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File 161492845467.jpg - (1.72MB, 1242x1739, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_fall_5754478__fe.jpg) [iqdb]
2310
The first time I saw her
She shone brilliantly in the midday sun
Her locks, dripping wet
Like rainfall, dropping into the pond before her
Ripples moving outward
Her wings, resting at her back
Her feathers, I felt inclined to touch
I watched her in silent awe
My heart fluttering

File 161492851729.jpg - (1.23MB, 1020x1190, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_hisona_suaritesu.jpg) [iqdb]
2311
Her head snapped around to me, concern etched into her brow. I stood stiffly, holding my hands open at my side, in hopes that she would not take me as an aggressor. She watched me suspiciously, taking in my visage. I kept still. Her shoulders relaxed and her eyes softened.

“Who might you be?” she said, tilting her head to and fro. She moved in a flighty manner. The bright red tuft of hair atop the rest of her blonde hair flitted from side to side as she moved.

“Hanako is my name… I apologize for sneaking up on you, I did not mean to startle you.”

Her face scrunched up. “I was not startled, simply… unaware of you previously.”

“Uh…”

“Alright, I was a bit startled,” she admitted, giggling in spite of herself. Her laughter was so pretty… I found myself only further drawn in by the sound. As her laughter died down, she noticed my stare. She squinted, crossing her arms.

I blinked, looking down to my feet, forcing my mind to focus. “Sorry, just… distracted.”

“By what?”

She stepped into my view. I turned back up to her face, which was deadly close. “Um, by…”

“By what?” she repeated, leaning closer. The corners of her mouth turned upward slightly.

“Y-your pretty face,” I said, bringing my hands up to cover my own face. Some part of me knew it was silly, but I couldn’t help it. I was too flustered to look at her.

“Oh.”

There was a long pause. I could hear her walking through the grass.

“Well, your face is pretty too, I suppose.”

Her voice came from further away. I opened my fingers slightly. She was bent at the waist near the pond, grasping for something. I watched her quietly for a few moments, letting my hands slowly drop. She moved carefully, but sporadically. She would stay still for a few seconds, then reach down in a flash and grasp whatever it is she was looking for, pulling it up to her skirt which she held folded in the front as a makeshift pocket. She repeated these quick, calculated movements a few times, then turned and made her way over to me.

She pulled the pocket open slightly, showing me a pile of smooth, round rocks.

“A pretty treasure for a pretty lady,” she said, gesturing for me to pick one with a tilt of her head.

I nodded, scanning over the rocks. I reached in, grabbing one that was bluish-grayish in colour. She nodded at my choice.

“That’s a good one. Good colour, nice shape,” she said. She moved closer… painfully close, even. She was only a finger’s length away from my side. I held my breath, unsure of what she was going to do next, but… she just kept moving. She walked past me, over to the treeline, where sat a wicker basket. She transferred her rocks over to the basket, sliding it onto the crook of her elbow, and turned to me. “I must be off, returning to my duties… but it was nice to meet you, Hanako.”

“Likewise, er… you never said your name.”

She gasped, eyes wide. “How remiss of me! I am Kutaka. I watch over the border checkpoint of Hell.”

“The… what?”

She only smiled. With a flap of her wings, she was airborne.

“Wait! Will you visit me?” I blurted out.

She hovered above the ground. She had looked about ready to fly off, but at my question, her gaze refocused on me. I could feel her unasked question. The expectation in her eyes cut through me and my stomach churned from the pressure.

“My home… at the base of Youkai Mountain.”

She gave a small nod, then shot off into the sky without a word. I was left dumbfounded. Dumbfounded, but overjoyed at her acceptance.
The second time I saw her
She was adrift on the wind
Overhead, far above me
Gliding over the land
A wide smile, joy in her freedom
She descended, and my heart rose to meet her
Another smile, joy in my presence
I smiled back

File 161492867770.jpg - (139.18KB, 860x1214, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_usotsuki_penta__.jpg) [iqdb]
2313
I was not expecting to meet her again so soon. We were an hour’s walk from the pond where we first met the day before. Here, I lived in a cottage at the base of Youkai Mountain. It was a sturdy, wooden construction built some thirty years ago by my father. A stone fireplace kept it warm in the winter. I would occasionally make the pilgrimage to the village to obtain some supplies I couldn’t get on my own, but other than that, I lived alone.

