accidental_deity: (Don't You Know)
Tsukuda Shichiro ([personal profile] accidental_deity) wrote in [community profile] ghostsugar2015-12-21 07:25 pm
Entry tags:

Back Together Again [Closed to Nao/Nobuyuki]

So the fight with the shapeshifting monster had been... difficult. Even now, after his body had gotten a few minutes to heal, Shichiro felt like he could barely put one foot in front of the other. Even worse, getting to the shrine meant climbing up stairs, and never in his life had they felt so impassable as at that moment.

Worse was the fact that he didn't have any form he could safely assume. As a fox, he was in danger of having an arrow shot at him. As a human, Nao would hate him and the others would be suspicious of him. Nor did he have enough energy to weave an illusion to look like anyone else. So, what to do?

In the end, he'd take yelling and threats to an arrow. So, in human form, with torn school uniform and blood streaked across his face and throat, he dragged himself past the front door and off to the garden. Nobuyuki's office should be somewhere here, and hopefully the old man would be on his own. Hopefully.

Once he found it, Shichiro slid open the sliding door... and promptly collapsed into the room. Even making it this far was a minor miracle, that he could still speak was another. Which he would. In a second. When the world stopped spinning.
barrierwatching: (let's do this)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-22 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
Nobuyuki and Nao had been sitting on cushions on the tatami, writing fuda together at the low, battered oak table. Nao had just asked her grandfather to check her work when suddenly Shichiro burst in like that. Nao hadn't been able to sense his approach, and she gasped loudly as a person fell onto her floor.

"Shichi!" Nobuyuki shouted, in alarm. He jumped to his feet-- or, at least tried to. Being over 70 made that a lot more difficult than it used to be. He stumbled up, feeling his knees groan in protest, and limped as fast as he could to Shichiro's side. "No! Oh no-- Shichiro!"

Nao was at the priest's side in a moment. "Grandpa, is he--" She knelt and reached around the boy's neck to feel for a pulse. "He's alive! I'll call an ambulance--"

"No!" Nobuyuki snapped, alarmed. Nao cringed and sucked in a breath as if she'd been struck, her hands frozen where they were gently trying to comfort this strange white-haired person face-down on their floor. It was clear that her grandfather did not ever use that tone towards her.

Nobuyuki lowered his voice. "No, don't do that. This person is special-- and we can't take him to a hospital, Nao. They'll find out that he's different and it'd be dangerous. Do you understand me?"

Nao lowered her eyes and nodded her head, not daring to make a verbal response. Yes, sir, her posture seemed to be saying.

"We'll heal him here. I'll see to it, he'll be well cared for," Nobuyuki promised, bracing his weight and slipping his weather-beaten brown hands underneath Shichiro's body. "Let's get him turned over and carry him in. Move that stuff offa my table, quick."

Nao hurried away to obey her grandfather, back to them as Nobuyuki turned Shichiro over.
barrierwatching: (afraid startled)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-22 07:26 pm (UTC)(link)
"Shut up!" Nobuyuki snapped, his voice choked up and brown eyes starting to get misty at the use of his old name. He'd never seen Shichiro hurt this badly. Shichiro was the last living remnant of his old life, it terrified him to think he might lose the person who'd been with him longer than anyone.

"Don't talk right now, jus' stay quiet," Nobuyuki directed. "You'll just bleed more all over my floor you...!"

It was then that Nao rushed over to help. And upon seeing the face of the newcomer, she screamed and drew back in fear, her hands up to guard herself and her grandfather. Her whole body was shaking as she grabbed for a fuda, any fuda. "Grandpa," she rasped, her voice stolen from her. "That's--! That's the one, he's dangerous, get back! He might try to hurt you--"

"Quiet! He won't," her grandfather barked, elbowing her aside and placing Shichiro on the long heavy table. "No time to explain, baby girl. This is too complicated."

