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* Gyoshoku has fallen into a light, restless, sleep
* Kumiko was getting things from the village, and comforting Hana a bit...
* Kumiko is now on her way home, knows Gyo needs comforting too
* Gyoshoku is dreaming of Kurou and the look on her face as she died
* Kumiko gets to the house and enters, quietly
* Kumiko sets down the things she was carrying and moves over to Gyo
* Gyoshoku shifts restlessly and sits up, clawing at his eyes "NO!"
<Kumiko> Gyo...
* Kumiko grabs his hands
* Gyoshoku fists his hands in hers and gasps unsteadily for air
<Kumiko> Gyo... calm down... I'm here...
<Gyoshoku> *gasp* Kumiko
<Kumiko> Hai... I'm here...
* Gyoshoku tries to catch his breath
<Gyoshoku> just a *gasp* dream
* Kumiko kisses his hands softly. "Yes... just a dream."
<Kumiko> What was it...? if you... want to tell me, that is...
<Gyoshoku> Kumiko... gods....
<Gyoshoku> Maruppe was here...
<Gyoshoku> have you seen him?
<Kumiko> I thought I saw... yes...
<Gyoshoku> what does he look like?
<Kumiko> he looks very much like you did when you were his age...
* Gyoshoku sighs, swallows, and relaxes a bit
<Kumiko> though he's frowning more... he doesn't look as happy...
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> I sensed as much
<Gyoshoku> he's so conflicted
<Kumiko> yeah... I kind of guessed...
<Gyoshoku> but I couldn't see his eyes... I'll never see his eyes again... oh gods, Kumiko... I'm trying so hard not to despair
<Kumiko> I know, Gyo...
* Gyoshoku can feel tears welling up and forces them down, they only make things worse
* Kumiko kisses his cheek below the hurt area, because she doesn't want to cause him further pain
* Gyoshoku feels around and finds her cheek, strokes it lightly in response
<Gyoshoku> you've been crying
<Kumiko> I was with Hanachan...
<Gyoshoku> how is she?
<Kumiko> Well... she's trying to be strong...
<Gyoshoku> of course she is
<Kumiko> but every time the kids start to cry, she ends up joining them...
<Gyoshoku> I wish I could apologise to her in person, but I'm afraid I'd only make things worse
<Kumiko> Gyo... she doesn't blame you...
<Gyoshoku> because she's like you... but I failed to save her husband, I was too weak
<Kumiko> she's happy you didn't follow him
<Gyoshoku> I couldn't even save his body!
<Kumiko> but you did manage to kill the youkai, Gyo...
<Kumiko> you managed to save us all...
<Gyoshoku> not all...
<Kumiko> no... but most of us
* Gyoshoku sighs and leans his head against her
* Kumiko strokes his arm slowly
<Gyoshoku> it kills me not to see your face
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> and I know it hurts you to see me like this
<Gyoshoku> I think I'm strong enough to move around now... but I'm afraid
<Kumiko> Of what?
<Gyoshoku> it's stupid, I know, but, I finally feel like an old man, fearful of falling over his own furnishings
<Kumiko> well... we can keep everything in certain places... and... you should learn quickly, I'm sure...
* Kumiko bites her lip
<Gyoshoku> it's more than that...
<Kumiko> I guess... I guess it's good the children are all grown up and moved out... it... makes it easier to make sure there aren't things all over the floor...
<Gyoshoku> heh, yes
<Gyoshoku> but, I get disoriented so easily
<Gyoshoku> I almost wish the youkai had killed me cleanly
<Kumiko> No! Gyo... don't say that...
<Gyoshoku> it would at least have saved you the misery of caring for a cripple
<Gyoshoku> now every day that I live is a burden for you
<Kumiko> No...
<Gyoshoku> yes...
<Kumiko> Gyo... if it was me who got blind...
<Gyoshoku> don't even talk about it
<Kumiko> instead of you
<Kumiko> would you think of me as a burden?
<Gyoshoku> of course not
<Gyoshoku> but it's different, you know it is
<Kumiko> or that it'd have been better if I died cleanly?
