[identity profile] wutangfellowshp.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Lost Communication (Stop Motion Percussive Instrumental)
Author: Rana Eros ([livejournal.com profile] ranalore)
Summary: He's been waiting all this time.
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Yami no Matsuei
Pairing: Oriya/Hisoka, Oriya/Muraki
Spoilers: For the Kyoto Arc
Title, Author and URL of original story: found correspondence, by Phoebe Zeitgeist
Author's Notes: I tell you what, there's something enormously cool about getting to pinch hit for one of your favorite authors after getting assigned one of your other favorite authors. Life just don't get much better.

Once again, [livejournal.com profile] elizacake helped me pick out the story and brainstorm my direction, then she and [livejournal.com profile] wordsofastory whipped this puppy into shape. Kudos to them for their brilliance. Phoebe's original story is one of the most intriguing pieces of work to exist in the YnM fandom, and you have no idea how stoked I am that I was able to tackle some of its "What ifs?"

Lost Communication (Stop Motion Percussive Instrumental)

It's raining the day Oriya receives the documents, a cold late autumn rain. He takes the papers inside and sets them on his desk, meaning to leave them there while he has the dojo aired out for tonight's sparring with Hisoka. But a word catches his eye on the top page, and he frowns, peering closer to see what manner of business correspondence would include the term "Meifu."

There's mention of shares in a startup company by the name of Meifu Advanced Theraputics, of a trust of which he is the trustee, which only tells him to look deeper. Oriya sits down, sifts carefully through the various contracts, forms, financial statements and certificates, until he finds the note. It's small and the paper is cheap, but he knows that elegant, arrogant scrawl, can imagine Kazutaka wielding the pen as precisely, violently, as though wielding a scalpel.

He only makes it as far as the mention of Tatsumi before he stops the first time, suddenly feeling the length of those six years stretching so far he cannot see the other end anymore. He realizes he's been assuming all along that Kazutaka was alive, yes, but also keeping tabs on him, on his life. There has, in fact, been some part of his heart that's been certain Kazutaka was behind Hisoka coming to him that second time, to tell him of the fire, to accuse him of harboring Kazutaka. To provoke him into another duel, and thus begin a tradition that's lasted six years.

He's been losing more often of late. Hisoka's improved as much as a talented boy does with six years' diligent study, and Oriya...well. He feels the effects of six years differently. This is another: Kazutaka no longer knows every minute detail of his life.

Then he comes to the mention of Hisoka, and wonders if he's wrong after all, if Kazutaka knows everything. Wonders what he's to do when Hisoka comes tonight, and tastes Kazutaka in his thoughts.

It's a concern that follows Oriya through the afternoon, and it's just as well the Ko Kaku Rou runs smoothly without his full attention, just as well there are no VIPs to be attended to tonight. In the end, he decides to start his kata practice a little early, in the hopes his mind will be calmer when Hisoka comes.

Unfortunately, even the forms don't bring his thoughts to order. He'll have to tell Hisoka something, but he can't decide what, or how. He's loathe to simply show Hisoka the note, and he's not sure if that's protection of Hisoka or loyalty to Kazutaka. After the initial challenge, the initial confirmation that Kazutaka had killed Hisoka, had taken Hisoka, and still Oriya was his friend, they've not spoken of it. They've not spoken of Oriya's suspicion that Hisoka, like the sakura in his garden that blooms out of season, is a gift from the dear friend who remembers his favorite season to be spring. They've not spoken of whether Hisoka still means to kill Kazutaka if he can. They've not spoken of how Oriya would greet Kazutaka if he returned to the Ko Kaku Rou. They've not spoken of who would share Oriya's bed in such an eventuality.

Now he knows that, at least, won't be a question for many years. Kazutaka sounds satisfied in his work in America, as if it's a thing he's been working toward; Oriya very much doubts he'll stage his own disappearance any time soon, only to see an old friend with whom he's found other means of communication. Especially not if Oriya's guess is right, and Kazutaka meant Hisoka to replace himself as a lover.

"You do complicate things, old friend," he says to himself as he pauses for breath, and behind his back he hears the shoji pushed aside.

"You've heard from him, then," Hisoka says, and Oriya turns to face him, sees he's brought his own sword, is dressed for sparring. Or fighting. Nor is he wet. Straight from Meifu, then. "Did you know where he was?"

"Wouldn't you have felt it, if I had?" Oriya asks in turn, and Hisoka steps up into the room, blade half-drawn, eyes narrowed.

"Did you know where he was, Mibu-san?"

