Seedling

BY : Artemick
Category: Yuyu Hakusho > Yaoi - Male/Male > Karasu/Kurama
Dragon prints: 2822
Disclaimer: I don't own YuYu Hakusho or it's characters and I make no profit from writing this. Also, I'd like to disclaim that this story abuses that AU set-up that's been done and done well by authors here. So this is practically a fanon fanfic.

 

 

Windchimes sang, and like shapes bleeding in unstill water, I could find words in the tone. Sing, they said. "Sing…a song…"

Click click click.

I blinked. The worlds of my dream and waking collided. The latter was warm toned, clay colored.

Long white fingers dropped down again and again behind the lace of my ruddy bangs. They came in intervals, setting down old copper tags in front of me. Coins. Click…click.

"…Of six pence…six. There." Click. "A pocket full of rye."

My lips stuck together. I pulled them apart and gasped. The air was perfumed – and dry. My lips split painfully.

"Four and twenty blackbirds. Heh." The singer chuckled. A hand fell on my head. I cried out – the weight of it made my shoulders and back twist in agony. I felt needling pricks through my hands and realized my arms were dead from lack of blood flow, suspending high. I tried to look, to focus, but my right eyes was swollen, crusted shut.

"When the eye was opened. Ha." Fingers dragged over my right eye, ripping the crust off and opening sores and stinging cuts. A wet tongue followed, soothing, but startling. I inhaled and held my breath.

 "Red bird began to sing."

A hand grabbed my jaw hard and jerked my face up. I stared into blinding light a moment before a figure blacked it out. The face came close, and I saw eyes as red as an animal's flashing. He whispered. "Wasn't that a dainty dish…to set before a king. Hi."

My lips twitched, instinctual reply.

"Remember me?"

I blinked. I did. Suddenly it all slammed into me. The tournament, Yuusuke's shattered body, the executions, Hiei's shouts to me to run and live. Kuwabara had said nothing and died quickly, before anyone.

I felt like a suicide jumping in front of a train. I began to weep.

"There's a good morning." Karasu tapped his knuckles against my stomach.

I controlled myself. I bit back the sobs. I held my breath.

Blinking, I could see he was picking between half a dozen curved knives. I spoke. It came out soft, dry. I said, "You were going to kill me so fast. Where's your blood lust now?"

Metal traced over my chest, splitting the skin with a blade so fine I could barely feel it.

"I have plenty of blood to play with. And in Sakyo's service, with big brother Toguro watching my every move, I hardly ever have any company. Certainly none so fine."

"Nor will you again." Conscious now, I got off my knees. My legs were stiff and the joints fragile, but they responded and shoved me upwards. My skin, even the injuries, slid over the metal wall. It was soothing, cool. I looked down. Most of my ao dai was hanging from my waist. A little of the sleeves hung off my wrists.

Flashes of horrid memories rolled back. I let them, feeling the fear all over again, the anger – the scourges, his nails and teeth, the blades. He did not use explosions when I couldn't run. Except when he lay his hand on me.

"I wish I could die easier for you," I said.

"After all I've stuck in you, it is amazing how you keep healing. Your ki is endless."

"I think I'm stealing it from you," I said – a total lie.

"The fox doesn't heal you."

I listened to Yoko shifting, silent. "I can't hear him. I think…I was not a safe vessel anymore."

"Tragic."

I swallowed. I looked at the wide cuffs. They covered my forearms to the elbow, my legs from ankle to knee. There were different kinds of locks, hanging in different places, with paper totems and paint to restrict me.

I looked up at him. "You have me here. You don't want to touch me?"

"Is that a request?"

"I…had the impression from the hallway that you wanted more from me than the fight."

He snapped his fingers. A small crackle lit a candle, filling the air with a scent like a firecracker.

"I just find it curious that…" I stopped as he put the blade over the flame.

"Hm?"

"That – that, uh, you seem satisfied with simple pleasures."

"Oh this?" He looked at the blade. "This this this."

He began to hum. And he began to carve.

"I understand," I panted, my voice pitching high. I refused to look. "I know you're Toguro's captive. You want your own dog to torture? I could be you, you know. In another life."

"What do you know?"

He shoved the blade in and let go, letting it hang. I cried out and stifled it. After a minute, I looked him in the eye. I breathed, "It's alright. I understand."

He laughed. He laughed and backed up. He shook a finger at me. "No. You're crazy. You were crazy to get in the ring with me. You were crazy to think Toguro would let me stay dead. And you're crazy now – "

"To think that you'll kill me? You can't. Because I'm you." I let my head rest against the wall. "Look at me. Aren't I? Isn't this what you feel like, trapped here? You're not strong enough to leave."

"No, I'm not. Toy, you're getting old. Very quickly."

I smiled. "Good. Then I'm ready to join my teammates."

Karasu laughed.

The door on the other side of the bedroom burst open, falling off its hinges. Toguro stooped inside, growling, "Karasu. Set a guard when you come to him."

Karasu let his head roll with his eyes. "How unnecessary."

