It's my first Touken Ranbu fic and to be honest, it doesn't have a lot to do with the anime/manga/game canon but was purely inspired by the musical (the latest instalment, Mihotose Komoriuta). So my base for the characters were not the game ones but the ones portrayed by Ota Motohiro (Sengo Muramasa) and Zaiki Takuma (Okurikara).
The title, too was inspired by an exchange the two have in the musical.
Ever since their group had returned from their dispatch Okurikara had felt his eyes getting drawn towards a shock of purplish pink hair that moved around the citadel. Apparently Tonbokiri was making sure that Muramasa met every single resident. Quite a task and also quite time consuming, considering how many of them were constantly in and out on dispatches. The History Retrograde Army was quite active as of late. Muramasa dutifully tagged along and said his greetings and extended his customary invitation to get undressed. Which of course got rejected in all cases - also thanks to Tonbokiri, who would whisk Muramasa away again.
Okurikara hadn’t thought much of it until he came across the pair again a few days after their return, just when this day’s rounds seemed to be finished. Tonbokiri had seemed tired and was promptly comforted by his two fellow spears, Otegine and Nihongo.
While the trio of friends talked - and drank - Muramasa slipped away quietly, unnoticed.
This was familiar territory to him. Okurikara had been the same. Shokudaikiri and Tsurumaru had always tried to include him in things, always tried to get him to be more social but after humoring them for a while, Okurikara had always snuck off and usually nobody had bothered to go and find him or drag him back again. People had gotten distracted by other things.
It was interesting to see it with Muramasa. The other seemed so intent and willing to be social, to make friends and be close to people but in reality that was all just a trick. Just a farce. In reality Muramasa wanted to be alone. The pushiness and touchiness was not to encourage closeness but to encourage rejection. It was the opposite of what Okurikara himself did. But both had the same result. They were - mostly - left alone.
Admittedly, Muramasa’s way of doing things seemed to drive people away more effectively, compared to Okurikara’s way of doing things. His open rejection seemed to encourage people to try harder, while Muramasa’s seemingly inviting and open personality seemed to ensure that he was left alone by most people - or by everyone who wasn’t Tonbokiri. The spear seemed to be even more overbearing and worried than Shokudaikiri. Okurikara hadn’t thought that was possible but he was quickly revising his opinions here.
Another thing that was similar between Muramasa and Okurikara himself was how they changed in battle. It was as if they only truly existed when they fought and shed blood. Just like himself, Muramasa did not require any backup during fights. Or rather did not want any backup. If they both required it was an entirely different matter.
‘I am more than enough to handle these’. Anyone looking at Muramasa’s back, at his stance, would be able to tell that. So he was left to fight by himself. Other swords needed the companionship, so having one less to worry about was helpful.
Needless to say that due to their slightly reckless way of fighting, Okurikara and Muramasa ended up being the ones stained in the most blood once they returned to the citadel. They were bloody but not injured. So while most of their troupe went for repairs, the two of them were sent to the baths to get cleaned up.
While getting undressed, Okurikara found himself looking at Muramasa - already naked, who had stopped in his movements to look at the dried blood on his hands.
“It looks like I’m rusting, despite being in a human body.” Muramasa chuckled lowly and then washed the blood off. “Maybe bleeding is the human way of rusting, what do you think, Okurikara? You have had your human body for longer, so maybe you know?”
“It might be similar.” Okurikara found himself responding. It was rare for him to join a conversation but somehow he felt like it now.
If Muramasa was surprised the other did not show it.
A part of Okurikara had expected the other to come on to him now, considering that they were both naked and things were rather intimate but there was none of the sort. Quite the contrary. It seemed like Muramasa was giving him space and privacy.
So they cleansed themselves in silence and then relaxed in the bath for a bit before getting out - others would be coming to use the baths soon.
When they got dressed, Okurikara spoke up. “You said you wanted to get close and comfortable with everyone but you actually want to be alone, don’t you?”
Muramasa’s customary low chuckle echoed a little off the walls. “What is this, Okurikara? Trying to make friends with me after all? And just after we got dressed again as well. Shall we take our clothes off again right now?”
“You’re avoiding the subject.” Okurikara stayed on task.
It seemed to force Muramasa back as well. The playful smile disappeared from the other’s face. “There is madness in me. I do not know when the call for blood might come. It’s better for me to be alone, so I don’t hurt anyone. It’s the curse that was placed on me. Or so it is believed.” Muramasa looked at Ookurikara. “I am surprised you out of all people would come to approach me about being alone. It seems a little hypocritical.”
“It’s because I, too am a loner that I came to talk to you.” He held Muramasa’s gaze. “I am not afraid of the madness. If anything, it might make for a formidable opponent.”
To be honest, he did want to spar with Muramasa. He felt like they might understand each other better through battle. To Okurikara, everything was easier to understand when it was part of a fight. “Maybe I was drawn to you because we resemble each other. It might sound funny if I say it like that but it’s true. We were both just meant to fight and kill. Shedding blood is what we are best at, what we were meant to do. We don’t need to get close to people or maybe we can’t. Just ourselves, that’s plenty already. Others need not get involved.”
“Huhuhu, how true. Indeed. That is who we are. We are swords after all. Swords that were meant to only to fight and most importantly to kill.” Muramasa mused. “I guess I felt drawn to you as well, Okurikara. We seem to understand each other.”
“In a weird way.” Okurikara commented.
“Weird or normal, what does it matter?” Muramasa shrugged.
Okurikara hummed. “One thing, though. You don’t have to be afraid of hurting the others here. All of them are fighters, almost all of them have also drawn blood before and if not in their previous life, all of us have fought against the History Retrograde Army. Maybe even Kebishi. We can handle you. Madness or not.”
“You’re quite a feat, Okurikara. You have completely and utterly managed to undress me.” Muramasa opened his arms in a gesture of defeat.
“You’re still wearing all of your clothes, though.” Okurikara pointed out.
“Oh? Would you like to undress me that way as well?” Muramasa wiggled his eyebrows and jutted his hip out, inviting Okurikara to undo the hakama again.
Okurikara rolled his eyes and turned away. “I’ll pass.”
For one moment there had been something like temptation, though. Was it one of those ‘human urges’ he’d heard about? While he was curious, he didn’t feel like looking into things more right now. It would have to wait for another time. He just hoped it could. Sometimes he couldn’t quite understand humans. And thus, his own now human existence. It could be a little vexing.
“You are an interesting one, Okurikara. I haven’t met someone quite like you in the time I’ve been around. And I’ve crossed blades with many other swords.” Muramasa took that as a dismissal and went back to tying his hair up. “I’d like to cross blades with you as well.”
“I’d gladly take you up on that invitation.”
“Even if it means that we might be completely undressed by the end of it?” Muramasa smirked.
“I will not back down from a fight.” Okurikara insisted.
Muramasa grinned, “It’s a promise then.”
When they walked out of the bath, they could hear the sounds of some kind of party going on in the main room. They’d have to pass it on the way to the swords’ private quarters.
“You should go. It would be your first party. It can be your welcome.”
Muramasa grabbed Okurikara before he could walk off.
“If you’re getting me to be social, I am dragging you into this with me.” Muramasa chuckled softly and opened the sliding door to the banquet hall.
Okurikara sighed inwardly. He had read something about things coming to bite you back in the ass sooner or later before. This was why he was usually careful but it looked like this time he had used a two-edged sword.
Your turn alchemicink!