A series of Sakamoto Ryouma/Ichimura Tatsunosuke-centric sentences based on prompts found over at the 1sentence community on Livejournal.
- 01. Comfort -
As a child, Tatsunosuke had been afraid of the dark, and he would have blanched at the thought that, as an adult, night would become his only sanctuary.
- 02. Kiss -
Occasionally, when he was sleep-deprived and incoherent in the early hours of morning, Ryouma weighed the likelihood of getting drunk from kissing an alcoholic.
- 03. Soft -
One muggy afternoon in summer, Tatsunosuke steals away from Shinsengumi headquarters, and the white hydrangeas he drops at Ryouma's grave are soft as they leave his hands.
- 04. Pain -
As the other members of the Shinsengumi celebrate the death of Sakamoto Ryouma in one of Gion's best restaurants - pouring sake for one another and chatting amiably, loudly - Tatsunosuke feels nothing but weariness and a deep, penetrating ache somewhere in his chest.
- 05. Potatoes -
Tatsunosuke makes a mental note to buy another sack of potatoes first thing in the morning as he and Ryouma rut against the rough, burlap sacks in the storehouse.
- 06. Rain -
Tatsunosuke almost doesn't recognize Ryouma when they pass each other along the Kamogawa, his hair clinging to his face, matted down by the pouring rain.
- 07. Chocolate -
Tatsunosuke wakes on the morning of February fourteenth to a small box beside his futon, and he doesn't know what it is or why it's there, but as he takes the lid off of the box and cautiously sniffs at its contents, he decides that they're probably not poisonous.
- 08. Happiness -
Ryouma has stopped watching Tatsunosuke as he sleeps, because it only serves as a reminder that there's no way their happiness can last.
- 09. Telephone -
Many years after the death of Hijikata and the subsequent fall of the Shinsengumi, Tatsunosuke picks up the receiver of one of the telephones that have made their ways to Japan in recent years, and he wonders if his voice will reach heaven.
- 10. Ears -
For months now, Yamanami has been able to hear them talking in hushed whispers in the next room, and for months, he has done nothing, for he knows how it feels to love someone you shouldn't.
- 11. Name -
Some people might think that Tatsunosuke does not deserve his name, but Ryouma has never doubted that he does.
- 12. Sensual -
As Tatsunosuke slowly removes his yukata, facing away from him, all Ryouma has the presence of mind to think is that the fall of his long, black hair against the pale skin of his back is more alluring than any geisha or prostitute he's ever seen.
- 13. Death -
Never in the months that he had known him did Ryouma consider the possibility that Tatsunosuke could die before him, but as the younger man's head falls to the ground, bloody and surrounded by strands of his severed hair, all Ryouma can do is stare.
- 14. Sex -
As he bites down on his forearm to keep his voice in, cutting out little red stitches in his skin and drawing blood, Tatsunosuke realizes, ashamed, that this is something he needs.
- 15. Touch -
Running his hands down Ryouma's body, he wishes he could dissolve all of his scars.
- 16. Weakness -
As he lights another stick of incense and shoos a stray cat away from the polished headstone, he remembers a time when he knew something more than crushing defeat and loss.
- 17. Tears -
When Okita tells him the news, he plasters a fake smile of congratulations across his face and thinks that, if it weren't for the rain, he would be a dead man.
- 18. Speed -
It is when Ryouma is not quick enough to recover from a knee to the stomach that Tatsunosuke receives his only scar.
- 19. Wind -
Ryouma pulls Tatsunosuke closer as the October wind howls like a banshee under the orange moon.
- 20. Freedom -
"Freedom cost them both their lives," Hijikata tells Tetsunosuke several years later, his eyes cold.
- 21. Life -
The first time he kills someone, Tatsunosuke never would have imagined that trading one life for another could make him feel so dead.
- 22. Jealousy -
Sometimes, when Ryouma is in Tokyo on business, he wonders if Tatsunosuke would be jealous as funaminjuu pass him by on the Sumida, their shrill whistles filling his ears.
- 23. Hands -
The two sets of calluses on Ryouma's hands - one from the gun and one from the sword - are only one of the many ways Tatsunosuke thinks the older man contradicts himself.
- 24. Taste -
Ryouma thinks that he and Tatsunosuke must be the only people in the world who argue over whose taste in alcohol is more refined.
- 25. Devotion -
Tatsunosuke envies Ryouma's devotion to everything; to his country, to his cause, to him.