"That's not a human you're playing with. That is a fox. Why can't you understand that?" Toguro glared at me and I cringed like a rabbit, eyes wide, hiding in my shoulders.

Karasu turned, spooked by Toguro's words combined with the sound of my chains. He saw me cowering. "Are you stupid? Look at that thing."

"That thing got away from the SDF. He can get away from you. He can certainly get away from us. So the question is when you'll have too much exposure, make a mistake, or let him loose by your own choice. He's going to escape."

His confidence flattered me. But his presence was chilling. A visceral horror. The man who killed his soulmate and his humanity.

Karasu glared at him. "I'm not – "

"Come with me. I feel like a battle." Toguru then looked at me. I averted my eyes. He said, "Someday, fox, you and I will fight."

I shook my head. "That would be no fight. I would be no match. Please, don't harm Karasu."

Toguro looked at me. I was panted, shivering. My white body glistened with sweat and blood, and the tool was still hanging in me. "Karasu. You broke him?"

"Have mercy on him," I said, looking at him, then at Karasu.

Karasu strode forward and struck me across the face. "You shut up."

"It's okay…" I wailed. "It's okay. It's okay. I understand why. It's alright…you're okay."

Karasu stared. Embarrassed, he turned.

But Toguro did not ask what I was saying or why. He said, "Come along," and left. Karasu followed.

 

I bled. I bled and planned.

There was the weakness of location. I was in a cell, yes, but not a dungeon. There was a window. It was high, too – not in the room but above the ground. The air seeping around it smelled thin and I could see the curve of the horizon, and the sort of birds that can handle higher altitudes.

Karasu had put me somewhere convenient for him. Of course, he was a bodyguard to Sakyo.

What an unfortunate, inopportune coincidence. Within running distance of Sakyo's living quarters. A strange place to keep a fox.

The corners of my lips curled. I looked out the window.

There's a problem with windows and animal spirits that isn't immediately obvious to jailers. The problem is that windows have corners. Corners catch wind. And the wind gets away, but in the process of being averted in its path, it drops things. Things like seeds, seeds and pollen.

I waited and listened. But I could wait years. I wouldn't have to though. It was summer outside.

Hours passed.

I healed. The tool fell out. But Karasu did not return. No one brought food.

Then, at dusk came a giant stroke of luck. Even better than pollen.

A bird landed. Its stomach was full of black cherry tree seeds.

I smiled. Inside the bird's stomach, one began to grow. The bird shifted, then regurgitated them all onto the window ledge.

"Thank you," I whispered, glad to leave it its life.

The doors clanged open.

I stopped feeding my ki to the seeds immediately. I stared up. "Karasu?"

The crow was there. He lurched to the wall and stared down the steps. He put a foot down, then grabbed the rail. He began to lower himself, step by step. He was healing himself, I could feel it. Still, he bore deep ugly bruises, energy burns that had eaten through his clothing and skin, and heat sanitized gashes.

"What happened?"

Karasu shook his head, laughing. It was obvious: he'd lost. He moved to the bottom step. Turning, he motioned at me.

An explosion went off at my hip, throwing my body against the cuffs. My right wrist rebroke. I cried out – then bit my lip and hid my face, ducking under my hair. I wept, keening.

I looked up as he walked closer, and I grit out, "Go on! Feel better."

Karasu's eyes slit. His hair grew hoary blond, blowing back as he lifted his hand. A sun grew from his palm, blinding energy.

I shouted at him as I backed against the wall to get away, and he advanced –

"Do it! This has gone on long enough. Toguro was right; I'm not a toy. He hurt you – hurt me then! If it helps you – you know it will."

He drew back his arm.

I turned my face away, eyes squeezed shut as stray flares of ki whipped me. "Do it! Just do it."

The light went out.

His hand closed on my throat. He cut down my hands, then feet, leaving the cuffs and talismans hanging heavy on me. He threw me down. I felt the cold floor hit my back and I coughed out the air I was holding in. I looked up into the red eyes. His mask was gone.

Karasu held my throat. "You want me?"

"What?" I asked.

"You're a little cunt, aren't you. Never practicing…" He reached his index finger down my chest, over my ribs and stomach, until it caught on the clumped ring of fabric around my waist. He ripped it open. A strip of my hip lay bare, and a bar of flesh down to my knee. I could feel my skin prickle at the air. "Never improving."

"You're…his words?"

"Shh!" Karasu held a finger to his mouth, then mine. "Hush, dog. Hush. Taking your advice."

"No." I put my hands on his shoulders, extremely slowly. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry he – "

"He loves my fire, he says." Karasu caressed my face. He kissed me. "My spirit. That feels funny."

"What?"

"That."

"Kissing? Yes. It's…a human thing." I shook my head. "Biological…test for compatible immunities. Sensitive. Demons don't…need it."

"Spit. It's disgusting."

I could not nod or disagree. "I'm sorry he did that."

