Tasuki's Bedtime Story

Pairing: Chichiri x Tasuki

Completed: December 2001

Author's note: I'm not a Japanese woman, so I don't own FY. This is my first FY fanfic. This story includes themes of Shounen ai.

"Ta~su~ki!" the impish Nuriko glomped the unsuspecting bandit for the umpteenth time that night. He draped her arms over his shoulders and whined, "Ta-chan, let's go for a few drinks! Come on, it'll be fun. Come on, come on!"

Tasuki stopped fighting him off the fifteenth time he glomped him but still resisted him draw for alcohol. "Nuriko, Can't you see I'm busy! I'll go with you later."

"Come on Ta-chan, you've been studying Chinese all day. Chiriko's been hogging you all week. Don't I get time with you?"

"No, damn it! Now go away!"

"Ta-chan. . ."

Chiriko had become weary of this routine as well. "Nuriko-san, please leave us alone. I promised to be done with him in an hour."

Chichiri sat across the library observing the whole situation. He too was becoming strained by the constant nagging. He was beginning to think Nuriko liked Tasuki better than Hotohori. He felt bad for Tasuki though; Tasuki had started to learn to read by Chichiri's request. Many times, Tasuki had come to Chichiri's side asking him to read him this legend or that story late at night. Chichiri enjoyed his visits, always allowing him as much time as he needed to read to Tasuki after his duties to the Miko and the emperor were through. He was trying to better himself, but Nuriko was dragging him back into his old ways.

"But, Tasuki! Today is our drinking day!" He whined further.

Chichiri stood up and shouted over the heads of all the other scholars and into Nuriko's ears: "Nuriko! Stop pestering Tasuki already no da! He's attempting to do something good for himself no da. You sit around and drink yourself silly and whine how unfair it is that the Emperor hasn't noticed you today no da. You're so damned selfish no da! Now go back to your room and drink yourself to sleep no da!"

Nuriko started crying and ran out of the library, "Hidoi~!"

The rest of the scholars stared at him until he sat back down and continued studying. Tasuki and Chiriko stared wide-eyed at Chichiri, then returned to reading after looking at each other's witless expressions.

Chichiri glanced back at the parchment paper he had under the scroll he was pretending to read. In actuality, he was thinking how to begin his letter. The words on the scrolls lost meaning to him so he put the scrolls back and headed to the walkway over the lake. He sat serenely on the roof of the walkway and took out the parchment letter he'd thought about before. "Cherished one" was the only thing written on the parchment so far. As he gazed at the glow around the stars above, he found a few words that spoke of his cause.

Every moment I stand alone, I feel your absence. Every movement of the wind brings life to the things surrounding me that remind me that I am here because of the Miko and you, alone. You are the object of my undying affection. It's been six months since I admitted it freely to myself. Now, I'm presenting myself to you. This is my heart. Please take care of it.

Houjun

As he wrote the last stroke of his name confidently, a loud noise broke out

Underneath him. "CHI~CHI~RI~~!"

His papers fell all over. Into the water they floated. Chichiri wanted to cry for the lost love letter. He pulled himself back onto the roof with a morbid frown on his face. He pulled his knees to his chest and began to sulk. None of the papers mattered except for the letter, now it's gone. He never even had the chance to give it to . . .

"Oi! Chichiri! Come down here," a familiar voice demanded frustratedly.

He refused to answer until the voice returned.

"Chichiri, Hotohori wants to see you immediately," he declared.

Chichiri hopped back into the walkway to face the last person he wanted to see. His face was contorted in a horrific manner underneath the mask.

"Come on," Tasuki feebly asserted once more.

Chichiri muttered, "Hai no da," and raced past Tasuki and into the palace. Tasuki followed him silently until he got to the door of the court then grabbed Chichiri's arm. "Oi, would you help me read the story of Shi Jin the nine-dragoned tonight?" he asked impishly.

Chichiri merely nodded and headed to the emperor's feet. "Hai, Hotohori-sama!" he requested wanting to end this visit quickly. He could feel the emperor's anger on his back.

"Chichiri-san, please raise and look at me," he requested calmly.

Chichiri saw no servants in the room, so he did as he asked. He saw anger and disappointment in Hotothori's eyes. Shivers ran down his spine.

"Chichiri, I realize that some of the other Suzaku seishi can agitate you, but your display in the library today was inexcusable. How do you expect to call upon Suzaku if all the seishi can't get along?"

"Hai, Hotohori-sama. Doomo gomenasai," he blurted out.

"Chichiri," he lamented. "I know Nuriko can be overbearing, but you know him and I have an awkward friendship. You must forgive him."

"If you order me to I will."

"This is not an order. It will not mean anything if you don't do it for yourself. You are dismissed."

