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If Bankotsu can say one thing about Jakotsu, it's that he definitely makes life more interesting. That is, until one chance encounter leaves him wondering just how far he can really trust him. You can run from your past but you can't hide... Past timeline fic. Please note content warnings and author's note. Constructive criticism welcome.
Chapter 1, Prologue (Makoto I)
DISCLAIMER: Inuyasha and all of the characters featured in this fanfic are the property of Takahashi Rumiko, Sunrise, Viz and all other respective copyright owners. I do not lay claim to these characters in any way, shape or form.
Rating: M / R
Content warnings: Graphic violence, torture, suicide mention, child abuse, sexual abuse of minors, implied rape, slurs, swearing
Pairings: OC>Jakotsu, OC>Bankotsu, past OCxJakotsu (N.B. this is not a romance fic. The abuse warnings are there for a reason.)
Okay, I decided to upload this here because I want to revise this fic and could really do with some critiques before I get started. I'm going to post a new chapter every week until I've got the full thing uploaded (there are 18 chapters including the prologue and epilogue).
Please note that I go by manga canon only for all of my fics unless otherwise stated.
Another quick note on the timeline(s): the main storyline takes place about four and a half years before the Shichinintai’s execution. Bankotsu is 12 going on 13 and Jakotsu is 16. The Makoto chapters take place 4 years to 10 months before the main storyline.
All of the original characters featured in this story are my own creations. Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Bokken - a wooden sword used for training
Daimyou - a powerful feudal lord. Often used to refer to the leader of a samurai clan.
O- - an honorific prefix used to show respect
Makoto I (Prologue)
Makoto stood poised, his ebony eyes fixed on his prey. His blade was light in his hands. His breath misted the forest air as he weighed up his target. All it would take was one blow.
His sword swept downwards, missing the leaf by a hair.
He swore under his breath and blew a strand of dark hair out of his eyes. Focus, focus. At least it was easier to concentrate without Ichirou laughing at him. None of them ever came here, least of all to laugh. No taunts, no laughter, no Ichirou.
He swung his sword once more. A cloud of leaves scattered in its wake. None of them split.
He slashed at the air in frustration. The leaves danced around him, taunting him with their whispers. He heaved a sigh. He lowered his katana and wiped his forehead with his left sleeve. This was getting him nowhere.
He risked a glance over his shoulder. No Ichirou. Not that he'd expected him, of course. Not since that morning.
The morning Ichirou had turned thirteen. The morning he'd brought him a new bokken. The morning he'd found him by the river, hand-in-hand with Aoi.
Stupid, stupid Ichirou.
He gritted his teeth and brought the blade down with both hands.
The leaf split clean in two.
Makoto grinned as the two halves fluttered away on the breeze. "All right!" He gave a whoop and brandished his sword over his head.
A flock of crows took to the air screaming.
He flushed and clapped his free hand over his mouth. What was he thinking? If someone heard...
A soft chuckle rose from a nearby dell.
Makoto whirled round, his triumph forgotten. He levelled his katana in front of him, hardly daring to breathe. "Who's there?"
There was no reply. He waited stock-still, every nerve on edge. Just as he was beginning to relax, he heard a ragged cough.
"Here." The man's voice was taut with pain. "Come..." He broke into a coughing fit.
Makoto didn't move. He counted the seconds until the man's coughs gave way to silence. His eyes scanned the clearing for any signs of danger. His head snapped up as the branch above him quivered.
A squirrel peered down at him with curious eyes.
Makoto took a deep breath and tightened his grip on his katana. He crept to the edge of the dell, his sword at the ready. He suppressed a shudder as he caught the reek of blood.
A tangle of vines blocked his path. He hacked them aside. The gap was narrow but Makoto was more than lithe enough to fit through it. He steadied himself and pushed his way through the foliage.
His eyes shot wide as he took in the sight before him.
Corpses littered the forest floor like leaves. Broken men lay mangled in pools of congealed blood. They gaped at him with sightless eyes. Some of them hadn't even had time to draw their swords. The scent of death hung heavy in the air.
And there, in the middle of it all, was the samurai.
He lay slumped against a large maple, his hair hanging over his face like a veil. His side and shoulder were bound with makeshift bandages torn from the corpses' clothing. What remained of his armour was cracked and battered. His right hand still clutched the hilt of a broken katana.
Makoto backed away and grabbed at the nearest tree trunk for support. He was about to bolt when the samurai forced out another word.
Makoto froze. He turned his head and fixed the man with the fiercest stare he could muster. The samurai didn't respond. Makoto frowned as he caught sight of the tattered banner at his back. His eyes widened as he made out the daimyou's wisteria crest.
Whoever he was, he was in no state to fight. Makoto edged towards the samurai, his heart thundering.
The samurai raised his eyes as he approached. Warm chestnut eyes. Up close, he seemed younger than Makoto had expected, perhaps no more than twenty. His face, though drawn with pain, was smooth and unblemished, his features unusually fine for a man's. Makoto felt a flush creep across his cheeks as the samurai met his gaze.
"O-samurai-sama..." he began. His blush grew deeper.
The samurai gave him a nod.
Makoto swallowed and continued. "M-may I... help?"
The samurai weighed his words. When he spoke his voice was surprisingly clear.
The samurai pointed down at his stomach. Makoto stared at him in confusion. It wasn't until the man mimed a slash across his belly that he finally caught on.
Makoto stood motionless, the samurai's stare pinning him to the spot. He looked down at the blade in his hands. All it would take was one blow. He bit his lip.
"Here." The samurai grasped the tree trunk with one hand and tried to haul himself upright. He dropped to one knee as another coughing fit took hold. His hand clutched at his throat. A strangled curse escaped his lips.
Makoto rushed to his side. He knelt down and placed a tentative hand on the man's back. The samurai cast a pained glance in his direction. He began to open his mouth, only to keel over with a croak.
A scream tore from Makoto's throat as the samurai hit the ground.
Constructive criticism is very welcome!
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