<Kumiko> how is it different?
<Gyoshoku> I'm supposed to be the provider, the guardian
<Kumiko> Gyo...
* Kumiko hugs him
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> I think you'll do a better job at providing and guarding if you're alive - even if you're blind - than you would as dead
<Kumiko> and if you died...
* Kumiko stops to swallow, doesn't want to break into tears again just yet
<Gyoshoku> shhh, it's alright
<Gyoshoku> I'm sorry
<Gyoshoku> it's just self pity, I'm sorry
<Gyoshoku> I'm still able to hold you, and that's something, that's everything, I'm sorry
<Kumiko> I don't want to live without you in my life, Gyo... please tell me you know that
<Gyoshoku> I know... I know, koishii, I'm sorry
<Kumiko> it's alright...
<Gyoshoku> I'm glad I lived, but it's so hard, the guilt and the pain
<Kumiko> I know... I know...
<Kumiko> I'm sorry...
<Gyoshoku> don't be, you're the thing that makes life worth continuing
<Gyoshoku> tell me the truth, do I look awful?
<Gyoshoku> under the bandages... you can tell me if I repulse you
<Kumiko> I... the wounds look kind of bad, right now...
<Gyoshoku> they feel like they're healing, though
<Kumiko> yeah, they are
* Gyoshoku smiles slightly
<Kumiko> and I think you'll look alright again, once they're healed...
<Gyoshoku> I'll never again be the man you fell in love with
<Kumiko> Like I love you just for your looks...
<Gyoshoku> don't tell me they didn't help... a little
<Gyoshoku> gah, I can't even wink with these bandages on
* Kumiko smiles slightly
<Kumiko> poor Gyo...
<Kumiko> and your looks did help catch my attention, true...
<Kumiko> but who I really love... is you
* Gyoshoku finds her face with his fingers and runs a thumb over her bottom lip
<Gyoshoku> have you been biting this lip again?
<Kumiko> Yes...
* Gyoshoku smiles again
<Gyoshoku> you're incorrigable, you know that?
* Kumiko smiles as well. "I guess so... it's just... I kept telling myself, years ago, that I should stop... but whenever I get thoughtful, I do it anyway..."
<Gyoshoku> I love that you still do it, I love that you're still you
<Kumiko> it seems like it's a habit that's hard to break...
<Kumiko> me being me, that is...
* Gyoshoku smiles and then takes a deep breath
<Gyoshoku> I've never felt this helpless, koishii... at least not since that awful, awful day
<Gyoshoku> I'm scared, you married a coward
<Kumiko> Gyo... now you're just being way too overdramatical
<Gyoshoku> no... well, maybe, but the fear is real
<Kumiko> I know...
* Kumiko strokes his cheek
<Kumiko> I'll be here to help you
<Kumiko> always
<Gyoshoku> when I woke up before, I was dreaming of... of Maruppe's mother
<Kumiko> ...alright...
<Gyoshoku> of watching her die, of being helpless to stop it...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> oh, it's pointless to talk about it
<Kumiko> no... it isn't...
<Gyoshoku> yes it is, it just leads back to the same old self-hatred
<Gyoshoku> and we both know I can't focus on that right now
* Kumiko hugs him again
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> you know...
<Kumiko> he... Maruppe... he has her eyes...
<Gyoshoku> he always did...
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Kumiko> he still does...
<Gyoshoku> are they as cold as his voice, koishii?
<Gyoshoku> is there any hope?
<Kumiko> I think... I think there's some hope
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> you see good in people that other people miss
<Gyoshoku> I trust your judgement
<Kumiko> I think he's... he's trying to be cold, maybe...
<Kumiko> because he feels that will help...
<Gyoshoku> he's doing a stellar job
<Kumiko> but... when I saw his eyes... he looked sad...
<Kumiko> but then he looked away...
* Gyoshoku swallows hard
<Gyoshoku> he finds it hard to face you
* Kumiko sighs deeply
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> he doesn't want to feel anything for you, but he does in spite of himself
<Kumiko> I miss him...
<Gyoshoku> so do I, koishii
<Kumiko> I just wish... I wish he'd realise...
