Catharsis

BY : Macx Larabee
Category: Descendents of Darkness/Yami No Matsuei > General
Dragon prints: 3045
Disclaimer: I do not own Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.



It took another twenty-four hours for him to return to the lake, but
only because there seemed to be no other place that had this peace, this
harmony, and Terazuma scolded himself for going. Still, he did.

In a way he wasn't surprised to find the shikigami there, reclining
against a tree, eyes closed, bathing in the sun that made it through the
foliage. As Terazuma approached, the blue-gray eyes opened and the man
smiled.

"You came back."

He stopped, undecided. "Yeah," he muttered.

Terazuma gazed at the other, meeting the inquiring eyes, and finally
the man smiled.

"I don't bite," he said mildly. "And I'll gladly share this place with
you."

Terazuma hesitated again, then finally nodded and walked closer, still
keeping a respectful distance.

"I apologize for yesterday. I was rude."

"And I was asking personal questions. It's my place to apologize in
turn," the blue-haired shikigami replied calmly.

"You sensed the Black One. I guess you were curious." Terazuma sat down
cross-legged.

"I rarely meet shinigami who have parasite shikigami."

"Meet one of the novelties," the former detective muttered, feeling
disgusted at himself again.

"You really don't like him, hm?"

A shrug. "I could do without, I guess."

"You said you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never heard
of a forced possession."

Terazuma heard the underlying question and he struggled with his inner
self whether or not to tell this shikigami what had happened. Finally he
relented to the need to have someone know, to tell someone who wasn't a
guilt-ridden partner.

Blue-gray eyes regarded him silently, waiting. The shinigami raked a
hand through his hair, trying to find the calm center he always had when
he partook in his passion: archery. Finally he raised his head, those shikigami
eyes still watching him.

"I was a rookie," he said softly. "I was new to this whole business
and I wasn't good working with someone else. Before I died I was a police
officer and I didn't like partnering up back then either. But it was mandatory,
so I tagged along with an older pair. They were supposed to show me the
ropes. Something went wrong. Things got out of hand." He shuddered at the
memories. "Jun... the Black One's former host... he was dying. I was there
and he... he forced him on me. I had no choice; no one asked me. And no
one stopped him."

He fell quiet, hands clenching as those dark moments returned, as he
saw the bloody and torn and dying form of Jun once more. There had been
no hope. Shinigami healed, but there were things that could kill them.
Devils, for instance. Devils who knew what to throw at them, who had lured
them into a trap, who had wanted to kill both the shinigami and his shikigami.

His life had been hell ever since.

"I never wanted a shikigami," he muttered angrily. "Relying on someone
else makes you weak. Using a shikigami's strength to grow stronger is just
cheating!"

Terazuma didn't know what had gotten into him, but he found he blurted
out his story to this stranger, who just sat at his side and listened closely,
asking a question here and there. Heck, the guy was a shikigami and he
had just more or less told him that he would never trust one of his kind
in battle.

"You think the shikigami makes his shinigami stronger?"

"Yeah. Why else challenge one of you and bind you to a master?"

There was a smile on those handsome features. "Yes, why? But now you
have a shikigami, one who serves you."

"Yeah, and I hate every day of my life."

A tilt of the head. "You do have a bleak outlook on life."

Terazuma didn't answer and they sat in mutual silence until the stranger
broke it.

"I'm sorry, but I have to go now," he said calmly. "My job calls and
I hate to have the people looking for me discover this spot. If you need
to talk again, you'll find me here almost every day, same time like today."

Terazuma nodded and watched as the man took a gray overcoat and threw
it over his shoulders. Somehow just sitting there and have someone listen,
someone who neither knew nor judged him – it had been unexpectedly refreshing.

Then something occurred to him

"Hey," he called, "I don't even know your name."

The man looked at him over his shoulders and smiled.

"My name is Sohryu."

And then he was gone.

Terazuma leaned back against the tree, mind wandering, noticing with
surprise that for the first time in a long time he felt at ease with the
world in general and himself in particular.

° ° °

Another day in GensouKai passed with what could be called normality,
but for Terazuma it was anything but normal. This was a world inside a
computer, a digital world, once real but now just part of the world wide
web, or something like it. Nothing here was real. Then again, how real
was Meifu?

He had no idea if this world really would help him settle down the Black
One. True, he hadn't had a transformation for twenty-four hours now, but
that meant little.

Byakko, his host, showed thankfully little of himself. Servants brought
the food and he was left to his own devices for now. Terazuma appreciated
it. He was a loner by nature. He hated crowds, he hated attention.

But he found himself walking back toward the lake again, strangely apprehensive.
He had thought about his meeting with the blue-haired shikigami and for
some reason it had felt good to talk. It was like he had finally been able
to get some issues off his chest without screaming at someone, mostly Wakaba
who already nurtured enough guilt at his 'condition'.

Yes, it had been good.

When Terazuma found himself approaching the clearing and the small lake
he felt hesitation bloom inside him, and at the same time his heart was
starting to hammer in his chest.

What the hell? This wasn't a frigging date or something.

But the closer he got to the lake the more nervous he became. Was it
because he hoped Sohryu would be there or that he wouldn't? But then he
walked past the trees, stepping into the small clearing and there he was,
sitting comfortably and relaxed against the same tree as yesterday. Sohryu
didn't turn his head, but Terazuma knew that he had been detected all along.
That man was a shikigami after all.

