Categories > Anime/Manga > Tactics


by feliciter-audax 0 reviews

Kantarou and Haruka: what was, is, and will be.

Category: Tactics - Rating: G - Genres: Romance - Characters: Haruka, Kantarou - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-04-16 - Updated: 2006-04-16 - 710 words - Complete

I. Far and away

This is how it goes. You are ten years old, with a unique talent that is unsurpassed by any of your peers and most of your seniors, a breadth and depth of knowledge of the arcane that impresses even the oldest of the folklorists, and of course, nobody will be your friend.

No human body, anyway.

So you take to spending your time beside the lake, near lonely burial mounds, in the middle of the forest at the dead of night, and anyone who sees you alone gesturing animatedly and talking to yourself either shrugs their shoulders or represses a shudder, and leaves you in peace to continue your discussions with rokuroubi and other youkai in their favourite haunts.
You find these discourses much more stimulating than the limited conversation of most villagers, who avoid you anyway, so great is their superstitious dread (though this is actually preferable to those who taunt and harass you for trying to broaden their narrow minds).

You are fascinated to the point of obsession with the strongest by far of all tengu, the Ogre-Eater, who was sealed in a rock many lifetimes ago, waiting for one strong enough to break the spell.
Though you fear, since you have been forcibly reminded of your physical weakness many times, that you will not be that person.

"Only you can do it! You can! You can!"

It is this that sustains you through the years, as your power increases and the memories of those few distant relationships with people wane; but the desire to find and name the Onikui-tengu grows, burning as brightly as oni-bi in the chill of a midnight graveyard.

II. Glory in the springtime

This is what you know: the sweep of dark wings against the expanse of a cold night, the fathomless depths of a stare that pierces to your very core, exposing all your faults and vulnerabilities, only the sound of his name, the name you gave him, to keep him in his place.

You are twenty-six, and you thought you would become stronger when you had him; you thought wrong.
Admiration was only that, and the dream was even less than a dream: a shadow that took flight as soon as you realised what would happen when he regained his memories, though you knew, even before you cast the spell, that you would never cancel the name-bonding though it killed you - and that suited you just fine, because your death would ensure the permanence of the bond.

Altruism has never been your strong suit.

But perhaps this is more than what you could have expected: that he has returned, the invisible pull of his name as powerful as the need that flares in you as his lips press against yours, the heat of his body burning away whatever doubts you might have had.

"Haruka...", you can only murmur when he draws back, before you are silenced again in the most direct way possible, and the fire in your lips warms you to the core of your being.

Winter is over, and spring arrives in a glorious blaze of desire fulfilled.

III. From a distance

This is where you are: looking at two figures distantly silhouetted against the sunset in the corner of a cemetery (which is marked for exhumation to make way for high-rise apartments) on the outskirts of the city.

Today would have been your hundredth birthday.

The woman is dressed, unusually for these times, in a kimono which in the twilight looks almost red, and something in her short hair and the way she stands reminds you of someone a lifetime ago. The man is exactly as you last saw him, even down to the old-fashioned cut of his black suit. He speaks to the woman, and she nods and walks away.

He stands at the grave with head bowed until dusk deepens into night, smiling warmly at the small flickering flame illuminating the name on the marker.
The bells on his wrist tinkle in the still air as he kneels to carefully scoop a handful of earth into an urn, which is securely covered and reverently wrapped.

"We are going home."

(oni-bi = will-o'-the-wisp, the ghostly blue phopheresence seen in cemeteries at night. Literally, "ghost-fire")
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