It's been so long since I wrote anything for Fushigi Yuugi, I actually had to go look up their real names. *shamed* It felt weird writing about 'the miko', lol.
Kink: Worship (v2.0)
Series: Fushigi Yuugi
Warnings: It's a fic for kink bingo. It's kinky, and X-rated. 'Nuff said.
Everything can change in a moment of time.
So far Ryuuen had only seen the emperor once, when Saihitei had come to welcome the new women to the harem. The other concubines said that he never made use of them, no matter how many beautiful women the recruiters brought back with them. They tittered and giggled over it, whispering behind their fans, wondering whether the emperor was simply too young, or if there were... other reasons. Reasons that might result in there being no heir.
Ryuuen didn't care, except to allow himself to occasionally wonder if the emperor might not be so upset to find a boy in his harem after all. Mostly he was grateful, because he really wasn't sure what he was going to do if the emperor did ever call on him. He certainly wouldn't be able to hide the truth. He still couldn't decide if it would have made the situation better or worse if he'd tried to explain to the men who'd taken him that he wasn't actually the beautiful woman he appeared to be. Either way, what was done was done, and there was no escaping his fate now.
For the moment, at least, his life had been made infinitely better as a result of the whole misunderstanding. He no longer had to live with his family's constant disapproving looks and heavy disappointment in him. He had the run of the pleasure gardens and secluded portions of the palace, a luxurious room all to himself, and as many fine silks and satins as he cared to wear. He even had servants to tend to him, brushing his hair out and drawing his bath and caring for his clothes, though of course he never allowed them to assist him with dressing or bathing. The other concubines thought him eccentric, but he didn't care. He had no wish to be friends with any of the shallow, empty-headed creatures, anyway.
Still, things did get dull sometimes. The women of the harem weren't expected to actually do anything but make themselves beautiful. They played instruments and painted delicate art and experimented with all manner of lotions and cosmetics, but not much else. Ryuuen took long walks through the gardens and halls instead, both to admire the beauty of the palace and to keep himself active.
When he pushed through a screening drape of wisteria blossoms to reach the banks of his favourite small pond, it took him a moment to realize he wasn't alone. There was a slender figure huddled beside the water, in exactly the same place Ryuuen always sat. It surprised him, because in all the days he'd come here, he'd never once seen one of the other concubines anywhere near the area. Only the harem ladies, their servants, and the eunuched guards were permitted in this part of the palace, so it couldn't be an outsider.
Perhaps there was a new girl, someone more like-minded to Ryuuen, who thought the silly games and political posturing of the harem were boring. "Why, hello," he said warmly, smiling. "I don't usually see anyone else out here. Do you mind sharing?"
The person turned, startled, and too late Ryuuen registered the presence of the small golden crown that confined the man's long, dark hair. There was one other person allowed to come here.
"Your imperial majesty," Ryuuen gasped, and fell quickly to his knees. He placed his hands before him and bowed until his forehead touched them, appalled at the familiar way he'd just spoken to the most powerful man in Konan. The emperor would be completely within his rights to have Ryuuen beheaded for such impertinence. "Please, forgive me. I didn't realize it was you."
There was a pause, as if he'd startled the emperor. Or perhaps the man was just contemplating the various punishments he might heap upon the insolent concubine. "It's all right," Saihitei finally said, his deep voice sending shivers down Ryuuen's spine. "How could you have realized? I never come here."
He didn't sound upset - wearily amused, perhaps. Ryuuen risked peeking up through his bangs, and saw that the emperor was smiling faintly. His heart thudded hard in his chest, and his breath caught in his throat. Everyone said the emperor was known for his beauty, and certainly Ryuuen had thought him attractive the one time they'd met, but right now he looked inhumanly gorgeous. And yet, strangely, more human than before. More open, at least, and less like he was wearing a stiff mask.
Greatly daring, Ryuuen looked up enough to meet his gaze openly. "I assume you don't wish me to call for the servants, or you wouldn't be in my hiding spot in the first place."
That surprised a soft chuckle from the man, a sound he quickly covered with a cough and a hand raised to hide his smile. Still, Ryuuen was happy at the response. "No, please. I just wanted a moment to myself, without the advisors hounding me." He sighed, and the weariness overtook the amusement again. "I thought, since everyone knows I never come here, nobody would think to look for me here."
That sounded like a fairly clear dismissal - the emperor wished to be alone. Ryuuen knew he should bow again and back away, return to the bower and the other ladies. But something about Saihitei's wistful expression as he looked out over the water struck an answering chord in Ryuuen's heart.
"Your majesty?" he said softly, rising until he was sitting back on his feet. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Ah, no." Saihitei shifted, and looked uncomfortable. "Thank you, that won't be necessary." He blushed faintly, much to Ryuuen's astonishment.
