Muses – Reading Between the Lines Part 2

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There was anger. Each step further into her apartment put him on edge. Really he could not even say it belonged to her; the truth was it looked more like a shrine than an actual place of living. One room after another just solidified the mess of questions swirling around in his head. Though he would not even mange to speak until they stepped into her bedroom,
“Are you fucking kidding me?”

No longer could he hide his annoyance as she turned and faced him, “I wanted to pretend you were not in love with that Kari. Should have known you would find a way to shatter that illusion.”

It was clear by the way he was shaking his head that he was beyond frustrated, but she never even offered a response, other than what Kuro would describe as a haughty expression. “This was a mistake…” He stated as he tried to reel in his anger and disbelief.

“I can’t say it was love,” Her whispered words drew his attention. “Really I was just selfish because I didn’t want his stuff to go back to the Kari. It brought me comfort, security, when I simply had no strength left in me. Kazuma would have destroyed all of it. Every last little bit of Tadayoshi Kari. No god could allow a mortal man to rise above him in the eyes of his queen nor his people.”

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As angry as he was, he realized that this might be the first time that Tationy was direct and honest about her feelings. Biting his tongue was difficult, but he leaned against the wall and kept his eyes fixed upon her.

“My feelings for him are no different from those you have for Taro. Do you think my eyes cannot see his stuff littered around your home. You keep it for the same reasons. We have always been two sides of the same coin; our actions are no different and yet I am the callous one while you are seen as the sentimentalist. How judgmental and assuming people are when faced with the same set of circumstances, but with different individuals. The illusion isn’t shattered,” She responded cryptically. “Honestly, that would require you to look beyond your own nose and Kuro of the Ishi, the first son of Rin, has never been able to do that.”

Kuro rubbed his hand over his face, trying to decide how he wanted to respond. Each heated word was met with understanding and anger. She was right, he had done the same thing with Taro’s belongings so it was wrong of him to assume. However, his pride took a hit when she had told him that he had never been able to look beyond himself. Was she saying he was selfish?

His mouth opened to respond, but her words sharply hit him. “How foolish we both are that we never look beyond our own wants and desires. One would think after all of these years we would have learned there is more to life than just us, but here we are in the middle of a war and it is still the only thing we discuss, despite our years of martyring ourselves for others.”

“I don’t care about this war,” He said flatly. “There will be another and then another. It never stops; as long as men walk the earth and their minds are clouded with misunderstandings and prejudices there will be a desire for power, conquering, and destruction. That is not ever going to change and I don’t feel it is worth my attention to piss and moan over something that will happen a hundred times over before I die.”

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She had given him a hard stare which at first he thought was disapproving until Tationy responded, “I only care about protecting you.” Kuro pushed away from the wall and took a step in her direction, though she would not allow him to close the distance. “It is alright to judge my actions harshly and assume that each step upon the path opposite of yours was because I was keeping a distance. It is not wrong to make such an assumption, but you piss me off when you think it is because I did not love you. How dare you look upon this face and think that my heart does not weep at the thought of being separated from you.”

“Each new life I grew weary,” She whispered. “I had nothing left in me Kuro. Nothing, not one fucking thing and if it had not been for Tadayoshi with the Gentle Hand. I would have fallen long ago. He gave me strength to keep fighting for us, for the Ishi, for our future and I resent having to justify why it is I am trying to protect his legacy. You of all people should understand what it means to have someone hold you up and carry your burden because Taro did the same thing for you.”

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There was a certain amount of silence that followed her words as she moved about the apartment. It was not as though there was much to gather, but she picked up a few things and shuffled them into a box while Kuro quietly watched her. He was angry; her words stung deeply.

Rubbing his chin with his fingers he stilled her body when he finally responded, “My old age has made me jealous. The thought that you were sharing things with another man leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I can get over you allowing him into your bed, between your legs, or even being with child. It is the feeling that your heart opened to someone else that irritates the piss out of me.”

“Some days it honestly felt like I was more invested in us than you were. At the same functions and you would not even look at me. Centuries upon centuries of taking other men into your bosom and I am just swept to the side like dirt. I am thankful to that Kari that he gave you strength, but that is no excuse for not coming to me.”

