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19 April 2010 @ 06:07 pm
Ascending  
Title: Ascending
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,500
Genre: Romance
Disclaimer: Owning humans are illegal in most parts of the world (and I can't afford their fabulousness)
Pairings: Sakumoto,
Summary: Jun, an onsen inn-keeper, meets Sho and enjoys the small time they have together.
Note 1: Inspired by Shukudai-kun Ep.152 with Tanimura Matsuki.
Note 2: After this I need to do Nino!Ooku fic. Totally.



With his head low and his forehead and palms against the floor, Jun bowed in front of the stranger. He used his best and most polite Japanese to convey his feelings of gratitude for all he has done for Aiba. He had told Masaki earlier that no matter how big the kite was, there was no way he was going to be able to fly. He warned him, he told the doctor, but Masaki was too curious to listen. And now he had a broken arm and the only doctor in the small village left for the city to get supplies (what could possibly be taking Yamashita!). Then he thanked him again and again until the doctor became embarrassed. It was more embarrassing for Jun, however, to ask a guest at his inn to help with a village problem.

The "doctor" that healed Aiba, or least put his arm in a proper sling and disinfected it, was in fact, not a doctor. He was a translator, from Holland. Although, he was born in Japan and spent his childhood in Nagoya, he spent most adult life in Holland studying Western language and other important things.

Jun offered to let the man stay in the inn for free, as well as any other services at a discount. Despite being a small town, it was in the middle of a very important traveling root between the capital and Edo, and thus carried a slightly higher price for the spendthrift samurai.

Jun thanked the man and escorted him back to his room. He looked at Aiba, laying helpless on the futon and sighed. At least he could sleep peacefully that night. He made sure to scold that idiot the next morning for doing something completely senseless and that he could stay in the inn until he was fully healed and don't worry because that woodcutter Ohno is going to take care of the fields in the mean time. He just hopes that Ohno will remember to wear a hat this time. He turned awfully black last time.




Sakurai-san arrived at the inn on a rainy, but sunny spring day. Whether he had been in town longer, Jun was not aware. It seemed as if Sakurai knew his way around town, like he had been there longer than the week he had first greeted Jun, requesting a place to stay. There was an air of familiarity about him, like Jun has met him before sometime in his life. He was a stranger, but at the same time not. It was a welcoming feeling to Jun, especially in the lonely space of the inn, where visitors come and go.

Jun felt comfortable with Sakurai and it seemed that Sakurai also felt the same as he always asked Jun to join him for tea. Sometimes it would be in Aiba's room while Sho redressed the wounds, sometimes it would be out in the field with Ohno and eventually the two would pick up a hoe and help. Mostly it was back at the inn in Sho's room, overlooking Jun's rock garden.

"Why are you here if you don't mind me asking?" Jun asked while placing the tray with a hot pot of tea and cup next to Sakurai. The two sat on the engawa looking into the rock garden area of the inn. The path needed to be swept later of all the maple leaves. They aren't pretty once they start to decompose on the rocks.

"I'm going to Edo."

"Ascending," he corrected.

"What?" Sakurai's confused face was oddly attractive. Probably because he usually looks stuck-up like he knows everything. Jun knew something too. Like that Sakurai looked like a rodent when he grinned widely and Jun felt like stuffing his cheeks with something.

"You ascend into Edo. Forgetting your Japanese already?" he asked in mock insult.

"Are you done making fun of me or can I answer your question?"

"For now. I might get back to that." He let out a chuckle and Jun couldn't help but smile.

"Anyway, I'm ascending into Edo to find someone. A childhood friend of mine."

"You left Holland to find a childhood friend?" It seemed a little sketchy and Jun felt his heart twinge.

"She meant a lot to me. She did a lot for me. She's from a samurai family, but they didn't -don't- have money. She'd find jobs doing all sorts of things like waving baskets or playing music on the street. She was so busy all the time, but she always found time for me. A true friend. I have to repay her." Sakurai turned to face Jun in all seriousness. "She's entering the Ooku to save her family."

Jun's eyes widened. You don't hear that everyday.

"I can't let her do that to herself. She has so much a head of her. I'm going to set her free."

