glitterburn: (Mansairaku)
Title: Sister
Fandom: Otogizoushi
Pairing: Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Rating: G
Prompt: #13, blessing
Summary: Raikou gains in strength as a result of Seimei’s medicine, and in conversation with his sister Hikaru, he considers a return to court.

Sister


Raikou wakes. A slow rise from sleep, a gentle awareness of the room around him. The shadows are long across the polished floor, and the sunlight is stained a languorous shade of gold. Afternoon, he thinks, turning his head towards the promise of a breeze beneath the bamboo blinds. The scent of aloes and cinnamon lingers faintly, mixed with the smoke-dusted smell of burnt poppy seeds.

Seimei had knelt here and watched over him.

The knowledge brings a smile to Raikou’s lips. He sits up, one hand pressing down over his chest to cage in his cough, but his chest is free of tension and his lungs are clear. He relaxes his shoulders, tilts his head from side to side to banish any remaining tightness. Then he kicks back the quilt and kneels, then stands.

There’s a bell set beside his bedroll, a little bronze bell so he can summon assistance any time of the day or night. Raikou ignores it. He walks across the room, the glossed silk of his under-robes trailing behind him, and slides open the door.
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glitterburn: (Mansairaku)
Title: Taking the Air
Fandom: Otogizoushi
Pairing: Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Rating: PG
Prompt: #4, air
Summary: “I beg you, Lord Seimei. If you can change things, if you can alter fate... restore the balance that’s been lost. Bring the world back into harmony.”

Taking the Air


“You will be more comfortable outside,” Mansairaku says, hidden behind Seimei’s mask. Seimei’s long white hair falls forward as he stretches out a hand to Raikou. “Come. Lean on me. The air will be beneficial.”

Raikou gives a short, hacking laugh as he throws back the quilt. “My father agrees that fresh air is good, but he worries about miasmas from outside the garden—spirits and pollution that may find their way into our estate and take advantage of my illness to attack me.”

Mansairaku smiles, though of course Raikou cannot see it. “Commander Mitsunaka is a prudent man.”

“Then you believe there are evil forces wishing me harm?” Raikou grasps Mansairaku’s hand and hauls himself out of his sickbed. He stands, testing his legs, holding onto Mansairaku. Raikou’s body may be delicate from the long illness, but his grip is still fierce, the strong handclasp of a warrior.

“They do not wish you harm—not you specifically. At least not that I can sense.” Attentive to his patient’s needs, Mansairaku tucks Raikou’s hand through his arm, lending support when the young man leans against him. “What I feel instead are the spirits of the discontent and the restless. They are without purpose, drifting in the shadow world. Sometimes they favour humans. Most of the time they cause harm. With these spirits, much depends on opportunity.”
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glitterburn: (Mansairaku)
Title: The Consultation
Fandom: Otogizoushi
Pairing: Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Rating: PG
Prompt: #5, drink
Summary: Mansairaku-as-Seimei pays his first visit to Raikou.

The Consultation


Raikou dreams of battles he never wins. Night after night he tries to keep himself awake, pinching his arm or thigh whenever he feels the dull drag of sleep wrapping around him, but the illness has sapped his strength and always he succumbs to unconsciousness. In the dark realms of his mind he fights, dressed in dirty armour and carrying a sword bloodied to the hilt. His foes are without number and he is one man alone struggling to hold them back.

The dreams always end the same way. His enemies crash over him like a black wave and trample him underfoot. They swarm over him like ants. It’s just a dream, but he can feel them crushing him, battering him, pulping his body—

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glitterburn: (Mansairaku)
Title: The Request
Fandom: Otogizoushi
Pairing: Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Rating: G
Prompt: #24, formal
Summary: Mansairaku receives a letter from Raikou’s father.

The Request


The letter arrives just before the end of the hour of the Horse.

Mansairaku sits in Seimei’s room in the Bureau of Divination, maps and charts spread out on the desk before him. Through the window he watches the messenger approach—not a pretty pageboy in elegant dress but a rough, burly retainer. The matter is of some urgency, then, and not just a request to cast a fortune or to divine the most appropriate day for visiting the temple on Mount Hiei.

One of his colleagues, Ki no Yorimichi, goes out onto the veranda to take the letter. Mansairaku hears the murmur of their conversation, like water over pebbles, then the messenger retreats across the white raked gravel of the courtyard. Yorimichi comes back inside the Bureau, turning the letter over in his hands, his expression curious.

Behind Seimei’s mask, Mansairaku narrows his eyes. The message is written on thick Michinokuni paper, the type used only in formal correspondence. If he were alone, he would have accepted the letter without disguise, but since others inhabit the Bureau, he is forced to continue the pretence of almost-blindness. He bends closer to the constellation chart he’s annotating and waits until Yorimichi enters the room.

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glitterburn: (Mansairaku)
Title: The End of Time
Fandom/Pairing: Otogizoushi, Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Pairing: Mansairaku/Minamoto no Raikou
Rating: G
Prompt: #1, old
Summary: Raikou asks a question that Mansairaku can't honestly answer.

The End of Time


“How old are you?” Raikou asks. The question seems an idle one, borne not of the necessity to know but of simple passing curiosity.

Behind Seimei’s mask, Mansairaku considers how best to reply. His physical appearance is deceptive. He looks no more than twenty-five, a year older than Raikou, yet Mansairaku’s being is broken into many facets, each with its own distinct age. Mansairaku is but a manifestation of the springtime of Abe no Seimei. He cannot explain this to Raikou, not even if he wanted to, so he answers as Seimei.

“As old as time, but not as old as infinity.”

Raikou looks up, startled and amused. “Surely they’re the same thing.”

“Not so.” Mansairaku dips his head. His breath is warm against the inside of the mask. His hair lies limp, flattened against his skull beneath the weight and prickling heat of the wig. “Time ends. Infinity is endless.”
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March 2016

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