<Gyoshoku> he's still young enough to think only of himself
<Gyoshoku> maybe he always will, I don't know
<Kumiko> we were younger than he is now when we got him...
<Gyoshoku> but I had you, and he choses to be alone
<Kumiko> yeah... I know...
<Kumiko> it hurts me, though... I loved him from that first night... and I cared for him, through everything... fed him, kept him clean... told him stories, comforted him when he was sick or sad...
<Kumiko> and now... now he can't bear to face me
<Gyoshoku> it's because of that, because he can't deny the evidence of your love and it doesn't fit with his image of himself
<Gyoshoku> you didn't do anything wrong, he knows that...your innocense hurts him because he can find no way to blame you
<Gyoshoku> so he focuses on me
<Gyoshoku> it's not right, or fair, but I think he at least tried today
* Kumiko nods slowly
<Gyoshoku> you have every right to be angry, koishii
* Gyoshoku can't see nodding, but she's close enough for him to feel it
<Kumiko> I know... but... but I'm not...
<Kumiko> I'm just sad...
<Gyoshoku> maybe you should be angry, but then I guess it wouldn't really be you
<Kumiko> maybe not...
* Gyoshoku has a sudden attack of pain and is unable to hide it completely, winces and pulls away slightly, his nerves are damaged and trying to repair themselves, so the shooting pain is both random and unavoidable
<Kumiko> Gyo..!
<Kumiko> Are you alright? Do you need anything?
* Gyoshoku catches his breath and shakes his head
<Gyoshoku> no..I'm fine
<Gyoshoku> it just takes me by surprise
* Gyoshoku takes control of his breathing, but is forced to lie back down through his own pain and growing disorientation
<Kumiko> I'm sorry...
* Kumiko sits next to him, still
<Gyoshoku> shh, it's'll pass
* Kumiko strokes his cheek softly
* Gyoshoku gasps slightly as another wave of pain hits and clenches his fists to keep from grabbing at his eyes
* Kumiko takes his hands in hers, instead
<Kumiko> Do you want some of those herbs...?
<Gyoshoku> h-hai
<Gyoshoku> and...the bandages off?
<Kumiko> would that help, you think?
<Gyoshoku> they rub against the wounds and make things worse...
<Gyoshoku> it would only be for a little while
<Kumiko> alright
<Kumiko> hold on, I will get the herbs first, ok?
<Gyoshoku> hai, thank you
* Kumiko kisses his hands before letting go of them and fetching some herbs
<Kumiko> you know, we know these herbs way to well by now...
<Gyoshoku> agreed...
<Gyoshoku> I've certainly made up for not being very skilled at healing with lots of practice
* Kumiko makes an infusion from the herbs
<Kumiko> you always healed quickly...
* Gyoshoku tries to follow her movements by listening, is able to detect her aura but not decipher exactly what she's doing
<Gyoshoku> I still do, for a man my age
<Gyoshoku> but not as quickly as I used to
<Kumiko> Yes... for which I am grateful
<Gyoshoku> you, on the other hand, take forever to get well, and have a terrible propensity for attracting unhealthy attention
<Gyoshoku> or you used to, anyway
<Kumiko> Heh... I suppose so...
* Gyoshoku is hit by another wave of pain and drops his head back on the pillow, he can handle the more constant aches, but these attacks are difficult to deal with
<Kumiko> my poor Gyo...
<Gyoshoku> this is why I said no visitors
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> Amida will probably insist, when he gets here, but no one else
<Kumiko> Yeah... I understand...
<Gyoshoku> I wouldn't mind the girls... but Aiko can't risk the journey and... Hana... could she handle it? be honest...
<Kumiko> I don't know if she could or not... I think... on one hand, it'd help her to see that you're not worse off... but on the other, it hurts us all to see you hurt like this...
<Gyoshoku> when she's more stable then...
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> and stop trying to pretend you're not crying over there, I can hear you sniffing into your hand
<Kumiko> I can't help it...
<Gyoshoku> I know, koishii, but you don't have to hide it from me
<Gyoshoku> believe me, I'd join you if I could
<Kumiko> I know... my poor Gyo...
