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Constellations

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The Lin Kuei temple was one of the greatest places to look at the stars. Located deep within the mountainous region of Arctika, the temple was sat in the center of a boundless sky and mountains that seemed to go on forever. The stars stretched far beyond what eyes could see; they twinkled on every clear evening and captured the attention of anyone staring at them for too long.

Hanzo sat on the roof of the Lin Kuei temple, his feet dangling over the edge. It was cold, and Hanzo sat bundled up in a thick blanket. Kuai Liang had been readying himself for the eve, and Hanzo decided that it was as good a night as any to sit and look at the stars above his lover’s temple.

He did not understand much of the stars. His life had never allowed him to take the time to learn about them—too hectic, too busy, too much death. In addition, his temple was filled with too many trees to get a good look at the sky on any given night.

He suddenly heard the roof creak behind him, and he smiled. “You join me, Kuai Liang?”

He heard a chuckle, and just like that, Kuai Liang was sat next to him with his own blanket and two cups of steaming tea. “I noticed you out. Care for tea?”

“Many thanks.”

Hanzo took a cup of tea as Kuai Liang settled himself, gently blowing on it to cool it before taking a sip. He looked to his boyfriend to see him looking up at the sky, a faint smile on his face.

He noticed his gaze and turned to Hanzo. “Staring, hm?” he said.

“I did not know you were intrigued by the stars so easily,” Hanzo replied. “You never mentioned it.”

Kuai Liang smiled and looked back up to the sky. “I’m trying to find constellations.”

“Constellations? You know some?”

“Of course.” Kuai Liang lifted a hand and pointed towards a clump of stars. “Andromeda is… there. It sorta… It sorta looks like an X, with another line of stars on the right.”

Hanzo searched in the area that Kuai Liang was pointing in and suddenly saw the group of stars that Kuai Liang explained. “I see it.”

“Good.” Kuai Liang lowered his hand. “The constellation represents the ‘immortal woman’ and is often called a ‘fairy’ constellation. It’s located among the Black Tortoise of the North and the White Tiger of the West.”

“Show me another.”

Kuai Liang turned at him. “Do you know the names of any that you would like to see?”

“I do not. Perhaps a zodiac constellation. What is yours?”

Sagittarius.” Kuai Liang smiled and looked back up at the sky. “It’s the ‘horse-man’ constellation. There are the legs of the horse on the bottom, and a line to show a man sitting on the horse is above that. He is supposed to be holding a weapon of some kind.”

Hanzo pointed to a clump of stars to their far right. “Is that it?”

Kuai Liang wrapped an arm around Hanzo’s torso, kissing his cheek. “Very good, my dearest.”

Hanzo looked at Kuai Liang’s kind face. “Pick another to find.”

Scorpius may be around here.”

Hanzo felt himself smiling and looked up to the sky along with Kuai Liang. “Of course you would search for that one. What does it look like?”

“Like you would think. A scorpion’s body shaped by stars. It looks like… like a bowl. The stinger is also there, a long line with a parallel line of stars on the end.” Kuai Liang looked up at the stars and furrowed his brows. “I do not believe it’s—”

“I see it.”

Kuai Liang looked to Hanzo with a shocked expression. “Show me!”

Hanzo grabbed Kuai Liang’s hand and pointed it towards a separate clump of stars. “There. See it? There’s the body, and there’s the stinger…”

Kuai Liang chuckled as he caught sight of it. “I see it. Great job, my dearest.”

“What does it mean?”

“Ahh…” Kuai Liang thought a moment as he looked at the stars. “It’s also part of the zodiac. It includes the heart and tail of the Azure Dragon. The constellation also represents the Dragon’s mansion.”

“Interesting.” Hanzo took another sip of his tea and looked to his boyfriend. He was still heavily focused on the stars, in his own world. Hanzo smiled. “How did you learn so much of constellations, my love?”

Kuai Liang looked away from the stars and simply stared ahead. “I have studied them for as long as I can remember. I first learned about them when I was very young. The Lin Kuei have lots of documented information about constellations.” He let out a heavy sigh and looked down at his feet. “In addition… Bi-Han taught me.”

Hanzo felt himself tense up at Kuai Liang’s fallen expression. “Kuai Liang, I didn’t know—”

“Of course you didn’t. There is no possible way you would have. It’s okay.” Kuai Liang turned to him with a small smile. “He taught me from the moment I could comprehend it. Our father taught him. He felt that it was important that I know about it, since I never got to learn from him.”

His smile grew as he looked back at the stars. “He taught me just about every night on this very roof. He would point one out and explain it to me with as much detail as he could remember. We would wrap up in blankets and drink tea and sit out here for hours. I felt as though he knew everything… He loved the stars. Could ramble on about them for ages.”

Kuai Liang sighed contently. “He taught me about everything he could remember. It’s all ingrained in my memory, like how to speak or how to walk.” He turned back to Hanzo as his smile faded away. “When he died, I… I continued to research them on my own in his memory. I like to think that he would have eventually taught me some more.”

Hanzo reached over and put a hand on Kuai Liang’s arm. “Without a doubt, my love.”

Kuai Liang’s eyebrows raised, and he smiled fondly as he put his hand over Hanzo’s. “Thank you for allowing me to teach you.”

“Of course. Perhaps you can teach me more.”

“I would be honored.”