OkiChi Week 2017: Losing One’s Regrets to the Gift of Teasing Laughter
fanfiction by Impracticaldemon | FFnet | AO3
Prompts: All (Because I put them all in the title d*mmit)
Regret, Lost, Gift, Laugh, Tease
Mild M (for sexual situations/innuendo)
Regrets & The Gift of Teasing Laughter
They had rebuilt Chizuru’s parents’ house, bit by bit, over the course of that first, difficult year. It was a good thing that Kōdō and Kaoru had already repaired the main structure, and made three rooms fully habitable, since otherwise the extensive fire damage would likely have been beyond Sōji’s fluctuating strength and Chizuru’s lack of expertise to handle. By the time that the first snows had come—both earlier and harder than in Kyoto or Edo—not only had Chizuru expanded the inhabitable space to four, comfortable rooms, but they had managed to obtain sufficient supplies to get them through the winter with a minimum of reliance on rural neighbours or the small village a few miles away.
“We’ll need to get a better vegetable garden started as early as possible in the Spring,” Chizuru murmured, as they stood together on their small porch watching the flakes come down from the grey, late November sky. “And I hope the hens make it through the winter.”
“You worry too much,” said her husband, just as she’d expected. He looked even thinner than in the past, but his face was tanned from a summer spent in the sun, and the pale hollows around his eyes had disappeared thanks to rest, lack of stress, and the oddly peaceful, almost healing atmosphere of the Yukimura land. Chizuru always ignored his explanation that he simply didn’t dare look less than healthy around her due to her overbearing ways as a doctor’s daughter.
“We should go in,” Chizuru said—and then smiled, because Sōji’s huff of laughter told her that she was at least as predictable as he was.
“In a moment.”
“You always say that, and it’s never a moment.”
Sōji responded by pulling her tightly against him and kissing the top of her head. “Then you’d better keep me warm while I risk life and limb proudly surveying my domain.”
Chizuru’s reply was muffled against Sōji’s chest. They were both rather stubborn, she reflected, but they made that work for them. Then she smiled. Their friends would not call Sōji “rather” stubborn… She shivered suddenly, with the unhappy recollection that the stories out of Aizu had all been bad, which did not bode well for Saitō-san or Nagakura-san, although she clung to her stubborn belief that they were alive. They had heard nothing at all of Heisuke-kun, but Harada-san had almost certainly died in an especially bloody battle that had left no survivors on the loyalist side. She mourned Kondō-san and now Hijikata-san; even Sōji had wept over the recent, conclusive news from Ezo, although not until he could reasonably pretend to believe that she was asleep.