She had her basket with her. I was on my knees, tending to the garden. As she approached, I rose to my feet, bowing to greet her. She curtsied in response. We stood there for a little while, enjoying the sight of one another for a reason I could not discern. I was utterly captivated by this strange girl I had only met the day before.

I looked past her shoulder, at the wings connected to her back. For some reason, I hadn’t given them much thought initially, but they were all I had been able to think about since yesterday. Kutaka, the girl with wings and some connection to Hell. It had occurred to me while preparing dinner last night that she was probably a youkai. The thought did not scare me as much as it should have. I had seen many youkai in my time, but I always kept my distance. I had never actually spoken to one. My father had always strictly emphasized the danger that came from interacting with youkai, and I was not one to disregard his advice. All of his lessons had served me well even this long after his passing.

“Would you like some tea?” I said, gesturing to the door. She nodded.

Yet, here I was, welcoming one into my home. Sorry, father.

I lead her onto the porch, through the door. The cottage was fairly open; rather than several interconnected rooms, the kitchen, dining room, and a simple lounge all fed into each other with the fireplace set in the middle of all the rooms. My bedroom was the only room that was separate; it was at the end of a hallway connected to the lounge that had been added later.

I already had a small fire going, so I filled the kettle with water and some leaves and set it over the fireplace. She sat at the table, watching me with interest. I wondered if she had ever seen a human prepare tea before. Did youkai even drink tea? Was this the first time for her? Oh nooo, I needed to make this pot sublime; her first experience needed to be perfect!

“Your home is cute.”

I turned quickly and anxiously, the sudden weight of entertaining my first guest (and a pretty one, no less) ever taking its mental toll.

“O-oh, thank you. I’m glad you like it.”

She nodded, smiling with her eyes closed. “I haven’t visited a human home before.”

“H-human… so it’s true, then. You’re a youkai.” The words came out automatically, before I had a chance to restrain myself. I was already berating myself for them as I was saying them. The rational side of my brain was reeling from my ridiculosity. Why was I… acting… so stupid?!

She laughed. There it was again, that pretty laugh. “I thought that was a bit obvious.” She stretched out her wings for good measure. I watched, open-mouthed, as they fluttered behind her.

“They look so soft…”

“Want to touch?”

I nearly dropped the kettle. “W-what?”

She turned in her chair, giving me a better view. “You can feel them. I don’t mind.”

I only stared, unable to process her offer. She laughed again, then rose to her feet and walked over to me. She grabbed my hand and pulled it over her shoulder, to her wing.

It was soft. Soft, but firm. The feathers interlocked together to make a perfect surface. I stroked her wing a few times, getting a good sense of how it felt.

“Well?”

I mumbled something.

“Excuse me?”

“...I said, they’re good…”

A wide grin greeted her lips. At that moment, I became aware of how incredibly lucky I was to have such a person in front of me. Youkai or not. She was utterly captivating. I considered the possibility of me being under the effect of some kind of supernatural youkai charm… and promptly disregarded it. I didn’t care. I wanted to be by her side forever.

“Hanako, the tea.”

“Oh! Right.”

I tore myself away from her to prepare the tea.
File 161492874042.jpg - (2.51MB, 1224x1718, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_toutenkou__82dd8.jpg) [iqdb]
2314
“What kind of youkai are you, Kutaka?”

“I am a chicken deity!”

“A chicken… I’ve always wanted to raise chickens.”

“Please take good care of them. And no eating!”

“Hmm, that I can do. I just like them as company. My father used to keep chickens.”

“Oh! I see. I suppose humans do like eggs...”

“Can you lay eggs?”

“Uh… well...”

“...”

“...”

“On second thought, please don’t answer.”
Before long, I saw her very often
Her beauty never diminishing
She shined brighter and brighter
Her smile, warm and pleasant
Her laughter, of untold joy
I basked in it all, all of her
Completely and utterly, she was mine and I was...

File 161492891064.jpg - (1.17MB, 1029x1105, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_hisona_suaritesu.jpg) [iqdb]
2316
I was laying on her with my head on her chest. Her arms wrapped around my head, and her wings around my back. I felt contained, warm, content to be close to her. We had fallen asleep like this, I think. My mind was a bit foggy.