Chichiri made his way back to his room for a nap before rewriting the letter. It pained him to know his words were washed up so swiftly. His door slid open and closed silently. His kesa, kasa, and shoes fell to the ground listlessly by the door as he changed into an open shirt and drawstring pants of the same hazy eggshell color. He eyes shut and he took in the feeling of his body on the mattress. A loud sigh escaped his lungs, "Sigh no da."

On the other side of the compound, Tasuki sat on the last seat in the corner of the empty library. The noises from the outside were heard over the silent shuffles of people there earlier in the day. Tasuki leaned on an elbow and poured over the texts again. Chiriko chose to teach him to read out of a Confusion reading, so he poured over that. He could get to the bottom of the second page before he messed up on the same character. Aggravated, he let his eyes wonder around the shelves of books nearest him and remembered the paper he'd picked up when he sought Chichiri out. The parchment was folded into fourths as to fit in his pocket.

His eyes bugged out as soon as he read the first characters to himself. "That says cherished, doesn't it?" he thought to himself. He read on. The second sentence confused him, but he definitely got the point of the letter by the end. "Chichiri's name is Houjun, right? This means Chichiri loves someone!" His heart sank into his stomach with his thoughts. His Chichiri is in love. "It figures. I never told him how I felt. If course he'd fall for someone else. Baka. Baka! I should've. . ."

His thoughts were interrupted by Chiriko joining him. He quickly folded the paper away. "Yo, Chiriko-chan."

"Good evening Tasuki, what'cha got there?" he pointed to the pocket Tasuki had put the letter in.

"Nothing, It's nothing. Could you tell me what that one meant again?" he pointed to the character he'd forgotten half a dozen times.

Chichiri pulled out a book and placed it on his lap to read. Laughing at himself silently, he put his mask on the table near his mattress. Leaning against the wall, which his mattress was arranged near, he held the book up to read. The paper lantern near his head was the only light supplying his studies. By his estimate, Tasuki would be bounding through the door soon. He liked it when Tasuki visited him so late in the evening. Occasionally in the middle of the story, Chichiri would look at Tasuki sitting near his bed and imagine they were more than just Seishi to each other for a few moments. The more and more Tasuki would visit, the closer he sat to Chichiri, who was lately always in his bed. The thought of Tasuki sitting as close as he should that night brought warmth to Chichiri's ears. He shook his head and reapplied himself to the book.

Through the dark hallways, Tasuki strolled toward Chichiri's room with a thick volume of stories in hand. "Chichiri, I will be happy for you if this person excepts you. If they break your heart, I'll break their face and help you put yourself back together again. I'll try to be happy just watching you from afar like I have been," he thought to himself. His hand routinely opened his door without warning to see Chichiri in all his glory on the bed with a book at his nose. He was wearing his shirt open, showing his tight chest and stomach. They were even better than he imagined. He tried not to stare as he closed the door behind him. "Chichiri-san, good evening." He was so formal it was obvious something was different.

"Chichiri-san?" Chichiri thought to himself. "Hi, Tasuki no da. Which book is it tonight?" he asked comfortably.

"It's Shi Jin the nine-dragoned. It's got bandits in it so I figured it was more in my league than that damned story about Mencius's mother we read a couple days ago. That was so boring," he rambled.

Then Chichiri patted the foot of the bed with a smile. "I hope he isn't afraid of me," he thought behind the smile.

Tasuki timidly sat at the edge of the bed after leaving he shoes at the door with his over shirt. He wanted to feel as comfortable with Chichiri as possible despite his heartache. "Since I'm getting better at this reading thing, how about I read some and if I mess up you help me?"

"Hai," Chichiri replied. He stopped using the "no da's" as much when it was just himself and Tasuki. This was the first night he tried loosing the mask, too.

Tasuki moved closer so Chichiri could see the book as well letting his nerves calm own a little. Chichiri could smell honey in Tasuki's hair as he read pusillanimously. Chichiri only interjected a couple times every couple pages. He read much slower than Chichiri, but seemed to breathe more life into the pages. Chichiri spent most of the story staring at Tasuki's facial expressions. His inner-child seemed to poke his head out every time he saw a new character coming into the story. Tasuki became discouraged whenever he made a mistake, but Chichiri told him to keep reading and that he'd get better at it. Then, he'd rub Tasuki's shoulders a bit, which relaxed both of them.

After about twenty pages, Tasuki handed the book to Chichiri to read to him like he was accustomed to. He rolled onto his stomach and kicked his bare feet back and forth in delight that he was in Chichiri's presence once again. Tasuki just gazed at Chichiri and found it hard to get back into the story. As Chichiri finished the story with a smile on his face, he knew their precious time together was drawing to a close. Chichiri looked longingly at the book, closing it and asked, "Do you have any questions?"

Tasuki nearly bit his tongue. "Chichiri, have you ever felt like a person you were really close to was slipping away even though they'd still be there tomorrow?"

With a puzzled look, he thought, "What in the world is he talking about?" He looked blankly at Tasuki and answered, "I see this has nothing to do with the story. I do Tasuki. I think I know what you mean."

