Life's Good- Namuuna
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A sharp gust of wind sliced through the peaceful ambiance and the briskness of it made him shudder. A sign of change. The seasons were shifting and soon the leaves would change color and snow would fall. The last drops of summer fell from the sky and he wanted to soak it all in. It was the last day in France and on this day, he had surprised her with a trip to the beautiful French countryside. Old forsaken farm houses and war ruins told stories the land would forever carry. But, the people were so humble, kind and generous…simplistic and rich in both land and heart. Closing his eyes, he sighed deeply. So many things had happened in this trip and for that he would be eternally grateful.
“Hiroto?” Turning, he found his lovely lady leaning against the door.
“You ready to go home?”
“Yes and no.”
“But, the time here had been so special. It certainly will not be the last time we visit.”
“Yeah but still…” He smiled and reached for her hand, bringing it to his lips.
“Don’t mourn over our leaving.” She pouted cutely.
“Okay…” Snuggling up against him, she wrapped her arms around him as fireflies lit up the sky, crickets chirped and the setting sun painted beautiful colors across the expanse of the clear night sky.
Earlier in the day, she had found herself on lush land, rich in green and life. Literally. Soft fur drifted through her fingers and she smiled as a small lamb beneath her nestled his head against her breast. They had ventured far from their hotel and after several trains made it to the home of a quaint woman and her robust sons.
“That one has never been so comfortable with strangers…” Said woman said with a smile, coming up behind her to lean against the arch of the small barn.
“His name is Addix.”
“Aw…where’s his family?” She asked, blushing as the sweet little creature softly baa’ed and closed his eyes.
“All here. His mother and father are somewhere in the fields. All of his brothers and sisters are playing just there beyond the bend.” She pointed off into the distance, small forms seen.
“Yes. In the spring, we shear them and later use the wool to make blankets and other things to keep us warm during the colder months.”
“Here we prefer simplicity to the rather busy life in the cities. We are humble and don’t ask for much.”
“Same.” The two women looked out to see Hiroto grooming a mare, his gentle smile and tone of voice endearing. His cheeks were rosy and he leaned down to press his cheek against the mare’s mane.
“He hasn’t changed.” She turned to look at the woman who had later identified herself as Winona.
“You know him?” Winona smiled, clutching her hands together.
“When he was a boy, his grandmother allowed him to stay with me and my family. She and I were friends from long ago in her own travels.” By the look of surprise on her face, she continued.
“I know the Iwase family very well but I choose not to be associated with them… outside of dealings with Hiroto.” She lifted her eyebrow.
“Why?” The woman turned her eyes back onto her husband.
“He is the only kind blue blood left. His grandmother was like me… ordinary and homely. His family tried to break her but she was unrelenting. She raised that boy the best she could and he too has not allowed them to break him either. That I can respect. For that and for his kind soul, he will always be welcome here.” She swallowed thickly.
“I’m pleased to see that he has married a good strong woman like his grandmother.” That was all she wrote as soon the woman grew quiet. Smiling as their gaze met, her heart skipped beat.
“Rae, have you ever been horse back riding?” Her eyes near bugged out of her head and she shook her head no with the quickness.
“Aw nawl. What I look like doin that?” Dimples deep, he grinned.
“Come on, I’ll show you how to ride.”
“Hiro’s a pretty good rider Rae. He won’t let you fall.” Winona encouraged, a small smile on her face. Pursing her lips, she sighed.
“Fine. Let’s get this over with.” Humored, he ignored her frown and lifted her to sit sideways on a horse, quite bigger than the more delicate mare of before. He smoothly lifted himself up in the saddle and held her close as he lifted the reins. She screeched as they began to trot, nearly clawing his arms off.
“Bruh….oh my gosh…” She felt like she was about to die, being so far up off of the ground and Roto thought he was slick with them low cackles of his.
“Loosen your legs a bit babe.”
“Easier said than done, you tryna kill me…” With a gentle movement, the horse slowed down.
“Breathe Rae…” She lifted her death grip from his arms and tried to take a shaky breath. The smell of the nearby ocean drifted into her nostrils and the green of the land swirled together. Lungs full, she squeezed her eyes shut, trying to settle her queasy stomach. Soon, nausea passed and the horse neighed as if to laugh at her.
