Pairing: Aiba Masaki/ Matsumoto Jun; Ninomiya Kazunari/ Sakurai Sho
Rating: up to NC-17, but PG-13 most of the time
Warning: It’s dystopia mixed with steampunk and futuristic elements combined with elements from the 18th century, I guess... So it’s a little bit darker at some points, but nothing too dark, I promise.
Summary: The world in 2300 has changed. The society is divided in humans and slaves. Slaves are born and sold to fulfil their masters’ needs and desires. There are only a few masters who see their slaves as humans – like the Sakurai brothers. But it’s hard to hide this, when the rest of the world wants to see the slaves as ‘things to use’ and not as humans.
Note: I tried my best with the steampunk genre, but I think it became a mixture between some genres, nevertheless I hope you’ll like my new multi chapter <3 Sakumiya and JunBa will both have a lot of spotlight, and Ohno will be part of the story too ^__^
Masaki looked at the slender boys in front of him. He walked up and down, scanning them properly. „Shall they undress, sir? Maybe it’s easier for you to decide,” the man next to Masaki said. He looked at him with a small smile curling around his lips. „No, thank you.” He turned to the boys. „I choose them because of their face.”
„As you wish, sir.” The man bowed.
Masaki once again walked up and down before he pointed at one of the boys. „He’s for me.” He took one step to the right. „And this one is for my brother.”
„Yes sir, we’ll make them ready for you. They get one Kimono and some basics from us. If you want them to get more clothes and special things, we can make you a special offer,” the man said.
Masaki shook his head. „No, thank you, the basics are enough for them.”
The man grinned. „Yes, you are right. They are just for your use, they don’t need to have any properties.”
Masaki nodded with a smile. „True. And now get them ready, I want to get away from this place.” He turned and left the small wooden house to get to his carriage. He opened the door and slipped into it.
„Did you get what you searched for?” A man looked up directly at Masaki.
Masaki nodded. „And I got you one too.”
„Me?” The man asked astonished. „I told you I don’t want a slave.”
Masaki smiled. „The boy I chose has a friend there. They stood there, holding hands, trembling like madly. I couldn’t separate them.”
„God, now I need to take care of someone else than me and my big dog, which I got because you couldn’t get only one dog for yourself? Somehow there is a central theme in your actions,” the man sighed. „Every time you go shopping, you end with buying two of whatever you want. And I am the one who has to take the second thing.”
Masaki chuckled. „And don’t tell me you don’t like it, Sho-chan.” He leaned closer. „I know how much you love Akira, the big stupid dog, like you are used to call him.”
Sho tousled through Masaki’s hair. „You are the worst little brother someone can imagine.” He looked out of the window. „Good, then let’s see which slaves you have chosen for us.”
Masaki looked at the boys. „I hope our parents don’t say something against them, but in the end they told me to get whatever I want for my birthday.” He saw the two boys walking over the snowy ground barefoot. His heart made some heavy jumps when he saw that.
„Here they are,” the seller came up to the carriage. Masaki opened the door and stepped outside once more.
He looked at the boys. They were trembling. In this part of the country it had been winter, but their clothes were thin. Luckily it wasn’t winter where Masaki lived. The north and the south had differences from almost 30 degree, and when they’d be back at Sho and Masaki’s place it would be 25 degree already. But the boys' kimonos were for sure made for summer. „Can you give me some basic information? Age, name, any illness? Everything I need to take care of.”
„Sure.” The man nodded and pulled out a sheet of paper. „This one.” he pointed at the smaller one. „He is called Nino, he is 23 years old, he came here some years ago, after his old master didn’t want him anymore. He is a little stubborn and he can be really disobedient. So,” the man sighed. „I understand when you don’t want him. You can change him of course. He has no other illness.”
Masaki shook his head. „No, he’s perfect for my brother.” He stepped to the taller one, who still looked at the ground. „And this one?”
The man looked at his papers. „He’s called Jun. He’s 22 years old. He came here some time ago. I have to warn you, he is no virgin anymore. He was used as special slave. So if you want some fresh meat, sir, we can change him of course. But even though he has a very active past,” the man laughed evilly. „He is healthy. He just suffers from a little flue right now, but we’ll give you some medicine for him. He should be okay in one day. But of course you can get another one, if it’s not okay. And if he doesn’t get all healthy again, feel free to change him.”