Tasuki felt the vice around his heart tighten. "I feel like I'm loosing someone close to me and I don't know what to do."

"Why don't you tell them that, Tasuki."

"I can't tell 'em. It'd be weird. He'd hate me, but I don't know what I'd do if I lost him." He stared at Chichiri's plain earthly comforter. "How can I tell you that, Chichiri? How can I tell you I love you? You've right here, but you're so far away. Please don't slip away from me," he thought with sadness evident on his face.

Taking Tasuki's chin in his hand, Chichiri leaned over and asked, "What's wrong Tasuki? Please, you can tell me. I don't want to see you so hurt."

Tasuki nearly stared crying right there. "Chichiri…" he moaned.

Chichiri brought Tasuki into his arms, protecting him from all of the world as Tasuki began to cry softly. Chichiri hushed him as Tasuki's tears fell onto his bare chest. He cursed himself for enjoying Tasuki's lips brushing against his skin sporadically. Between hot pants and crying, Tasuki as mumbling something unrecognizable. Chichiri held him tighter and pet his hair until the sniveling subsided. "Tasuki, can you tell me what's wrong?"

Tasuki just remained hushed until Chichiri raised his face to his. Tasuki's mind howled, "Don't look at me like that! I can't tell you how much I want to kiss you right now, how long I've ached to be held like this for so long!" A deep crimson stained his cheeks. He looked away from Chichiri and mumbled, "It's nothing."

He captured the book and sprang for the door when Chichiri retaliated, "Tasuki, please tell me what's wrong! It's not nothing!"

By then Tasuki was out of the door. Chichiri sat abandoned in his unmade bed with tears welling up in his eyes. He grabbed and pulled at the covers in angry grief. "TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG DAMN IT!" he yelled at the top of his lungs.

Guards came to Chichiri's room only to find and unraveled bed and a book on his pillow. He lay on the roof with his knees to his chest in love-stricken agony. Damning himself for Tasuki's pain, he stared at the stars.

In his own room, Tasuki tore his tessen off of his back and onto the ground. "Suzaku, why?! Why can't he just love me? Why can't I just tell him I love him and have him except me as his? You know how many times I've awoken at night screaming his name. You know how may times I've wanted to hold him to me not out of jest. Why can't I just be loved by him?" his mind raged and he fell to the coarse wooden floor pulling at his hair. Listlessly, he lay there with open palms and ragged breath waiting for sleep to claim him.

Chichiri gave into the cold and returned to his disheveled bedding. He ripped off his open shirt and threw in across the room. Feeling alone, he buried his head in the pillow and held his sides waiting for more visions of his fiery haired beloved.

Tasuki found himself walking the black halls of the palace. He couldn't sleep without seeing Chichiri's face under his eyelids. His mahogany-eyed love couldn't let him go even though Tasuki convinced himself he didn't care for him. He still needed Chichiri's touch. He desired to be held by him as he had been before. "Sweet Chichiri, I love you," he thought as the pulled open his door to see his dearest love curled up into a ball under the covers. Not even thinking. Tasuki pulled his shirt up over his head and let it fall onto the floor. Cautiously, he raised the covers and lay beside his love drinking in his moonlit snowy skin. He sighed involuntarily. Lightly he wrapped an arm over Chichiri's naked torso and hugged him firmly from behind where he fell asleep.

Chichiri awoke very warm with a noticeable erection. He cursed at himself, then registered a presence behind and over him. There in a serene sleep, Tasuki lay with a smile on his face. "What is he doing is my bed?! How did he get here?" the monk thought hurriedly. His strong arms felt so nice on him, and his body rejected the idea of moving. Aroused, he fought off the idea to just fuck Tasuki in his sleep with great willpower. He lay still for a few moments and the erection slumped back down, but Tasuki was still in his bed. Unsure, he turned over to look at him. "He's so calm and beautiful," he thought. "If I just lie here, will he leave when he wakes up? Please Tasuki don't leave me," he ended the thought with a kiss to Tasuki's forehead. There he fell back asleep with an arm around Tasuki's waist.

Tasuki awoke fairly early to the bright morning sun in his eyes. He blinked and rubbed his eyes to find Chichiri's solemn face sleeping back at him. Tasuki nearly jumped five feet in the air at the sight of Chichiri in his arms, so calm. In a surreal world he thought, "Does this mean he didn't wake up since I got here? Did he wake up? Shimatta! I better split or I'll be late to see Chiriko for morning lessons!" Reluctantly, he removed his body from the blessed porcelain heat. He put his shirts back on and roamed back to the library.

Tasuki sat next to Chiriko at their normal seats and continued the lesson from the previous day. His mind unreeled the more characters he annunciated. All he could conceive was the ache in his bones from Chichiri's absence. The rest of the morning floated by hazily.

Part 2