Nobuyuki rifled through his stack of fuda and cursed sullenly when he couldn't find the right one. "Run and get your Grandmother and your Mother and tell them to get me supplies. And you stay OUT. You're just going to get in the way!"

Nao didn't move. She was just standing there, looking fearfully between her grandfather, the injured boy, and back again, her mouth moving as if she wanted to say something. Nobuyuki could sense it, and her terror, without directly looking at her. He tossed a stack of unneeded papers on the floor, frustrated. "I said run! Now!"

Nao's sock feet could be heard running off, the shoji screen shutting fast behind her.

"Gods all around, where the BLOODY HELL are my--!!" Nobuyuki grumbled, opening a drawer and emptying the contents.
Edited 2015-12-22 21:23 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (did he just say pants?!)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-23 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
"I can't just write them so fast 'nymore. Takes a lot of time n' energy. Couple a' hours, now," Nobuyuki admitted with a sigh. "Sometimes a couple days."

"I'm unorganized? Like you have room to talk, Shichi," Nobuyuki groused. "You're all over the place doing all kinds of weird things! I can't even understand what's going on with you and you won't come talk to me anymore. Darn you."

"And darn this blasted room!" He rifled through another stack. "I had some. I know I did."
Edited 2015-12-23 00:28 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (Default)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-23 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
"What was it," the priest left aside his frustration with himself and attended to this statement with a flat, serious tone. He turned to examine Shichiro's condition in more detail. He silently took note of in the blood on Shichiro's face, hands, nails, and sleeves. A lot of it wasn't actually his. The spatter pattern was consistent with it being from a person he'd fought with.

He applied an antidote fuda to remove any poison, muttering the prayer needed to activate it under his breath. “May any poisons hurting this body be drawn out, may the body be purified.” The edges of the paper glowed green as a firefly, and as the characters melted into light on Shichiro’s torso, any poisons and toxins in Shichiro’s body from this attacker would be filtered away.

"Tell me everything," Nobuyuki said quietly.
barrierwatching: (Default)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-23 08:03 pm (UTC)(link)
"Shichi," Nobuyuki said quietly, sternly. He wasn't good at talking about stuff. He knew that. But seeing the fox god's pained expression, hearing him say such a thing, it tore at his heart. My crusty, calloused old heart, he thought to himself with chagrin. He had to find the words to say.

"That perverted youkai would have wanted to kill us even without you doing a thing. Tell the truth to yourself."
Edited 2015-12-23 20:11 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (let's do this)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-24 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
"That's not true." Nobuyuki protested, jutting out his chin. He'd address the matter of Nao and Shichiro's arm after he was sure Shichiro heard and understood him.

"You raised me. And my..." The old man stopped himself and swallowed, unable to say the word son. "And... him too. Shichi, if you hadn't been there to guide me an' teach me back then. I might have followed after that old man. I might have turned to that, done anything to gain power."

Nobuyuki dropped his gaze and shook his head in grief. "My half-brothers didn't have you to protect them in battle like I did. Their mother didn't have you to protect her like Ma did. They all died, but we lived. We carried on trying to clean up the mess of the past."

Nobuyuki swallowed, trying to fend off the lump in his throat. "So. Don't. Don't say that you don't deserve anything from us, that's a lie, Shichi. You know Ma used to say, 'everybody deserves to belong.' You deserve it just by being. Things are going to hell in a handbasket here. I really need you."

"And if you think you suck, then don't give up, you stupid fox. Get better at it! If you're not where you want to be then work at it until you are," Nobuyuki grumped.
Edited 2015-12-24 02:32 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (said sadly)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-25 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
"I could say I have faith in you, feh," Nobuyuki snorted. "But that's too much of an understatement for it. I could say I trust you, but that's too weak."

He held Shichiro's hand tightly in both of his own, trying to offer something solid for comfort. It's deeper than that, and more constant. Nobuyuki's hands were large now, wrinkled and tanned brown with days outside and spotted with age. His calluses and fingernails were thick and knuckles scarred with hard work and years of fighting youkai.

