I was looking around the Touhou section of this site and realized that it is woefully lacking at present. This series needs more love, time and affection!
I know I have other unfinished stories I really should be getting back on, but screw it! My mind is made up and it wants me to write and publish some
more Touhou! So, without further ado, let's get on with it!
Disclaimer: No, I do NOT own Touhou in any way, shape or form. Only the imaginative drive that forces me to write stories about it.
Why I do it
Zuu… Zuu… (Sound of breathing)
Gently… It started to move.
Through the grass and through the trees, leaf by leaf it built in strength and set the leaves in rapid motion.
Higher and higher…
Faster and faster…
Louder and louder…
Higher and louder the wind climbed, rushing through the branches of a great tree, rustling every leaf at least once before diving down to the ground. It ran through the blades of grass and into a vast field of beautiful, large flowers. All the same shape. All the same color.
The reason for their beauty lied not only in their shape, but rather the intensity, as well as the depth of their color.
Red. Crimson. So vibrant they almost looked to be alive.
Which was ironic…considering their nature. And, in a way…their purpose.
For with every flower that sprang up there, on the vast fields beside the Sanzu river…
A life was lost.
Every flower represented a life lost. Every flower equaled a soul stepping onto the ferryman's boat, on to a journey from which no one could ever return.
On and on the wind went, until it was suddenly yanked down.
And then let out again, only now it was not what it once was.
With the sound of rustling grass and flowers washing over her together with the wind, the green haired woman closed her eyes. She kept them that way, just sitting still. And although her back was straight, her muscles suffered almost no tension from her posture.
She sat right in the middle of the field of flowers. Like a green and blue flower lost in a sea of red. Smoothing out the edges of her largely blue uniform, the young-looking woman sat back a little. And just like the rest of her, her right hand was lost in red.
Not in flowers, however.
No, she was slowly, almost as gently as the wind, running her palm against the hair of another young-looking woman. The motion was repeated again and again, though without rush. Her fingers spread out and delved into the silky mass. It was neatly kept, always clean and kept in the same style.
Her direct subordinate had always liked that particular style. She must have, for not once, in all the centuries that she had known her, had she ever changed her hairstyle.
Yes… Komachi was hopelessly fond of her side-tied ponytail. Just like Eiki seemed hopelessly fond of her attire, for like her subordinate, she never changed that either.
Komachi hadn't moved much in a while. Not since Eiki found her, slacking off and sleeping on the job, as usual.
And like always, she had scolded her for it.
It had happened so many times and still happened so often they had both come to expect it out of their daily lives. It was a comfortable routine. Hell, it was practically tradition now.
Some days Eiki even wondered if Komachi slacked off as a way of getting her out of the office. The Head Yama knows she had been trying to get her to come out more, to do more outside her office. Outside her duties. And just like with her chronic slacking off, she could be very stubborn about it. She'd been at it for a few hundred years now, on and off. Although Eiki found herself exasperated and wondering if it was possible to turn this rather impressive dedication to something job-related, she could not help the smile that touched her lips as she thought about it, every once in a while. It was funny, almost, for as lazy as she was, Komachi put a surprising amount of effort into slacking off every other day.
"Why do you do it…?" Eiki whispered and kept stroking her hair.
Speaking of her subordinate, after having sat through her boss' five millionth (and a couple of thousand) lecture, Komachi had smiled in that sunny, cheerful way of hers, and then promptly laid down for a snooze.
Neither of them had moved since then. Eiki still sat there, slowly stroking Komachi's hair as she slept. Being together like this sparked a strange sensation in the Yama.
She felt…peaceful, sitting like this. Thoughts concerning her work thinned in her mind with every stroke of Komachi's hair. Until she simply sat there, staring either at the red fields or her subordinate's face. She didn't know why, but for some reason, sitting here like this, with no one but Komachi, made her feel so strangely at peace with the world. With her work.
When they had spent some time like this, her thoughts having turned away from work, Eiki's mind often turned to her mother.
The older greenette had retired from her work as a Yama some centuries ago, back when Eiki had only been one for a century or two herself.
"Sweetheart, what is the matter?"
"Nothing is the matter, mother."
A fond smile touched upon Eiki's lips. She could see her now, standing in front of her as she sat at the kitchen table, hand on her hip and the other resting on the back of a chair. Her mother's hair had always been longer than her own, kept in place by a single but fitting bandana in a ponytail starting at her right shoulder and reaching almost down to her stomach. And while Eiki didn't bother with any such accessories herself, she had opted to leave the right side of her hair a bit longer. Her mother was also taller, but the resemblance between them was uncanny. Although she scolded them when it happened, Eiki was secretly flattered whenever someone mistook her for her mother.
