Act 2 Scene 12
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:40 pm
Scene 12 is here! There is a slight NSFW part later in this chapter, - I was actually embarrassed as I wrote it -
Still enjoy! Scene 13 is ready but will be released later in the week.
“The nightingale and its golden cage.”
The car rumbles to a halt on the gravel of the drive, the scrunching, sliding noise of the stop of the car jarring after the near reverential silence that journey had.
The atmosphere has gotten to all of us. Shizune’s eyes are darting around, trying to take in as much detail as possible from her surroundings.
Arashi has tensed up a little - like a dog with its hackles up, poised for the fight-or-flee reaction.
Hisao has taken my hand in his and is rubbing gentle circles on the back of my palm with his thumb. He’s tensed up too, the line of his spine has stiffened, and he’s nearly ramrod straight in the car.
We all take a look at each other for a moment as if to brace ourselves for the plunge. I suck in a deep breath, open the car door and step out onto the gravel, a crunching sound echoing in the still night air.
I startle a little as the driver passes our bags to a silent attendant nearby. As the front lights turn on Hisao and Shizune get their first image of the golden cage that binds us.
There is no denying that my late Dad had an eye for impressive and awe-inspiring views. The front of the house is an imposing one, Greek styled pillar and columns frame the steps and front doors.
There are three steps leading up to the front doors, large, towering behemoths of oak with bronze knockers and door knobs. It’s a grandiose and over-the-top display of wealth.
As I was growing up, I thought it was the norm but as I went to school, leaving the safety of the gilded nest and interacted with my peers I realised that it wasn’t normal. The almost obscene house that I lived in began to make me feel uncomfortable.
Looking upon the front of the house makes me feel uneasy. The attendant has our bags and passes two of them to another attendant who has appeared quietly nearby. “Guess there’s no time like the present,” I say softly, taking no small measure of comfort from Hisao’s presence next to me.
We begin to walk towards the house, and I feel almost like I’m walking to my own funeral. We go up the three large steps, and the imposing doors are opened by the attendants in front of us. If this was a horror film the doors would creak open ominously, as cheesy music plays in the background, but alas this is not a horror film, it is real life.
The doors are well maintained and swing open smoothly as lights flicker on automatically in the hallway. It’s a long hallway, with two sets of doors, one on each side of the hallway. One leads to the dining room and the other leads to the ballroom.
The ballroom doors are another set of tall and imposing ornate doors, wreathed with delicate tracings of gold lace and other patterns. The dining room doors are plainer than the ballroom doors, but the door handles are made to look like chopsticks, a touch of my Dads humour showing in the choice.
The staircase stands before us, akin to the summit of Everest awaiting us.
And there, at the top of the sweeping staircase, is my mother.
Cold, aloof, regal and looking as approachable as an iceberg.
There is no denying her beauty though, the attractive lines of her face and the swell of her hips and bust. She stands, gazing imperiously at us all, clad in black velvet and emeralds glimmering in a line across her throat.
Her dark, dark eyes roam over us and judge us all.
And we are found lacking, judging by the delicate sniff afterwards. "And lo, my little nightingales have returned to the nest that raised them, for one of the last few times before they earn their wings." Her voice echoes in the stairway, her smooth cultured alto rolling over us, and an ominous feeling settles over me at her words. "Your rooms are ready my little fledglings. I do hope you enjoy your stay my guests." Her lips quirk into what approximates a smile, and I am suddenly reminded of what Akihiro sometimes refers to mother as.
Mab, the faerie queen of air and darkness, the queen of the winter courts, as beautiful as the Arctic tundra and about as approachable, which is an appropriate metaphor for my mother.
I don't feel like a nightingale here, more like a cuckoo that found its way into the nest.
Oh the joys of home.
There is an extended beat of silence, and then with an almost imperceptible swish of cloth, my mother turns and leaves, vanishing into the depths of the upper levels of the house.
“That was your mother?” Hisao asks, voice breaking the silence that had held us all enthralled.
“That’s her,” I respond as we begin to follow the attendants.
Hisao muses for a moment as we begin to ascend the stairs and then says, “I can see the resemblance.”
I snort, “Physically yes, apart from my bust! Apart from that we are nothing alike.” I see Arashi sneak a glance at me from nearby, and I can tell he’s trying to resist the urge to make a comment.
I’m more like my mother than I like to admit. We both have that same vindictive streak; both hold a grudge and can go to great lengths to satisfy our need to ‘settle the score’.
