Sojiro Shimada was a formidable man. His presence was heavy, you know he was in the room even if you hadn’t seen him. He was tall, with broad shoulders and long salt and pepper hair tied up into a warrior’s bun. His ears were tall and stiff, and still black despite his age. Sweeping the floor behind him was a long silky jet-Black tail.
As a man he was intimidating. As a wolf, he was petrifying.
It had come time to find a mate for his heir. And so far he has been less than pleased with the offers of suitors.
Hanzo was special. They had known it as soon as he was born, and he had always been treated as such. He was the first Golden Spirit born to the Shimada family in nearly two centuries. Pale as snow with eyes as dark as charcoals, long hair whiter than nature should allow. His ears stood tall and proud, with much longer hair on them than the usual wolf.
They were pink on the inside.
Genji said it was “cute.”
He had two golden Mark’s on his cheeks, right along the bone. If you touched it, it felt rough. Almost like stone—but it never seemed bothered him.
Unlike his father, he was dressed in, as his little brother so elegantly put it, “eighty thousand million layers of Kimono gowns like a princess.”
Hanzo loved being pretty, and took great pride in the kohl around his eyes and the styling of his hair. But even this felt...ridiculous.Too much. He could hardly move. His tail, was almost lost among the folds of his gowns.
After the latest suitor left, he adjusted on of his bell-like sleeves. His father looked put out and snapped for another suitor to be brought in.
“How many more?” Hanzo asks, soft. His father was already irate, wouldn’t do to make it worse.
“As many as it takes.”
They’ve been looking every day, for two weeks.
Hanzo was, in order, tired of:
Standing in said geta for hours on end
Every damn layer of fabric he was wearing
The smell of the same type of incense burning
His father’s voice
The constant buzz of the phone he couldn’t check hidden within the many layers (which most likely meant Genji was probably bombarding him with emojis of the dancing lady in a dress, damn it.)
The ceremony room
And basically everything and everyone else. He just wanted to go back to his room and read, or spar with Genji. Or eat dinner. That’d be nice.
“This is exhausting,” he huffed and brushed pale hair behind his ear.
“You will have a suitable mate for a Shimada-dono,” Sojiro stated flatly.
“Must it be so tedious? I feel like an Edo Princess.” They had websites for stuff like that now. He had a Tindr. And a Grindr. But apparently that wasn't an appropriate 'pool' to choose from.
Something in his father changed at his comment, but only a little. He seemed to wilt, and he sighed, a tired crease forming on his brow. Eventually he met his son’s gaze.
“You are my son,” Sojiro said gently. “Whom I love more than there are blades of grass. You are precious to me and I...” He looked away. “I want you to have someone as I had your mother. I want you happy, but the Elders will never let you be if you marry sub-par.”
Hanzo watched his father for a long moment. He looked, quite suddenly, so much older.
The doors opened and drew Hanzo’s attention to what would become the rest of his life.
The man walking in was...enormous. His skin was so dark, his eyes darker. He was a striking figure in a black suit. Briefly Hanzo panicked, until he realized two other men walked in with a third, but the sheer bulk of the man in the suit hid them.
“Ah, Akande,” Sojiro actually smiled. He and this man, Akande, bowed to each other. “I had hope you’d come.”
“Yes,” the man looked strangely pleased with himself. “One of my best dogs had pupped another talked creature years ago. He is a mutt.” Sojiro stiffened and almost protested. “Before you turn me away, I would not bring you a subpar specimen. He is the son of a pure bred golden retriever and a Spanish War Hound. Loyal, gentle, viciously protective. Strong and fast, but easily trained. He has a spark in him, and he does fight some. But he is worth it. Both of his parents are....gifted. And so is he.”
Hanzo’s ears perked. Gifted? Perhaps like he, himself was? Even Sojiro looked interested.
“...I trust you not to disappoint me,” Sojiro hummed. “Show me the mutt.”
Akande stepped aside and revealed...a young man. Closer to Genji’s age, if Hanzo could guess. His skin was darker, a sweet caramel-tan. His hair was shaggy, and a deep chestnut. He’d been dressed up in a red button down and slacks—simple but elegant enough to show off broad shoulders and strong legs.
This man was tall. Over six feet. As Sojiro stepped closer, Hanzo realized he nearly was dwarfed by this mutt. The dog was handsome, at least.
Sojiro hummed curiously. The young man kept his eyes closed while Sojiro pokes at him. Ran his hand along to long, dark chestnut fur on the young man’s tail. Lifted a hand to inspect his shaggy ears.
“He will need to be refined,” Sojiro said to himself. He then asked the young man to show his teeth and even from the distance, Hanzo could see the size of them.
“Why do you have your eyes closed, pup?”
“His gift,” Akande offered. “He does not miss. Any gun, any bow. Darts, knives. He does not miss what he aims for. Open your eyes, boy.”
The young man did as asked. Hanzo felt the temperature drop ten degrees, and his breath left him in a misty gasp.
One eye was a beautiful chocolate brown. Wide, gentle. He had the eyes of a kind man, if one who was clearly afraid.
But his right eye .
Sojiro took a step back himself, surprised as Hanzo was. Hanzo was further astounded at the fact that his father had physically stepped away from someone .
It was red. The entire eye was a bright, angry red. The pupil was narrow to a pinpoint, black against the red. Black veins crawled out from his eyelids, but not very far.
It was eerie, to say the least.
“We have named him Deadeye,” Akande said pleasantly.
“...take him to clean him up,” Sojiro said to his service staff. “Haircut, trim his beard. Make him presentable, and get him a cover for that eye.” Sojiro turned, heading for the back room. Hanzo blinked owlishly before following his father. “Deadeye will join us for dinner. We will learn more of him there.”
“Father,” Hanzo hurried a little to catch up. “You like him—“
“I do,” Sojiro hummed. “...he kept eye contact with me the entire time, despite his apparent fear of me. And...his eyes are those of a retriever, not a war dog.” Sojiro relaxed. “He is dangerous, frightening, formidable—a suitable suitor to sit at your side. But he...will be kind, I imagine. I hope.”
“...” Hanzo glanced over his shoulder, and stopped in his tracks.
The staff was leading Deadeye away, but the young man was looking Hanzo. Looking through Hanzo. It was eerie, and it made the Spirits who followed him around squirm.
He didn’t move to follow his father again until Deadeye was gone from the sight.