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(fic) Otogizoushi - the Accompanist - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
(fic) Otogizoushi - the Accompanist

Title: Accompanist
Author: Ruth
Series: Otogizoushi
Rating: G
Pairings: none
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: Otogizoushi belongs to its creators and certain characters are being used within for entertainment purposes only.
Notes: uguisu is Japanese for a nightingale, koto is a stringed instrument
word count: 629

From ancient times
The plum tree is her resting place
The nightingale

transliterated by John M. Ford (1988)

Even the greatest dancer needs to practice. This was a fact Mansairaku understood even if the nobles of the court didn't seem to comprehend. The young noble had expected him to sit and wait for the summons to perform. He had sneered at the tall, graceful man as he left. He, like so many fools who carried swords, assumed that because Mansairaku journeyed unarmed, he was weak or cowardly.

It might be amusing to prove him wrong, but not today. Mansairaku changed to his practice robe. The light cotton flowed differently from the silk brocade he would wear before the royal court, but both were designed to enhance every movement. He sipped at a cup of tea the servants had brought him and sighed.

It was pointless. He would dance, but ever since he went and dedicated his dance at the shrine, he felt empty. He had seen the drought blasted fields. He had heard the cries of the hungry children. What good did his dancing bring? What purpose did it serve other than to amuse the noble who would not suffer an inconvenience even if the rest of the world died at their doorstep?

He wandered out of the waiting room into the palace and soon found what he was looking for.

It was a small courtyard, gracefully adorned with a single plum tree. Late blossoms still clung to the branches and a small, brown bird perched on a swaying branch. As the dancer entered, it raised its head and voiced a lilting trill.

"Pardon me, uguisu-san, I did not mean to disturb you," Mansairaku bowed. The nightingale cocked its head to one side and looked down at him. It flicked its tail and resumed hopping among the branches.

He began with stretches; slowly bending right, then left, forward and back. He bent his knees and repeated the stretches, feeling tendons pull and muscles bunch. Above him, the nightingale chirped and bent down, wings lightly spread for balance. It seemed fascinated by him.

Mansairaku chuckled to himself. He snapped out his fans - his own wings for balance. Stretching his arms wide, he let himself drop to his knees before the plum tree before rising back up and spinning, his sleeves swirling with the light breeze that swayed the branches. He swayed with it.

The nightingale hopped from branch to branch and began to trill again. Mansairaku hopped himself, fluttering his fans in imitation of the bird.

"If I started singing, you would flee in fear and disgust," he whispered. The little bird cocked its head to one side again. He felt an urge to laugh. Dancing for a nightingale! How absurd!

Yet, as he danced, he remembered the wide eyes of children, forgetting their hunger to cry "how pretty!" He spun in place. Was that what his dance was for? To make the suffering forget their troubles?

Or even to amuse a small brown bird in a plum tree?

Well, there were worse things he could do. The urge to laugh touched him again.

A handful of petals showered on him. He paused a moment to look at the soft, deep red droplets.

"Mansairaku-sama!" It was the young noble.

He turned to the plum tree and the bird. "I most humbly thank you for the accompaniment, uguisu-san and most gracious plum tree," he gave his best court bow.

The young noble's eye and mouth were wide open. Watch, thought Mansairaku whimsically, tonight after enough sake he'll be telling his cronies that the kami of the nightingale and the plum tree were playing the koto for me!

"I thank you for the time to practice," he said dryly.



1 comment or Leave a comment
hexadecimal00 From: hexadecimal00 Date: January 11th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

I love it :) I'm so thrilled you wrote a fic for this fandom.

He snapped out his fans - his own wings for balance.

I was very fond of this line :) I really liked the parallel between Mansairaku and the nightingale.

Was that what his dance was for? To make the suffering forget their troubles?

Or even to amuse a small brown bird in a plum tree?

Well, there were worse things he could do.

Indeed. Another part that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I wonder if the noble spread it around that Mansairaku danced for a bird and a tree? Very well done, Ruth. ^___^
1 comment or Leave a comment