<Gyoshoku> let's talk about something more pleasant, alright?
<Kumiko> alright...
* Gyoshoku tries to think of something
<Kumiko> remember when we first learned to make this infusion...? back... all those years ago...
<Gyoshoku> ummm
* Gyoshoku thinks back
<Gyoshoku> the very -first- time?
<Kumiko> we barely met eachother before we had to take care of eachother...
<Gyoshoku> heh
<Gyoshoku> wasn't it a twisted ankle?
<Gyoshoku> or did you need the herbs for that?
<Kumiko> I don't think so...
<Kumiko> I think the first was when I got that spiderbite...
<Gyoshoku> ah yes... the infamous, infamous spider
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> damn thing
<Gyoshoku> remember the whole, so drugged you could barely stand up middle of the night wedding? gods, we were all so stupid back then
* Kumiko giggles slightly
<Gyoshoku> then again, you probably don't remember
<Kumiko> I remember
<Kumiko> vaguely
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> I distinctly remember some parts of that night, and others have sort of fallen away
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Kumiko> but I remember being woken up...
<Gyoshoku> I remember wondering why on earth they were so keen to be married in the middle of the night after you'd been all but raped by that drunken fool
* Kumiko shudders slightly
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> it's not like they were hot and bothered for each other, I had to teach the poor boy about foreplay for goodness sake
<Kumiko> yeah... I know... I had a talk with Shirobiki-chan, too, afterwards...
<Gyoshoku> you never told me that
<Kumiko> I didn't?
<Gyoshoku> maybe you did... hmm
<Gyoshoku> I think I was trying not to think about their awkward first time, and... oh yes, you did tell me but you refused to give me any details you evil, evil woman
<Kumiko> evil, me?
<Gyoshoku> in this instance, I call evil
<Gyoshoku> do you remember any of the details? this can still be salvaged
* Kumiko giggles slightly
<Kumiko> You're impossible, aren't you?
<Gyoshoku> entirely
<Gyoshoku> come on, spill it
<Kumiko> well... I don't know why they insisted on getting married just then...
<Kumiko> because... yeah... as you said...
<Gyoshoku> I suspect it was motivated entirely to keep me from sleeping, but do continue
<Kumiko> and then they sort of realised they were married now, and were supposed to... you know... consumate their marriage...
<Gyoshoku> the shock of it all
<Kumiko> and... then they did... without really knowing what they were doing...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> here's what I never understood about the whole thing
<Gyoshoku> they couldn't wait for someone they didn't absolutely despise to perform the ceremony
<Gyoshoku> it was so important they get married right then, and they could never explain why
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> so important they had -me- do it, I mean... this was the period of time when I was wary of even being in the same room with the girl
<Kumiko> yeah... I know
<Kumiko> and I don't know why they did...
<Gyoshoku> all this, all this, and then she couldn't understand why we wanted to get married, in the middle of the -day-, by a priest we didn't hate
<Kumiko> she wasn't deep in a drug-induced sleep by the time, either
<Gyoshoku> but she was enjoying a tasty meal, by all accounts *chuckles*
<Kumiko> Yes... chicken, wasn't it?
<Gyoshoku> I don't remember
* Kumiko finishes the infusion. "Do you want some honey in this?"
<Gyoshoku> hai... but not as much as you used to put in for the kids, please
<Gyoshoku> gods, those were some crazy days
<Kumiko> heh, yeah...
* Kumiko adds some honey and brings it over to him
<Kumiko> you used to add very much honey in it when you made it for me, you know?
* Gyoshoku props himself up on his elbows to drink
<Kumiko> was it a hint that I need to be sweeter?
<Gyoshoku> as I recall, the first time, I didn't put in enough
<Gyoshoku> so after that, I erred on the side of too much
* Kumiko smiles
<Gyoshoku> and you couldn't be any sweeter if you bathed in honey, which you know
<Kumiko> not even if I bathed in it?