Yes, I am more like my mother than I care to admit.
The stairs level out into a plateau of thick plush carpet, soft and fluffy against the feet it we weren’t wearing our shoes. The hallway is another long one, but with family pictures along the wall.
There are none of Akihiro’s and Akiho’s mother, Dad couldn’t bear to look at them. The only photos of her are kept in his study, and I only ever saw them once.
The portraits in the hallway are all paintings. There is one of Arashi and me at age eight, in our Sunday best, scowling at the artist. There is one of each of my uncles, Gendo’s inscrutable gaze pinning each of us as we walk by his image.
Hisao stops before the largest portrait. It is of my mother and my dad, forever locked in a pose of dancing in the ballroom below. Dad is in a tuxedo his lean face and stubble visible, brown hair messy and well ruffled, a splash of blood red in his breast pocket from a handkerchief, half of his face obscured by a mask. I feel my heart hitch a beat; it was the mask that the phantom wore in the musical, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.
Dad’s eyes are twinkling under the mask, the artist managed to capture the light that was always present in his eyes. His mouth is creased into laughter as he spins my mother round the dance floor, her black dress billowing and spinning in the motions of the dance, her face lit up in a dazzling smile as they whirl around the floor.
She looks happy in the painting as she and Dad dance. I’m not sure if Dad loved her as much as he loved his first wife, but I have no doubt that he did love her in some way. This was taken before she became colder, before my uncles really appeared in the scene.
“Your Dad?” Hisao asks, looking intently at the painting. Arashi gives him a nod as Shizune stops and looks the painting as well.
“I think we were about six when this was done,” I muse, looking to Arashi who shakes his head and holds up seven fingers. “Seven then,” I correct myself. “But yes, our Dad, Connor.” Hisao starts at the odd sounding name, and I raise an eyebrow, “I did tell you that he was British remember?”
Hisao makes an “Oh” noise as he finishes studying the painting. He passes his gaze over the other paintings, Uncle Gin with his silver hair and fox-like grin, Uncle Kabuto with his round glasses and greedy smirk, Uncle Yuuki with his thin face and soft smile.
He comes across the last painting. It is of an older couple, one of them a very tall and broad man, who would have been powerful and even more intimidating in his prime, the other a delicate woman with greying hair yet still beautiful even in her old age. They sit on a bench, near a beach and are gazing into the sunset as dusk approaches. “Grandparents?” Hisao asks.
I nod. “Dad’s side of the family. They emigrated out here with him.”
The conversation peters out as we continue deeper into the house, passing by hallways and doors.
I stop outside the doorway to Dad’s study. It doesn’t look like it’s been opened at all, it would probably still be the same as the day he left it. The others have walked on ahead, and I linger outside, one hand gently brushing against the door handle.
My mouth has gone dry with fear or anticipation – I’m not quite sure which – and I debate if opening the door is the best of ideas.
I’m so out of it, I nearly shriek and jump out of my skin when Hisao gently takes hold of my elbow. “You alright?” He asks softly, looking at the door and me.
“Dads study,” I reply quietly, turning my back to the door.
Beyond that door, lie monsters and demons of my past, and I don’t have a sword or shield to defend myself. I let out a shuddering breath, take Hisao’s hand and walk away from the door.
I’m not ready to open that bag of memories that lurks behind that door.
“Mistress.” The quiet voice from down a nearby corridor spikes my curiosity. It sounds like one of mother’s maids. Hisao freezes next to me as we hear mother command the maid.
“Well, have they settled in?”
“Arashi has made it to his room along with his friend. He insisted that she stay in the room next to him even though we prepared rooms in the guest area.” The maid sounds a little annoyed but remains courteous and calm.
“It is of no matter, let him have this small indulgence.” My mother dismisses the issue like that and then carries on, “and what of my daughter?”
“She hasn’t arrived at her quarters yet ma’am,” is the polite reply give. “Although given her brother and his guest, I think that it is likely for her to request the same or for her guest to stay with her.”
I hear my mother make a noise of agreement. “Of course. Again, it is of no real consequence. If she makes an issue of it, then let her have her way, and if she insists the boy stay with her then let her, but inform me.”
“Of course mistress.”
My blood boils and seethes as I listen. No real consequence? Do Arashi and I matter that little to her? Can she not even ask me what I would like instead? Hisao’s hand tightens over mine. He meets my eyes, and the look he gives me clearly tells me to stop and calm down. I relent, but I can still feel my temper simmering under the surface.