Masaki smiled. „No, that’s perfect. I don’t need a slave who cries all night: I want one who’s used to be a slave.” He opened the door to the carriage further. „Get in,” he said to the both of them roughly.
Masaki took the money out of his bag and handed it to the man. „Thanks for your help.” Masaki bowed.
The man smirked at him, returning the bow. „Have fun with the boys, and don’t forget: use them like you want to. Punish them if it’s necessary, they are made for this.” He laughed.
Masaki got back to the carriage and rolled his eyes when Sho looked up. „Coachman, we can go,” Masaki said and bumped against the wall behind him.
They closed the door and soon the carriage started moving. For some minutes it was silent in the small cabin, but Masaki could feel the fear from the slaves. He just wasn’t sure how to wash this fear away from them. Masaki looked out of the window, but pulled the curtain immediately in front of it again, when he felt the cold winter breeze touching his skin. „We are far away from the slave shop,” he said to Sho, who nodded at him.
Masaki turned to Jun and Nino and took the blanket Sho gave him from under the seat. „Here.” When Masaki raised the blanket he could see both boys wincing like they feared to get slapped. „You must feel cold.”
Masaki looked at his brother. „We should get them some warmer clothes.” He turned to the boys. „What do you have in your bags?”
For some seconds they just stared at Masaki before Nino found the courage to talk first. „We have a few belonging, master. One kimono and one pair of shoes.”
„Okay,” Masaki smiled. „We go to a shop. There we’ll find something nice for you to wear.”
„Tell me,” Sho suddenly said. „If you have one pair of shoes, why don’t you wear them now?”
Nino looked at him, while Jun was still staring at his hands in his lap, not daring to say something.
Nino had Jun’s hand in his. They spent the last year together here, and they started a deep friendship since they got beaten up for being disobedient for the first time. And now they stood there and this tall man was walking up and down, scanning each of them, but Nino immediately recognized that the man was looking at Jun. Nino’s heartbeat increased. He didn’t want to be separated from Jun.
And then he said that he’d take the both of them. Something in Nino jumped. No matter how often he had gotten sold during the last years, he always hoped that it would become better and they wouldn’t get sold again. He didn’t need much, just a place where they wouldn’t get beaten up and used like they had gotten during their last years.
This time it was something different. This guy was strict, and he appeared like the perfect master for treating a slave as bad as possible, but Nino could see that he was acting. He knew the seller. He saw them as objects, not as human beings, and this guy adapted to it.
And now they sat in the carriage, a cosy woollen blanket above their bodies. Jun was still trembling a bit next to him, and Nino grasped for Jun’s hand under the blanket. He wanted to symbolize him that they were at least together.
Nino gulped. „We weren’t allowed to wear them. We should get used to low temperatures to be able to bear with more unpleasant situations, master.”
He looked into the eyes of this guy. He looked stricter than the other one, but he didn’t seem to be an ugly man Nino already had to bear with. „Masaki, please take me never ever back to this place, okay? I think I don’t want to hear such stories again, because maybe I am going to burn this shop down, otherwise.”
Nino blinked. His intentions were right. These guys weren’t bad. „Told you.” Masaki shrugged. „That’s why I wanted a slave for my birthday.”
Nino could feel Jun’s hand squeezing his. He was still afraid, and maybe he wasn’t even really listening to the talk right now. Nino looked at the two men. So this Masaki-guy would be Jun’s master and the other his’? He didn’t dare to ask.
„Okay, you’ll get some clothes. Then we’ll get back to our house,” Masaki explained.
Nino didn’t dare to speak without being told to, but he had to say something, when he felt Jun’s hand getting sweaty and hot in his. „Sorry, masters, am I allowed to say something?”
Masaki and Sho looked at each other before they looked at Nino. „Sure,” Masaki said with a smile.
Nino felt his cheeks burning. He was afraid to say something wrong. „Jun had high fever last night, and I fear he is still ill. So may I ask that he can sleep inside tonight? Maybe in the stable?”
Nino could see their stunning faces resting on him. „If it’s not possible, it’s okay.” Nino raised his hands. „But maybe you can give us a blanket, masters. If he dies, it’s lost money for you, master.” Nino turned to Masaki.
