Doctor's and Oniwabanshuu Orders
By: Shin Sankai
"Today…would today be the day for when I tell her?" I spoke softly but out loud to myself.
I sat in my usual meditating position, wearing my usual beige yukata and sitting on the balcony overlooking the landscape in front of the temple. A light shower was falling and a cool breeze swept through the air tossing my jet-black hair around. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes seeing an unfamiliar figure walking down the stony path, an umbrella obscuring my view of their face, which protected them from the rain. They where headed towards the steps leading up to the temple entrance. I squinted my eyes and finally realised it was none other then Okon. What was she doing here? No one ever came here except Misao… Had something happened to her? I spoke inside myself. My heartbeat grew faster as I waited impatiently for Okon to move up the stairs, walk down the hall and into the room and then onto the balcony I sat on.
Minutes passed by and I heard the sliding of the door opening and closing. Light footsteps came closer to me and I tilted my head looking up and followed Okon with my eyes as she sat beside me.
"It's very beautiful looking from here." She spoke quietly not wanting to interrupt the silence but wanting to make idol chitchat with me.
"Aa." I replied in my usual tone of voice taking my gaze away from her and looking back over at the drenched trees, plants and ground.
"A-Aoshi-san?" I turned my head looking at Okon once more acknowledging the fact she was going to speak to me again. What was with the hesitation? I questioned inside my head, but I knew I’d find out soon enough.
"You haven't been at home for awhile and I came to tell you the latest news. Okina, the others and I are leaving for a few days. We are travelling into the city for a small vacation. Okina asked me if I could ask you to watch the Aoiya while we are gone. You don't have to do much. The restaurant is closed for the whole time, we just need you to watch the garden, make sure the fish are feed and the grounds don’t become to dirty and ah…look after Misao…anyway I must be off." Well I suppose it really wouldn't hurt. At least the restaurant would be closed so I wouldn’t be disturbed. I always liked being in the garden; it gives me peace of mind. I suppose the cleaning can wait until they get back, but I might change my mind and…WHAT…LOOK AFTER MISAO! I spoke inside my head. I stood up and watched Okon hurriedly move to the door wanting to leave the room.
"Okon?" I spoke and she halted at the door. She and the others still held me in great respect and Okon would never ignore me.
"Why is Misao not going with you?" My voice involuntarily gave away some of my curiousness.
"Misao has been ill for two days Aoshi-san. Did you not think it strange she hadn't been around? The doctor said it wasn't wise for her to travel with us, so she must stay here. He isn’t too sure what is wrong with her so it is best if she stays at home and rests. I must be off, we leave this afternoon." I watched as Okon opened the shoji door and closed it silently behind her. I would assume she got the short straw in coming to tell me what was going on. No one came to the temple but Misao, but now she was sick. Misao was ill? That was strange…she was never sick, not even a day when she was younger. She never caught any colds or other illnesses like the others, she seemed immune to them and yet what Okon had said was the truth. A doctor even came to see her so it must be quite serious. I walked from the balcony into my usual room I had taken refuge in at the temple and changed into my onmitsu uniform. I grabbed my trenchcoat to shield myself from the rain that still fell and picked up my kodachi's and left the temple for the Aoiya.
* * * *
I stopped at the main door, slipping off my shoes and slid it open walking inside and heading straight for the stairs. I must see for myself that Misao is sick. I made my way up the stairs and headed for Misao's room. I noticed the door was already opened and stood stock still as Misao's sleeping yukata was crumpled behind her, as it had been taken off of her as Omasu sat along the side of her wiping her sweat glistened back with a cloth. Her free hand cradled Misao's head brushing her fingers through her midnight blue hair as her head lay limply on Omasu's right shoulder facing away from the opened door. I watched her head finally snap up sensing someone was near and she looked over at the door and my frown deepened as she gave me a forced smile as if pretending everything was alright. I stepped back away from the door when I heard footsteps ascending the stairs and watched Okina coming around the corner holding some of Misao's clothes, ones that had obviously just dried moments ago.
