The Rising Sun & The Morning Calm Ch. 22byvinkb©
Thanks for those who were nice enough to comment. It's usually the best encouragement I have to keep writing. Please let me know if you liked the story. I'm always curious as to who's reading. Again, not much in the way of sex here, but for everyone who's been asking about Genzo, he's the primary focus.
Returning back to the apartment with many bags in hand, the three kicked off their shoes and fell back onto the couch. "My feet are soooo tired," Angela griped.
"Me too," Linnsa agreed. "Thanks for carrying all those bags, Genzo." Feigning irritation, he simply grunted, causing both girls to giggle.
"Are you hungry at all, Lins?"
"I could eat," she grinned.
Turning to Genzo, she smiled. "Genzo, could I impose upon you to go grab something for my sister and yourself?"
Standing up, Genzo gave another little bow. "What would you like?" he asked, looking at Linnsa.
She laughed. "Surprise me. I've given you enough trouble for one day."
"I will return shortly," he promised.
When he'd left and was presumably out of earshot, Angela eagerly scooted onto the couch next to her sister and whispered, "So what do you think?"
"Huh? What do you mean?" Her sister blinked, genuinely perplexed by her question.
Rolling her eyes, she jerked her head at the door. "What do you think of him? He's pretty cute, huh?"
"Come on, Linnsa. Don't you think Genzo's nice?" Angela wiggled her eyebrows for emphasis.
Linnsa narrowed her eyes at her sister. "Unnie, are you trying to set me up with him?"
She looked coyly at the ceiling. "Maaaaaybe. What's wrong with that? You're single, he's single, you're cute, he's cute – the list goes on and on."
Sighing, she said, "It's too soon after Rich. I need some time. Plus I don't know really know anything about him." Suddenly she thought back to his night terror and blushed slightly.
"Ohhhh, there's something you're not telling meeeeeee," Angela needled. "Come on, spill."
"Promise you won't say anything?"
"You know me. Now spill!"
Not knowing the best way to relay the story, Linnsa decided on the straightforward approach. "Last night I heard Genzo having a nightmare and when I went to check on him, he was screaming like he didn't know I was there."
"And the good part is?"
"What?! Quit stalling!" Angela was literally on the edge of her seat.
"Well, I tried to soothe him, but he sort of fell back asleep without letting go of me. I tried to get up but his arm is so heavy." Linnsa looked down at her empty ring finger. "I think I embarrassed him. He didn't remember any of it."
Trying not to laugh, Angela put on a serious face and said solemnly, "Don't worry, Ninja Boy will never know." At the last sentence, both of them began cracking up uncontrollably. "Well, considering that you two did sleep together, it's just something, you know, to consider." A knock at the door interrupted their conversation. "Who is it?"
"[Konbawa]," Noboru's voice greeted.
Getting up, she opened the door for him. "How were your meetings today, Big Dog?"
"The room smelled nice," he joked as he kissed her cheek.
"I don't get it," Linnsa said as the two of them started laughing.
konbawa: good evening (Japanese)
Walking back to the flat, steak take out in hand, Genzo smiled to himself and hoped that she would not mind the same meal twice in a row. Linnsa was so different from her sister. There was a gentle quality about her that contrasted sharply with her sister's hard-headed feisty attitude. He found her demeanor quite peaceful to be around. She inspired a calm in him that he had long forgotten, or thought he had forgotten. It was nice to have had the opportunity to get to know her and his smile disappeared a little when he thought about her returning to the United States. Stepping into the living room, he announced himself with a light knock and saw Noboru's face answer the door. "[Konbawa], Noboru-donno."
Noboru gave him a welcome smile. "Come in, come in." Sitting on the couch next to Angela, he looked at Linnsa and asked, "Since our esteemed friend has returned to keep you company while you eat, would you mind terribly if I borrowed your sister for the evening?"
Grabbing her steak, Linnsa busied herself with getting herself set up to eat. "Nope. You two have fun. Just don't keep her out too long, or I'll have to turn you into [boshing tang]."
"Lucky for you she has that steak, Nobu," Angela jibed.
Genzo looked perplexed as he watched the three of them burst into laughter. After Angela had hugged her sister goodbye, he queried, "What is [boshing tang]?"
Linnsa grinned evilly. "Dog soup."
"Oh." In spite of himself, Genzo began laughing as well.