Karasu looked down my body. He touched me, slowly. Moving his hand down to my thigh, his fingers dragged so lightly…my whole body jerked suddenly, as if I was jolting from falling asleep. "Shh-shh!"

"I'm sorry," I said, trembling, my cuffs dragging over the floor and jingling as I positioned myself passively in resistance.

"This I liked," Karasu said. He kissed my neck. His teeth scratched over the skin. It felt good – amazing. Innocent.

Karasu sat up, resting. "But it did not last very long."

He flipped the rags off of my groin. I flinched, pulling my knees up and together as I tried to push him off, but the cuffs were unwieldy. He pinned me and I cried, "Wait. Wait."

"Pretty boy. I have some frustrations," he quoted, intoning with deep irony. "I beat you and won, and this is the least you can do.  Admit it. Relax."

"Oh no. Please." I hesitated. "Do you want me to? I…can."

Karasu shrugged. "What do I fucking care what happens to you?"

He stood up suddenly. I started to sit up, but froze, waiting for a signal of his intent. He moved to leave, to step away, and then kicked me viciously in the head. He stomped down on my shoulder, then side – I curled to get away. He attacked my spine and neck. I rolled away, and Karasu howled, "Can't you do better than that?"

"Have mercy," I begged. My broken wrist was shattered; my nose bled into my mouth. I wondered what I could do with the seeds – was this the time? I don't think he was close enough. He would notice, and that would be over –

"Have mercy," Karasu laughed. "Oh, he doesn’t know the meaning. Boy, he doesn't know the meaning. Not for you and I. He slaughtered the woman he loved – you know that?"

"I felt it."

"Sit up."

I did. With my good hand, I tried to fold my clothes to cover me.

"There is no mercy here."

I nodded. "I know. I see that now. Forgive me, I didn't…I thought if I asked, he would – at least think of it."

"His mercy is his pleasure, not his duty," Karasu said. "And his pleasure is just as painful. And less dignified. Open your knees."

I did, moving my feet wide. Under the heavy cuffs, my shins sweat madly. It stank. I held the ripped ao dai between my legs with my hand, but the one thigh was still bare. I could feel the blood under that bare skin calling his attention. "Please, Karasu."

"You should fight me first. Before I ride you. We should fight." He looked around, then cracked his knuckles. "Here is fine."

My heart leapt. But I said, "Like this? I'm injured – "

"Do you think I get weapons when I battle him? That it's fair? Are you a demon or not?"

I pushed myself up. I stumbled to the side, towards the window. "Can I at least heal?"

"Use your ki any way you like. And I'll promise you this. I'll be noble – after I fill you with my cock, I'll choke you to death. I'll let you go. Like you want, to join your teammates."

"Where is Bui?" I said, edging sideways, as if it was a compulsion of my fear driving me.

"Don't. Don't say his name." Karasu covered one eye, looking completely mad. Then he relaxed. He grew poised, brushing himself off, and began to fix his clothing, checking the tears. As a quest class, he began manifesting patches, making his coat whole again. He began to look exactly as composed as when I first met him in the hall.

"But…they brought him back."

"Like they brought me back, with that stupid wish."

"Isn't he…someone to love? A friend."

Karasu stared at me. "There is no one to share this with. No one. Not you either."

"Then I have no one to apologize to except you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Karasu laughed. "What – "

The cherry side growing in my loose healing aura struck out, tearing through the rocks like a hurricane. Karasu sent explosions, blowing the wood and branches to splinters, but not fast enough to reach me – torrents of leaves and heartwood wove between us, and he was crushed in an instant.

This time I was careful. I let the tree wrap him, drain him, dissolve him completely. The roots tore apart his limbs, his heart, and his skull. The fibrous mesh ate him whole.

 

Sakyo grabbed his desk. "What was that?"

Toguro sighed. "Go there. To that side of the room."

Sakyo obeyed.

Behind him, the far side of the room collapsed. The wall fell away, tumbling some thirty stories to the ground. The floor buckled. His desk, with his smart phone on it, started to slide, but Toguro grabbed a corner and slung it spinning into the corner. Sakyo could hear shouting and a wickedly high wind.

Toguro moved to the gaping hole. "Sir…I'd rather not have to describe this."

Sakyo joined him.

A surreal arc led down from the corner of the ruined building: a stair roofed in wreaths, garlands of cherry blossoms and leaves. From it, things fell – equipment of a sort. The fox prisoner from the fights, Karasu's wish to be spared, ran down the steps. He was naked. He seemed to throw roots from his hands like whips, slashing through anyone near him on the ground. As soon as his feet hit the earth, the grass sprang up, obscuring him. He was gone, except as a blanket of wild, lush foliage that expanded from his feet like a bomb.

"I'll take care of this," Toguro said.

"No. No. One dead whore is quite enough. I assume Karasu must be dead for me to be watching this?"

"Clearly. I gave him warning."

"I hear you gave him a lot of things."

Toguro looked outside. "I spoiled him."

"Well. No need for favorites. Your toy is gone, his toy is gone." Sakyo went to his desk.  "Back to business."

 

 

 



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