Dec. 13th, 2012

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Title: East Wind Melts The Ice
Fandom: TVXQ
Pairing: Changmin/Yunho
Rating: R
Summary: In a society built on hierarchy, Changmin knows his place—until the careful order of ownership is thrown into disarray by a mysterious stranger who breaks all the rules.
Notes: AU. For [ profile] thier_sess, a mash-up of things talked about on Twitter ♥ Set vaguely in the late 17th century. | For those unfamiliar with this period of Japanese history: Yoshiwara/the Five Streets was the licensed pleasure-quarter built outside Edo. Women were displayed in cages attached to the front of brothels. A kagema was a crossdressing male prostitute, often connected with Kabuki theatre and often, but not exclusively, an onnagata (female role actors). | The quote from The Tale of Genji is from Royall Tyler’s translation (Ch.26, Tokonatsu; p.470 of the unabridged edition, 2001). | The title is from the Chinese almanac, which was used historically in Japan.

East Wind Melts the Ice

The sun is brutal. Hanging low in the sky, its light is harsh and unforgiving. Changmin has nowhere to hide. The shadows of the wooden bars cut across the hems of his kimono and under-gowns, and stripe across the silk-wrapped koto at his feet. He keeps his chin up, lips pressed into a line, and fixes his gaze on the slate-grey rooftop of one of the finer establishments two streets away.

Beneath the padded layers of his garments, he’s cold. Winter has been harsh this year. Though the snows have gone, in the mornings the ground is still riven with frost. The beaten earth floor of the brothel’s cage is as hard as iron. Despite the wooden clogs he wears, he feels the creep of frost through his feet and worries for his koto.

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