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“The same goes for you,” She remarked bluntly. “Do you think I would have turned you away if you came before me? Perhaps we have both been on different paths so long that we thought that the other should be the one to take that first step, regardless of the reasons, you cannot condemn me for my behavior when you did the same thing..” Noticeably she sighed, “You used to be so bold….”

Kuro bowed his head, “And you used to have fire within you.”

“I guess this is what time does to those that are long in life,” She responded in a saddened tone.

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At first, Kuro just mauled over her words as he watched her move around the bedroom of her apartment. Their shared and heated words were a sharp reminder that the two of them had centuries of stuff to workout. He was angry at himself and her. Taro had tried so many times to get him to go to Tationy and he had brushed his friend off to the very end.

Before he realized it he was moving. Grabbing her wrist and turning her to face him. He backed her to the window and pinned her there. Never did she try to struggle to get away.

“Time did not do this to us,” Kuro scolded though his tone was not harsh. The corners of his mouth turned upward as he pressed his forehead to hers, “Somewhere along the path of life we stopped being the masters of our own fates. We allowed hopelessness and desperation to consume our hearts. I am certain we even sacrificed a part of our souls to get to where we are now; perhaps I am no longer bold and you have lost your fire. It doesn’t matter what has torn us asunder because we are Ishi. Long in life and sharp in tooth.”

After his words, they just stood like that for a time until her fingers lightly teased along the fabric of his shirt. Her pursed pout was turned up into a sweet smile, though there was still a sadness lingering. Sometimes she made it so easy to read between the lines and then there were those moments where he found himself wondering if he was even reading the right book.

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19 comments

  1. This is so bittersweet… I can understand both of them, but it’s pretty sad they can’t sit down and work it out. At least they got to talk this time.
    I guess they all waited for one another to make the first move? That’s a very tempting and yet heartbreaking game, cuz it’s easy to go too far with it.

    I wonder if they will manage to work it out. There’s so many things that need to be addressed.

    • Yeah they have some struggles ahead of them. Many lingering questions that are dividing the two of them.

      They really did. Tationy was always like if he comes to me, then that is it and Kuro was always like, if she comes to me that is it. They are the same and both should have known the other would be too stubborn to take that step and that they were waiting for each other.

      Only time will tell if they get their act together. ^_^

  2. Two peas in a pod. Opposite sides of a coin. Perfect descriptions of them both. They are exactly alike in that way. Always sacrificing for the other, yet all the while assuming that the other would make the first step in reuniting them. You know what assuming does haha.

    I am glad Tationy is being honest and open with him. It is clear Tadayoshi meant a lot to her, and I like that she compared that relationship with Kuro and Taro’s friendship. It is true they have a lot to work out, but I believe they will with time. Kuro just needs to wrap his silly head around the fact that Tationy is with him finally, and loves him.

    This is good! I am glad you got some writing done last night.

    • They really are. Yes, they both definitely need to stop assuming and take the step forward. After all of these years, you would think they would know that. ^_^

      It is not somethings he wanted to do, but it was clear she needed to. The two of them just expect the other to know after all of this time apart and it causes its own issues.

      Yes, Kuro definitely does. He is still struggling with that. Seeing himself as being in the way of Rin and Tearra.

      Thank you. A little done, though not much. I got sidetracked.

      • They have changed over the millenia, so they have to re-learn each other, if that makes sense. Plus, their priorities seem different. Kuro is focused more on living, being with her, because he has seen war to the point that he is meh about this one. Tationy seems more focused on the coming war, probably because she knows what Kazuma is capable of. She knows the living will also happen, but the war is a bigger concern.

        Makes me wonder how these two will find common ground haha.

  3. I understand how Kuro feels, though I wonder if Tationy would be more concerned if he had a female’s belongings in his house…? Is that why Tationy is seemed to be ‘callous’ while Kuro is ‘sentimental’, because she had some form of a relationship with Tadayoshi?
    “It is the feeling that your heart opened to someone else that irritates the piss out of me.” That line just made so much sense for these two.

    • Kuro is pansexual, he does not see gender and Tationy is quite aware of this. There is no difference between her feelings for Tadayoshi’s and his for Taro.

