in graduated hues of pink. She appeared to be holding her breath as he brushed the notch at the base of her throat, but tilted back her head when he leaned in and mouthed her madly-beating pulse.

"My lord..." she breathed, trembling anew, but it appeared to be in anticipation, not fear.

Pressing his advantage, Nurarihyon nibbled up the column of tender skin to her ear while his hands quested for the sash securing her inner kimono. He made short work of the knot and then eased both the cherry kimono and the first layer of deep pink silk from her slender shoulders. Her eyes were wide and dark as she boldly reached for him.

"May I?" Princess Yo asked, her hands resting lightly on the sash at his waist, and he smilingly moved his sleeves out of the way.

It was an unexpectedly erotic moment for him when the binding came loose, even more so when she pushed the heavy silk of his robes down his arms. Dressed only in his white innermost robe, he again reached for the sashes securing her layers. It was like unwrapping an exquisite gift, he mused, as he made his way through the coloured silks until only her soft white kimono remained.

She clutched the thin silk at her breast as the last tie came loose in his fingers; Nurarihyon let his hands drop into his lap, giving her the choice as to when she revealed herself. He was untying the sash securing his hakama when she slowly let the garment slip off her shoulders and down, leaving her clad only in her long hair – and he forgot to breathe. Seated in the centre of a silken cherry blossom, she appeared as a dark-framed stamen. Rosy nipples tipped pale breasts; he licked his lips in anticipation.

As he reached for her, she shyly covered herself... but then she smiled mischievously. "My lord – you have me at a disadvantage."

"Eh?"

She slid her fingers into the neckline of his robe and gently tugged; he smirked and rapidly shed the garment. "Now we are even." Scooting closer, he held out his arms to her. She blushed a lively shade but slipped her arms up around his neck as he lifted her free of her clothing and into his lap. Nurarihyon was highly tempted to immediately tumble her onto the futon beside them, but was sidetracked by the joys of having a delightfully naked woman in his arms. Princess Yo's hands were everywhere, investigating his shoulders and upper arms, tracing the planes of his chest, her expression avid. "Like what you see?" he asked, discovering that his hands could completely encircle her waist.

"Yes," she murmured, darting in to press several kisses to his chest. Groaning softly, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. She let out a little squeak, and he realized that she had finally acknowledged the erection pressing against her hip. Curious about her reaction, he loosened his embrace. Staring at his shaft, she riffled the white curls clustering around the base before brushing through the black ones beneath. "Like your hair," she commented, before cautiously tapping the head with her fingertip.

"Do I meet with your approval?" he grinned, stifling a chuckle.

Princess Yo tittered nervously. "Yes, my lord – it's just..."

"Just what?"

"Are all ayakashi... this size?"

"I can't speak of others." Smoothing his hand up her back, Nurarihyon gently asked, "Are you afraid?"

"A little." Peeking up at him through her bangs, she admitted, "I cannot see how you will fit."

"It may hurt," he admitted.

Her fingertip again brushed the tip. "I expect it will... but it will be better after that?"

"I hope so... otherwise our language wouldn't need a term for 'younger sibling'."

She giggled again and continued caressing his erection, seemingly fascinated by the textures of his skin. Nurarihyon bit his lip in an effort to control himself, but lost it when Princess Yo gently clasped his shaft and squeezed. Leaning back on his hands, he groaned deeply and thrust into her grip. Her other hand landed on his thigh; when he looked, she was wide-eyed at the effect she was having on him.

Then it was his turn to be transfixed when she wiped up a droplet of fluid from the overflowing tip and licked it from her finger. Their eyes met and then he was on her, kissing her hungrily, turning to lay her out on the futon in one fluid motion. Crouching over her, Nurarihyon growled, "Your turn."

"My – oh!"

Trailing his lips down her throat, along her collarbone, over her breast before closing them around a pert nipple and flicking the erect flesh with his tongue, he listened to her sharp intake of breath and noted that she was keeping perfectly still. Moving lower still, nipping and licking her satiny belly, he dropped a kiss on the cluster of black curls at the apex of her thighs. Glancing up, he saw her scarlet cheeks and quivering apprehension. "Trust me."

Smiling crookedly, she nodded, her nervousness dissipating. "All right." She was soon gasping and squirming, begging and sighing, crumpling the bedding in her fists while he licked and nibbled and teased until her toes curled and she cried out.

Kissing his way upwards, Nurarihyon was briefly transfixed by his bride's appearance; Princess Yo's entire skin was suffused with a delicate roseate glow. "Princess Sakura," he whispered, kissing first her budded nipples and then her lips.

She regarded him from beneath heavy lids and sighed, "My lord... that was... marvelous..."

Settling his hips between her thighs, nudging the head of his erection between her slick folds, Nurarihyon kissed her again as he urged her legs to spread further, slid his hand beneath her hips to tilt them and ease his entry. He met a slight amount of resistance at first, but it disappeared without any discernible pain on Princess Yo's part.

And that was his last conscious thought as the incredible sensations of their joining took over his senses.

She clutched at his arms as he rode her, gasping incoherent endearments and oaths into her hair, his body moving powerfully until he drove into her one final time with a shuddering groan. When he could breathe again, he kissed her slowly and deeply, savouring the moment. She clung to him, her body pliant in his embrace as he arranged them more comfortably on the futon. Already half-asleep, she snuggled on his shoulder as he fussily tucked the quilts around her.

"Did I... hurt you?" he couldn't help asking, nuzzling her forehead.

"A small pinch," she yawned. "Apparently humans and ayakashi do fit together quite well."

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They have tested that 'fit' many, many times in the days, weeks and months since, and it appears that Princess Yo is eager for another encounter from the way she is caressing him. Nurarihyon again thanks the gods for his great good luck in winning the young woman before he takes control and rolls her onto her back. Caressing her secret places until she blooms, her body opening to him like an exotic flower as she pleads for his touch, he continues until she is consumed by pleasure.

Her senses are still overwhelmed, her body still rippling from her release when he takes her, watching her expression, listening to her almost-silent gasps, inhaling her heady scent, tasting the salt on her skin. He has no more luck in prolonging this encounter than he has any other – he tries, but he's intoxicated by her and it's too easy to lose himself in her.

Several minutes later, Nurarihyon has his princess nestled against him, her back against his chest; she drowsily murmurs his name and slides her hand into his. She is more comfortable lying on her side these days, so he obligingly accommodates her. Kissing the nape of her neck as he drapes his arm over her waist, he cups his hand around the gentle rounding of her belly, content to have both his beloved wife and future heir within the circle of his arms. The kitsune may have literally taken his heart, but in truth it belongs entirely to Princess Yo; wherever she is, that is Nurarihyon's home.

The fading moonlight briefly embraces them both before slipping away; a freshet twirls fallen petals across the tatami mats.

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Hakama – full, pleated, skirt-like trousers worn by both men and women.