<Gyoshoku> not even then
* Gyoshoku drinks the infusion with barely a grimace and then takes her hand and caresses it gently with his fingers as he settles back on the futon
<Gyoshoku> thank you
<Kumiko> you're welcome
<Gyoshoku> have I ever given you reason to think I didn't like you just the way you were?
<Kumiko> no...
<Kumiko> I was joking
* Gyoshoku smiles "I know, love... and I was teasing"
<Gyoshoku> so, did she ever confide in you afterwards?
<Kumiko> yes...
<Gyoshoku> I'd love to know if my lessons made a difference
<Kumiko> I think they did...
<Gyoshoku> think?
<Kumiko> well... she didn't say that much... but... it had gotten better, I think, yes...
<Kumiko> I gave her a few pointers too, you know...
* Kumiko strokes his cheek
<Gyoshoku> oooohhh
<Gyoshoku> like what?
<Kumiko> well... mostly just not to rush anything...
<Kumiko> and... good places to kiss... things like that
<Gyoshoku> if you could convince the poor girl to just relax and have fun with it, I think you achieved more than you know
* Gyoshoku grins
<Kumiko> well... they didn't stop, did they?
<Gyoshoku> clearly not
* Kumiko kisses his cheek
<Kumiko> so... want me to remove the bandage now?
<Gyoshoku> yes, please
<Gyoshoku> it's hot and irritating
<Kumiko> Alright
* Kumiko starts removing it, careful as not to hurt him
* Gyoshoku sets his jaw and endures it, because as careful as she is, it is going to hurt some
* Kumiko finishes
<Kumiko> there goes... is that better?
* Kumiko tries not to start crying at seeing his injure
* Gyoshoku flutters his eyelids open, vainly hoping he'll get a tiny glimpse of light and well aware that he won't
* Kumiko looks at his eyes
<Kumiko> well... at least... at least your eyes don't... don't look creepy or anything...
* Gyoshoku tries to find her face with his eyes and fails, closes them again
<Gyoshoku> they don't?
<Kumiko> no... they look like before... just... non-seeing...
* Gyoshoku nods slowly
<Gyoshoku> I was afraid they might have gone that milky white...
<Kumiko> no... they haven't...
* Gyoshoku sighs slightly "good"
<Gyoshoku> I closed them in time, then...
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> I can feel the scabs, but I imagine the eyelids look worse than they feel
<Kumiko> ...they will heal, in time...
* Gyoshoku nods and searches for her hand
* Kumiko sees this and takes his hand
* Gyoshoku smiles and squeezes it
* Kumiko smiles back
<Kumiko> I love you...
<Kumiko> always...
<Gyoshoku> and I love you
<Gyoshoku> I wish you didn't have to see me like this, but I'd never make it without you here
<Kumiko> where would I be, if not here?
* Gyoshoku brings her hand to his lips and kisses it gently
<Gyoshoku> there aren't words for how much I love you
<Kumiko> I know, anyway
<Kumiko> because I love you just as much
<Gyoshoku> see, we don't need honey at all *tries to wink but the effect is somewhat lost*
<Gyoshoku> ow, right, not going to try that again for a while
<Kumiko> we're sweet enough anyway
<Gyoshoku> indeed
<Kumiko> and I know when you joke, Gyo...
* Gyoshoku smiles somewhat sleepily
<Gyoshoku> good
<Kumiko> you don't have to wink for me to understand
* Kumiko kisses his cheek again
<Gyoshoku> I do remember the first night we used these herbs
<Kumiko> you do, huh?
<Gyoshoku> yes
<Kumiko> what do you remember of it?
<Gyoshoku> the smell of the poison mixed with blood and this medicinal odor
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> the paleness of your face, how frightened I was to lose you
<Kumiko> I was so afraid...
<Kumiko> but... at the same time... you were there...
<Kumiko> and that made me feel safe...
<Gyoshoku> I remember the stares, the disbelief that I would dare to stay with you, to clean your wound
<Gyoshoku> they didn't understand that I could no more leave you than I could cut my own head off
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> you missed a lot of what happened, but it was a struggle to stay by your side... it wasn't proper for me to see you that way
<Kumiko> yeah... I don't remember that very well...