“Oh you laughin at me huh?” The horse grunted, bringing a laugh from behind.
“Look at you bonding…” She cut her eyes at him.
“You tryna die today…got me bout to fall off and this horse makin fun of me. Y’all both cancelled.” Another laugh and the gait became nice and slow, steady and comfortable.
“I think Abel is more pleased than anything.”
“Mm. You’re a trooper.”
“That right Abel?” She asked, lifting a shaky hand to glide through his mane. Said gelding grunted.
“Rae, look.” She looked up and suddenly grew breathless. In the distance, there sat rolling hills, bales of hay piled as high as the sky. Smoke from chimneys and sets of small glass windows opened calmed her. She could imagine that a gentle breeze rustled the curtains.
“It’s beautiful…” Looking up at him, she smiled.
“Why don’t we go to the beach…one last time.”
“Mm.” Commanding the horse to a stop, he got down and carefully helped her down.
“Thank you for letting us ride you Abel.” Petting the horse in thanks, he smiled as he nudged him with his nose.
“Seems you’ll be leaving hm?” Winona said, coming to grab the reins from him.
“Yes. We should be heading onward.”
“Thank you for allowing us to come visit you.” She piped up, a smile on her face.
“Thank you Winona.”
“Please, you are welcome here any time Hiroto. You know that.” He hugged the woman and kissed her cheeks.
“Rae, it was so nice to meet you.”
“Same here. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your company and that of your family.”
“Anytime.” Hugging the kind woman, her heart beat soundly as she pressed something into her hand.
“Look at it later okay? Enjoy your last day in France.” The woman whispered into her ear before pulling away. Suddenly, as if knowing they were leaving, even the animals seemed to say goodbye, even little Addix. He came forward, baa’ing his little heart out right until he pressed against her leg.
“Aw…bye bye little one…” She said, petting him.
“He’ll miss you.” Roto said with a smile.
“I’ll miss him too. We’ll come back to check in on him and the others…”
“Come on babe.” Fingers pulling her away, she sighed as they soon left the farm, headed towards the sea. Upon sight, he grinned.
“Just like old times…” He took off, laughter high on the wind. Chuckling at his freedom, she bit her lip. Indeed. If they were to survive this world, the least they could do was continue to embrace the child-like joy still within them.
“Come on Rae!” He called to her, already ankle deep in the element…smile as bright as the sun. She could feel that same sunlight travel through her, illuminating her from the inside out. The mist in the air chilled her hot skin and she was glad summer was still with them. Taking off her tennis shoes, she slid out of her socks.
“Here I come!” Setting eyes on him, she felt her heart grow warm. On this last day…he had reverted to a style she hadn’t seen since they were teenagers. In a sleeveless grey shirt, the toned and tight muscles of his biceps and upper chest were on full display, the product of hard work and determination. His hair had been pushed back from his face by the wind and his equally firm legs were clad in light teal shorts, now wet. It meant so much to see him like this… comfortable and uninhibited. He turned to her as as she walked towards him.
“Ready Freddy.” They rushed at the waves. Laughter bubbled up in her throat and in a flash they were running back towards the shore, water lapping at their feet as if to tease them. Running again, they tried to race the waves but this time were a bit too late. The water crashed into them, soaking their clothes. She screamed as he picked her up and spun her. Laughing deep and rich, she swat some water at him with a playful pout. It hit him in the face and he grinned at her, shoving his hair back from his face. A million suns lit up in his smile.
Closing her eyes, she let the waves lap at her knees. Deeply sighing, she tilt her head back, inhaling the air. Heading back towards more shallow water, she kicked her feet, making little tiny ripples. She grew still as he came behind her and slowly wrapped his arms around her.
“I’ve truly treasured every single moment we’ve had here. Now, I’m ready to birth new things.” The sun began to set slowly and for the last time they watched it go down over the Parisian horizon.
Time in Paris has come to an end. Her shores and soil have loved me tenderly and I can’t wait to be reunited with her. As I write now, we are packing up our belongings. An early flight and we should be back in Japan by the next day. It’s been fun. For now, I bid you sweetly adieu.