      Tationy is seen as callous because she is a “woman” playing with the heart of a man while Kuro is seen as sentimental because he is a “man” holding onto the dear belongings of a friend. It is the double standard; women cannot hold onto things that belong to a former because they still have feelings for them, but it is alright for men to because it shows they cared.

      They are the same, but how people perceive their actions because of their associated “gender” dictates how people see them. The sad reality of it is, as long as Tationy is in a female body people will see her actions as a callous manipulative woman holding onto a dead man’s memory while she strings along another guy.

      Kuro does the same thing, but in a different way and because of that it is seen as sentimental because people assume automatically that it is a “bromance” and that there was no underlying feelings there when the truth is, Kuro does not see Taro as a man or a woman and does not see Tationy as a man or a woman.

      He will use male and female pronouns because he is millions of years old. There is no disrespect associated to what he did, but back in his day you were just man or woman.

      Out of context, it seems like two different relationship situations because we do not know more about Taro and Kuro. Out of context, it seems like Tationy was in love with Tadayoshi seeing she is fighting so hard for him.

      This is all about perception and how people make assumptions based on gender and the little bit of information they have regarding a relationship.

      I very much write these two this way on purpose, because I have always found it incredibly ridiculous how you can have two people, one male and one female, do the exact same thing, but the context of it (depending on information) and the perceived gender will determine how people relate and see the action.

      For me, Tationy has no gender. She is in a female body yes, but she would be considered non-binary. Her counterpart, Tatsuya was Transgender. Tationy will tell you she is not a woman. She is very feminine, but you can actually be non-binary and still be feminine. So, despite her perceived gender, she is neither man nor woman and Kuro being pansexual does not see her as man or woman.

      Additionally, Kuro being pansexual means that he has a greater range of relationship choices; male, female, trans, non-binary, etc. So, Tationy’s reaction would not be any different if it was a female vs a male when it comes to the belongings.

      She is also Tylo and they have a degree of apathy which keeps them quite emotionally reserved. Unfortunately, what this means is that we are not going to see Tationy go OMG you asshole for keeping his stuff. She gets why he keeps it because she does the same thing for the same reason, and her point is…it is unfair to judge me when you do the same thing. Which is valid. It is like a man sleeps around and he gets high-fives for bagging lots of babes, a woman sleeps around and she is a slut. It is all about that perceived double standard just by visually appearing as male or female.

      That is a great line for them. They both feel the same way. The difference is we are seeing this from Kuro’s perspective so Tationy due to her apathy seems very dismissive of his feelings and his hurt. What we do not see is how hurt and angry she has been, not just because of Taro but because of his relationship with Zen as well. Kuro shared things with both Taro and Zen while Tationy was sharing things with Tadayoshi and Semei. They did the same thing, but due to information, the way they react, and gender people see her actions one way and his another way. Always boggled my mind honestly.

      • Butting in to say, I liked reading this. I mean, I knew a lot of it anyway, but it is still refreshing to get into the author’s perspective about her characters. Tationy and Kuro have to start learning to share with each other, since they both carry a lot of baggage. Kuro needs to remember her Tylo blood makes her a bit apathetic, and Tationy needs to learn to share her anger with Kuro. She should be mad, just as he should be mad. Anyway, they should be mad together – that leads to hate sex and later makeup sex HAHA.

      • HAHA, Thank you. Yes, they are quite good at the angry sex. ^_^ They both really do and this is really at the heart a communication issue for them. Kuro because he expects it to be the same and that will just mesh back into place and her because she has been fighting alone so long that she has forgotten how to trust, even him. We will see them meld together as time passes, but not without its obstacles. ^_^

      • Here is hoping they have plenty of angry sex as they work out their communication issues. 😀 Kuro will learn to adjust, and Tationy will learn to trust him again. It is going to take time. They are only back together for, what, a day? HAHA it isn’t going to fall into place overnight.

      • As of the fight at Tadayoshi’s they are on day 2 of being back together. Exactly, going to take some time to fall into place. HAHA.