I didn’t want to disturb the peace, but I suddenly felt too hot. I gently and deftly adjusted the position of her arms and wings so that I could extract myself from her, and from the bed. I stepped out of the room, down the hallway, and to the door on the back of the house. The crisp air greeted me as I stepped out. The moon was bright tonight, casting everything in an otherworldly glow. I walked out several metres, sitting down on the grass.

It was all so strange.

To be involved with a youkai… It was something I had been hesitant about since the beginning, but everything happened so fast and I hadn’t a good chance to really process what I was doing. One day, I was making her tea, the next, I was inviting her to stay the night. I didn’t think about the reality of our companionship often, but once in a while father’s gruff voice would flash in my mind, cutting through the euphoria of our goings-ons.

“Humans and youkai are supposed to be enemies. Why not find a nice man in the village, if you’re so lonely?” he would say in my mind. I never had a good answer. Of course I was lonely before I met Kutaka, but the village residents… They just seemed so different. They were always suspicious of my lifestyle and my hobbies. I never felt comfortable with any of them.

Still, did that make it right for me to associate with Kutaka?

“Hanako?”

I craned my head around. Kutaka was standing behind me, her arms crossed, concern on her brow. The moonlight gave her pretty face an evanescent vibe that made my heart skip a beat.

“Oh, hello…” I said wistfully, caught between my uncertain thoughts and my admiration for her.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

She bit her lip. Wordlessly, she stepped up next to me, lowering herself to her knees. She raised her hand to my face, gently stroking my cheek. She sat like that for a while, I simply staring straight ahead toward the treeline, plagued by the two lines of thought my mind was working through concurrently. After some time, she took my head in her hands and pulled me toward her, leaning down to kiss me on the forehead. As she pulled away, I finally looked at her face. She looked so concerned. So, so concerned. Ahhhh, I hated this.

“Kutaka…” I looked to my side sheepishly, then back to her face. She smiled, her eyes half-closed. “I… we… is this really okay?”

“This?” she said. Head tilt, mouth open. She was so cute. I squirmed a little.

“Our relationship.”

She raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m human, and you’re a youkai…” I looked away, suddenly weighed down by a deep sense of shame. I felt bad for bringing it up. I felt bad for burdening her with this concern of mine. I felt bad for drawing attention to our world of differences. As if I was shattering the illusion that we could be the same.

I felt her grab my hand with both of hers, giving it a gentle squeeze. “It doesn’t bother me. Does it bother you?”

My father appeared in my mind again. I shook my head. “It doesn’t, but… my father.”

“Oh…”

“He… would definitely not approve of our relationship.”

She nodded. “So that’s why you’ve been so contemplative lately.”

My eyes widened involuntarily. “You noticed?”

Another nod, and an apologetic smile. “You’re not very good at hiding how you’re feeling. It’s always written on your face.”

Well.

That wasn’t too surprising, I supposed. She was very observant, after all. Plus, that was not the first time someone had told me that.

“Youkai are rebellious in nature. We do not typically form strong family structures, as humans do. So, I can’t really relate to your concern, but I do understand it. You don’t want to do something he’d disapprove of.”

I nodded. It was a good summary of the situation. I had no idea youkai lived such independent lives, but I suppose it made sense. “Well, that’s what I’ve been struggling with.”

I was suddenly pulled into a tight hug. She was so warm, so soft. Her tender frame held me with surprising strength. I sat there in shock for a moment, then returned her hug. The world seemed to fade into the background as I became aware of her and only her.

“I love you, Hanako.”

!!!!!!!

“I love you too!”

Sitting there with her warmth surrounding me and her words still fresh in my memory, I felt like a weight had been lifted. She loved me. I loved her. I was overcome by my feelings for her, and any concerns I held previously disappeared, at least for the moment. There was only me and her. Only our love.

I pushed her down onto the grass, burying my face in the crook of her neck. She hummed softly to me. I recognized the song. One she often hummed, though its name and origin I knew nothing of. I had heard it enough from her that I knew the notes. It was a bit frantic, but the familiarity was comforting. I joined her in humming.

Completely and utterly, she was mine and I was hers.
File 161492907625.png - (1.32MB, 868x1228, __niwatari_kutaka_touhou_drawn_by_torinari_dtvisu_.png) [iqdb]
2317
Thank you for reading my gays.
Not my thing, but thanks anyway for adding to on-site activity.
K F C
K F C
K F C
I want chicken now
I suppose I'll have to eat some chicken now~
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