And this is how you take the gift away, Oriya thinks, though it doesn't have to be. He could still lie.

He has never lied to Hisoka.

"I didn't know, but is that the question you truly mean to ask?"

Hisoka bares his blade. "I don't have to ask the other question, Mibu-san."

"No, of course not," Oriya murmurs, watching Hisoka's eyes. "Have you ever?"


Which is as Oriya expected, but begs another question. "Why did you come to me then, Hisoka?"

"To understand what bound you to him. To see if he'd come back to you, after what you've done for him."

Were he less guarded, Oriya might suck in a breath at that. Instead he says, "You did not need to share my bed to keep tabs on me."

Hisoka isn't the boy he was six years ago, for all he still looks it, but his temper can still be courted with such insinuations. He stalks closer, moving into a fighting stance. "You didn't need to take me into it, no matter how much I reminded you of him when you were young. Or will you choose to lie to me now?"

"I've never lied to you. Can you say the same?"

"I've never lied to you." Hisoka's blade flashes out, and Oriya counters it, but really, the swords feel redundant today. After six years, they've honed their words for the true battle, and Oriya doesn't think either of them will walk away unblooded.

"How did you know I'd heard from him? Do you have eyes in the courier system as well?" Oriya feints, but Hisoka no longer falls for such tricks. Not from him.

"Tatsumi-san received a bundle of documents today. He wished to accompany me, but I persuaded him otherwise." Hisoka strikes again, and Oriya counters at an awkward angle, jarring his own arm.

"I wasn't aware there were courier services that could carry such things from Chijou to Meifu."

"Muraki has found his way in before. How do you think he kidnapped Tsuzuki?"

"I--" thought he came willingly. Oriya knows better than to say it, but he can't catch himself before he thinks it, and that's a cut he never meant to deliver. He's not met Hisoka's partner since Kazutaka brought the man to dinner six years ago, but he knows Hisoka's loyalty. It might be said to mirror his own.

"Muraki hurt him," Hisoka says, and he has not moved, but Oriya feels the attack building. "Muraki hurt me. He hurt you, and yet you've been waiting for him all this time, ready to be hurt again for just a word. Did you think I didn't know?"

They've come back to it again, Hisoka's rage and Oriya's acceptance. The pain Kazutaka's inflicted, and Hisoka's incomprehension that Oriya chose it, still chooses it, that dark brilliance that's spring twisted back on itself to become the bloodless, hungry heart of winter. Oriya himself doesn't truly understand it. He only knows that he wants, and he'll accept the cost of wanting.

"I was certain you knew, little brother," he says, and it's not a strike he savors, but it's one it seems he must make. "I'm only still uncertain why you played the role, when you knew."

"It was no role!" Hisoka shouts, and in the silence that follows, Oriya can hear the rain pounding relentlessly on the dojo roof. Autumn rain, for the season that is his, tumbling into winter, carried like a frozen ghost into spring. And he cannot make the seasons run backward, or stop, as Kazutaka can. He will always move forward, and winter will always be there to swallow him.

Hisoka disengages, stepping backward, sheathing his sword. Oriya's won the match, if either of them can be said to have done so. Hisoka looks distant and perfect in the lamplight, as he had under the stars when Oriya first saw him. Untouched and untouchable. Perhaps he's won after all.

"Tatsumi-san will wish to speak to you of the trust, Mibu-san," Hisoka says, all formality. "He is likely to come tomorrow night."

"Will you come with him?" Oriya asks, because it's in the forefront of his thoughts, and Hisoka will hear it in either case, but he wants to say it. Wants Hisoka to hear him say it. He'll choose them both, if they agree; he's been trying for the past six years.

It's no surprise when Hisoka shakes his head, and Oriya wonders what Hisoka makes of this pain, the choosing of it. "I think it's best if I don't, Mibu-san."

Oriya presses his lips closed against the next question bubbling in his throat, in his mind, and hopes Hisoka will have mercy enough not to answer it. Kazutaka never would, but Kazutaka is not here.

And still I choose him, Oriya thinks, struggling for a polite farewell to give Hisoka, but I don't think you want me to choose you only in his absence, Hisoka, and you will not let me have you both.

"Be careful in the rain, Mibu-san," Hisoka says abruptly, and turns to open the shoji once more.

"Wait." Oriya takes a single step forward, but the smooth words he might have said are swallowed at the sight of Hisoka in profile against the evening rain.

"I have waited, Mibu-san," Hisoka says over his shoulder. "We both have. Now the waiting's ended, at least for one of us. Farewell, Mibu-san."