<Gyoshoku> I'm glad
<Kumiko> I just remember that I knew it'd be alright, because you were there...
* Gyoshoku kisses her hand again
<Gyoshoku> and it was...
<Kumiko> yes... it was
<Gyoshoku> it's hard for me to imagine, now, remember my life before you
<Gyoshoku> but there were so many feelings
<Gyoshoku> I didn't understand them, but I knew I had to hold you
<Kumiko> I'm glad you did...
<Gyoshoku> everything seemed so fragile, like a dream I could crush with one false word or step
<Kumiko> but it wasn't... and you didn't
<Gyoshoku> I know that now...
<Gyoshoku> what I wouldn't give to live those days again, fix my mistakes
<Gyoshoku> but I'd probably just make new ones
<Kumiko> what would you change?
<Gyoshoku> how totally ridiculous I was
<Kumiko> like when?
<Gyoshoku> like... the day of our first night together... when I told you to leave me
<Kumiko> but... you fixed that, afterwards... the same day...
<Gyoshoku> but I should never have said it
<Kumiko> Gyo... it's alright
<Gyoshoku> and there were other stupid things...but I can't regret those
<Gyoshoku> mostly I would change how much my indecisiveness hurt you
<Kumiko> those were... confusing days, in general...
<Gyoshoku> yes
<Gyoshoku> and I didn't help matters
<Kumiko> I wouldn't have you any other way
<Kumiko> Because... everything led up... to us being us...
<Gyoshoku> you're saying you wouldn't have wanted me to appreciate you right away? to tell you I loved you before we spent the night together?
<Kumiko> It... would've been nice, I guess...
<Gyoshoku> I think that's my biggest regret
* Kumiko kisses his cheek
<Gyoshoku> that you didn't know how much I loved you
<Kumiko> I didn't know how much I loved you, either...
<Kumiko> not even when I had admitted to doing so...
<Gyoshoku> you hussy *grins*
<Kumiko> I'd poke you for that comment, but I believe you're in enough pain already
<Gyoshoku> my dastardly plan is working then, muahaha
* Kumiko smiles
<Gyoshoku> you changed my life that night, but I was too stupid to see it
<Kumiko> and you changed mine
<Gyoshoku> yeah, I made it infinitely more difficult, don't worry, I'm teasing
<Kumiko> silly... *kisses him lightly*
* Gyoshoku kisses back
<Gyoshoku> mm, yes, you're still sweeter than honey
<Kumiko> you know... I thought I loved you as much as I possibly could back then...
<Gyoshoku> you did, you loved me as much as you could at the time
<Kumiko> but now... I love you much much more...
* Gyoshoku smiles
* Gyoshoku is starting to really feel the affects of the infusion, but he fights to stay awake
<Gyoshoku> you love my wrinkled brow and grey hair, huh?
<Kumiko> yes... every inch of you... you tall, tall man
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> you know, I think you're taller now that you were when we met
<Gyoshoku> either that or I'm shrinking
<Kumiko> well... I might've grown a bit after that...
<Kumiko> I was rather young then, after all...
<Gyoshoku> mhm, scary young now that I think back on it
<Kumiko> me, scary?
<Gyoshoku> only when I think about our children and how young they seemed when they were 16
<Kumiko> Yeah...
<Kumiko> I was younger than Hanachan is now when I had Aiko...
<Gyoshoku> it's hard to believe
<Kumiko> yeah...
* Kumiko sighs
<Kumiko> I wish Hanachan wouldn't be so strong...
<Gyoshoku> don't wish that, love
<Kumiko> well...
<Gyoshoku> she has to be strong, for her children
<Kumiko> what I really wish is that she'd come here
<Kumiko> so I could take care of both of you at the same time...
<Gyoshoku> I don't want her here...
<Gyoshoku> it would just upset her even more
<Kumiko> maybe...
<Gyoshoku> and I'd scare the girls
<Kumiko> I just...