"Dear," The older Yamaxanadu said as she sat down in front of her. "It's fine if you lie to your subordinates every once in a while, every boss does it now and again, believe you me."
"Mother…! I do not lie, I am a Yama! I-"
"Yes, I am your mother. So don't even try it young lady!"
And some still wondered from which parent she had inherited her impressively authoritative tone of voice…
Although her tone was strict, her mother still smiled as she wagged a finger in her daughter's face.
"So, let's hear it. Out it with. Chop, chop!"
Taking a breath, Eiki asked the same question she had asked several times earlier.
"… When did you decide to quit being a Yama?"
And, without missing a beat, her mother replied with the same response as always;
"When I realized that my work, while enjoyable I do admit, was actually keeping me from doing what I wanted more than work."
"… You're mean, mother. Why won't you ever give me a straight answer?"
She could hear her mother's laugh now, just the right volume and filled with joy, as her mouth broke out in a bright smile.
"Someday, sweetie. Someday, I believe you will come to me with the answer yourself."
And that had been the end of that.
Shaking her head, Eiki lowered her gaze and, realizing her hand had stopped, resumed its motion. Her mother always gave her straight answers to everything. She always had. And the fact that she wouldn't considering this one issue she craved an answer to… It vexed her horribly. Luckily, she had a loyal and nigh-always slacking off subordinate to vent her frustrations on. Poor Komachi never quite seemed to figure out why her boss was unusually cranky the days following a visit to her mother.
Speaking of Komachi, the redhead remained peaceful. Blissfully unaware of the world as she rested her head in her boss' lap.
It was only in times like these, when gazing at her sleeping face, that Eiki truly noticed her beauty. There was no denying it, no matter how lazy she was, it didn't change the fact that the cheerful Shinigami was quite attractive. Not a day went by when she wasn't whistled at or exchanged a flirty comment or wink as she headed in our out of the office. Even Eiki had to admit she was pleasing to the eye. And while her beauty never changed, Eiki only ever noticed when spending time like this. When her mind was unoccupied by thoughts of work.
Yes… It was only when Komachi slept like this that the greenette could see and appreciate her fair skin, the way it clashed with her red hair, as well as having a body with all the right curves in all the right places.
Feeling a blush coming on, Eiki shook her head and closed her eyes.
"If only you didn't slack off so much…" She muttered, and due to her eyes being closed, failed to see the slight flutter of the redhead's eyelids. "It's not that I enjoy lecturing you, Komachi… I just…"
Opening her eyes, Eiki looked off to the side and lightly exhaled. She let her gaze following an invisible line across the flower fields as her mind struggled to put her emotions into words. To articulate her frustration.
"Despite how lazy you are, you are still my Shinigami… I don't want to be mean to you, I just want you to do your job. To carry your scythe with pride and conviction, as is expected of you." She said softly as her hand came to a stop on her forehead.
She drew small, lazy circles on her skin with her thumb, keeping the touch feather-light.
"… Why do you slack off so much, Komachi?" Eiki asked with a small sigh. "Why do you make me scold you…?"
The short little Yama blinked in surprise, when her subordinate shifted, moving her arm an inch and tilting her head more to the left.
Eiki blinked again. 'Is she…? No, she's sleep-talking…' She realized.
"… When you scold me…"
Her head rolled back to the right.
"… You're only paying 'tention…to me…"
Though the wind kept up its motion, her hand did not. It had frozen on her forehead, as if stilled by a magician's spell.
Eiki stared, eyes wide and cheeks burning, her mouth trying in vain to make audible sounds. Turning onto her side, Komachi instinctively found the best spot for her head and once again relaxed with a blissful sigh. As she curled up a bit more, she smiled in her sleep and said;
And so it was, with her cheeks darkening even further and a hand over her mouth and her green eyes wide, that Yamaxanadu Shikieiki realized that her mother had been completely right.
Everything suddenly became clear.
Her mother's reason for quitting her work.
Why she never went back to work.
She left because work was eating up, downright consuming, the hours of her day. Hours she would much rather, more than anything, spend with the man she had fallen in love with and eventually married. The man who had given her love and the greatest treasure of her life.
Blinking a few times and rubbing drowsily at one eye, Komachi was in the middle of stretching with a big yawn climbing her throat, when she froze and realized exactly where she was. She practically flew up into the seiza-position and started flailing her arms in front of her.
"WAARGH! Sh-Sh-Shiki-sama! I…! I…! I'm sorry! I know I said 'just gimme five minutes of shut-eye and I'll get right back to work' and I also realize that it's been more than that! But before you scold me, let me just say that I didn't get much sleep yesterday, honest! And, there's also the fact that… I… I…"
Blinking, the newly awoken Shinigami stared at her employer.