      • Wow. That was really great to read. Thank you. I don’t think I’d realised that Kuro is pansexual, sorry.
        Is there a part in any of the cannons that show Kuro’s relationship with Taro? I think I am missing a bit of backstory there.
        It is very strange how society has double standards for the actions of men and women, but I think Tationy dealt with that in this case quite well.

      • Non-Canon wise Kuro and Taro (Sadamitsu) we see a bit of their relationship in the Prequel as friends. In TEP Taro appears, but unfortunately he and Kuro have no real airtime together. In TEPR Kuro is part of Tequila Monsters and Sadamitsu (Taro) is around and with Tsubaki. So we do see some dynamics of their friendship, but because we have never gotten to see Kuro’s POV other than in TEP and two chapters of the Prequel we have really no basis to their relationship in the long term. We will get a little bit of a look at it in Muses as well as in some “Flashbacks” in the chapters for Reality.

        Outright with sexuality, there has been plenty of mention about those that are Bi-sexual like Abe, homosexual like Togore, Zen, Nao, Demisexual and Asexual (Depending on the situation in Hiko), Kuro is always a bit of a complicated one. To many he would appear as “bi-sexual” because we see him throughout the series with men and women. However, because he is so old there was never any distinction other genders other than men and women in his day, so we really do not learn that he actually does not see gender. He sees people.

        This is seen most in the TEP relationship with Tatsuya the Prince of Aslann who has a male brain, but a female body and would be “transgender” if the options were available in means other than very hardcore magic.

        Due to his age his pansexuality is lost in a lot of ways. If he was a younger character it is I am here and queer, non-binary, transgender, pansexual, bi-sexual, etc etc and proud. In his day and age…you were a man or a woman and love had all of these criteria and expectations put upon it.

        Oh, no worries at all. As I said a lot of people do not realize that Kuro is pansexual. It is not something he would broadcast and he is much to old to see himself as anything other than a man and much to old to use anything other than male and female pronouns. In this day and age people would get pissed at him if he used an inappropriate pronoun, but after a million+ years of being taught there is only males and females and only a 100+ years of knowing that there are gender’s and sexual orientations outside male/female and homsexual/heterosexual, he is sort of stuck in the past. If he were a more modern character of a younger age as we see in the Prequel and in TEPR, we would get a different perspective on his sexuality. Canon wise he is much to old to give a crap about labels that society likes to give people and themselves.

        You are missing a bit of backstory, you are definitely not the only one. Unless you have talked with me at great lengths like Kat has there is some context missing, rest assure I will get to some of it and we will see the other half of issue that plagues Tationy and Kuro in the form of Taro.

        It really is. Something that has always boggled my mind that there is such a double standard, but considering how slow society is to progress when it comes to women it is not all that surprising at the same time. Fifties women were still expected to be home tending house and family. Sixties, they were burning bras. The eighties it was finally illegal for a man to rape his wife. We like to think that we have progressed so much, but really we have only touched the surface, so it is not surprising there are still so many double standards and stigma. We have a long way to go and many obstacles in our way as a people before we get to a point where these double standards, prejudices, stigmas, etc are thing of the past.

        Tationy really did. Kuro was much more emotional in it all where she kept her wits about her, and was very straight-forward about how this was not right. Due to her being able to keep her composure and articulate her feelings in a meaningful way for him to understand, Kuro was receptive. The biggest roadblock for the two of them is their communication issues and they really have to learn to love each other again.

      • Those two really did spend a long time apart… Many lifetimes can change a person lol. It’s very realistic how you’ve written that their relationship can’t just be “picked up” from where it was “left off”. I was just thinking, they are both so experienced, have seen the world in so many ways, and hold realistic but idealistic views of the world. If they were to have any sort of political power, they could make a lot of great changes, they could influence people (sorry, I’m studying Motorcycle diaries at school, so all I’m thinking about is revolutions *sigh*)

      • HAHA, no worries. Yes, I think about that kind of stuff lately myself as well and how these two could be if they could actually come together. The changes they could bring about and the impact they could make; provided they can get their crap together first. HAHA.

        Yeah, it definitely cannot be just picked up. There is a lot of living that has gone on for both of them and they need to basically relearn who the other is. Regardless how they feel, they have been apart for so long that they are not the same people they were back in the old days. Will be interesting I think.

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