Then he understood. Saihitei thought Ryuuen was offering sexual services, and he was embarrassed.
For the first time Ryuuen truly realized how young the emperor was. He'd known intellectually they were the same age, but Saihitei had been so powerful and commanding when they'd met, he'd automatically thought of him as being a man, not a boy. Despite his political power and renowned martial prowess, Saihitei was actually more sheltered and naive than Ryuuen. And that was saying something.
Now it was Ryuuen's turn to hide a smile. He put on his best 'older sibling' face, the one he'd so often used to soothe Kourin or scold her into doing something that was good for her. "Now, your majesty. That's not the only thing we're good for, you know." He tilted his head, and softened his voice. "You carry the weight of the country on your shoulders. But how often does anyone do anything for your sake? How often do you care for your own needs, and not those of your people?"
Saihitei looked startled. Perhaps it was only that surprise of being spoken to in such a way that kept him from objecting when Ryuuen stood and moved towards him, but Ryuuen chose to take it as a good sign. "Please," Ryuuen said as he approached. "Let me."
After a moment Saihitei made an awkward gesture that might have been a nod. Ryuuen settled himself behind the emperor and reached for the pins holding the crown to his head. "I don't know how you don't have a headache all the time, keeping your hair so tightly pulled back," he commented as he removed the jewelled pins and set them carefully aside.
"I do, actually," Saihitei admitted, sitting stiff as a board with his back ramrod straight. "It's of no consequence. I can work through it easily enough."
"Still, it must be such a relief to be rid of it." Ryuuen set the crown atop the pins. Freed from confinement, Saihitei's hair tumbled down over his back in a glorious waterfall of silk. Of course the emperor had only the finest lotions and soaps for his hair, and servants to wash and comb it out every day, but still it was amazing. "So beautiful. The ladies of the harem would kill to have your hair, your majesty."
"Mm. It is one of my better features." The hint of smugness in Saihitei's voice was unmistakeable, but Ryuuen supposed it was understandable.
Pulling a comb from inside his sash, Ryuuen picked up a handful of the emperor's hair and began to draw the comb through it. He was careful to keep his strokes gentle and even, working carefully through any snarls or snags that might pull and cause pain.
After a few minutes, the emperor sighed and relaxed slightly. Another few minutes and he was swaying into each stroke in what was probably an unconscious response of pleasure. Ryuuen certainly didn't mind playing the part of a servant, not when it meant he got to run his hands over all that lovely hair.
When he'd brushed it a hundred times, it was straight and silky and he unfortunately had no further excuse to keep playing with it. Reluctantly Ryuuen tucked the comb away again, but before Saihitei could dismiss him, he pressed his hands to the emperor's shoulders and squeezed down on the tense muscles there.
Saihitei made a noise, an inarticulate groan that could have been pleasure or pain or both. Ryuuen rather thought it was both, considering how it felt like the muscles beneath his fingers were made of solid steel bands of tension. He pressed against them, rocking his hands gently to try to get the knots to release, mindful of his own strength. He was far more powerful than any woman had a right to be, and not only did he not want to reveal that, but he didn't want to hurt the man by accident.
"You are... very good at that," Saihitei gasped as one of the knots finally let go.
"The ladies all practice on each other," Ryuuen told him. "I like to do this." He always volunteered as the one to give the massages, since he couldn't let them strip him and work on him. He'd worked hard to become good enough that nobody ever questioned why he didn't take his own turn, since they were all too eager to have him work on them.
"It's Kourin, isn't it?" Saihitei asked, startling him. "I remember you. You're one of the newer ladies."
"Yes, your majesty." He hadn't expected Saihitei to remember him at all, let alone to recall the name he'd given, the name of his dead sister whose place he had taken. It made a little sparkle of heat run through his chest to know he'd made such an impression.
He continued to work his way over the muscles, down the emperor's spine and back up again. Unfortunately Saihitei was wearing at least three under-robes, and his over-robe was so heavily brocaded with gold and silver threads that it might as well have been armour. Ryuuen could hardly feel the shape of the body beneath the fabrics.
"Please don't take this the wrong way, your majesty, but this would be more effective without all of your clothes in the way," he said, as diffidently as he could. As he'd feared, Saihitei went stiff under his hands again, undoing all he'd managed to accomplish so far. Hurriedly he added, "You need only strip to your waist, if you'd like. Or even just take off the top layer, it's so heavy."
For a moment he thought he'd gone too far, but finally Saihitei reached for the ties of his robes. A little to Ryuuen's surprise he did push all the layers down, baring himself to the waist. His body was every bit as beautiful as his face, strong corded muscles playing beneath alabaster skin. There were scars here and there, signs of how seriously he took his martial training, unusual for any of the royal family to receive.