- 26. Forever -
Ryouma knows that war doesn't last forever.
- 27. Blood -
There is blood the first time, and no matter how many times Tatsunosuke tells him it doesn't matter, he can still feel the serrated teeth of guilt gnawing at his insides.
- 28. Sickness -
One morning in spring, Tatsunosuke coughs blood into his handkerchief; he burns it the first chance he gets and vows that no one will know a thing until he's dead.
- 29. Melody -
Once in a while, Tatsunosuke will hear someone singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in gravelly, heavily-accented English while he's out running errands, and once in a while, he'll throw his shoe at the party responsible.
- 30. Star -
Ryouma doesn't know a damned thing about stars, save for that Tatsunosuke loves them.
- 31. Home -
Okita points out that, for a man who gets around as much as he does, Ryouma's been spending an awful lot of time in Kyoto; Ryouma replies that he has his reasons for staying.
- 32. Confusion -
Tatsunosuke doesn't know where their first kiss comes from, but he doesn't complain.
- 33. Fear -
As he's getting ready for bed on the night of December 9, 1867, Tatsunosuke has a feeling in his gut that something horrible is going to happen, but brushes it off as nothing and blows out the small, paper lantern in the corner of his room.
- 34. Lightning/Thunder -
When Tetsu runs off after a strange, white-haired boy, lightning sparking to illuminate the skies above, Ryouma has to drag Tatsunosuke, kicking and screaming, out of the rain.
- 35. Bonds -
Ryouma considers the possibility that, one day, his hands will be so wet with blood that love will slip right through his fingers.
- 36. Market -
Most times, if they pass each other in the market, they pretend not to notice one another.
- 37. Technology -
The first time Tatsunosuke boards a ship, Ryouma by his side, is the first time in his life that he can't contain his excitement.
- 38. Gift -
He's been living so long for his little brother - doing everything for his sake - that it seems unnatural to Tatsunosuke when Ryouma goes out of his way to take care of him.
- 39. Smile -
It's always a challenge to get Tatsunosuke to smile, but it's one that Ryouma is more than willing to accept.
- 40. Innocence -
Ryouma can't help but feel that he's stolen Tatsunosuke's innocence; that he's helped to paint his hands in blood .
- 41. Completion -
Tatsunosuke does his best to feel pride enough for both of them when he looks out over the ocean after the Meiji Revolution.
- 42. Clouds -
One of Ryouma's favorite pastimes is watching the clouds roll by overhead on a nice, warm roof, and although Tatsunosuke doesn't see the appeal in such an act, Ryouma's slowly getting him to come around.
- 43. Sky -
Tatsunosuke once asked if the sea changed colors at night like the sky, and all the older man could do was laugh at the question's lack of precedence; Tatsunosuke was not quite as amused.
- 44. Heaven -
Tatsunosuke can see his own face reflected in the polished marble, fragmented by a dense network of lines that spell out Ryouma's name, as he asks what heaven's like.
- 45. Hell -
When Ryouma first met Tatsunosuke, he had been shocked at how bad the younger man's language tended to get when he was around him (for someone who normally tried to uphold such an air of propriety, at any rate); now, he simply keeps a tally of how many groups of Portuguese missionaries the accountant inadvertently offends and how long it takes him to apologize.
- 46. Sun -
For a while, Tatsunosuke wondered whether or not Ryouma was really Japanese, but eventually, he decided that it didn't matter and told himself the tone of the older man's skin was what happened when a person was out in the sun all day, and that people could say whatever in the hell they wanted; it wouldn't change his feelings.
- 47. Moon -
The October after Ryouma's blood stained the floor of the Teradaya, Tatsunosuke floats a lantern down the Kamogawa and thinks that he must need glasses, because the harvest moon looks blurry through his eyes.
- 48. Waves -
One evening, Ryouma doesn't come back from the sea, and the waves sound nothing but terrible to Tatsunosuke's ears as he waits into the early hours of the morning, the sharp, cold rocks cutting his feet.
- 49. Hair -
Tatsunosuke cuts off his hair, knots it with a short length of string, and throws it into the ocean, trying to forget everything; trying to live in this new era that Ryouma worked so hard to help create.
- 50. Supernova -
Tatsunosuke thinks that Ryouma did not simply die; he exploded, leaving tiny pieces of himself inside of everyone he knew.
funaminjuu - Prostitutes who worked from boats on the Sumida River in Tokyo