"Ah Aoshi you are finally here." I nodded silently at him and watched as he made his way into Misao's room for a few seconds and then came back out sliding the door closed. I walked behind him as we both descended the stairs and made our way into the dining room. Okina waved me to sit down and so I did. I watched as he handed me a folded piece of paper and I took it from him looking over at him silently.
"Instructions on how to deal with Misao or more or less instructions on how to take care of Misao."
"I have taken care of her before Okina." I had spoken back to him. I watched as he nodded his head in agreement but he replied once more.
"That was a long time ago Aoshi. These are under different circumstances. Misao has changed and she no longer resembles a small child. Years have passed and she has matured quite considerably, surely you have noticed this." I stared silently at him not answering back and I watched as he silently stroked his beard and rising from his seated position. I followed and watched as he walked into the main room grabbing his bag and heading out the door with the others in toe. I nodded silently at their good-byes and closed the shoji door walking back up the stairs and into Misao's room.
The shutters had been drawn open letting in the cool breeze and the smell of falling rain. I walked silently closer to Misao and crouched down looking at her sleeping form. No, she was no longer the child I had taken care of all those years ago. What lay here was Misao, a very independent and stubborn young woman. I opened the paper and read the contents inside…
We know you can do it…and we thank you for it!
Doctor's and Oniwabanshuu orders!
I looked down noticing my free hand had turned white as I had fisted it so hard. I looked over at the sleeping Misao and noticed her eyebrow was frowned in discomfort. Her pink lips were parted bringing in small raspy breaths. Sweat glistened her forehead making the tips of her long bangs damp. I watched as sweat rolled down her temple and she began mumbling. I now sat cross-legged right beside her and brought my ear closer to her lips and listened to what she moaned.
"Kachan? Tochan?" She was asking for her parents.
"Why? Why did you…leave me alone?" She was dreaming of her parents, wanting them to be here with her, to embrace her and tell her everything was going to be all right.
"Hannya…Beshimi…Hyotokko…Shijuksho… Why? Why did you have to…leave me as well?" My eyes had widened the slightest as I sat up looking down at her pained face. She was talking about my four fallen companions and the ones who helped raise her along with Okina the others and myself. Misao had loved Hannya, Beshimi, Hyotokko and Shijuksho like family. I watched as she sobbed in her sleep, tears falling down her cheeks even though her eyes were closed.
"No…you can't…please…please don't take my Aoshi-sama as well…" My heart pounded in my ears hearing this. Her voice was soft, weak and vulnerable. I fisted my hands in frustration and pulled Misao up from her futon and brought her closer to me, wrapping her securely in my embrace. She curled up and relaxed into my hug liking the warmth I was giving her. I looked down and watched her head tilt up slightly, those deep blue eyes flickered open to stare up at me. They sparkled with unshed tears, her once pale cheeks now slightly coloured pink from this contact and her crying moments ago. Minutes passed as not a word was said between us and I stiffened as Misao’s small arms wrapped around my waist and clutched onto my clothing holding me close fearing I was going to leave her, just like in her nightmares.
"You didn't leave me…Arigatoo for staying with me…Aoshi…" And her eyes closed once more, her grip loosening as she feel asleep her head lying against my chest and a small peaceful smile crossing her lips. I closed my eyes holding her closer and whispered into her hair and kissed her forehead lightly.
"Never Misao…I shall never leave you again…" And there I sat, with Misao, the once small child I had taken care of and nursed, whom was now a young woman needing to be taken care of once again.