And the reason for that difference in treatment stood stark and unmistakeable against the pale column of Saihitei's neck, the dark red lines forming the character for 'star'. "So it's true," Ryuuen breathed out, touching the mark gently. The emperor twitched, but did nothing to stop him. "I'd heard the rumours, but I try not to give too much credence to gossip. You are one of Suzaku's Warriors."
"Hotohori," Saihitei confirmed, his deep voice gone wistful again. "Protector of the miko, when she comes to save the country some day. My advisors can't seem to decide whether it's a sign of Suzaku's blessing on the country that He chose the emperor as one of His Warriors, or whether it's an omen of terrible things to come."
Briefly Ryuuen debated revealing his own mark, the sign of the 'willow' that proved he was the Warrior Nuriko. In the end he decided to keep his silence. It would raise too many questions, draw too much attention he couldn't afford, and it wasn't as if the miko was there and needed him.
"What do you believe?" he asked quietly, returning his hands to Saihitei's shoulders. Now he was able to get at the muscles properly, and work his magic with his fingers. Saihitei gasped again, then moaned, a sound that send arrows of fire straight to Ryuuen's cock. He bit his lip to keep from making a noise of his own.
"I believe it is a blessing," Saihitei said, his voice a little breathless in a way that did nothing to help Ryuuen's composure. "Nobody can stop bad things from happening eventually, but the miko will save us all. And," he added, his voice dropping to hardly more than a whisper, "I believe she will be the woman I was meant to love. The only one who will truly want me for myself, not for my power or position."
Ryuuen's hands stilled as he absorbed that, eyes wide. Was that why Saihitei never came to the harem? Because he was saving himself for the girl from another world? Had he spent all these years holding himself aloof from everyone, waiting for the one person who wouldn't care about his political position?
Ryuuen felt his heart break twice over. Once, for the loneliness of a young, proud boy, surrounded by people who cared for him only for what he could do for them in return. He couldn't protest that it wasn't true, not after listening to the women of the harem scheme and plot to draw his attention - not because they wanted to serve him, but because they craved the power being his favourite would give them.
And twice, because in that moment he realized he'd fallen for that boy, for the man sitting before him. A fellow Warrior of Suzaku, kept wrapped up and never able to truly be himself, just like Ryuuen. Beautiful and aloof and so unbelievably perfect.
Ryuuen would have given anything, anything, to have been the miko. To be the one that Saihitei looked at with all of the love he obviously had bottled up inside him, waiting for the right person to unlock it. Ryuuen could hear the adoration in his voice, already half in love with a girl he'd never even met. She could be hideously ugly, and Saihitei would still love her. Maybe, she could even be a man with a woman's heart.
"I know you won't believe me," he said, unable to help the catch in his voice. "But I would love you for yourself."
"Kourin..." Saihitei sounded apprehensive and wary, and once again his muscles tightened beneath Ryuuen's hands.
"Shh," he scolded softly. "Don't say anything. I told you, I know I sound just like everyone else who protests the same thing. It's okay. You don't have to believe me. Just..." his voice broke, and he had to swallow. "Just let me love you, the only way I can. Let me at least do this for you, please."
He moved his hands again, tracing over the strong muscles, his fingers pressing and stroking in all the right places. Saihitei groaned again and his head fell forward as if he couldn't hold it up, and that was close enough to submission for Ryuuen. He shifted up onto his knees, pressing close against Saihitei's back as he slid his hands around the other man's chest.
The muscles there were tight too, all the more so as Saihitei twitched at the more intimate contact, but Ryuuen hushed him again. With loving care he searched out and teased each knot into releasing, his touch as much as caress as a massage. When his fingertips ghosted over Saihitei's nipples the other man shuddered and made a small, helpless sound. Quickly Ryuuen withdrew and moved elsewhere, lest the emperor order him to stop.
Oh, how he wanted to hear that sound again, though.
Slowly he worked his way down Saihitei's chest. It was awkward to work from behind, but he thought moving around to face him would be too bold. Finally he reached the place where the other man's robes were puddled around his waist, and moved his hands back to Saihitei's spine to work their way up again. This time he refused to relent until each muscle was relaxed and quivering beneath his fingers, taking his time and appreciating every inch of the soft, perfect skin.
When he reached Saihitei's neck he ran his fingers up into the other man's hair, rubbing at the base of his skull where the tension headache surely had to be. This time Saihitei's groan was deeper, and he finally relaxed the last little bit into Ryuuen's ministrations.
Now relatively certain the other man wasn't going to bolt or order him away, Ryuuen moved around until he was kneeling before the emperor. With gentle pressure he coaxed Saihitei to sit back so his legs were free, and took one foot into his hands. He pulled off the soft slipper and sock, and pressed his thumbs gently into the sole of the foot.