"I don't bite," he said in that deep voice and Terazuma started, realizing
he had been standing there and had stared – again. Great.

"Uh – sorry," he muttered, sliding down beside him, picking another
cigarette. His initial one, the one after breakfast, had been reduced to
a stub long ago.

"I'd be thankful if you could cut down your nicotine consummation a
little, at least here."

"Uh – do all shikigami have extended senses?"

"Most of us, yes. I'm very surprised you can stand that stuff."

"At least it won't kill me anymore," he muttered and stuffed the cigarette
package into his pockets.

"And you consider that an advantage?"

A fine blue eyebrow cocked, eyes glittering with amusement watched him,
and Terazuma shook his head.

"It's something I brought over from my former life. Sometimes I just
do it to piss off people."

"I see."

There was a moment of silence before Sohryu spoke again. "You never
told me your name yesterday."

"Hn? Terazuma. Terazuma Hajime."

"Nice to meet you, Terazuma."

"Thanks for yesterday."

"I didn't do anything," Sohryu only answered.

"You listened." Terazuma didn't look at him, just studied the cold cigarette
in his hands.

"You never told your partner about this?"

He snorted. "How could I? She blames herself for my condition." He gestured
at his face and body in general. "Wasn't like I didn't yell and scream
at her in the first few days," he continued softly. "Not only had I found
out I had become a shinigami because I couldn't let go of my life, now
I also was host to a parasite and looked like a freak!"

Sohryu studied him. "Why couldn't you let go?"

That was a very personal question and Terazuma felt something inside
of him clench at the memories once more.

"I was a police detective. I died on the job," he muttered. "I was just
so fucking mad... I didn't expect it, and I didn't expect the killer to
be a colleague. If I had been better, if I hadn't been so close-minded
and hard-headed, I would have seen it sooner. As it was, he shot me and
my partner."

"And you clung to that hatred." Sohryu nodded to himself. "And you still
do, just that you now hate your shikigami as well."

"I don't hate him."

"No?"

"I just don't like him, okay? He changed me. Not just physically. I
can live with the eyes and the ears and the stripes... hell, even with
the transformations."

Sohryu held the red eyes, his own expression giving nothing away. "Then
what is the problem?"

Terazuma shuddered a little. "I can't be touched."

That drew a surprised expression and he sighed.

"When a woman touches me... wham! The Black One comes out. It needs
Wakaba to help me take control, to push him back." A derisive smile crossed
his lips. "Sometimes I think she's more like my tamer than my partner."

Sohryu winced. "She fights him with ofuda?"

"Yeah."

"You know that it hurts him."

"Yeah..." Of course it did. The pain was what drove the creature back,
gave him control of his body again, left him with shame and embarrassment
and such anger... "Yeah, I know," Terazuma whispered. "But it's the only
way. I lose myself in him whenever he comes out. I can't do anything. He
destroys... everything. Just one touch and everything goes down the drain."

Sohryu was silent for a long, long time, gazing out over the lake, and
Terazuma avoided looking at the handsome man at his side. He was talking
about his shikigami with another shikigami, and he was telling him about
the abuse the Black One was going through. Great move.

"Terazuma, I think part of your problem is that you don't like your
shikigami," Sohryu finally said. "He senses that. Parasite shikigami have
a mind of their own, but they are guardian spirits nevertheless. He protects
you if he thinks you're in danger, he will even sacrifice himself for you
if necessary. He might not follow orders if he doesn't like them, but still
– he wants your approval. You're his master after all and a strong master."

Terazuma snorted. "What does that mean, he wants my approval? I wasn't
asked if I wanted him, and neither was he!"

"Yes, but still he is your shikigami."

"Then why make this fuss about women?"

"Stress level? You and him are conditioned in that way."

Terazuma let his head sink. "I haven't been touched in decades... It's..."
he murmured, then stopped, embarrassment creeping over his cheeks.

"Frustrating?" Sohryu suggested. "Maybe he knows something you don't...
Have you ever tried a man?"

"What?!" Terazuma exploded, staring at the shikigami as if he had lost
his mind. "Are you completely nuts? I'm not... gay or something. I like
women, okay? I'm not into men! I'm not gay!"

Amused blue-gray eyes watched him as he paced. "Neither am I. None of
us is. Actually," he added at the red glare, "something like ‘gay' doesn't
exist in GensouKai. We are a little bit more flexible and open concerning
our partner choices."

Terazuma growled softly and tore the unlit cigarette out between his
teeth, grinding it into the dirt.

"I don't care what you have here, but in my world ‘gay' exists and I'm
not one of them!"

Sohryu smiled. "Of course not."

Terazuma snarled softly. "You mean, if you... then you... ?"

Sohryu chuckled. "It means when I like someone I like someone. If both
want to express their feelings through physical contact, giving and receiving
pleasure, so be it. Besides, it's a damn good way to relax, and you look
very tense to me. Maybe both you and your shikigami would benefit from
a little relaxation exercise, don't you think?"

Terazuma gaped. And glared. And blushed.

"Are you coming on to me here?!" he blurted in disbelief.

"Would you turn me down?"

 

tbc...




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