<Kumiko> I want to comfort her when she's hurt, and I can't, because she isn't here
<Kumiko> and when I go away, I feel bad about leaving you...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> don't feel bad about leaving me
<Kumiko> and I know you'll say it's ok for me to leave you for a while now and then... but it doesn't feel so anyway
<Gyoshoku> I'm sorry, koishii...
<Gyoshoku> I should just move to the teahouse and stay out of her way and you could move between us
<Gyoshoku> but I can't handle it... I'd feel like I was on display
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> people would see me stumbling through the village, like a damn cripple
<Kumiko> I don't want you to move there, either...
<Kumiko> I just wish... things were different
* Gyoshoku smiles slightly
<Gyoshoku> you need a drink
<Kumiko> I do?
<Gyoshoku> yes
<Kumiko> why?
<Gyoshoku> your children are suffering, your husband is whiny and scab covered, and you, you need a drink
<Kumiko> or I just need to lie down and rest a bit...
* Gyoshoku scoots over on the futon
<Gyoshoku> unless you're still afraid you'll hurt me
<Kumiko> well... you seem better now... right?
<Kumiko> apart from your face... maybe we should put on new bandages...?
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Gyoshoku> I suppose...
<Gyoshoku> are the wounds still sticky? cause if not, I'd rather leave them off
<Kumiko> they seem a bit sticky... I'm sorry
* Gyoshoku knows better by now than to try to touch them
<Gyoshoku> oh, alright *pouty*
<Kumiko> not all that much...
* Kumiko kisses his pout quickly
* Gyoshoku can't help but smile when she does that, darn her
<Kumiko> tomorrow or the day after, it should be good enough to leave the bandage off for a longer amount of time
<Gyoshoku> yosh
<Gyoshoku> I'll even turn my face away so you don't have to pretend not to be disgusted
<Kumiko> nasty wounds, they should leave my Gyo alone
<Gyoshoku> you tell em
* Gyoshoku flutters his eyes open once more, can't seem to stop himself trying to see
<Kumiko> think you could stand a bit of cleaning?
<Gyoshoku> hmm? oh, hai
<Gyoshoku> hold on, I'll sit up
<Kumiko> Alright...
* Gyoshoku sits up fully, supporting himself with his hands for a moment to make sure his balance is steady
<Gyoshoku> I could probably just use a full bath to be honest
<Gyoshoku> you've done a good job keeping the wound clean, but I feel like I smell bad
<Kumiko> heh... I think you're a bit drowsy for a proper bath right now, though...
<Kumiko> when you wake up again, I'll prepare one for you, though
<Gyoshoku> alright *nods*
* Kumiko fetches a piece of cloth and some water
<Kumiko> Alright... you know... this will hurt, no matter how gentle I try to be...
<Kumiko> and I'm sorry about that...
<Gyoshoku> it's alright, Koishii, I know
* Gyoshoku sets his jaw and braces his hands against the floor
<Gyoshoku> ok
<Kumiko> Ok...
* Kumiko starts washing the wounds as carefully as possible while still getting them clean
* Gyoshoku only winces a little, putting his mind in a happy place in order to endure the pain
* Gyoshoku can't surpress it all, of course, but he can make it bearable
* Gyoshoku could still swear she was using a knife to clean his eyelids instead of a soft cloth
* Kumiko finishes cleaning and wraps new, clean bandages over them
<Kumiko> there goes...
* Gyoshoku is quite tired by now and sways a little
<Gyoshoku> I'm glad I had the herbs -before- that *lets out a long breath*
<Kumiko> yeah...
* Kumiko kisses his cheek
<Kumiko> you should sleep now...
* Gyoshoku hisses, was surprised by that and his face is very sensitive at the moment
<Gyoshoku> don't wanna
<Kumiko> sorry...
<Kumiko> and what are you, my husband or my child? you sound more like the latter right now...
<Gyoshoku> hmmm
* Gyoshoku lowers himself back onto the futon
<Gyoshoku> you ever think maybe I was so attracted to you because you were partly the mother I never had?
<Kumiko> I was such a motherly sixteen-year-old, ne?