It was odd, as he looked down at Shichiro's teenage hand in his. Over the years Shichiro had been the older, mature voice of wisdom. Shichiro had helped raise him and had been a mentor, a big brother, a teacher, a father of sorts... Just with fur and tails, Nobuyuki guessed. But right now he was feeling like the father figure here...

"You're more than an okay god," he grumbled, embarrassed at talking about... Oh what were those? Feelings. "You're our god. I don't want anybody else. I'll tell the old lady to lay off the arrows if that's really why you don't come around. But i don't think that's all it is. I know it... I know it hurts," he let his voice drop to a whisper, remembering the horrible events that had surrounded the loss of his son, and the responsibility he and Shichiro had felt for what had happened.

"I know it hurts sometimes," he whispered. "To be around in this place, with sad memories. But, you're my god. You always have been... Even before I was born. I have nobody left but the girls." 'The girls' was a collective term he used for his remaining family: his wife, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. "And you. I need you. I need help."

Nobuyuki stared at their hands, his mind drifting away, eyes haunted with his fears of the things he could sense in his meditations.

Don't you feel this sense of foreboding hanging over this land? Like something beneath the earth is opening one eye and stirring? I'm terrified. Something is coming. And you and I both know what could happen.... It could be unspeakable.
barrierwatching: (said sadly)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-26 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
The old priest ran his hand over Shichiro 's white hair, exactly like he had done when he'd grown up with the kitsune in his fox form. Doing it to a human Shichiro made the action feel more like the way he'd comforted his son, or his granddaughters Yume and Nao, when they were upset.

"I've been looking," Nobuyuki said quietly. He bowed his head to rest against his hand that was joined with Shichiro's. "Gods save me, I've been looking and researching and asking for more than fifty years now, Shichi. It's been sixteen years since.... and I still can't find a way to end this. Only to extend the problem."

He thought of Nao, thought of Yume, thought of his dear wife, tough as nails, and his hard-working, dutiful daughter-in-law. The children and teachers at the school. The people of the town. They were all so innocent.

"I can't," he whispered. "I'm going, Shichi. I can feel it. It's my mind and my body. It could be soon. And... I won't leave this for them to suffer with. I won't allow it to continue on and on. I need to find ones I can trust, and quick."

The old man rolled his eyes at the direction of the kitchen, "They're acting like Nao is going to succeed me. Nao actually thinks she is going to prove herself to me. I keep telling her it's not child's play. She's still just a little baby girl. She can't do this like I did."
Edited 2015-12-27 00:41 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (Default)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-27 08:07 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'll handle the barrier. with the girls," Nobuyuki said. "You just worry about the school. I can't go there."

"Of course she doesn't have the power or the maturity," he grumbled, hunkering down stubbornly. "She's not me. She's a girl and she should just stay home n' be a girl. I have to hang on as long as I can n' then... We can find some actual men to defend against the youkai."
barrierwatching: (did he just say pants?!)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-29 02:37 pm (UTC)(link)
The old priest furrowed his brow in disbelief. "What're you on about," he muttered. He obeyed Shichiro's instructions, rolling the sleeve up carefully so as not to hurt any of the injuries he still had not healed.

There it was plain as day on Shichiro's skin. The outlines of the talisman paper itself as well as the sacred characters curling round and round each other.

"How...?" Nobuyuki's mouth fell open and his bleary eyes opened wide. "No. That's one a' my attack fuda. She doesn't have the strength for doing that, much less know how ta use it. I've never taught her that. This has to be fake," he announced.

He squinted and touched the burn marks, seeing if they might rub or peel off. "You're havin' one on me, you trickster fox."
Edited 2015-12-29 14:40 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (at least i doki doki like everyone else)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-31 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Nobuyuki side-eyed Shichiro with a snort. "What did you expect her to do? She wrote in her secret diary that she thought you were trying to 'touch her' and she was terrified that you might 'do something' to her. And yes, she meant it that way. She thought she was protecting herself from an older and bigger boy, idiot."