After a nice dinner, they had gotten settled on the small couch, watching the television. Disturbing the peace, his phone began to ring and at a glance, he pulled away from her. Stepping out briefly onto the balcony, he answered his phone with a small smile.
“Hello. I trust you are ready to return?”
“Yes. Rae and I are all packed up.”
“Ah…has this time been transformative for you Hiroto?”
“Mm. Rae and I have seen and experienced so much. It means a lot to me that she’s broadening her horizons. I want to take her to more places in the future.” His cheeks grew warm with color and the feeling in his heart was that of contentment. The voice of his father laughed heartily.
“Ah that pleases me…our little Rae has so much more world left to see.”
“It seems like your honeymoon has been productive in spurring growth…have you taken the time to also grow intimately?” He coughed some, the sudden shift in conversation taking him by surprise.
“It is an innocent question.”
“Roto? Somethin wrong?” He looked up as Rae came to lean against one of the doors, arms crossed. His face felt like it was burning, much to his embarrassment.
“A-ah… n-no.” Her eyebrow lifted.
“You couldn’t have waited until we got home to ask that?”The man chuckled.
“I’ve been waiting enough time. Besides, it is healthy to inquire you know.”
“Judging by your silence I will assume you consummated. Good.”
“You did well, saving your body for her. I’m sure you two were relieved.”
“…I suppose you could say that…” Is all he could stand to say. His father chortled in a quite unbecoming way.
“The Iwase virility has continued to be unsurpassed. I wish it much success in the future of your union.” The blush that had been in his cheeks slowly crept into his ears.
“You sure you okay babe? You all red…” Rae asked, bringing his attention back to the very embarrassing topic at hand. Before he could answer, his father replied. Leave it to him to have the ear of a hawk.
“Is that my lovely daughter-in-law?” He didn’t think his cheeks could grow even more red but somehow they managed a way to.
“…would you like to speak to her?”
“Please.” He handed her the phone suddenly, a look of surprise on her face.
“He wants to say hi.” She blinked before slowly taking the phone from him.
“Okay…” Licking her lips, she answered softly.
“Hello my dear. Your Japanese has gotten so much better since the last time we spoke.” A blush came to her cheeks and she meekly bowed her head.
“I have been practicing real hard and everything.”
“It sounds lovely with your voice.”
“Thank you…it’s good to hear from you Shou-sama…have you been well?”
“Oh yes. I haven’t heard from you two but that’s to be expected and all. From what Hiroto told me you two have had a very nice time away.”
“Yeah. I swear this man be spoilin me more than what is necessary.”
“Naturally, he should. You are his wife.”
“Never forget that you have inherited a royal decree now Rae. Though we live in more present times, there are laws and ways that are still followed of old. Just as he is no ordinary man, now by law neither are you. You must learn to walk in that authority.” She licked her lips and glanced up at him. Yeah all y’all keep sayin that… but to me he’s just Roto…
“Mm. I-I appreciate that.”
“You’re very welcome.”
“What have you been up to while we’ve been away?”
“I’ve gotten in touch with some colleagues of mine from the past. It is good to check in with them once in a while now that we are all older.” She lifted her eyebrows and glanced at him again who, by the way, seemed relieved to be off the hook.
“That’s nice.. how are they?”
“Here and there… some are well and some are not. What matters is that I keep in touch.”
“You’re right.” Things were silent as it sounded like he was shifting positions in a chair.
“Did Hiroto take you by Versailles?”
“He did. He surprised me with a beautiful tour.” The man softly chuckled.
“I am glad he showed you around.” The man cleared his throat.
“I wanted to check up on you two. You’ll be in Tokyo by tomorrow?”
“Yep!” She could almost envision his eyes crinkling in the corner with a smile.
“Good then. We’ll have to have tea and wagashi before it grows cold. May I speak with Hiroto before we go?”
“It is okay to call me father now. You are family.” Cheeks warm, she nodded.
“O-okay. Um…get a good rest and we’ll see you soon…” She handed the phone back to him and with a kiss to his cheek, left him alone once again.
“Father, I will call you when we reach Tokyo.”
“Be well Father.”