The others have gone on, and according to the maid Arashi has settled into his room. I think that it is time for me to do the same. I take the lead and drag Hisao deeper into the rabbit hole, negotiating turns and corridors until we reach a well worn door.
It’s a light green colour and there in messy kanji is scrawled ‘Ayane’s room, keep out!’ A maid waits by the room, our baggage by her side.
“Mistress Ayane!" She chirps and smiles, giving a small bow. “A guest room has been prepared for –“
“He’s staying here,” I cut her off at the knees, and her smile falters. “Mother has already given me permission.” My tone is brutal and uncaring - and it is a small lie of omission - , and I see Hisao frown on my left.
I really don’t care at the moment. The maid got unlucky to receive me in this mood and combine it with my tired state I’m just about liable to bite anyone’s head off.
I know I should be nicer to the help but I’m currently not in any real frame of mind to be polite to anyone, bar my brother, Shizune and Hisao.
In response the maid gives a quick dip of the head and scuttles off into the house. I push the door to my room open.
In comparison to the rest of the house my room is almost positively Spartan. An almost bare desk, a walk-in wardrobe, a small bookcase only half full and a very large bed are the only pieces of furniture in the room.
The walls are a pine green shade, with a deep dark blue carpet. I take my slippers off and sink my toes into the fluffy carpet. It feels like heaven for my aching feet, and I hear Hisao take his shoes off as well.
He brings the luggage in, and then the door shuts behind him. “Are you sure your mother will be fine with this?” He asks nervously.
I shrug and flop back on the clean bed sheets. “If she doesn’t like it, she can come speak to us directly. As far as I’m concerned, I want you here because I trust you Hisao, and we’ve slept together plenty at school.”
“That’s at school and not with your mother in the same house,” is the dry response as he puts the bags near the wardrobe door.
There is silence as he rummages through his bag and hangs his ball stuff in the wardrobe. I simply watch him work, lounging on the bed and bless him, he even hangs my dress up for me.
“I need you here though, Hisao,” I admit. He walks to the bed, sitting on it, and it dips slightly from the added weight. “I’ll be blunt Hisao,” I say with a sigh, “this weekend is going to be tough for us. Tough for you as I’m liable to be even more of a mess than normal and tough for me because…” I trail off with a wistful sigh.
Hisao’s arms wrap around me, and he settles us down into a more comfortable position, with my head on his chest. He begins to talk his voice reverberating in his chest making an odd dissonance with his irregular heartbeat. “I’m prepared for that Ayane.” He admits. “I just don’t want to give your family any reason to dislike me. This is important to me Ayane. It’s important for you as well.”
I can feel my lips twitch into a smile, “Thank you. I’ll try my best, Hisao, but I can’t guarantee anything, I hope you know that.”
“I know that, but I also know you’ll try your best.” Hisao reassures me, one hand tangling gently in my hair.
We lie there in companionable silence for a few minutes, just unwinding from the day. “I must admit,” Hisao says, breaking the silence, “I wasn’t quite expecting the house.”
I snort. “You mean the over the top vibe of the whole thing? I find it embarrassing.”
“I know how you feel about showing money off.” Hisao states.
“It’s more about the waste,” I growl, “This house normally only has mother, Uncle Gendo and my grandparents living in it – a grand total of four people – it’s way too many rooms and just an over the top extravagance. We’d be better off in something smaller.”
I move off Hisao and roll onto my back staring at the ceiling. He shifts and turns on his side, facing towards me, one hand idly sitting on my stomach. “Sorry, complaining I guess.” Hisao gives a gentle laugh and presses a kiss to my forehead.
There is more silence for a few minutes, Hisao’s hand rubbing small circles on my stomach and calming me down. “It feels nice having you here with me Hisao,” I say in a small voice. He looks at me, and I elaborate further, “I feel braver, more able to confront the memories and fears that linger here. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t met you.”
“I’m not quite sure what would’ve happened had you not barged into the room that day,” Hisao says with a small laugh.
“I think you would’ve sided with Lilly and who knows? It would’ve really annoyed Shizune, and she wouldn’t have wanted you on the council.” I chuckle at the mental image in my head and mentally play out how Hisao and Lilly would interact.
“What matters is that I’m here now,” Hisao states, attempting to sound sagely, and I giggle at his tone of voice.