* * * *
It was early morning and I walked around in the cool grass barefoot. I had been in Misao’s room the whole night watching over her and sleeping next to her as well. I still carried around the "instructions" Okina had given me. Could I actually do this? I had not bathed Misao since she was a child and the contours of her body showed me she was definitely no child anymore! I would be violating her privacy, but she was weak and quite ill and unable to do this by herself. Face it like a man Aoshi! Misao needs help and you are the ONLY one here! I yelled at myself. I fisted my hand crumpling up the paper and stuffing it back into my trouser pocket. My head jerked up as I heard the crashing of a vase from inside. I reefed open the back door and my heart constricted as Misao was lying face down on the wooden floor, her body resting limply, half on the stairs and half on the floor. Broken pieces of the vase were scattered around her. I raced over, making sure not to step on any pieces of the vase and kneeled beside Misao and checked her for any broken bones. I sighed when nothing serious had happened and turned her over to see she was completely soaked with sweat.
"Misao?" I spoke softly to her and watched her groan slightly. Her eyes opened but where hazy as though not recognising who I was. I watched her moist lips part and she spoke once again in a small broken voice, her eyes closing once more when she finished.
"I just wanted…a bath." I picked her up cradling her small form against me and began walking towards the bathhouse.
I slide the door open and closed it with my foot and placed Misao on a bench resting her back against the wall. I noticed the bath was full of hot water and glanced back at Misao. I placed a stool in the middle of the main bathing area and got the usual soaps and hair products for her. I filled a bucket with water and placed it near the stool. I glanced over at Misao’s slumped form and took a deep breath walking over, picking her up and placing her on the stool. She didn’t move at all, her body slightly slumped but she stayed upright as I kneeled behind her undoing her plait. Her hair was as soft as silk and I couldn’t help but run my fingers through it once. I drenched her hair and began to lather it up with the hair products, which smelled of fresh flowers in spring. Misao always smelled of all the flowers in bloom and so I guessed this is the stuff she used to wash herself with. I heard a small moan leave her throat as I was massaging her scalp. Once her hair was washed I placed it up high on her head pinning it so it wouldn’t fall down. Her hair was a lot longer then when she was 4 or 5 and so it took me a few goes to get it right and completely out of the way.
I looked down at the cloth and soap beside me and took a deep breath pulling on the sash that held Misao’s yukata closed and pulled it away from her. I placed my hands on her shoulders and slid the material off and down her arms. I watched it fall to the floor soundlessly but I kept my eyes averted. Please Kami-sama don’t let her wake up during this. I prayed silently to myself. I grabbed the cloth wiping Misao down and froze when she shivered and mumbled a reply.
"C-cold…" I waited for many minutes, but finally sighed as Misao was again resting. I lathered up the cloth and began cleaning her shoulders and back washing the soap away with cold water. I still kneeled behind Misao but moved the cloth over her neck, as I tilted her head back. I moved the cloth down her chest and moved over a soft mound. My hand froze knowing exactly what this was. I gritted my teeth when a sensual moan left Misao’s lips and could feel her nipple harden under the coldness of the cloth. I quickly finished up, cleaning her other breast, absently noticing the roundness and softness of it. I finished cleaning her arms and rinsed out the cloth making sure to also rid Misao of the soapy bubbles that covered her pearly white skin. I took a deep breath, stood up taking Misao with me. She slumped against my chest, my fingers fumbling on the clasp of her long pants but I watched as they fell silently to the floor, her undergarments falling along with them seconds later. They pulled at her small feet and I picked her up and placed her back down on the stool once more.
Misao was now completely bare and I could see everything. My mind berated me telling me I should look away but my eyes were glued to Misao. She was perfect in every way and I could not tare my eyes away from her. I was silently amazed she could sleep sitting up like this. Her form was thin but fit and seemed rather fragile at the moment. She had a slender waist complimented with a cute belly button. Her usual clothing hid the woman she had become as her upper body was complimented with nicely shaped breasts. They weren’t overly huge like other women but they had fit nicely in my hand. Misao had insanely long and slender legs finishing off her curvy and trimmed form. Her wom… ENOUGH OF THIS! I yelled inside my head snapping out of my trance and quickly cleaned the rest of Misao’s body trying not to listen to the small moans she was emitting. I washed off the soap and pulled her up and placed her into the bath. I listened again as Misao sighed happily in contentment and I sat on the edge looking down at her. She was so precious and the fact that I was the one looking after her again really made my heart flutter and pound in my chest for unknown reasons and emotions to me.