“You as well son.” Hanging up, he licked his lips before slipping into the room, quietly closing the French doors.
“We should be getting ready for bed babe. Our flight leaves early tomorrow morning.” He spoke quietly as he came up behind her, hands coming to caress her bare shoulders. Cheeks warm, she looked up at him.
“Yeah guess so huh?”
“You look tired.”
“We had a hell of a day.” Leaning down to kiss the skin, he smiled.
“Tell you what, before we go to bed, how about I run a bath and you join me?” She ruffled his hair with a grin.
“Sounds good Mister.”
Small wafts of vapor drifted up into the air and she inhaled deeply. Head back against his chest, she closed her eyes. They both had been treated so kindly and she wasn’t quite sure if it was because of who he was or if it was natural to the people of France. Since they had married, it seemed everybody made it their mission to remind her of who he was by birthright. Honestly, it was starting to bug her. She didn’t care anything about his supposed blue blood or anything of the sort. She supposed it was to be expected as she had to remind herself just what family she had married into. Glancing up at him, she smiled to herself. His eyes were closed, his arms loosely around her underwater. Here, in this moment…it was quiet and a sense of peace filled the room. Here, there was no city hustle and bustle, here life traveled slower. Here reminded her of home.
Most times she forgot about all the rhetoric. But it all seemed to hit her in Versailles. That day, a whole new world had opened up to her and she learned that sometimes, it paid to be wife to a prince…
Dust from the road rose up in tiny little clouds and brushed against the glass of the moving vehicle. Up the long winding road that seemed to span for ages a grand chateau came into view. Past the lush greenery, perfectly coifed topiaries that would make the fingers of a certain woman itch. Rich in decadence and plenty in splendor there stood the palace itself. And she was breathless.
“Monsieur and Mademoiselle…welcome to the Palace of Versailles.” The door to the car opened and a hand helped her step out. In the pale light of the morning, she felt nearly overwhelmed as she set eyes on the massive grounds. So….this was Versailles. So opulent, it made her head spin.
“Shall we head inside?” We shall indeed…
In the empty corridors, laughter filled the air and daringly, feet, open and bare touched the lush carpet that still appeared as if the very monarch Himself had only stepped out for a moment. At his insistence, the guides had let them explore alone. Lengthy history lessons and longwinded speech didn’t interest him much. He already knew the history of the ground on which he stood. But, his beautiful wife had no clue. He leaned against the wall, observing her. She stood in front of a large throne, some would say had been off placed. It didn’t look as though it fit where it was but she however did. Smiling, he pushed off of the wall.
“What does it say?” He asked quietly, coming to lay his chin on the top of her head.
“Says it belonged once to Louis XIV’s father.”
“Ah…” She welcomed his arms as they slid around her.
“I think it’s beautiful… everything about this place…”
“There’s so much more to see.” She looked up at him.
“You’ve been here before huh?”
“Any of your family come here?” He smiled.
“Yes.” Her eyes grew wide.
“Your family knew Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV?!”
“That’s crazy.” He squeezed her hand.
“In my time of study here, I found out all about it. In our archives, there is correspondence between the King himself and members of my family. It’s kinda cool.”
“Kinda….man bye…” With a sigh, she looked up at the ceiling.
“I be forgettin I’m with the Royal Son over here sometimes…” He stuck out his tongue at her.
“Hey…” She grinned, poking his chest.
“Your bloodline go back farther than the history of the Sahara. Now I remember why yo mama threw such a fit over us.” He chuckled, tightening his grip on her waist.
“She’ll be throwing a fit until she dies and that’s just fine.”
“Hm.” He let go of her and slid hands into his pockets.
“This place is so big you can get lost so I say we head down the Hall of Mirrors first.” She lit up, squealing.
“Boy stop playin for real?! Yes, let’s go!”
“Mmkay. Race me.” She nearly snapped her neck trying to to look at him incredulously.
“You ain’t serious. We might get in trouble.” He grinned playfully.
“What can they do? Kick us out?”
“Do you think the royals sat around stiff necked all day long? With a hallway as big as that?” She bust out laughing and hit him on the shoulder.
“You off the chain today Hiroto. Gon get me in trouble..”
“A little of it can’t hurt.”