"Um… Shiki-sama…? Is… Is something wrong…?"
The green haired woman was sitting with her head bowed, hands clenched on her knees and shoulders mildly shaking.
"Shiki-sama…? Are you…crying…?"
Hearing the heartfelt concern in her voice, Eiki tried to form words but couldn't. So instead, she looked into Komachi's face for a second, whispered her name, and then threw herself forward. As she clutched at Komachi's shirt and sobbed into her shoulder, Eiki finally knew the answers to the two biggest questions of her life.
And instead of feeling embarrassment when Komachi's arms encircled her, bringing her close and stroking her back without a word, Eiki felt immense relief and at home.
For with Komachi, there was no need for titles. There was no need to uphold any strict work ethics or procedures. It was the same reason why Komachi always knew she could slack off and still be allowed to continue her work. It was because Komachi saw her for who she was. Not the Judge, but the woman she was.
And that, made Eiki cry even harder. The fact that Komachi would never judge her made her heart soar even higher. And the way she wordlessly accepted her weakness, made her hug the redhead even harder.
"Forgive me… Komachi…!"
"Ssh…! It is alright now, Shiki-sama… It is alright… Whatever it is, it'll be alright..."
Komachi blinked in surprise when the petite greenette pushed back to look her in the eye, eyes still puffy and cheeks glistening with tears.
"Eiki…" Her boss repeated, "… Call me Eiki."
Despite her hat having fallen off her head. And despite her tear-stained cheeks, the shorter woman still managed to look fierce.
… And so fiendishly cute that Komachi found herself swallowing and feeling her own cheeks reddening.
"Never leave my side… You hear me, Komachi!? Never…leave, I will drag you back if you do, and-"
"My wish is your command…" Komachi replied with a smile as she used a finger to wipe away some of the moisture from her boss' cheeks. "… Eiki-sama."
Hearing this, the greenette broke out in the widest smile she had ever made, her green eyes practically shone with happiness. And then, to Komachi's greatest disappointment, it was replaced by Eiki realizing what expression she just made and trying to school it back to neutral with a cough.
"I… I realize that this is improper behavior for one of my status, however I feel I must-"
"Y-yes Komach- Hya!"
Eiki's back flattened a few flowers as her back hit the ground with a soft thud. Blinking, she looked up only to find her field of vision obscured by Komachi's face. Her heart skipped a beat once she realized just how close she was.
"Eiki-sama…" Komachi whispered and leaned down.
Eiki's heart sped up.
"… Shut up."
The greenette had barely drawn in air to answer when it was stolen from her. Her eyes went wide and her heart started to pound, cheeks going as red as the flowers around them when Komachi kissed her.
And as Komachi gathered her in her arms and deepened the kiss, Eiki's eyes fluttered shut and returned the gesture.
Love. That was the answer to both of her questions.
And as she freed Komachi's hair from her side-pony and ran her hands through it, Eiki found herself absent-mindedly wondering, if her parents had met like this and how long it took them to figure out that they wanted to get married.
'Ah well… That can wait. I have a busty Shinigami to frisk.'
A fair distance away, sitting at her kitchen table and looking out the window, the green haired woman smiled and lost herself in thought.
"Waaah! Waaaah! Waaaah!"
"Well, hello there…! Hey there, little one…!"
"Waahh…! Waahh… Aahh…"
"Sshh, it's alright now… It's alright…"
The green haired woman held the bundle close to her chest, eyes slightly unfocused and brow covered with sweat. But as the man beside her squeezed her shoulder and gave them both a loving smile, she looked at the bundle and smiled.
"Welcome to the world… Eiki."
Placing the softest kiss possible on her tiny little forehead, the green haired woman let out a tired laugh and shed tears of joy as she was now the happiest woman alive.
Shaking herself out of her memories, the green haired woman found her thoughts drifting over to her daughter.
"When will that girl ever find herself someone to settle down with?" She mused with a small sigh. "All she does is spend time with that subordinate of hers… She should bring her around the house sometime and introduce her. They've worked together a few centuries now so I'd say it's about time! And besides," She said with a laugh. "It's not like she's gonna end up marrying the girl or anything!"
She stopped laughing abruptly.
Why was she feeling uneasy, all of a sudden?
Aaaand CUT! That is a wrap!
Whew! Took me the better part of...hours to get this done in a single day, but it was worth it!
Hope you can leave me some feedback and share your thoughts on this piece of work! I know I enjoyed writing it!
Seeya next time!