Once again Saihitei's gasp reverberated straight through him. Ryuuen worked the pressure points in the foot as he'd been taught, top and bottom. Then he slid his hand over Saihitei's ankle and further up his leg, letting his long nails scrape slightly against the sensitive skin.
The muscles in Saihitei's leg were just as tight as they had been elsewhere, and responded just as well to Ryuuen's ministrations. Gently he pushed the robe aside and continued his way up, working the calf and around the knee.
Only when he moved up to the inner thigh did Saihitei stir in protest. "It's all right," Ryuuen said, as soothing as he knew how to be. He moved his hand to Saihitei's other foot instead and started again, and that made the man relax. At least, until Ryuuen once more reached above his knee.
"Wait," Saihitei said, his voice husky in a way that made things tighten low in Ryuuen's body. "I..."
"Let me," Ryuuen pleaded again, keeping his head bowed submissively though he so badly wanted to meet Saihitei's beautiful eyes. He knew that he wouldn't see what he wanted to there, that the emotion he longed for would be missing. At least this way he could pretend, and have this memory to tuck away in his heart and keep forever. "Please, let me. Just this, that's all."
"Kourin..." The name was probably supposed to be a protest, but it came out sounding more like a plea. Saihitei's chest heaved in a sigh, and his silky hair slid over his shoulders to brush against Ryuuen's hands as he bowed his head.
He wore a loincloth beneath his robes, but Ryuuen's hand was as slender as a girl's and he was able to slip it under the fabric to touch the heated flesh beneath. Saihitei was hard, of course; it was difficult for a man not to react to such intimate touching, as Ryuuen knew to his own dismay. That was the reason he wouldn't even let the other ladies work on him over his robes.
For now, Ryuuen forgot about his masquerade, forgot about the difference in their stations and the fact that Saihitei cared nothing for him, forgot even about his own body's reactions. All he concentrated on was the feel of Saihitei beneath his hand, the flesh like silken velvet over steel, hard and soft at the same time.
In moments Saihitei was gasping and rocking helplessly up into his hand, writhing beneath his touch. Ryuuen dared to look up, and saw that Saihitei's eyes were closed, his rosebud mouth gaping slightly as he panted for air, his cheeks flushed. It was the most beautiful thing Ryuuen had ever seen, and it gave him a thrill to know that he was responsible for it.
Then Saihitei gave a strangled cry and arched beneath him, and warm fluid spurted over Ryuuen's hand. Quickly he ducked his head again, lest he be caught looking. He slowed his pace gradually, finally drawing his hand away and resuming his massage over the last few muscles of Saihitei's inner thighs, giving the other man a chance to recover.
When he was done, he cleaned his hands quickly in the water and tugged the robes back into place, working with careful precision so there would be no signs of what they had done. Saihitei remained silent as he worked, head bowed and his ragged breaths slowly steadying. Even when Ryuuen moved around to his back and began carefully gathering up the long hair to tuck back into the crown, he gave no acknowledgement that he was aware of Ryuuen's actions.
Only when he was completely presentable again did Saihitei turn to face him. His golden eyes were shuttered and distant, as if he was withdrawing from what had just happened. Ryuuen suspected it was an attempt to make certain there could be no misunderstanding that this meant anything for the future, and he understood that, but it still hurt a little.
Still, it had been worth it to be able to touch that gorgeous body, to have the chance to serve a man as amazing as Saihitei. At least he had been able to do this much, despite everything that lay between them.
Ryuuen bowed again, head to his hands, hoping the servile position would help to reinforce that he expected nothing to come from this encounter. "Your imperial majesty," he whispered, hoping his voice didn't actually sound as deep and husky as it seemed to him. "It was my pleasure to serve you. Thank you."
"You will speak of this to no one," Saihitei ordered, every inch the commanding emperor and no longer the lost youth Ryuuen had seen before.
"Of course not, your majesty," Ryuuen replied. The thought had never even crossed his mind. What would bragging get him? The resentment and jealous of the other concubines, if they believed him at all. Besides, this was something private and precious, a jewel of a memory to be tucked away and cherished, not displayed for all the world to see.
To his surprise, he felt a gentle hand on his head, stroking his hair in the briefest of caresses. "Thank you," Saihitei said.
Then the touch was gone, and there was the soft rustle of branches as the emperor moved away. Ryuuen kept his head down until the last sounds had faded, and when he looked up he was alone.
With a deep sigh he collapsed down to sit with his back to his favourite tree, pulling his knees up against his chest and hugging them close. His cock was throbbing, but he ignored it for the moment, the ache serving as a lingering connection to Saihitei. Everything had changed, and yet nothing had. Ryuuen knew he would never forget the past hour, just as he knew he would do anything in his power to make it happen again.
Miko or not, he would not let go of Saihitei without a fight. He would prove that a strange girl from another world was not the only one who could love Saihitei. No matter what it cost him.