They spent the next few minutes without exchanging words. Genzo tried his best not to look too much at her and would discreetly avert his eyes if she looked up. Feeling awkward with all the silence, Linnsa asked, "So, did you ever go back to find the people who ransacked your village?"
When he didn't pick up on what she thought was an obvious follow up question, she added, "Well, what happened?"
Feeling himself stiffen a little at the question, he replied, "You do not need to concern yourself with such things." He didn't relish the idea of her knowing how he had exacted his revenge. "Let us simply say that I repaid them in kind."
"I guess it would be really hard to forgive someone for massacring your whole family."
Genzo found himself recalling the events leading to the fulfillment of his revenge. After he had completely recovered from his wounds, his first target was the village that was the home to most of the Takeda. He intentionally had picked the night of a new moon so that there would be little, if any light. Stalking quietly into the outskirts of the village, he waited and watched as people entered and left their homes, unaware of his presence. One of the shinobi walked a few feet in front of him and he was the first to be taken. Covering his mouth so that he couldn't scream, Genzo smiled at him while in his human form, then shifted, enjoying the sheer terror in the man's eyes and he watched him grow. Between his fangs came a barely recognizable rumble, "[Shinnei...]."
Her steak-filled voice snapped his attention back to the present. "[Nani]?"
"You looked so far away. What were you thinking about?"
He'd never shared his memories of exacting vengeance, not even with Noboru. There wasn't really any point as he saw it. What was done was done, retribution had been paid, there was no sense in dwelling on it, but he suddenly realized the longing he had to share his pain as well as his satisfaction with another. "I do not wish to perturb you with my thoughts," he said softly. "They are quite...morbid." His voice trailed off at the end of the sentence.
Linnsa looked into his face and found herself feeling so sad for him. "Did you want to talk about it?"
He did. But he didn't want her to see him as some sort of bloodthirsty animal. Given her innocence, hearing of that evening would probably sicken her to no end. "I am grateful for your offer, but I do not think that it would be a pleasant experience for you."
His ambivalence was palpable. Torn between curiosity and concern, she heard herself say, "Tell me what happened."
"You do not wish to know how many I killed," he quietly warned.
"How many?" She couldn't help being curious.
Genzo hesitated before responding, "I killed the entire village. There were probably about a hundred and fifty villagers that comprised the Takeda clan." Linnsa's eyes went wide with alarm. "I warned you that this would be disturbing to you. We should end this conversation."
"No, no. Please, go on."
Swallowing his misgivings, he watched her hug her knees the way her sister did when she was uncomfortable. "I remember every face. I remember every second of how I made them suffer. Men, women, children. I would not be satisfied until they were all dead and there was no remnant of their clan left or any hope of a future generation."
"Oh my god..." Linnsa's hand flew to her mouth in horror.
"I did not stop there," he continued, feeling his anger gaining momentum. "I spent the next two years hunting down anyone who had even the remotest blood ties to the Takeda [shinobi] and I killed them as well, though not as slowly."
Suppressing a shudder at the pleased smile that played about his lips, she simply asked, "Did you feel relief after you'd finished?"
"I am not sure." He hadn't thought about these events in so long, that he honestly could not remember whether or not he'd felt vindicated by murdering his enemies. "I know that from the day my family was killed until the day I knew I had slain the last of the Takeda, all I thought about was avenging their deaths. It was the first think that I thought of when I awoke and the last thing I thought of before I slept. It gave me a sense of purpose, something to look forward to and a reason to keep going."
"So what happened after the last one was dead?"
His shoulders slumped as he realized that he'd been floating through the past three centuries, living but with an emotional deadness that he'd become better and better at ignoring. At least, he had been good at denial until he had met these two sisters. "In the end, it did not return my family to me. Though I am grateful to Noboru, I do wish sometimes that he had let me join them. I had hoped that releasing my rage would also alleviate the pain of their loss. But, it did not." To his shock, he felt tears stinging his eyes. Embarrassed at such a display of weakness, he bent his head to stare at the ground, hoping she hadn't noticed. Suddenly he felt her tiny arms around his neck as she hugged him tightly. Though so small, she was strong, and he found him returning her hug. Burying his face into her chest, he could no longer hold back the tide of emotions that he had suppressed for so many years and he began to sob in earnest.
Linnsa felt her heart breaking for the man shaking like a child in her arms. "You poor thing," she whispered, stroking his hair softly. His night terror now made sense to her. He had been reliving their deaths. "I'm so sorry for what happened to your family, Genzo." His only response was to simply hold her tighter as he gave in to the sadness.