“Come here and kiss me,” I demand throatily, one hand curling around the back of Hisao’s neck and pulling him towards me.
His lips meet mine, and I sigh into his mouth at the sensation of the kiss. It is a sweet, gentle kiss, lips brushing past each other in small motions. I gently nudge Hisao, and he obediently rolls onto his back and I straddle his waist, looking down at him cheekily.
He has a grin on his face, and I give a small huff of laughter as I lie flat on him and kiss him again, deepening the kiss, our tongues meeting, dancing and duelling together. I feel Hisao’s hand inch under my shirt and skim up and down my spine, and I break off the kiss to shiver in delight at the sensations running up and down my spine.
“I’m not made of glass you know,” I whisper breathlessly into his ear, and I feel the hand on my back slide around to my stomach again and gently rub my belly. I huff into his ear and giggle as Hisao squirms before gently taking the top lobe of his ear in my teeth and gently nibbling.
Hisao sucks in a breath, and his hand slides up my stomach, gliding around but not quite touching my bra. I can feel his hesitation so I move my mouth to his neck and press a very light kiss to his neck.
During our explorations of each other I learned a fun fact. Hisao’s neck is extremely sensitive, and I like to tease. Anytime I place a kiss on his neck he’d squirm at the sensation and he is wriggling now as I pepper his neck with kisses.
I stop kissing his neck, move back to his ear and again whisper gently, “Hisao, help me forget, even just for a moment.” It is more a plea than seduction tactic.
Being home has stirred the hornets’ nest, and I just want to not remember for the moment.
I rear back so I’m sitting straight and Hisao looks at me intently. It appears he’s understood the undercurrent of the message and is just confirming it. Looking into his eyes, I almost fancy that I can see my distorted reflection as he analyses me intently.
A moment passes; then with a soft tone, “only if you’re sure.”
Ah Hisao, ever the gentlemen aren’t you? I lead his fingers to the bottom of my t-shirt and give him a wide grin. He lifts my shirt, and I hold my arms up, helping to free the t-shirt from my skinny frame. It gets slung to my floor, and for a moment I feel exposed as Hisao’s eyes roam over the newly aired skin.
I reach behind and with a small twist my bra opens. I shrug the straps off my shoulders to let the bra fall forward onto Hisao’s chest but cover myself with one arm. I give him a smirk at the stunned look on his face and slowly remove my arm exposing my breasts to Hisao’s almost ravenous gaze.
His eyes travel over my contours and my not so impressive curves and then move back up to my face. “You are so beautiful.” In the quiet of my room, it sounds almost like a prayer, and I can feel a blush encroach across my skin.
He doesn’t even touch me for close to a minute and simply gazes at me with what looks like near adoration, and it makes me feel – almost – uncomfortable.
Slowly his hands inch towards my skin but I stop him with a finger on his lips and say with a coy tone, “return the favour Hisao.”
He’s not sure, I can tell by the way his body tenses under mine. “Hisao,” I say softly, one finger under his chin. “I’m no stranger to scars, you know this, do you honestly think I’m going to judge you for a scar?”
Hisao shakes his head and gives me a weak, wobbly grin, “I know, sorry, not always rational when it come to…” he trails off, and I wiggle a hand under his sweater vest.
He sits up slightly and the sweater vest comes off and gets flung to my bedroom floor – earning a wince from Hisao - and I begin to undo the buttons of his shirt.
Hisao watches my delicate hands travel down his shirt buttons, as I pop each one. I don’t spread the shirt open; I keep it closed, just undoing the buttons.
When the last button is undone, I look Hisao in the eye and raise an eyebrow – asking the unasked question – and he gives a shaky nod. I slither my hands up his chest, under the shirt and then gently, spread his shirt wide, baring his chest to me.
First I take a moment to admire the view. Running with Emi is doing Hisao a world of good. He’s still rather skinny but he’s beginning to gain more definition to his body. Thank you, Emi, that hard work is much appreciated - by me.
Then I look at the scar. It’s not a particularly wide scar, but it’s still a little fresh looking, possessing a light angry red tint that denotes fresh scar tissue. It runs down the middle of his chest, I gently run a fingertip down the scar, tracing its path on Hisao’s body.
He lets out a vaguely strangled hiss at my touch, and I decide to step up the game a little. I lean forward, a shiver dancing throughout my body as our skin touches, heat being the predominant sensation. I place a gentle kiss on Hisao’s scar and he relaxes under the touch of my lips on his skin.