Sakurai-san was a better man that Jun could ever be. Jun never believed anything more than he believed that.




When Sakurai told Jun of his life story and of his saving his friend, whose name was Ninomiya Kazue apparently, Jun really admired him. He was a perfect gentleman. A perfect person.

That was until he found out Sakurai could not cook. Or draw. Or fight. Or anything really manly.

That being said, Jun never laughed harder than when he saw Sakurai swinging a boken haphazardly and getting beaten by one of the neighborhood kids. Watching someone you admire fail so miserably would have broken Jun's heart had he been younger, but now all he could do was laugh. And tease him, of course. It didn't make Sakurai any lesser in Jun's mind and in fact made him more human. He was flawed and those flaws were endearing.

His relationship with Sho (who insisted that Jun call him that. Must be a Western thing) was warm and made him feel giddy. Even more giddy than when the kabuki actors come into town bringing performances for a free night. Or when Yamashita returns from the city with city things like pretty silk and exotic fruits. Or when Aiba laughs and smiles up to his ears. Or when Ohno names the bagworm he finds in Jun's maple tree after himself because he wants a little part of himself to be with Jun always.




Sho liked to learn by the looks of it. Almost or even more than Masaki. While Jun swept the floors in Aiba's room or rearranged the bath, Sho would be there telling him stories of Holland and how he came back to Japan.

"So you're a trader?" asked Masaki moved a white stone on the go board.

"Well not really. I just work for them. Translating and things of that sort," Sho answered, looking for a good piece to move.

"The Dutch East India is something to be proud of," said Jun. "If a little village like us knows what they are, it's something to be proud of."

"I guess. I really don't care too much for commercialism. I'm in it for the pay. At least the captain gave me time off to visit my family."

"You're going to visit family?" Aiba asked. Jun didn't move.

"Yeah in a week or two. I can stay here a little longer. The scenery's nice."

"Just the scenery?" Masaki joked with eyes shifting to Jun, brows rising up and down suggestively.

Jun tried hard not to blush and whacked Masaki lightly with the broom.




A messenger came to the village looking for Sho. He had news and by the looks on Sho's face while reading the letter, it wasn't good news.

"Her parents sent me a letter," he said to Jun, his eyes filled with profound sadness. "She's leaving soon. She's going to leave!"

It was much too late for him to travel though. It was a long way to her town and starting now would just mean having to set up camp in a couple hours. Jun managed persuade him to stay the night for the sake of his own health.

That night, Jun stood in front of the sliding door, casting a shadow from the lantern in his hand. The wood was heavy and hard against his fingers, but he knew with just a flick of his wrist the door would slide open. But this was wrong. Sho was a customer. A customer of the inn. Which meant he was leaving eventually. His stay was free and all he has to do was hand Jun his key and that would be it. Never again would he see Sakurai Sho, Japan-born Dutch translator from the Dutch East India Trading Company, who was ascending into Edo.

More importantly, he was leaving to save his childhood friend. A childhood friend that was about to enter the Ooku, if she had not already. Despite the difficulty, he was going to try. Because he loved her. He loved her enough to risk his precious education, job, family honor, and his life. He could not possibly have enough love left for Jun.

While Jun hesitated, Sho slid the door open from the other side. He didn't look particularly surprised to see Jun and even looked at the onsen owner straight in the eye. It was unnerving being kept under his gaze yet Jun didn't feel trapped. The stare was more pleading than demanding and Jun felt compelled to look into them. Sho's mouth opened and closed, but he made no sound. His fingers on the doorsill, so close to Jun's, trembled slightly and tightened. He was hesitant too. If anyone had seen them in the dark hallway, they wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

"I," Sho started. "I want to thank you for everything."

"It's nothing really," said Jun at the same time, but was ignored. Sho had a prepared speech and he was going to finish it.

"No, I did nothing. You did everything. I just put bandages on some guy. You reminded me of all the things I missed in Japan and..."

"And?"

"You gave me a reason to stay."

Jun frowned and looked away. "I thought your friend did that."

"No. Ninomiya gave me a reason to come. You're my reason for staying."

