Storms are power, storms are rage.
Storms are when air and water overwhelm bone-dry earth with singeing fire.
And then it sleeps in the arms of wakefulness, as the world fears to sleep.
Tasuki never slept during storms. Never. Storms were raw, angry, and emptied his power out from vessels like madmen breaking souls.
When he was a child, the storms would chastise his tribe, and burn. Burn.
Burn, he could too, but not the storm, and not as the storm. He never had the perspicacity to understand that storms were made to humble him, and chip off the rough edges.
He was coarse, and storms were the sand.
Hotohori danced during the storms. With the swords, with his heart.
The storm was a jubilant phantasm, scalding his feet with its roughness.
The rain was not an obsequious woman, like the ones he knew. Rain was sensual and lively, playing with his senses.
He was refined, and the storms weathered his young hands.
She was artless, guileless, so naïve. And yet so predatory.
Oh, she loved him, and not them. How unfortunate, how fortunate.
Oh, the storm cries again, cries and sings and hurts and-
Breaks them into pieces.
Tasuki watches the emperor in the rain, never dancing.
" Are you afraid of the rain?" Hotohori asks.
" I was, but not when she was there."
Tasuki touches the emperor, with his warmcold arms, and begs him to forget.
The emperor is beautiful, in his arms, and his arms are empty, empty like life given away for naught, for-
The king is the only man Tasuki dared to love. Like a suckling child, new to the world.
When the emperor's heart touches his, and when everything atrophies into cold droplets and wrong kisses, when they dance in the rain, like forgetful, sick lovers-
Tasuki is no longer afraid of storms.
And Hotohori is no longer afraid of himself.