“Nah nah nah…not in these heels.”
“Well then we’ll fix that.” He wiggled his eyebrows in such a goofy manner that she doubled over.
“You straight wildin right now…” He grinned and knelt, gently lifting her foot.
“Oh my God… get up fore somebody see us. I don’t think by lettin us alone they gave us permission to wreck shop.” He ignored her and slowly unclasped the shoe from her foot. Without a word, he soon grasped both of her heels in his hand and stood up.
“Profitons de la vie ma belle.”
By the time they had gotten back to the hotel, they had been on they last leg. Being nearly blinded by the Hall of Mirrors, they had attempted to cover every inch of the Palace as they could before her feet craved the dirt. Lifting her dress, the color of the sun, she imagined herself as Queen, frolicking with her mischievous husband instead of attending to more important affairs. Getting lost in the gardens, they had collapsed by one of the various fountains.
Chest heaving, she pressed her hands back against the soft grass, eyes intent on the man that hovered above her.
“If only for a day, you finally get to imagine what’s yours.” She licked her lips.
“And what is that?”
“Our Kingdom.” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her exposed breastbone.
“There is no limit to what I will do to ensure that you are treated the rest of your life as the Queen you are.” She lifted her leg slightly.
“And what of you…are you not to be treated the same as my King?” He slowly kissed the revealed skin and with his nose, trailed a path upward until his lips teased hers in such cruelty.
“You matter more than I.” Lifting her hands, she hid her fingers in his hair as finally their lips met.
“We found you! Finally!” Separating abruptly, she couldn’t help but pout as slowly he placed her leg back on the ground. Clearing his throat, he gave a nod.
“We’re grateful to you for allowing us free reign.” Eyes averted, the tour guides kept quiet until the both of them stood, shoes not too far away from them.
“It is our pleasure Monsieur Iwase. After all, Versailles was home to many of your ancestors. How could we deny an heir?”
“Even with that said, you’ve pulled a lot of strings to make this happen. Had Iwase not been behind my name, we would have been rejected. My wife and I greatly appreciate it.” He bowed lowly and she followed suit, hands pressed delicately against her thighs.
“It is no trouble. Please, if you will come this way. We will escort you to your car.” Going to grab their shoes, they quickly slid into them before heading to an awaiting car. And just like that, they slowly drove away from the place where the land was soaked in blue blood.
The view of the stars above her made her nearly dizzy and all the more breathless. She wanted just for a moment to imagine it was just them two, the rest of the world not welcome. Kisses traveled up her back bringing a smile to her. She turned her head to kiss him and he sighed contently against her mouth.
“We best be gettin to bed. You fallin ta sleep and everything…” He pouted cutely, arms tightening ever so slightly.
“I suppose…” She lifted a hand and rustled his hair.
“Come on sleepyhead.” Lifting from the bath, she pulled him for the final time to their temporary bed. Snuggling close to him, she couldn’t help but indulge in his warmth. This is so bittersweet. Closing her eyes, she let herself be pulled against a solid chest, leg lazily entrapping her.
“In the morning, we’ll be back home…” He spoke tiredly with a yawn.
“Mmhm.” And like that, the both of them fell asleep like babies, excited for the morrow.
Paris. A land of my dreams, one I could never have imagined making reality. I hope that in the coming years I can visit again with my love. Au Revoir bien-aimé la France.
A/N: Hey y'all! It has been the hardest time getting this baby out lol. WHOO! Our babies' honeymoon has now officially ended and oh what awaits hehe. I do severely enjoy writing scenes of our babies being peaceful and enjoying each other's company!! Gotta love Shou man lol. He like when. y'all. having. chil'ren. lol. I WANT MA GRANDBABIES LOL. So cute! I'll leave some pictures of course and some translations (to the best of my non-French speaking behind's ability LOL.
P.S- Are you ready for what's comin?? Cause it's gonna be a ride haha. Please as always leave your comments and gon and click next to the next chapter update!! <3 My gift and apologies for writer's block and a long wait lol.
Profitons de la vie ma belle- Roughly means take advantage of life my beautiful
Au Revoir bien-aimé la France- Good bye beloved France
Rae's outfits this chapter: