Closer (13)


If it hadn’t been for the decidedly female, scandalized gasps and giggles rousing him from his comfortable slumber, Yumichika would’ve happily slept for another few hours.

Instead, he tried to get up and scold them away, an effort rendered even more laughable by his inability to shift Ikkaku off of himself. In fact, they watched helplessly, more amused than horrified, shocked out of their usual routines by the strange sight before them.

“Get up, you fool!” he hissed, wriggling out from under one heavy, corded arm. Ikkaku responded by sourly yelling at them, “Quit with all that racket, already! Can’t a man sleep?!”

“Honestly!” Yumichika dragged his discarded kimono around his shoulders and gave the female servants a steady, icy glare in an attempt to find his dignity. “Ladies, please. Go on about your business and let our guest sleep. As you can see, mornings don’t agree with him.”

There was a round of bows all made with stifled laughter and the girls quickly cleared out, no doubt eager to share the news that they’d discovered the Prince in bed with the man who’d bought him so many years ago. What kind of frightening tale they’d manage out of this fodder boggled the mind, but there was no help for it now. Continue reading

Closer (12)


You’ve never been to the World of the Living, Yumichika, but I can tell you thisunless it’s changed since then, it’s worse than any district 80. Everything was dirty, everything was ugly. I didn’t know anything different than that. I never even knew who gave birth to me; she left me behind the minute it was over and no one knew who she was…

The heavily armored man moved off the road to the ditch to relieve his aching bladder, wishing the sun would just set already and stop making him so damned hot. He’d just started to release his long-held bladder when he heard a soft sound, almost like a snort or a laugh.

“Eh? What’s this?” He hurriedly reined himself in, righting his clothing and casting around for whoever it was.

But the ditch was empty, and the fields beyond weren’t ready for picking and as unpopulated as the sky.

“Hajime! Hurry it up already!”

“I heard something!” he shouted back, scowling. “Go ahead, if you’re so impatient! I’ll catch up to you! I’ll catch up, I said!”

He looked around one more time, but saw nothing more than some discarded baskets, a few broken pots, and a bloody bundle of ruined clothes. He just started to consider resuming his task when the bundle wriggled and that low laugh came again. Alarmed, he touched his prayer beads once for reassurance and lifted the edge of the bundled cloth with the tip of his naginata. Continue reading

Closer (11)


Whether Ikkaku liked it or not, Kido was Yumichika’s secret, guilty pleasure. Though he made a show of reluctance whenever Ikkaku was near – even when helping his frustrated, endearing friend with the basic techniques required for graduation – Yumichika was actually delighted by Kido and everything that it could enable him to do. Continue reading

Closer (10)


For those of you who don’t like backstory, you may want to skip this one. I’m having fun drawing them closer to the inevitable and, as always, I write things the way I do because I like them that way, so feel free to pass on this one if you’d rather. – JG/Purefoysgirl Continue reading