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Weddings that Aren't Yours

 
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The Dark Man
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Joined: 05 Feb 2009
Posts: 241
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Can Be Found: Rhy'Din
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm    Post subject: Weddings that Aren't Yours Reply with quote

((The Takamine Wedding. Thanks to Jez for the play.))

From afar, the mountains had looked like something from a dream.

The Dark Man thought of the description he had come to know, like a dream, and felt it carried little of the weight of what dreams were. When people used the phrase, they meant it was the sort of wonderful the real world could not provide. Like a dream meant like a fantasy only an unfettered mind could provide. Dreams weren’t knit from the clouds of Heaven, they were made of heavier fabric. So few people spoke well of their dreams, they talked about the jarring juxtaposition of familiar objects and strained to understand what the shadows in their mind were saying.

That was how Mount Yasuo was like a dream.

On the journey there were familiar structures, the bowing roofs, overlapping shingles and familiar wooden posts. The people that they passed in transit looked like him. At times he thought they were straining to understand what province he had come from. At times he remembered that this was like a dream because it was not Japan though his mind would tell him that he was there.

The room was familiar, the luggage was new. There were rice paper walls and a woman with locks of fire. Outside the window of their room, a warm blanket of white heat from the springs crawled up the steps leading into them. So much of the chatter was in English, so much of the chatter was in Japanese. Their shoes were off their feet beside the door, just as he did in his own home. Everything familiar was paired to something new. It was like a dream.

He turned from the window, using the edge of two fingers to shut it with a near-silent slide. Tag didn’t smile, but it was felt when he looked at her, “Did you need more time or…?†The question asked about the need for food, the need to rest.

It was like a dream.

Jezebel did not know the extent of the mental gymnastics that must have gone on behind the inscrutable dark eyes beside her. She could not know the depths of his thoughts, but she could guess, she could fathom where the curious juxtaposition of cultures overlapped her own parallel experiences. The redhead had spent some time in Japan, and she was no stranger to the luxurious bath houses that dotted the mountainsides, filled with rich businessmen and their accompanying entourages, there to take advantage of the natural hot springs, to relax, to do the most important of their business dealings. It was strange to be in such a place and yet hear English spoken among them, to see people who looked as much or more like her than they did like Tag.

Barefoot, she stood in the small side room looking out the other window. A dim smile of appreciation floated over her features -- the contrast between snow and steam was beautiful, giving the whole place an ethereal, dream like effect. Honestly she wasn’t sure the setting could have been better for the company she kept, and her smile turned towards him as he closed the other window.

More time for… It took her only a moment to understand what he was actually asking, and a moment after that to shake her head. “No, I am quite well,†she replied, her grin spreading. The tilt of her head was inquisitive, attentive. “What about you?â€

“I’m not sure that I’m awake.†His admission came softly, the corners of his mouth revealing a smile that was softened by taking in the look of her. Sometimes her smile did that, it pushed his smile further and returned a more peaceful levity.

Western clothes in an Eastern room. Reaching for one shoulder, he pushed his coat back and then used the slack at the sleeve to pull it the rest of the way off. Like a strange leather shell he folded longways and then laid it on the floor close to the wall. The weight of it had felt wrong. Without it, he folded his arms across his chest, the sleeves of his black t-shirt strained over his shoulder and at his armpits.

He walked to the window, the foot bitten by the metal shark stopping an inch from her own. He leaned forward, into her and the open view to the grounds of the hotel, “Do you like it?â€

Like sunflowers in the summer, her smile only grew. She turned her body towards him, her warm, golden eyes lifting to his face with a twinkle of merriment. “If this is just a dream, then I sincerely hope it’s not a nightmare,†she teased him gently, her tone a light if playful hum.

It seemed wrong to speak loudly in a place of quiet calm like this. Her gaze turned back to the window as he dispensed with his coat and moved closer, taking in the gorgeous sensuality of its serene haze. Looking up again only when he’d arrived at her side, the heat of him a magnet that drew her irresistibly deeper into his space, she nodded. “Very much. But what’s not to like? It feels like we’ve found a hidden city in the clouds.â€

In a fog at the edge of his property were the outlines of coyotes. He saw them briefly, and could still hear the rasp of their voices in the back of his mind. Too bad, dark man, too bad. The nightmare of it felt further away than he thought possible. Time had diluted it into an event that happened to someone else, though he kept the record of it with his scar. There were only seconds that still felt sharp. Nightmares could always be survived. There was the smallest smile in response to what she said. He reassured her when he said, “It isn’t,†knowing it was a fear that had been playful.

A hidden city in the clouds. He wondered if, on days that the fog around the mountains hung low enough, there would only be a line of sight between buildings as the rest of the world disappeared into the white. The side of his left hand went up, pressing into the frame of the window as he looked out and then down at her. The movement opened up his side, his shirt tugging against the lifted arm. He stretched to grasp little questions, to offer up help or relief for the inconvenience of their short trip or the altitude. The thoughts weren’t insincere, but the impersonal questions felt like a tactic to prevent making any mistakes, to keep the situation sterile and polite. Why was he doing that? Jezebel came with a pleasurable discomfort, her smile and certainty a shower of warmth. The setting was strangely personal, not impersonal, and revived little habits and sensations he had thought were dead. All of it lead him to where he felt as if he was on the verge of breaking a rule by talking with her, let alone slipping with a smile or tone of inappropriate affection.

The smile and weight of being caught hung there. He knew it for what it was, for how it was trying to undo growth and rebirth. He took one half-step, even though he didn’t need to, so that he could kiss her. His left hand at the window turned so that instead of pressing against the frame, he gripped it. His lips were a chill he carried from the mountains, pushing against her heat.
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One day you will ask me which is more important?
My life or yours? I will say mine
and you will walk away not knowing
that you are my life. (Khalil Gibran)
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