"I watched my three brothers die...I was not able to stop them...I was unable to save my family." He felt physically wracked with pain as he tried to curl deeper into her lap.
She simply held him as he grieved It was strange to see such a big man look so fragile. "You've been all by yourself for so long. I can't imagine what that's like. You must feel so alone."
Feeling something wet on his head, Genzo looked up to see that Linnsa was actually crying softly for him. Seeing her tears slowly streak down her face, he felt a sudden rush of emotion that he had never experienced before. Though he couldn't explain why, for the first time since his infection, he felt safe. He leaned his head on her shoulder as his breathing calmed. Feeling awkward, he released her and avoided her gaze. "I apologize for my behavior and the discomfort I have caused you."
Linnsa couldn't help a sad smile when she saw him cough awkwardly. "I'm glad you told me. You deserve to have someone to share this with."
Looking up at her, he felt his embarrassment melt away. "I have never shared this with anyone."
"[Hai]. Not even Noboru-sama."
She leaned forward and hugged him again. "Well, I'm glad to be the first." Straightening up, she remarked, "You must be exhausted. It's been a long day."
Both shy and embarrassed, he couldn't help commenting, "I am...afraid to sleep. I have nightmares about that night."
Grinning, Linnsa joked, "Are we having another slumber party?"
Laughing, he nodded. "If you would not be too uncomfortable, I would appreciate your company very much."
"Alright." Getting to her feet she headed to her own room. "I'll be back after I brush my teeth."
Not wanting her to feel uneasy, he changed into a pair of pajama bottoms and a plain T-shirt. As he was turning down the blankets on his bed, he heard her voice behind him announce, "Let the party begin!" Somersaulting onto the bed, she grabbed a pillow and began badgering him with it. Grinning at her impish antics, he reached for the nearest pillow and lightly smacked her back. "You can do better than that, Ninja Boy!" she taunted, swatting at his head.
"Ninja Boy?!" he snarled. "I hate that name!" Grabbing her by the waist, he held her up in the air like a baby before plopping her down on her back and tickling her mercilessly.
In seconds, she was giggling uncontrollably and gasping for air. "Stop! Stop it! I can't breathe!"
"What was that?" he teased, pretending not to have heard her.
Her arms were thrashing as she wriggled in his grip. "I yield! I yield! Uncle! Uncle!"
Confused he let go of her. "Why are you calling for your uncle?"
Trying to catch her breath, she huffed, "It's...just...an express...ion." Taking a deep breath, she added, "Wow, now I'm definitely tired."
"[Dozo]". Genzo motioned for her to hop in and waited until she was settled before he slid in next to her.
"Good night, Genzo," Linnsa yawned.
"Good night, Linnsa," he echoed.
As she fell asleep, he watched her face, imprinting it in his memory. Reaching out, he ran his fingers over the freckles that speckled her cheeks.
"Mm?" She sleepily blinked her eyes half open.
"Ah, [gomen]! I was looking at your freckles."
"Oh. Okay." She snuggled back into his pillow with a contented sigh.
He was amazed at her ability to fascinate him so. Everything about her, from her diminutive size to her playful, innocent nature inspired a feeling of happiness in him. Pulling her closer to him, he smiled when he heard her whimper at being jostled. Without thinking, he bent his head towards her and kissed her.
"Wha-". Taken by surprise, she stirred in his arms. "Genzo, what-"
"Linnsa-chan," he murmured, not stopping. He felt her stiffen in his arms, but she didn't push him away. Tentatively she began to return his kisses. At her acceptance of his advances, his kisses became more heated and he gripped her more tightly.
Feeling him hardening against her, she extricated herself from his grasp and pulled away, flushed.
"[Gomen!], he apologized again. "I-"
She stopped his sentence by putting her fingers to his lips. "I'm not mad, Genzo, but both of us are kind of in emotionally vulnerable places right now. I don't want to do something impulsive because I'm hurting and maybe the same is true for you, but I think we should be careful."
Simultaneously frustrated and relieved, he nodded in agreement and willed his rebellious cock to quiet itself. When he was sufficiently calm, he spooned her and kissed her gently on her cheek. "Good night, Linnsa-chan."
