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On Being Short

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Kyuzo never thought about his height.

He was aware that he was a little on the short side, but it was something he never saw as a disadvantage. Honestly, it sometimes was helpful on stealth missions or doing moves that others might find harder due to their height. His heeled boots gave him a few inches anyways.

Despite these few inches, he was still one of the shortest members of the seven samurai. He was only taller than Katsushiro, which isn't saying much since the boy was still growing. Kyuzo and Heihachi were barely taller than him and were both the same height, which gave the ginger an annoying advantage of throwing an arm around the assassin, which he often did when he was drunk.

It still didn’t bother Kyuzo. He was well aware he was no doubt the most skilled samurai out of the group and could kill any of them if needed, which he had become aware was not necessary. They have somehow all charged through the guards he put up, and have proven themselves to be more than harmless to him. He found himself dropping his guard a little when he was alone with the other samurai, each of them becoming less scared of him. It was almost nice in a way. Not that Kyuzo would admit it out loud.

Yeah, Kyuzo was comfortable with his height, until Kambei Shimada came around.

The two had undoubtedly crash landed into loving each other after their first battle where kambei quite literally confessed to loving Kyuzo, and even though Kyuzo tried his best to push the man away, he still found himself falling for him. Kambei was strong, and warm in his personality yet firm. And he was tall.

Even if he wasn’t the tallest in the group, nowhere near as tall as the massive Kikuchiyo, he was still tall. Kyuzo had curiously found it appealing at first. It fit Kambei well along with his beautiful long hair and striking eyes. But now it annoyed Kyuzo.

Kyuzo was bad at initiating things between them. Usually when he wanted something he would just take it. But there was something odd about taking a kiss or asking to be held. He had to rip the thoughts of such things being weak forcefully out of his head after they had been ingrained in him for so long, but there still were traces of them there. He was hesitant to hold Kambei’s hand or pull him close. And kissing him was a whole other story.

He couldn’t reach his damn lips. Even when he tiptoed he would have trouble reaching them and it irked Kyuzo to no end. He wanted to ask the annoyingly tall samurai to lean down a bit so he could kiss him, but words like that got stuck in his throat so he would just huff annoyed when Kambei would notice the annoyed samurai what was wrong. Kyuzo would often just look away which would cause Kambei to wordlessly lean down and kiss his cheek. It was close but still not what he wanted,

It’s happened a few times already; Kyuzo going on his tiptoes while the man doesn’t notice. It’s embarrassing, and it made him feel inferior due to his height, and Kyuzo was not weak. He considered finding taller heeled boots, but he was used to the ones he wore, and he didn’t want to put himself at any new disadvantages in battles.

But one day Kambei noticed Kyuzo huffing after a failed attempt and raised an eyebrow.

“What is the matter?”, He asked. Kyuzo just looks away.

“You are annoying.”, He says and Kambei snorts at the blunt admission.

“How so?”, He asks with a hint of amusement in his voice which makes Kyuzo’s eye twitch.

“You are..tall.”, Kyuzo says and Kambei considers Kyuzo.

“Is that a problem? I thought you actually liked it.”, Kambei says and Kyuzo has to keep himself from rolling his eyes at the man’s confidence. He couldn’t lie that he did like it, but not at times like this.

“It poses a problem.”, Kyuzo says as he looks up Kambei. Kambei tilts his head to the side in confusion.

“What’s the problem?”, He asks.

“It’s hard to kiss you.”, Kyuzo says and Kambei seems surprised by the admission before he smiles which causes Kyuzo to huff and feel an annoying warmth on his cheeks. Kambei must see it because he puts a hand on his cheek and Kyuzo thinks about swatting it away but ultimately decides to lean into it.

“That’s..You’re adorable Kyuzo. I know you will throw your swords at me for saying so, but it’s true.”, Kambei says and Kyuzo finds himself bristling at the words, but at the same time his stomach does flips and his face heats up more.

“Here. Whenever you want to kiss me, just tug on my sleeve..You don’t even have to ask.”, Kambei says affectionately and Kyuzo just nods, still processing Kambei’s earlier words. “Or..I could always just do this.”

And before Kyuzo could inquire what he was talking about, Kambei sweeps Kyuzo up into his arms which causes the trained assassin to tense for a moment at the sudden movement before he relaxes. Kambei was warm, and felt comfortable. Kyuzo thinks he likes this position despite how ridiculous he must look. He won’t let the other take pride in that though.

“Put me down.”, He says without any usual venom or forcefulness in his words, and Kambei knows him too well not to listen. He leans in and kisses the samurai in his arms and Kyuzo melts into the kiss and kisses back.

Afterwards, all the quiet samurai has to do is tug on one of Kambei’s white sleeves for the man to lean down and give him what he wants. Kyuzo is ok with his height again.