<Gyoshoku> maybe you were
<Gyoshoku> certainly you look very much like I remembered my mother
<Gyoshoku> though I know now that you don't in fact look much alike
<Gyoshoku> I don't think I ever saw her without her makeup on, after all
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Kumiko> and it's alright, I don't mind taking care of you, ever
<Kumiko> it's just when you start sounding like three-year-old Amida, protesting that he wasn't tired, in the middle of yawning...
* Gyoshoku smiles a bit
<Gyoshoku> well, if you don't mind, then I want to hear a story or a song
<Gyoshoku> and I want my doll to help me sleep... you don't mind being the doll, too, do you?
* Kumiko smiles as well
<Kumiko> no, I don't mind...
* Kumiko lies down next to him
<Kumiko> what kind of story do you want?
* Gyoshoku pulls her close
<Gyoshoku> tell me a story about a hero
<Kumiko> A hero, huh?
<Gyoshoku> yeah
<Gyoshoku> I mean, if I'm going to be a little boy, I might as well play the part, ne?
* Kumiko smiles
<Kumiko> well... what kind of hero should it be?
<Gyoshoku> ummmm
<Gyoshoku> I'm not picky
<Gyoshoku> as long as he's not a farmer
<Kumiko> no special requirements of him, huh?
<Gyoshoku> nope
<Gyoshoku> but if you wanted to make him tall, and sexy with a kitten sidekick, well, I wouldn't complain
<Kumiko> heh... maybe a... houshi?
* Gyoshoku gasps
<Gyoshoku> I'd never have thought of that
<Kumiko> you wouldn't, huh?
<Kumiko> well... once upon a time, there was a tall... and very very sexy... houshi
* Gyoshoku snuggles her closer "mhm"
<Kumiko> and he was very brave, too
* Kumiko snuggles back
<Kumiko> and once, this houshi came into a village... to a teahouse
<Gyoshoku> ohh, the plot thickens
<Gyoshoku> did he order tea?
<Kumiko> yes, he did
<Kumiko> and then he flirted shamelessly with the girl who served him
<Kumiko> and groped her, if I recall correctly
<Gyoshoku> the scoundrel
<Kumiko> mhm
<Kumiko> he was hopeless... *whispers* but I love you anyway
* Gyoshoku yawns
<Kumiko> and then... then there was a youkai
<Gyoshoku> poor youkai... I mean, poor teagirl
* Gyoshoku is a little sleepy
<Kumiko> and he came to the teahouse... and kidnapped the teagirl when the houshi wasn't there
* Kumiko smiles
* Kumiko is making stuff up, now
* Gyoshoku knows
<Kumiko> but the brave and sexy houshi didn't like that
<Gyoshoku> oh no
<Kumiko> so he chased after them, and fought with the youkai
<Kumiko> so the youkai wouldn't get to eat the teagirl
<Gyoshoku> cause the teagirl was sexy too
<Kumiko> maybe so
<Kumiko> and... then the houshi won
<Gyoshoku> then what?
<Kumiko> but both he and the girl were hurt by the youkai
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Kumiko> because the youkai was very mean
<Kumiko> so the houshi picked up the teagirl and carried her back to the teahouse...
<Gyoshoku> so mean *yawns again*
<Kumiko> because even when he was hurt, he was really really strong
<Kumiko> and the teagirl was kinda small
<Gyoshoku> s'all that tea
<Gyoshoku> stunts the *yawn* growth
* Kumiko giggles
<Kumiko> my brothers aren't all that short, you know...
<Kumiko> anyway...
<Gyoshoku> shhh, story
<Kumiko> the houshi and the teagirl took care of eachother
<Kumiko> so they got well again
<Kumiko> and they loved eachother very very much
<Kumiko> and their happiness was only interrupted by some other mean youkai, and silly friends wanting to get married in the middle of the night and what not...
<Gyoshoku> bas*yawns*tards
<Kumiko> but in the end, they got married and moved to a great little house
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Kumiko> and had lots of children
<Kumiko> and lived happily ever after
* Gyoshoku falls asleep, still smiling
* Gyoshoku holds her close as he sleeps, has missed holding her the last few days
* Kumiko snugs close and dozes off as well
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