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This Is Fine

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He knows perfectly well Nakago will never love him, he accepted that years ago. Oh, he tried all the usual tricks in the past; treating Soi as a rival, trying to use his and Nakago's similar trauma as a bonding point, even trying to trick him into bed. Backing off won him Nakago's respect, and let him understand that his failure to win the man's heart didn't lie with him, but with Nakago himself. He doesn't even seem to love Soi, who regularly shares his bed, or the Priestess of Seiryuu, whom he doted on endlessly when she arrived.

It's because they're so alike that Tomo understands why Nakago cannot love him.

And it's fine. Sometimes it aches to be reminded of this fact, but it's a dull ache compared to the immature heartbreak he used to feel. Now, all that matters is that he can be useful to Nakago.

At this moment, he's going over the map on which Suboshi marked the Suzaku Priestess's tracks. Judging by the territory, she won't be going any further today, so there's no need to hurry after her.

Good. Nakago is asleep on his shoulder. Nakago never falls asleep beside anyone, even Soi, much less using their body as a pillow. Tomo imagines his sleep is not peaceful, but right now he seems closer to content than Tomo has ever seen him. He can't help feel a bit of satisfied, selfish pride. He's the one Nakago happened to let his guard down for, even if just tonight. It's more than he's come to expect or hope for, and he'll gladly take it.

He smiles a little, daring to stroke the general's hair.

"Sleep well."

This is more than he could ask for, and this is fine.