He steps out into the rain before Oriya can stop him again, and is gone by the time Oriya steps up to the open shoji. Back to Meifu, Oriya thinks, back to his partner and his vengeance. Back to his own choices.

In the courtyard, the unseasonal sakura is shedding its petals under the assault of the rain. Oriya only pauses a moment before he shuts the shoji screen on the sight. Eventually, the rain will stop, and the sakura will survive.

Eventually, winter will come.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
Honey, this is amazing. Thank you so, so much.

Of course, now I feel terribly sorry for all three of them. But that only impresses me more -- who would have thought that my fluff could be turned so effectively into something so bleak, and yet so resonant?

And you know why I'm MIA this weekend, and I'd better get back to it. But other committments or no other commitments, how could I resist telling you how wonderful this is, right now??

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
It was a hell of a thing to write, as I've mentioned in my LJ, but it was the only way I could go. I am deeply relieved you like it.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animadri.livejournal.com
Just tear my heart out, why don't you, mystery writer. That hurt! Brilliant story. I can't help but feel sorry for Oriya the most.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
I hurt for Oriya and Hisoka both. My poor boys. I'm glad you liked it, hon, even if it's devastating. *hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistressrenet.livejournal.com
Wow. This is dark, and complicated, and painful, and the drama's so nicely wrought-- just at a knife edge, not overdone but still tense and electric.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Thank you, hon! I was very concerned about keeping it understated, restrained, because neither Hisoka nor Oriya are really given to melodrama, and I wanted the piece to be quiet and devastating. It's good to hear I managed a balance.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mistressrenet.livejournal.com
Yeah, they're the more matter-of-fact types in a sea of melodrama. You did, you did!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
It's one of the things I love about them, that practicality, even as it's one of the things that interferes with making them happy.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parallactic.livejournal.com
I like your portrayal of the fraught tensions between Oriya and Hisoka, and the glimpse of Hisoka in the future.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Thank you! It was interesting to extrapolate both of them forward.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arcanelight.livejournal.com
Oh...that hurt a lot. Actually made my eyes well up. Beautiful execution of these complex relationships.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm not ashamed to say they made me cry a little too, and I'm glad I managed to convey some of that feeling, even if it hurts.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olympia-m.livejournal.com
extremely sad, for all involved. Very beautiful companion piece to Phoebe's story. *SIGH* But sad....

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
(Deleted and reposted to fix the ugly html errors. I hope no more have crept in, because I'm not doing that again.)

*SIGH* But sad....

I know. And . . . and . . .

You know what's funny about this? I wrote the underlying story in response to one of your stories, because it left me thinking, Oh, poor Oriya, it's a gorgeous story but poor Oriya, someone should do something to cheer him up!" If I'm remembering correctly, [livejournal.com profile] xandria had exactly the same reaction, although her approach to the cheering-up was different.

And now I feel like we are, collectively speaking, the scary and benevolent fairies in some story, dueling over the fate of some poor mortal. Or like Athena, Hera and Aphrodite messing with the fates of the Greek and Trojan heroes. I adore this story, and even so, there's part of me that's tempted to pick pieces up again from here and, well, I'm not sure what, but I bet I could find something.

Because, poor Oriya! Someone should do something to make him feel better!

And then, of course, it would be someone else's turn to make him feel worse again. It's a hard life, being the beloved of capricious goddesses.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olympia-m.livejournal.com

Sorry for not leaving a comment to your story - I read it today because of the remix (no idea if I had read it before), but I found it even more painful than Rana's story (because - poor Oriya!!!) BTW, and if it wasn't clear: I loved your story!!!

Ah, yes, someone should cheer him up. Please, make him happy somehow....

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
You shouldn't apologize about not having seen that earlier story, or not having commented on it! For one thing, I'm pretty sure I posted it back in my days as a complete newbie, when I would have been too intimidated to put it anywhere you might have actually seen it. It makes me very happy that you liked it when you did find it, though: there's nothing quite so lovely as finding that someone whose work you admire likes something you've written.

As for Oriya, if it makes you feel any better in the short run, I can tell you that in this universe (or at least, in my version of it), Muraki is somewhat saner than he appears to be in the Kyoto Arc, and that while he's still a sorcerer and murderer and all, he really does love Oriya. And he would turn time around for him, and take care of that looming winter, the very instant he believed he had Oriya's permission to do it. I feel very confident that the two of them will work all of this out.

