"Fushi," A voice called out, the door creaking open as the familiar figure of Kahaku stepped into the room.
Fushi, now taking the form of the unnamed boy instead of Parona like he was ordered to, turned. "Good afternoon," He greeted, like he learned everyone else usually did around this time of day. He had been looking out of the window, watching pedestrians pass by in the street, talking and laughing and being carefree.
Kahaku lingered near the door for a moment, but walked over to him. He approached where Fushi was standing, resting his elbows against the windowsill. The immortal being glanced up at him and stood up as the other man stepped closer.
Fushi waited for him to speak, watching him hesitate.
"Do you... remember Hayase? You... hate her, right?" Kahaku began, looking down at him with sad eyes.
Undeterred by the two sudden questions, Fushi nodded, "Yes I remember her. Yes I do hate her." He didn't think he could ever forgive her.
"It was the duty of my family lineage to find you, Fushi," Kahaku mumbled, looking down at his hands, his fingers flexing absentmindedly, "It's been passed down from generation to generation, the affect you had on Hayase and how she wanted to bear your child, how she wanted her children to bear your child."
Fushi nods. He remembered, the other man had talked about this before. He had even heard it directly from Hayase's own mouth.
Kahaku finally glanced up at him, face flushed and eyes glazed over with an unknown emotion that Fushi thought he had seen before. Ah, right. On Hayase's face as they drifted in separate boats in the endlessly blue ocean. Caught up in his own thoughts, Fushi idly wondered how she got back to shore.
Cutting through Fushi's inner ponderings, Kahaku continued speaking. "And although there's no way for two men to have a kid together... I can't help but... want you in the same ways that my ancestors did," The black-haired boy confessed, uncharacteristically shy as he reached out for Fushi's hand that was sitting limply against his thigh, curling his fingers into the immortal being's palm as he lifted them up to eye level, breath whispering along Fushi's calloused knuckles.
Fushi watched the tendons underneath Kahaku's skin move as he determinedly gripped onto him.
"I know this is sudden, but I love you, Fushi."
I love you. Fushi really didn't know what that meant. It meant you held affections toward someone, but what was its deeper meanings? Did Kahaku just love him because his feelings were passed down from generation to generation in his blood; was love just like the knocker residing in his left arm? Did he love it?
He looked up to see Kahaku staring at him, eyebrows furrowed and mouth down-turned in harrowed anticipation.
"...Why?" Fushi asked, his chest squeezing with something weird yet pleasant at his words. He watched as the black-haired man's thumb drew light, ticklish circles on his skin. Fushi despised this man's ancestors; the core person of his family's wanting-to-bear-the-immortal-being's-child tradition had taken away so many things from him. And he had sworn that this man only felt this way because he spent most of their time together in Parona's form— the form of a young woman, who was the opposite gender of Kahaku.
That's how I love you works, doesn't it? With two members of the opposite sex telling each other that.
But for some reason that he couldn't comprehend, Kahaku was saying it now.
"I know that it's... weird for two men to be together, but when I'm with you, Fushi, what I feel is most likely what Hayase felt. No— it's something else entirely. Maybe it's because I'm unable to bear children myself, but whenever I look at you my heart beats faster, my chest feels warm," He whole-heartedly confessed, fists clenching at his sides, "I want to protect you, Fushi. I want to fight alongside you and be by your side until I die. Even if my time with you is insignificant, I want to be the one who holds the title of your lover, who you come home to every day, who you miss the most when you're away. I love you, no matter what form you take."
"Oh," was all that Fushi uttered out in reply. It was a lot to take in.
A silence fell upon the two of them, with Kahaku standing tensely in front of Fushi, holding his hand and running his thumb along the callouses on his palm, and Fushi staring at Kahaku with his mouth slightly open, confused and overwhelmed at the strength of this mortal being's mere words.
"Can I kiss you?" Kahaku asked, suddenly breaking the silence with a small and oddly unsure voice that rang loudly in the quiet room.
Fushi didn't know what kiss meant, but he nodded anyways, curious.
