[Hello! So... the last chapter... (maniacal laugh) I can't believe I'm really finishing this story! It happens so rarely! So a heartbreaking chapter awaits you of Tsuki's and Emperor's last moments. Please don't feel too guilty about this, and if people want, I'm considering doing a continuation of this. So relax. It's going to continue.
As my last rant of this story finishes, I thank all who have read the story this far, and those who stopped in the middle and even those who tried to read but didn't get further than the first chapter.
Thank you very much! It really helps me!
Withered. The word seemed appropriate when used to describe the boy who was sitting in the backstage of the dancers' quarters. Staring at the ground his shoulders seemed broken, barely holding the weight of four kimono layers, his bone fans neatly placed in front of him while a woman arranged his hair.
Amiya huffed and took the colour palette from her table. Stomping to the boy she sat down in front of him without any ceremonies and jerked his head up: "I' m doing your make up so sto-"
The boy's eyes were bright red as he looked away from her, his cheeks stained with tear streaks and more tears rolled down them as he blinked. The girl sighed and bit her lip. Her eyes strangely looked at the boy compassionate. She had warned him... but now all it seemed meaningless. How could anyone do this to someone like him...
Taking a tissue from behind her belt she neatly cleaned the boy's face as a mother would. She chuckled inside... a mother...
"Don't cry! You'll ruin it..." the boy closed his eyes and took deep even breaths yet his shoulders shook beneath the clothes. Looking at him she couldn't help but to gently stroke the side of his face, but her breath hitched in her throat when the boy leaned in to her arm... so desperate for love.
There were just a couple of dancers opening the season's evening, and the spot light was saved for the Emperor's beautiful and unique hana. One he had abandoned just a couple of hours ago, yet only a few knew of that fact. The mistress herself had avoided the boy, too afraid to face her mistake and face the consequences.
The girl did Tsuki's make-up, surprised as no tears escaped his eyes anymore. She reached for the red colour and traced the boy's lips in it. His eyes lined in black charcoal leaving the rest of the face white. It was a strange combination, yet it somehow fit the occasion... and circumstances. As the woman had finished her work on his hair, letting half of it out and only gathering some at the top, she sat up and left the room.
A small girl drew open the doors and toppled across the wooden floor to Tsuki. Handing him a bundle of cloth, he smiled at her before she disappeared out of the door. Amiya looked at it suspiciously before turning her eyes to the boy.
"What is that?"
Tsuki smiled and slowly unwrapped the bundle from its concealer: "My last desire" Amiya looked at Tsuki surprised. Had he just spoken? However her surprise would not end at that, within the bundle of cloth lay... a short dagger no longer than one's forearm, embroiled in the Emperor's crest.
Shocked she reached for the dagger to take it away from him, yet the boy caught her hand in his. Her brown eyes flickered to his in horror. Tsuki looked calm... composed. "Leave it..." he whispered between them as his superior strength drew her arm away from her.
" Tsuki!" she yelled in desperation.
The door opened again and the dance master stood in them: "Come, Tsukihiro... it's your time."
Without another question he rose to his feet quickly hiding the dagger behind him in one folds of his long obi. Quickly crossing the room he shut the door right in Amiya's face, a click of the key and he walked down the dark, familiar hall.
The wooden stage in the centre of the garden facing the house was covered by a small layer of snow. More snowflakes fell through the sky sometimes landing closer to the house and melting from the many lanterns around it. The audience sat between the double doors of the main dining room, wrapped in blankets to keep the chill away. The Emperor and his family sat at centre closer to the edge and stage. Tiptoeing in the back the Mistress glanced towards the stage nervous.
Soon enough a white creature - more like a phantom than a human being - appeared from within the forest slowly walking through the twilight dark to the wooden stage. Musicians stirred in their places slowly arranging themselves to prepare for the performance. A light flute accompanied each of the boy's steps till he placed himself in the middle of the stage, his hands holding the two fans gracefully.
A moment of silence before the boy quietly drew open one of the fans and ever so softly brought it through the air accompanied by the soft sound of the flute. The dance no one had seen before, one made by Tsuki himself and practiced through the long years the Emperor had been away... just for him.
A slash of violence fallowed as the music become louder, more violent and dynamic. He was dancing a story of two... of a girl and her lover, yet at the same time they were the same. All eyes present... those of the Mistress – startled and scared-, of Emperor as he admired him once again, as he did when they first met, even of his family that watched him speechless, suddenly feeling inferior to the boy.
A synchronisation of jumps and twirls the soft flute mixing with a masculine horn. He moved as a woman... yet keeping the manly grace of a man. It was who he was, and he was finally showing it to everyone.
He threw both of the fans up in the air. The climax. With assurance he drew the strange dagger from his belt. The thrust lasted only a second; ripping through the clothing till it touched his flesh getting buried in it. A fast sensation of cold steel against his insides before the dagger was out and a gush of warm flowed in its place.
The audience gasped shocked.
He threw the dagger into the field that separated them: Tsuki and The Emperor. A satisfied grin on the boy's face before he twirled catching both of the fans in his hands. He bowed to the audience his bare feet crossed while his hands flew above him as two winds of a dove.
A stillness of horror covered them.
He panted... red petals dropped on the bright white snow. His vision was stained by splotches of black and his hands started to shake as they held up one of the fans. No-one moved, even the musicians who sat at sides froze in horror.
The Emperor rose from his spot and raced across the small distance, his feet hitting the cold snow sending sharp tangs of pain through them. The moment of stillness was broken. A scream of horror as the Mistress sank to her knees grasping her face, unable to believe what her son had done, not wanting to believe it true.
A musician rose from his seat and hurried across the stage.
Tsuki was losing his muscles one by one... the red beneath his feet seemed to get bigger and bigger, yet he could see less and less. A draining feeling. He started to shake with the strain of the stance till his knees gave out and he fell. He fell before the applause. He failed as a dancer.
The Emperor jumped on the small stage and caught the boy before his heavy body hit the cold floor. "TsukI!" he yelled bringing the boy safely in his arms, making his shut gray eyes look at him. "TSUKI!" He shook with horror. How could this be? Why? Why had he done it?
A painful intake of breath.
The red of his lips matching the stains around him.
The boy opened his eyes weakly to look into the blues of the Emperor's. He moved his lips as if saying something. The man leaned in closer to listen.
"I loved you."
[Thank you for reading! Cheers!