And then poor Tatsumi will be miserable instead. But, what can you do? Some people can probably fix things for all their characters at once, but I don't seem to be one of them.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
No need to worry about Tatsumi. He's got Hisoka. Or, well, in my version he does. *G*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
Good to know. Because when he shows up to talk about that trust, he's going to find not Hisoka's Oriya but the Master of the Ko Kaku Rou, with an honor guard of lawyers. Oriya will have called them in as a courtesy, of course, because if Tatsumi wants to talk about the trust, it only makes sense for there to be people present who can answer his questions and address his concerns. And what they're going to tell him, I fear, is that there's nothing he can do about the trust -- or at least, nothing he likes.

Just as a footnote, in the underlying story Muraki had no intention of notifying Tatsumi of this thing's existence for a good ten years or so. He has every confidence that these shares are going to be enormously valuable by then, and that business about annoying Tatsumi had to do with forcing him to choose between accepting a great deal of money from someone he hates or else renouncing something he would find it painful to renounce. The impact won't be exactly the same in this universe and under these circumstances, of course, but there's still a potentially valuable asset in play. And I feel confident that if Muraki's gone to the trouble of notifying him in this universe, he's also figured out other ways to make this upcoming interview as irritating as it could possibly be.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Oh, I figured Oriya would call in the lawyers. I suspect one reason Hisoka managed to convince Tatsumi to let him go alone this first time is because Tatsumi wants answers, which means Oriya needs to be notified so he can get people into place who can provide answers.

And this, I think, is where our radically different views on Muraki and Tatsumi come into play. *G* In my version, Muraki felt compelled to notify Tatsumi as the only way to control how and when Tatsumi found out, and thus possibly control Tatsumi's reaction. It's a gamble that may or may not pay off, since he's given Tatsumi a possible weapon and a reason to use it (interfering with the Oriya/Hisoka relationship, however obliquely). My bet is that JuOhCho has its own legal department, on whose services Tatsumi could call. And while he was at it, he might put in a call to the American branch of the Japanese underworld, just to keep an eye on things.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olympia-m.livejournal.com
*huge blush*
Oh, but I feel that I should be apologizing....

I'm glad Muraki and Oriya will work things out in the end :) :)

Tatsumi will find something, I'm sure....

(as for fixing everything - I hope you're not looking at me: last time I wrote YnM, I made Oriya irreversibly sad with no chance of fixing anything for him....)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
(as for fixing everything - I hope you're not looking at me: last time I wrote YnM, I made Oriya irreversibly sad with no chance of fixing anything for him....)

No, I feel that fixing things for the characters is my job. Faintly creepy fluffiness is my niche in this fandom, after all; I am by way of being the safety net for our guys, after you more serious folks get through with them. It's just that the nature of creepy fluffiness is such that I can usually only make one set of these characters happy at a time, because what's required to make one group happy almost inevitably is going to annoy at least one other character. Or worse.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
You know what's funny about this? I wrote the underlying story in response to one of your stories

Okay, that is too awesome. I love that that happened. I love the genre conversation.

For what it's worth, I wanted this to be a threesome story.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] p-zeitgeist.livejournal.com
Oh, you make me so happy.

You know, I'm sure, that it's not that I want this story to be different in any respect. No, not even for the threesome you wanted. It's just the conversation-through-story is so much fun -- well, okay, that and my complete and irremediable fluffiness.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-30 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Oh, you make me so happy.

The feeling is mutual. *G*

While it doesn't do Oriya any good, I've paired up Tatsumi and Hisoka in my head after this. Short of having Muraki send for him, I don't know how to help an Oriya this devoted.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
It is sad. I hurt for them so much. And thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karadin.livejournal.com
very satisfying, thank you so much for posting.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-03 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] threewalls.livejournal.com
I love the interwoven relationships in this-- that for all that Oriya's interactions with Hisoka and Muraki are foregrounded, so many other relationships (and I use the term to encompass non-sexual interaction as well) are also here. Aging and choices meaning different things to different people are also explored here, and with anyone but Oriya as narrator, I'd find the explicit parallels between seasons/weather and characters cloying, but that's how Oriya paints his perceptions, down to the strangely non-contradictory sense that he's both chosen his own doom and that it was inevitable/fated, regardless.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-08 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranalore.livejournal.com
Thank you! And I'm so glad you caught that last bit, how Oriya feels both trapped into his doom and responsible for choosing it. I feel like the canon has a not entirely coherent theme of how those two concepts play off of each other, and I like to mess with it.

I'm very glad you liked the story.


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