Minutes passed by as I was leaning forward cupping some water in my hands and placing it over Misao’s face. She was mumbling something I couldn’t understand, but my hand froze on her cheek as her eyes opened to stare up into mine. I was awaiting the beating of a lifetime but it never came as her small hand cupped mine, giving it a tiny squeeze and then she gave me a tired smile closing her eyes once more, her hand dropping back into the water with a small splash. I placed the back of my hand on my forehead ridding it of sweat as I looked at Misao. She was emitting emotions within me that I’d never even felt I had within me or could feel for that matter.
It was time to get her out and I picked her up, drying her off, listening to her small moans once again and placed a thick cotton robe around her body. Misao hair was still pinned up actually making her look older then she was and so I left it up like that for now. I picked her up, cradling her against me once more and made my way into the Aoiya and back upstairs placing Misao in her futon and wrapping the covers securely around her. Her futon was quite huge and I finally had the courage to lie down on the space she was not occupying and watched her sleep.
* * * *
Hours must have passed by, as it seemed like late morning or early afternoon. I had drifted off into a semi-awake sleep and opened my eyes when I felt Misao move around. I thought she was waking up but noticed she had pulled the blankets around me as well, sensing someone was near her and moved closer snuggling me. She smelled wonderful, very fresh from the bath before. I could feel the heat rise in my own cheeks, a stupid blush forming no matter how hard I tried to stop it. Lucky for me Misao was still sleeping. Her skin was as soft as silk just like her hair and she really was the colour of creamy milk. She was beautiful in clothes but divine out of them. I closed my eyes turning onto my back and took Misao with me as I had wrapped my arms around her small form cradling her to me. No matter how stubborn I was it felt remarkable having Misao this close to me. She fit perfectly into my embrace and Misao didn’t mind it one bit. Her body relaxed into mine not showing any tension at being held so closely and tightly for that matter.
"Mm Aoshi…" Misao had spoken rather seductively into my chest, trying to snuggle in closer. I grit my teeth at knowing the tell tale signs of enjoyment coming from her and myself even though I suppressed it with difficulty. I took a deep breath and spoke quietly to her.
"Misao wake up."
"Don’t wanna." I smirked at how cute she sounded, as she was being the young Misao-chan I knew and acting stubborn also. I looked down noticing she was in a half awake and half-asleep phase as she could here my voice while still sleeping. All right then I’ll play along.
"Why not Misao-chan?" I spoke softly hugging her to me once again. She sighed happily and spoke in a vulnerable small voice and sounding quite sleepy too.
"I like this Aoshi…he’s hugging me and he’s sweet and caring…smiles at me too. I don’t wanna see sad Aoshi…hurts…can’t help him…so it hurts me too. I like Aoshi who likes Misao…I love…that Aoshi…very much. He’s better then sad Aoshi…" My breath caught in my throat hearing Misao say this to me. She was showing all her raw emotions of what she felt in her heart for me without even fully knowing it.
"Open your eyes Misao."
"No…he’ll disappear…he’ll leave me…just like everyone else…" My heart ached at hearing this. Misao has been in so much pain all her life never getting over the deaths of her parents, not really knowing them a whole lot, the deaths of Hannya and the others and never being able to help me. She has had so much heartache and I haven’t even apologised for all the crying she had done over me. The times are changing, Misao I promise I’ll try harder, just for you. I placed my hand on Misao’s head running my fingers through her damp hair and taking it out wanting to feel all of it as it fell over her shoulders down her back to lie at her pert bottom. I spoke softly once more hoping to coax her out of her sleep.
