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Title: A Riddle About Fish Whose Answer Was Blue
Author: lady_ganesh
Characters: Koumyou and Ukoku
Spoilers: Very minor for Ukoku's Burial arc
Rating: G
Time: 30 minutes
Summary: Some opponents are easier to play with than others.



Koumyou didn't play mind games. In fact, he acted like such things didn't exist at all. Ukoku would spend hours setting up the mental board, putting everything in place, and Koumyou would sit down next to him and act like the pieces weren't even there.

Koumyou was a puzzle impossible to solve, a riddle about fish whose answer was 'blue.' Goudai, the old bastard, used to tell him he overthought, and Ukoku supposed that was true, but how else was he supposed to act? Just stop thinking was like asking him to stop breathing.

Still, he envied Koumyou his ease in the world. There was a beauty to him that Ukoku couldn't quite wrap his mind around; the way he spoke, the way he moved. It wasn't purely physical attraction, though there was a disconcerting edge of that as well. Koumyou was too old, too strange, too instinctive for Ukoku's tastes; and yet, there he was, watching Koumyou like a starving man faced with a feast.

"You look tired," Koumyou said, finally acknowledging his presence through the small cloud of pipe smoke.

"Hn," Ukoku said, and shoved his bangs out of his face. "It's a long walk." The temple, famously, stood at the top of five hundred stairs. Koumyou was sitting on, by Ukoku's guess, step four hundred and ninety-two.

"Koryuu told me we should just skip this place," Koumyou said with a grin. "I'm inclined to agree with him."

Ukoku winced in sympathy. "That bad?"

"Formality is quite important to them," he answered brightly. "The welcoming ceremony took an hour and a half."

Ukoku sighed and sat down next to Koumyou. "So I should tell them I'm merely a traveling priest?"

"I'd recommend it. Koryuu's soaking his feet."

"Poor kid," Ukoku said, almost meaning it. "What about you?"

"I wanted some fresh air," he said, waving his pipe in the spring breeze. "I'm sure they'll find me and ask me to bless something soon enough."

Ukoku snickered.

It was a nice day, nice to be outside. Maybe he should just turn back around. Still, Koumyou was here. That was something.

Perhaps, for a little while, he could just sit.

There was still plenty of time to plot his next move.

Comments

( 6 comments — leave a comment )
7veilsphaedra
May. 29th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
I like how Ukoku keeps reading more into Koumyou than there is, and gets tangled up in his own schemes. Nice snapshot.
lady_ganesh
May. 29th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
lady_ganesh
May. 29th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Koumyou's the only person who can catch him off guard for a very long time. Thanks!
jedishampoo
May. 30th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, very nice. I love the subtleties of Ukoku's mind, and how he's got some little pride about his little faults. And Koumyou is always ahead of him, without trying.
lady_ganesh
May. 30th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Even a worm has pride, after all. Thank you!
purpleicicles
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
I love Kouryuu's bluntness! XD
( 6 comments — leave a comment )

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