I pepper the scar with more kisses and then slowly kiss my way up to Hisao’s lips and kiss him firmly.
Hisao’s hands go from being idle to grasp my waist and then begin to travel up my sides as we kiss. The kiss becomes more passionate, more needy – almost animalistic – as I strive to blot out the memories rattling behind the doorway in the back of my head, simply rejoicing in the here and now.
Hisao’s hands stop on the side of my ribs and then tentatively, one hand travels round to my right breast and gently – as if he’s handling fine china – caresses me.
A gasp escapes me involuntarily, as new sensations run rampant throughout me. Then I feel Hisao’s warm mouth meet my nipple, and I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. I’m semi-aware of my mewling voice whimpering in the quiet of my room as Hisao explores new and sensitive ground with his mouth and tongue.
I never expected to be this receptive, and Hisao makes the most of it, reducing me to an incoherent mess, pretty quickly. I sink to the side of Hisao when I get too sensitive and he reluctantly lets me go.
I pant and wipe sweat from my brow, and then my hand slides down towards the waistband of his trousers. Hisao’s hand stops me, and I register that he’s sweaty as well, and a tiny bit pale. He shakes his head gently. “Heart’s not feeling up to much more I think,” he admits, “you got me rather… excited.”
I laugh gently then kiss his chest lightly. “Don’t want to leave you hanging but I understand, your health comes first.”
“Unfortunately,” Hisao says with a sigh.
I tap his scar and he turns his head to me, “maybe when you’re feeling better a bit later, I can pamper you.”
“Maybe. Don’t want to ruin the weekend with a heart flutter on top of everything else.”
Hisao is being rather serious about the whole thing, and I’m rather impressed to be honest. The gossip in the girls’ dorms was that men would do anything and risk anything for sex. It seems that Hisao has some self-restraint.
I stand from the bed, rummage through my suitcase and pull out my sleepwear. For a moment I think about changing in the bathroom.
I decide not to, and instead, very aware of Hisao watching from the bed shed my comfortable jeans and blue panties and change into my pyjamas.
I think I hear a gulp from Hisao, and I grin as I slowly dress. I turn and Hisao’s jaw is nearly on the floor.
I saunter back to my bed and slide back under the sheets and wrap Hisao in a hug. “I’ve got to get changed as well,” he mumbles.
I release him from the hug and he clambers out of the bed. He changes into his sleepwear as well in the room in front of me but a lot quicker.
He rejoins me in the bed, and I glance at the wall clock nearby. It’s nearly half eleven at night, and we decide to settle down and sleep.
Sleep comes in fits and starts. Small snatches and brief glimpses of dreamland but I never quite reach there.
I lay there on my back, Hisao gently slumbering besides me. This… cage frustrates me to no end. I hate dancing to other people’s tunes.
That combined with my childhood home weigh heavily on my mind. I toss and turn in my bed when a rustle of Hisao moving attracts my attention in the dark.
“Can’t sleep?” is the muted whisper in the dark.
“Not really.” I grumble.
He turns over on the bed, and a hand grasps mine. “Tell me about him?” Hisao asks.
I pause and digest the question for a moment. “Tell you about?”
“Your Dad,” he asks, giving my fingers a small reassuring squeeze.
I exhale loudly and consider it for a moment. I wet my lips with my tongue and then, slowly and with great hesitation begin to talk.
“Dad… was fun when we were growing up. He’d always make time for us. I don’t have any clear memories of Akiho and Akihiro interacting with him but for Arashi and me, he’d always have time.”
I pause and gather my stray thoughts. “He was larger than life. He loved to sing, dance badly and feed people until they were close to bursting.”
“He wasn’t perfect.” I state a few moments later, “He had quite a temper, could have a very barbed wit, and if he was convinced he was right, then nothing on earth could convince him otherwise.”
“Sounds like he was quite the character,” Hisao states softly.
“I remember learning sign with Dad so he could understand and talk to Arashi. I can remember his eyes lighting up when Arashi signed the word ‘Dad’ for the first time.” I let out another sigh, “there are so many memories here Hisao. Even the good ones have a bittersweet taste to them.”
“Then maybe we can make some new and better ones.” Hisao nods to himself as if convincing himself of something.
I smile softly in the dark and kiss him slowly and thoroughly.
Don’t ever change Hisao.
Make some new memories…
I think that might be possible in the future.
Especially with you by my side, Hisao.
End scene 12.