Jun looked up again and his eyes were drawn to Sho's lips. Even under the dim light their temptation was no less potent. But it was Sho that leaned in and pressed his lips against Jun. It was Sho that pulled in Jun by the collar of his clothes into the room, blew out the lantern, slid the door shut, and ravished Jun's mouth again. The two pressed together tightly, hands caressing whatever skin they could reach, trying to meld into one. Jun dropped to the futon and pulled Sho over him, memorizing the contours of his body and his taste as Sho did the same. The air filled with sharp gasps, shrill whimpers, deep moans, and the smell of musk and sweat. The night continued.

Early in the morning, Jun pretended to sleep while Sho pressed a kiss against his ear and whispered his affection and his goodbye. Aiba cried when he heard the news of Sho's departure and Ohno face became hard with understanding. Jun sat by the rock garden, looking out into nature and tried to think of everything but the last few weeks. Nothing worked.




"And remember to clean the pathways every morning," Jun said.

"I will remember," Masaki assured him, trying his best not to grin.

"And Satoshi, wear a hat."

"Hm," the woodcutter answered, not doing any better than Masaki.

Jun brushed the two off and looked at his luggage again. He had enough

"Aw!" Masaki squealed. "Jun's going to see his lover! That's so cute! Say 'hi' to Sakurai for me will you!"

"Yes, yes I will now stop it and help me put my bags on the horse."

"Oh. That was the first time Jun didn't deny it."

"Deny what? That Sho's my lover?"

"That you're cute." Ohno and Masaki snickered.

Immediately Jun reprimanded them both with a loud smack to each their heads and a smile on his face.

"How long are you going to be in Nagoya again?"

"Two weeks maybe. Depends I guess." Jun became quiet. Knowing that Sho was in Nagoya only reminded him of the reality of their relationship. Sho could not leave the port behind like he couldn't leave his family onsen and the village. He knew this arrangement couldn't possibly last long, but he wanted it too. Oh did he want it to.

"Don't worry," Ohno said in his soft voice, breaking Jun from his thoughts. "Don't worry about anything now. Just spend as much time with him as possible okay?"

Jun laughed, his worries far away. Everything was going to be just fine.





The samurai in the room was being annoying. He kept asking every five minutes for different dishes because they were either not hot enough or too cold or not tasty what the fuck are you trying to feed me! It was frustrating and Jun wanted to bash his head wasn't the only customer Jun had this week. Winter always slowed down business.

The harsh weather didn't get his hopes down though. The village was doing well. They packed enough food for winter after paying off their taxes. And Sho kept sending packages up to them with snacks or whatever he could. Sometimes he would even send Masaki little trinkets from Holland and art supplies for Satoshi.

Importantly he would send Jun letters. He would say in them he was doing fine and everything was okay in Nagoya. At the end he would write he misses Jun very much and still loves him even if they are far away. Jun would read those words over and over to the point where the papers became thin and wrinkly from the handling. At that point, he would tuck away the letter and patiently await the new one. Right after sending his own heartfelt and carefully written letter of course.

"Hallo!" yelled a voice from the door. Jun didn't need to look up from the letter to know that voice. He breathed deeply and shut his eyes to calmly think of how to approach him without seeming clingy and needed.

Luckily Masaki solved the problem and rammed full force into Sho, arms enveloping the man, dropping the sweet potatoes and daikon radishes he was bringing Jun. While it would seem strange for a Japanese man to be that affectionate to anyone, Masaki was always a weird child. Satoshi followed behind, nodding at Sho when Masaki gave him the chance to breathe. Sho walked up to the onsen owner, bags over each shoulder and in his hands. It looked like it was going to be a long stay. He'd have to charge this guy extra.

"I'm home," Sho whispered with only a few inches between him and Jun. Jun looked up at him with watery eyes and a warm smile.

