okumen: Izana & Obi | Akagami no Shirayukihime (12)
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Drifters
Toyohisa/Butch; Toyohisa, Butch, Sundance, very minor mentions of other characters



-----

The color of the trampled dirt road seeped its color onto the grass, same as it always had. In this world, too, he was still wrong. But as he had at home, when he was training or participating in a battle, he had his hands full. His mind, too. Being in a different world was really weird, but he was going to do what he always had, the way he had been taught.

People being dragged to this world didn’t make any sense. Fighting, on the other hand, did. He would fight for what he wanted to fight for, and he would take heads as he did. As any warrior from Satsuma would.

He was still dripping water as he left the well and the woman in it, and he passed his gaze across the strangers and their cart. A strange piece of metal gleamed in the moonlight from in the cart, but he only briefly took notice of it, because something else happened then.

It was as if a shock was reverberating through his entire body, all the way to the marrow of his bones. It reminded him a little of when he was still a child, not yet able to beat the bigger boys in a sparring match and they had knocked the air out of him and sent him tumbling through the dirt or across the floor of the training hall.

And in front of his eyes, the world suddenly shifted. He noticed it as his attention was called upon by Nobu, and his head turned from the strangers in the cart to the old fallen demon king, and the man with the Japanese face wearing foreign clothing. The background, the trees and the darkness, they all looked different from usual. The gray in the dirt-and-grass hill rising under the trees and the castle, a color he had seen every evening for thirty years was wrong. Shifted, a lighter, different shade. The leaves contrasted more than usual from the nightly shade of the bark on the tree trunks and branches, they became further apart.

But he wasn’t allowed to be distracted by the odd sensation or the change to his vision for long at all. The newly arrived Japanese man whom Nobu was so excited to meet - though Toyohisa didn’t understand why at all - demanded attention with his disbelieving expression. So he brought him, Nobu and Olmine to the well, only to end up more determined than ever to stay true to the way he was raised, and to the beliefs he had been taught. Ends or not, a woman was a woman and he was not going to kill any woman, not now, not ever. Nothing that any man in any funny hat said would convince him otherwise.

*****


It was easy to tell that the man Nobu called Haruaki wasn’t it. His eyes were a shade not all that familiar in eyes, but one he knew from clothing and sheets. They were near white, as pale as they were. He felt like it would have been a bad match anyway, because a man who demanded you kill women lacked a certain amount of honor, at least in Toyohisa’s opinion. So it was good that Haruaki wasn't his soulmate.

The old man wasn’t it either, but nothing would have come from that anyway. That much was obvious, as the man wasn’t really present. So it was one of the two men that were left, who had been on the cart and were dressed pretty oddly. Not as oddly as Haruaki, but oddly enough.

*****


After a fire had been lit and the old man helped from the cart, and while food was cooking over the fire, Toyohisa joined them by it. They had been talking, but Toyohisa’s arrival interrupted the flow of their conversation, though both men didn’t stop cleaning their weapons.

In the dark, it was a bit hard to see colors. Everything turned into different shades of gray. You could tell more easily in the light of a fire, though, and Toyohisa needed to know who it belonged to. That color. It was clearly one of these men who had appeared in the late evening. It had to be connected to the shock that he felt running through him earlier.

He squatted in front of the light-haired, tall one, and pushed his face up close to his. Startled, the man stared back at him. "Uh... Somethin’ wrong, pal?" he asked. Toyohisa said nothing, only squinted further. Blue, he thought. Then he got up, and moved to do the same to the man with the dark, messy hair. The shade was different. Like the trees, and the grass visible in the fire light. Different from any other color he had ever known.

His eyes were a startling color. That unfamiliar one, that Toyohisa had not seen before today. A color darkened by the night and dyed by the fire. Shining bright, youthful and warm, despite the expression on his face. Clear and unclouded, holding determination and a great level of wildness. Like a man who knew how to lead people, and also knew how to be kind to them.

“Yew’re it,” Toyohisa realized. It had to be, no question about it. He had not been sure if getting flung to this world had been fate, but now he was certain. It was definitely fate that brought him to this place, and the man in front of him, too.

The man’s face finally took on a startled expression. “I’m what?”

“Yew're my soulmate.”

The man was silent for a few moments, the only sound heard being a startled noise made by the other of the two strangers, then he cleared his throat, and a grin that didn’t entirely reach his eyes spread on his face. It wasn’t a face of lies. Just a face that wasn’t in tune with what fate had decided. “You seem like a decent feller an’ all, but I ain’t really much of any kind’a soulmate make, no matterin’ what ya might think or not. You sure you ain’t gone mistaken me for someone else?”

His words were round but had a certain sharpness to them, without cutting or alarm, his voice carrying a slight burring sound in it. The way he spoke made his accent entirely unfamiliar to Toyohisa. His face was sharper than he was accustomed to and though it wasn't as pale as the elves skin he was lighter than Toyohisa and Nobunaga and Yoichi, a more pink hue to it than theirs. His eyes were sharper. And his eyes were that color. That bright color. Green. There was no question about it. This man was definitely Toyohisa’s soulmate.

And he was also definitely not from Japan.
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