Harukanaru Toki No Naka De Fan Fiction ❯ Good Night ❯ One-Shot

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Good Night

  by KatiKat     "What are you doing up this late?"

The gentle, chiding voice startled Takamichi. Sometimes, he tended to forget that Tomomasa-dono wasn't just an incorrigible, shameless flirt, but first and foremost a warrior who was quick and quite on his feet.

He wrapped his white tanzen more tightly over his yukata to ward off the night chill and looked up at the brightly shining moon. "I couldn't sleep," he admitted softly.

The General stepped closer and leaned against the frame of the sliding door. Then he crossed his arms over his chest, propped his chin against his everpresent fan and gazed at his guest searchingly. "Something is bothering you. I can tell."

Takamichi lowered his eyes to where his hands were gripping the railing tightly, his knuckles white, then he smiled gently. How could he even think about hiding something from the General? The other man could read him like a scroll.

"It's my fault..." he admitted almost inaudibly after a moment, his voice sad.

"What is your fault?" the General proded quietly.

The green-haired young man breathed out deeply, shakily. He wasn't sure how long he had been standing there, but everything, his whole body seemed to ache terribly. An unforgettable reminder of his failure.

"That we lost the ward." His voice broke at the end. Such a incorrigible failure.

The General straightened and brought the closed fan down on the palm of his left hand with a loud smack. "Nonsense!" he dismissed, aggravated. "Shirin almost killed you to get her hands on it! What more could you have done?"

Takamichi lowered his head. "It wouldn't have happened to you..." The tone of his voice was miserable.

Tomomasa chuckled sarcastically. "Why? Because I'm the great General Tachibana?"

"Yes!" The green-haired young man whirled around to face Tomomasa. But that one move proved to be too much. Suddenly, he felt light-headed and his knees buckled dangerously. One of his hands flew up to his forehead, the other reached out blindly to grip the railing... and missed.

But then there were strong, gentle hands on his shoulders, steadying him, holding him upright. On instinct, Takamichi leaned into the safe stronghold of Tomomasa's arms, laying his forehead down on the blue-haired man's shoulder to ride out the unexpected - and unappreciated - wave of dizziness that seemed to have a tight hold on him. He sighed with relief when the floor ceased to move under his bare feet.

"Look at what you are doing to yourself," the General chided him with a voice full of warmth, amused resignation and concern.

Takamichi raised his head and looked Tomomasa in the eyes. "I tried so hard. I did everything that was in my power..."

The General smiled and pushed the glasses that slid down Takamichi's nose up again. "I know. Nobody can expect more from you. All you can do is give your best." His hand moved from the glasses to one of the pale cheeks and he caressed it with his thumb. "I'm just glad she didn't kill you after she got what she wanted."

The two men stood there for a long time, just looking each other in the eyes as the General kept caressing Takamichi's face. Then an owl flew by, crying out and startling them. They chuckled, truly amused.

"You should return to bed," Tomomasa said quietly, laying one arm around the younger man's shoulders. He led Takamichi over the tatamis to where the futon was waiting for him. Taking Takamichi by the hand, the General helped him lower himself down on his bed. He frowned when the green-haired man couldn't suppress a painful groan as he slowly lay down. "Rest now. Sleep will help you heal."

When the General crouched down and made sure that he was tucked in properly, Takamichi smiled in the darkness. Since they met, Tomomasa-dono seemed to have a soft spot for him. "Thank you."

The older man laid his hand on Takamichi's head. "Good night." He caressed the soft green hair once, then got up and left the room, sliding the door close to ward off the chilly night breeze.

Moments later, Takamichi was asleep.   The End