"Welcome home."
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
 
katmillia on April 19th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
I like the way they met, the way everything went together! ♥ waaah~~ I finished reading with warm and fuzzy feelings in my stomach. :)
reversemirrorreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
I'm glad I made you have warm and fuzzy feelings in your tummy. ♥
Elleelendiliel on April 19th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
Awww! So cute!! I'm glad it was a happy Sakumoto. There needs to be more like this! :D
reversemirrorreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading! :D Happy Sakumoto is always a plus.
bright 引き籠もり: 櫻井翔 ♥ 松本潤 ; swingstatr on April 20th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
this is amazing. ♥
reversemirror: sakumotoreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
You are amazing for reading! ^^" Okay that was weird but thanks for reading!
Looking back, it's been a terribly short time: shoriverofnara on April 20th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
This was really cute. I like how it's in a different setting, and how things worked out for them. So aodrable. <3
reversemirror: shoreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! I really wanted to do a period piece for a while now! ^^;;
fancyann1974fancyann1974 on April 20th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
wow..great story, so sweet
thank you
reversemirror: aibareversemirror on April 20th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading this too!
Ayame: sakumotoiupdarlin on April 20th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Awwwww.... I love period pieces and I love Sakumoto, so the two together are just &hearts And I laughed at poor Aiba breaking his arm trying to fly on a kite XD

A Nino!Ooku fic would be awesome☆
reversemirror: sakumotoreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! Nino!Ooku fic needs to happen. ^_~
l3aibua: sho; mr. Sunshine in the morning in thel3aibua on April 20th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
Sakumoto cuteness! ♥
Arashi in period setting is awesome.I love the little details about Sho's fail, Aiba's crazy kite riding, Ohno's dark tan and Nino!Ooku (which I can already tell that it's going to be great!)
reversemirror: shoreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading! I love period pieces and thanks for noticing those hard worked details! |D
「DUNADAN」xanderave on April 20th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
That is amazing.
reversemirror: arashireversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading
sawadashinsawadashin on April 20th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
so sweet. luv it :)
reversemirror: junreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading. :D
Dils: i should've acted like i didn't see younijionna on April 20th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
D'awwww ♥

Enjoyed reading this. :)
reversemirror: arashireversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Love the icon. xD Thanks for reading!
キミーちゃん: ¶翔∞潤¶aya_rheign on April 20th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
i like everything about this story. will enjoy reading it again. ♥♥♥
reversemirror: arashireversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading the first and second time through! :D
hiro: sho-chan ♥♥hiro_chan on April 20th, 2010 12:16 pm (UTC)
melted. agh. i'm totally melted here. gwah.

i just love everything about this fic - the setting, the mood, the characters, the meeting and the goodbye and the homecoming.

just <33333. always great to read more sakumoto, and that it is so well written like this is one huge bonus :).
reversemirror: sakumotoreversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment and reading!
r_1_ss_ar_1_ss_a on April 20th, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
i'm already in love with sakumoto aus but i am really starting to REALLY LIKE period fics.

this was nicely written and i love the plot. this really made my night. <3

thanks for sharing!
reversemirror: arashireversemirror on April 20th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! There needs to be more period fics! xD
U.S. Ambassador to Sho Sakurai's Pants: sakumotoastrangerenters on April 21st, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Uwaaaaaa you picked a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL AU setting. I've always wanted to do a Japanese historical period, but I only took a few classes and would fail completely LOL.

This was romantic and detailed, and I like the part that the non-Sakumoto folks have to play. I love love love how Sho fits into this world as a translator/Dutch studies figure. He totally would have done back in the day.

My only nitpick is to watch your tenses - you slip between present and past a few times
reversemirror: junreversemirror on April 21st, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading! I only took one class on Japanese history itself, but I saved the text book and had a dozen websites and essays in front on me while writing this. |D There might be some inaccuracies but I tried to make it as accurate as possible for a Japan around 1620. The problem was that if I wrote it to be around 1607 the Ooku would have just opened and no one would have known about it and if I made it around 1633 when people actually knew more about it, then Sho couldn't work and I really wanted him to be a translator. |D

I started to notice the tenses when you pointed it out. I'll go and correct them when I have time. orz I really should start looking for a beta again. |D
salwaphoenixsalwaphoenix on April 21st, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Sakumoto love <3333

Thanks for writing!
reversemirror: junreversemirror on April 21st, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!♥