"Open your eyes Misao. I won’t disappear. I won’t ever leave you again." I felt her take a deep breath and she blinked several times her eyes coming into focus and looking up at me. I watched amused as she sprung away from me standing straight up but her legs were tangled with mine and she toppled over falling back onto the futon landing on her butt. Her robe parted open, showing me a view of her creamy legs as it gapped open from her mid thighs downwards. Her eyes were wide with fear and surprise and she did nothing but stare at me as she was leaning on her elbows. Even the top of the robe parted slightly giving me a view of her collarbones and I could see the definite curves she showed underneath as her chest was pressed tightly to the material. Misao looked better with her hair cascading messily around her. This made her more pure then she already was. I cast my eyes away but rested them on her still widened ones as she still couldn’t believe I was actually in her room speaking to her. I moved over crawling towards her and sat down beside her. I grabbed her shoulders pulling her into a more comfortable sitting position and grabbed the folds of her robe and closed them over her legs. I felt like I was going to loose my composure and control if I stared at the smoothness of them for much longer. She blushed embarrassed at her state of dress and turned her questioning eyes to me for answers.
"Okina and the others have gone into the city for the week. Okon told me you were quite sick and it wasn't wise for you to travel with them, something about doctor's orders. I was the only one left here and so they asked me to check on you now and then. Clearly they were right as you become restless in sleep, mumbling things and sometimes your fever would rise so much you become completely soaked with sweat. Omasu has been wiping you down and changing you into dry clothes everytime this happens. She looked rather tired, as did Okon and they deserve a break. I’m not sure about Okina though… You seem to loose a lot of strength Misao. I found you earlier this morning on the floor. You had fallen down the stairs."
"But, why am I dressed like this, I have nothing on underneath." Misao spoke and blushed slightly saying this. Okay, here it goes…
"You said you wanted a bath Misao, but you were in no conscious shape to do it on your own."
"Then wh…" She stopped abruptly finally realising that her and I are the only ones in the Aoiya. I watched Misao’s blush grow darker and she moved closer. I instinctively moved my upper body back and froze closing my eyes when her hands came out as though ready to slap the shit out of me. I snapped my eyes open when her arms rested around my shoulders, her head lying on top of my shoulder her even breathing caressing my bare neck.
"Thank you for taking care of me Aoshi-sama. I’ll admit that it was very surprising to here I can’t bathe myself but I hope the experience wasn't to horrifying." Misao tried joking, trying to loose her slight embarrassment and trying to make me feel better. She gasped softly as I placed my arms around her holding her close to me and I finally replied back.
"I have bathed you before Misao so if you are thinking I was uncomfortable, well you need not worry because I wasn't." It was a bit of a lie, but after a while I got used to bathing Misao. The moans and sighs were testing my self-control to the limit but Misao was in need of my help. I wouldn’t deny her anything. Except letting her love you and letting yourself open up to her. A small voice inside of me spoke. I cast it aside knowing this wasn’t the time to think of such things. Misao pulled away nodding her head and lying back down on her futon closing her eyes. I small smirk crossed my lips, the thought running in my mind I couldn’t help but say out loud to her. I bent down whispering into Misao’s ear.
"But you REALLY have changed quite a lot Misao." I stood up looking down at her bright red face as she had turned onto her back looking up at me with her wide blue eyes. I watched her hands come up trying to cover her cheeks and she spoke back trying not to feel embarrassed but I knew she was extremely embarrassed and flattered at the same time.
"Aoshi-sama you’re being a tease!"
"Hai, Hai… Rest Misao, I'll bring you something to eat." I watched her nod her head, her cheeks returning to their normal colour and I left the room moving downstairs. I entered the kitchen looking around for some ingredients to make a late lunch for the both of us. I hadn’t a clue as to how the coming days were going to go for the both of us but inside me I hope it will change me forever.
* * * *
To be continued…
* * * *