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The Waiting Game (fic, Samurai Deeper Kyo)

Title: The Waiting Game
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: nothing much
Pairing(s): pre-Yukimura/Sasuke, if you like
Spoilers: Yukimura's backstory and hints of his RL counterpart's future
Notes: written for misura, who won a story from me for the Help Haiti LJ auction. Set a couple of years after the fall of the Red Tower, and not quite as fluffy as I'd meant it to be. Beta by the indispensable smillaraaq
Summary: There's nothing much to do on Mount Kudo but wait.


Sasuke leaned against a tree and watched from a distance as Yukimura knelt by his father's grave and talked. His lord's voice was too faint to hear at this distance, which was fine with Sasuke. He didn't feel right about listening: watching was bad enough.

Idly, he wondered what it would have been like to have a father - or a mother, for that matter. Yukimura had grown up in a crazy, dangerous political situation, but he had had parents who loved him. Sasuke himself could only remember Sanada Masayuki as an old man, but Kosuke would talk about him sometimes - far more than Yukimura did. Of course, it had only been a little more than a year since Masayuki-sama had died. Yukimura had taken his death very hard.

The wind picked up, and Sasuke shivered. Surely he was too far away for Yukimura to hear or see that small movement, but Yukimura looked up, and then turned and met Sasuke's eyes. He smiled and rose to his feet. "Sasuke-san. It is getting too cold out here to stay still, isn't it?"

Sasuke shrugged. If Yukimura thought he was cold, he'd end up offering Sasuke his coat, and Yukimura wasn't all that warmly dressed himself.

Yukimura's smile grew slightly mocking, as though he knew Sasuke's thoughts, but all he said was: "So what have you been doing today?"

"Went to Shinjiro's to pick up those new arrows. He had fifty ready for us."

"Ahh. He's a good man, and a good craftsman. Was Kiyoe-chan there?"

"Yukimura-san!"

"What? She's a very pretty girl, and quite a markswoman with the bow."

"Yeah, but - "

"I think she likes you."

"She does not!"

Yukimura laughed, looking at Sasuke from the corners of his eyes, his head tilted. A man his age had no business looking that cute. Sasuke felt his annoyance trying to drain away. He scowled. "Why are you always trying to make me think about her?"

"It's not always Kiyoe-chan! Sometimes I commend Nami-chan to your attention instead."

Sasuke found that he was gritting his teeth. He took a deep breath. "You have more important things to think about!"

"And what might those be?"

"How about taking the land back from the Tokugawa, for one thing?"

Silence fell. For a moment, Yukimura's eyes went completely flat and blank, and it occurred to Sasuke that this might have been the last thing that many of his lord's opponents had seen.

Also, that it was probably really stupid to remind Yukimura about his political ambitions so near to the grave of his father, who had shared them and died without attaining his goals.

After what felt like an entire lifetime, Yukimura dropped that scary gaze and sighed. Sasuke's knees felt weak, which made it very easy to kneel and bow his head to the ground. "I'm sorry, Yukimura-sama. I shouldn't have said that."

A soft rustling of cloth and a feeling of warmth indicated that Yukimura was sitting down beside him. A moment later, Sasuke felt fingers combing through his hair. "Did you say something? I've forgotten it already."

Sasuke raised his head, startled. Yukimura was back to his usual secretive smile. "Sasuke, do you see that persimmon tree?"

He looked where Yukimura was pointing. The tree was a venerable one, twisted and massive with age, loaded with fruit, its leaves just turning red. "I see it."

"Shall we go pick some persimmons?"

"Huh? No! They're not ready - they'll be sour as a bad day until there's some frost!"

Yukimura nodded. "And how about our alliances? And our stocks of weapons? And the number of our troops? Are we ready?"

Sasuke flushed. "No. We don't have enough yet. Not even if that stupid Tora makes every mistake in the book."

"It's hard to be patient. But everything ripens better when given enough time. I need to remind myself of this fact, too." Yukimura met his eyes and smiled at him, and Sasuke had a feeling that he wasn't only talking about overthrowing the Tokugawas.

Yukimura rose gracefully to his feet and turned away. "Come, we've been out here long enough. The sun will be down inside the hour."

Sasuke got up to follow him. Just before the trees completely hid Masayuki-sama's grave, Sasuke turned back to look. The stick of incense Yukimura had placed there seemed to have burned out completely, and fallen leaves were blowing past the carved stone marker. The old persimmon tree's leaves seemed to glow at the edges, its branches bowed beneath the burden of its fruit.

Sasuke shivered and hurried to catch up with his lord.

 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
misura
May. 9th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
So very much worth the wait - I loved this!

Loved the mood you created, and the way you brought out those two opposite sides to Yukimura's personality and your portrayal of Sasuke's relationship with him.

Quiet moments such as this one seem fairly rare in the manga, and while I suppose too many of them might make things a little boring, this fic was perfect for satisfying my wish for some Yukimura-Sasuke alone-time.

Thank you very much for having written this for me!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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