Smiling, Kahaku placed his hand on either side of Fushi's face, his fingertips lightly brushing his the tips of his hair. His palm felt warm again Fushi's cheeks, his touch sending sparks through his skin as the taller man leaned forwards, tilting Fushi's head up. Their lips gently pressed together, tentative and slow.
Kahaku's eyes were closed but Fushi didn't know what to do, with his eyes and his hands and his lips. With his entire body, really. He felt... stupid, just standing there. Unsurely, he did what he was created to do and copied what Kahaku was doing, placing his calloused palm to the other man's cheeks, thumbs ghosting over cheeks that were flushed a dark pink colour. Fushi pressed closer to him, closing his eyes tightly.
With a surprised hum, Kahaku moved his lips against Fushi's own, parting from him for a small moment to breathe, a smile fighting it's way onto his face as he dove back in and captured Fushi's lips again. His hands drifted downwards, leaving Fushi's cheeks. Almost immediately, a coldness settled along the warm skin. The black-haired man's arms curled around his waist and his hands pulled Fushi closer.
Their lips moved in tandem and their kiss was sweet and needy. It lit up an achy, different feeling in his chest, one that spread from his core and into each of Fushi's limbs, lighting his nerves with a pleasant shock that had him eagerly bouncing on the balls of his heels as he stood chest-to-chest with the other man as Kahaku pressed his tongue into Fushi's mouth.
An odd sound made its way out of his throat, a moan, one that had Kahaku pulling away, his face red and eyes wide. "I love you," he choked out, pulling them closer together by his waist.
Fushi hesitantly slipped his arms around Kahaku's chest, looking up at him. His fingers clenched against Kahaku's dark clothes as he stood on the tips of his toes, wanting the taller man to put his lips to his again, wanting that weird, sparky feeling to happen again. "I... love.. you too," he mumbled, the words very unfamiliar yet also perfect on his tongue. It was like they were made to sit there, made to be spoken to this one single human being in front of him.
Kahaku looked down at him, eyes soft and filled with warmth. He smiled happily as he leaned down to kiss Fushi again.
When he pulled away, Kahaku tugged Fushi's hands away from his back, intertwining their fingers as he pressed a feather-light kiss to Fushi's knuckles. His voice was thick with emotion as he spoke up, "I know you're immortal, Fushi, but I want to spend as much time as possible with you, travelling with you, fighting with you. My heart yearns for you, Fushi. Please... let me stay with you forever."
"When you die, Kahaku, it'll only make me even more sad." Fushi's chest constricted at that thought. He had lost many of those he lived and cared for, he didn't think he'd be able to handle losing the person who made his whole body warm up in such an unfamiliar yet welcome way.
"I know you don't want to see anyone else die, but I promise you that I'm going to be with you forever, Fushi," Kahaku urged as his grip on his waist tightened, fingers snaking past the furs hanging from his shoulders and digging into his shirt. Through the thin fabric, Fushi felt the touch of his fingertips dancing lightly on his skin.
It made him shiver. Or maybe it was the tone of his voice, something excited and powerful pooling into his words. Fushi stared up at him.
Kahaku leaned down once more, but instead of pressing their lips together like Fushi wanted, he rested their foreheads against one another. "I love you."
Fushi looked up at him through his pale eyelashes, at Kahaku's flushed face and bright eyes, at his lips, which had become slightly swollen and red. Fushi moved towards him, initiating the kiss this time.
It sent more sparks soaring through his body. Bunching his hand into Kahaku's dark clothes, he whispered into the other man's mouth, "I... love you. I want to kiss you."
Kahaku laughed, happy and voluminous. It filled the air and the room and fought away the silence that had been bearing down on them. In a quick motion, Kahaku eagerly kissed him again, rough and needy and Fushi's head filled with so many emotions that all he could do was give himself to this mortal man.
Even though seeing the previous members of that woman's lineage sent cold prickles of discomfort up his spine, Kahaku's touch lit his skin on fire wherever they made contact. Fushi didn't quite understand I love you or kissing, but he felt that he wanted to say it more, do it more, to this one human being.
He wanted to learn how to love in this odd, pleasant way.