Rubbing his hand affectionately, Linnsa bid him sweet dreams.
konbawa: good evening (Japanese)
shinnei: die (Japanese)
nani: what (Japanese)
dozo: this way (J
gomen: sorry (J
"Genzo, what are you doing?"
At the sound of his older brother's stern tone, an 18 year old Genzo turned around. "[Doshta, oni-san]?"
Manzo grunted in disapproval as he watched his brother practicing with his throwing stars. "The way you flick your wrist is incorrect. There is a reason why your blades are not hitting their marks precisely." Taking hold of his brother's wrist, he demonstrated the proper form. "Do it again."
Following his brother's instruction, Genzo flicked his wrist as he was shown and his brother laughed triumphantly when the star landed smack in the middle of the painted wooden target. "[Arigato, oni-san]," he grudgingly acknowledged.
"[Baga]," Manzo chided, tousling his hair.
Not wanting to let his brother have the last word, Genzo aimed another star at his brother's retreating back and used his newfound skill to land a star right in his brother's left buttock. "[Yattah!]" he shouted with glee.
"[Itteh!]" was his brother's enraged response. As he pulled the star from his behind, Genzo took this as his cue to run. "[Nigetteh] you little bastard!" Manzo roared.
"You should be proud that your tutelage has benefitted me so much!" he taunted over his shoulder. As Genzo sprinted away from his brother, who was rapidly gaining on him, he saw his other brother Ryuzo off to the side, sharpening his katana. He was about to run past him when Ryuzo stuck his foot out without looking up from his work, sending him sprawling. Leaping on top of him, Manzo began boxing his brother's ears. Trying to dodge the blows, Genzo shouted to his other brother, "What was that for?"
"You think you can get away with anything because you are the youngest and our parents' favorite," Ryuzo drawled carelessly. "I for one am quite tired of your pranks and that was for the stunt you pulled last week filling my scabbard with tree sap. It took me three days to get my katana out. Take your punishment like a man." He snuck a satisfied glance out of the corner of his eye at the boy as he howled in protest and allowed himself a chuckle.
doshta: what's wrong (Japanese)
oni-san: title for older brother (Japanese, formal)
baga: idiot (Japanese)
yattah: I did it (Japanese)
itteh: ow (Japanese)
nigetteh: run (imperative, Japanese)
When Genzo awoke, he was startled to see Linnsa watching him attentively. "Good morning, Sunshine," she grinned. "So uh, what were you dreaming about? You were smiling the whole time."
Feeling compromised again, Genzo tried to clear his mind and remember his dream. "I dreamed of my brothers." Turning to Linnsa, he explained, "This is the first time I have had a pleasant dream about my family. Thank you, Linnsa."
"Oh, I'm sure it had nothing to do with me." She gave a little squeal of surprise when he grabbed her in a bear hug.
"It had everything to do with you," he smiled, squeezing her again. "Thank you, Linnsa-chan."
"You're welcome." Unsure of what to do with his growing affection, she didn't want to hurt his feelings either but was silently grateful that her sister was coming over. He would have to be a little less obvious. "Breakfast?"
His smile never left his face. "[Moichiron]."
moichiron: of course (Japanese)
When Angela arrived, she was shocked to be greeted at the door by Genzo. Actually, it wasn't so much Genzo as it was the smile that he was wearing. As she headed over to her sister to give her a hug, she asked, "What, is someone spiking the water with Prozac?"
"It's a long story," her sister said conspiratorially.
An eyebrow went up at the answer. "Ohhhhh! You better not keep me waiting long," she warned, wiggling her eyebrows.
"[Unnie], shut up!" Linnsa laughed, not a little awkwardly. "So you want breakfast? I want diner food."
Angela screwed up her face. "I'm not sure I want diner food. Wanna [kai bai bo] for it?"
Linnsa made a face in return. "You know you always win!"
"[Kai bai bo]?" he repeated.
"Rock paper scissors," Angela clarified.
"Oh," he nodded. "You mean [jyang ken]."
"No, [kai bai bo]," Linnsa challenged goofily.
Grinning, he made a fist. "May I join?"
"Where do you want to go for breakfast?" Angela laughed.
"I do not care. I simply wish to play," he smiled.
It was strange to see Genzo in such a good mood. Angela knew that somehow her sister was involved. "Okay." The two women made fists and raised them in preparation. "Kai bai-"
"[Jyang ken]," Genzo said pointedly.
Laughing, Linnsa said, "OK fine. [Jyang Ken]!"