For You / Ieyasu x MC
Whenever she asked him questions about himself, he always felt something cold move across him, as if he were iced from the inside, his organs and nerves being protected by a sheath of frost. In that moment, though, when the words slipped past her lips, he thought he might break, that if he said anything the ice would shatter and he would splinter and crack. So he waited until his voice sounded normal before he let the words fly:
“No,” he sneered, “I don’t need you anymore tonight. Or any other night. Know your place, kitchen wench.”
She took a long time to respond. “I’ll see you tomorrow then, milord,” she said, quietly, and though he didn’t look at her, staring hard at his book, he had felt her eyes on him the whole way, bearing down and heavy, until the moment she passed through his door and melted into the night.
The problem was that she was greedy for information: she wanted to know how he had been raised, and if he had any siblings, and who his friends were, true friends, and whether he preferred one flavour over another. And sometimes the air grew so hot not only with the questions she was asking, but the manner in which they were asked — honest, guileless and a little too foolish for a cook from Kyoto — that he felt strangled by their weight and frequency and inevitability.
She wanted to know so much; she wanted so many answers. And he understood it, he did— he wanted answers, too. He wanted to know everything about her as well, but while she had made her intention as clear as an arrow’s twang, he couldn’t bring himself to reciprocate, in part because of who he was, who he was meant to be, but also because he wasn’t sure whether it was worth the endeavour. If she was worth the effort.