"And also she wrote that you also defiled a shrine?" Nobuyuki asked, finding this hard to accept even though he'd seen it for himself. "The god in it left."

He poked at the burn mark, raising an eyebrow. "So what happened, Shichi? Let's hear your side of the story, eh?"
Edited 2015-12-31 02:07 (UTC)
barrierwatching: (bugging out)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2015-12-31 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
"Well, she thinks it's secret!" Nobuyuki said with a wide shit-eating grin. "How else would I keep tabs on what she's really up to when she's not at home! I told her that if boys touch you it takes away your spiritual power, too. I'm a genius."

"Being as how you are laying there in that state, having been attacked by a suspicious person who has entered the school? You can see why she was scared, can't ya?" The old priest pointed out. He folded his arms and regarded Shichiro with one eyebrow raised. "We get intruders sometimes. There's youkai can look like humans. You know that, you stupid fox."

"We clean the shrines on the hillside every quarter, quit bitching. Yamanomori-sama was there enough for me to feel it? There enough for Nao to sense it n' communicate with it?" Nobuyuki disagreed. "What did you say? Shichiro, if you pissed off one of the few remaining kami who're still hanging on to this land?" He exhaled through his nose in a sigh.
barrierwatching: (said sadly)

[personal profile] barrierwatching 2016-01-01 05:31 am (UTC)(link)
Nobuyuki's heart ached sharply as Shichiro mentioned suffering and dying, his eyes widening as he stared sadly at Shichiro. This airing of grievances did not happen in the Kasuga home, ever. To Nobuyuki, just saying how unfair it was out in the open felt shocking, painful, like having a wound cut open with blunt scissors. It forced him to actually pay attention to how it all felt.

How he personally felt about the kami and his relationship... or lack thereof... with them. How it felt to beg at an altar for what one needed desperately and find nothing but silence. How it felt to feel them abandoning the shrines, leaving him and his loved ones to evil times. How it felt to bury his own tiny babies, in various stages of development, pregnancies lost and babies stillborn because of the poisonous evil curse on the land.

Only one had survived. And then he had lost that one too.

Nobuyuki looked into Shichiro's eyes and exhaled slowly. The fox was angry, and hurting inside and out. He might be lashing out just to get a reaction, Nobuyuki reasoned. Wounded animals bit hard and he didn't need to add fuel to the fire.

He closed his eyes and stuffed away his hurt and grief with a long controlled breath and exhale. None of it was Shichiro's fault, and Nobuyuki didn't think it would do either of them any good to compare hurts. Might make everything even worse.

As he calmed himself, his aged hand smoothed Shichiro's forehead. He massaged the muscles of the eyebrows and forehead, just as he would do if Shichiro were in fox form. He'd have thought it'd feel kind of odd doing it to a human kid but he was surprised to find it didn't. Shichiro was family.

"You're angry, n' you're hurting. I know what you mean. You... you got every right t'be angry." Nobuyuki said quietly, swallowing. He took a deep breath. "You at least have the freedom to choose now, what you wanna to do with your life."

He pressed his lips together, his voice down to a whisper in his shame and pain. If he had been a better priest, if he had been more intelligent, maybe he could have figured out how to fix things before it had affected Shichiro and hurt him so. He supposed that from a certain point of view, he was responsible for the fox's displeasure with life as a god.

"It's not you who's blood-bound to this land, Shichi. You have a choice you can make. Kami or kitsune, whichever you choose to be, you're you," Nobuyuki rubbed the muscles on the top of Shichiro's head, in encouraging circles. "You're free, and you go on n' do what you feel is true to yourself."
Edited 2016-01-01 06:13 (UTC)

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