„Okay, first of all, you sit here,” Sho said with a strict tone, and pulled on Nino’s arm to get him away from Jun.
Nino wanted to fight against the grip, but he was too weak against Sho. He felt his stubbornness rising, even though he knew it was a bad idea to get recalcitrant. „No,” he said. „master,” he added for the correct formal speech.
Sho pushed him down and took a second blanket to cover him. „Yes.” Sho’s eyes were dark. „You are also thin and weak, and you have a high risk to get sick too. So please stay away from Jun for some days. And second, you won’t sleep outside or in a stable. You have a place in our house, so don’t be afraid.”
Nino felt his heart beat rising. They wouldn’t sleep outside? They’d have a place in a house during winter months? And they’d care of Jun’s sickness.
Nino looked at Masaki, who stared at Jun next to him. Jun was still absent-minded. Maybe his fever was back again. „I think he feels bad, master,” Nino said to Masaki, who looked up at him.
„Yes, he has fever, but don’t worry, that’ll be alright soon. We studied medicine after all.” Masaki smiled at him.
Masaki looked at Jun. He still had his gaze lowered and Masaki was sure that he had his eyes half closed. So maybe he wasn’t only absent-minded but also really sick. He raised his hand and placed it on Jun’s forehead. He could see Nino shifting nervously opposite him. „Don’t worry, I don’t do something bad to him.”
„Sho-chan, give me the white stone – eel tablets,” Masaki said. He took a bottle of water and the medicine. He placed three pills on his hand and touched Jun’s chin with his other hand. He raised his head till Jun was looking at him. „Take these and drink some water. You’ll feel better afterwards.”
Jun didn’t move at all. He just stared up at Masaki, his eyes empty and grey. Masaki sighed. He tried to open Jun’s mouth with his hand and placed the pills in the slightly opened lips. „Swallow,” Masaki said. He gave Jun the bottle with water and made him drink a few sips. „Good, and now try to rest. We’ll be at home soon. We’ll delay the shopping. He needs to get a warm bed.”
„Masaki, have you thought about a plan for our parents? You know they don’t allow slaves in our house,” Sho said.
Masaki shook his head. No, he had no idea about a plan. „That’s always the problem.” Sho clicked his tongue. „You have such a good heart, but you don’t think about a whole working plan.”
Masaki smiled. Yes, that was true. „But that’s why I have you,” he chirped. He knew that Sho always had a plan to get them out of major problems.
„Yes.” Sho crossed his arms. „I have an idea.” He looked at Nino and Jun. „We have slaves for our enjoyment. That’s why we take them to our rooms.”
Masaki blushed. „But, Sho-chan, I …” Masaki stuttered. „I don’t want to have that kind of slave.”
„Of course not,” Sho’s voice got softer. „But we need a good excuse why those two shall sleep in our house and not outside.”
„Oh, true,” Masaki agreed. Their parents weren’t bad persons at all, but they knew how society handled slaves, and their parents were part of the high society, so if they’d have slaves at home, they’d treat them like society wanted it. That’s why they never had slaves at home. His parents had one butler and two house maids, but they were free at all. „So we shall tell them that we have …” Masaki couldn’t even say it out loud.
„Yes,” Sho said. „And we better keep that lie up.”
Nino listened to their conversation without saying something. He wondered if it was a good place where they had landed now. At least they wouldn’t do something bad to them. He just hoped that they didn’t play any trick on them and turn out to be totally different.
Nino looked at Jun, who moaned from time to time. His fever must have increased. Nino wanted to get back next to his friend, but Sho held him back. Nino shifted nervously when he saw Jun moving forward like he was about to fall down from the seat. Masaki placed his hand around Jun’s shoulder and pushed him closer to his body. Jun’s head fell on the other’s shoulder and rested there. He was pale, and his whole body trembled.
„God, you are ice cold,” Masaki said. He looked at Nino. „How long has he been like this?”
„I think about three days,” Nino said. „Master,” he added.
„Did he get something against the fever?” Masaki wanted to know.
„No, we are slaves, we don’t deserve medicine,” Nino said angrily. He lowered his gaze when he realized that his tone was too harsh. Now he had to expect his punishment.
„If you ever say that again, you get punished.” Nino looked at Sho next to him. Did he really say this right now? Sho smiled at him. His eyes were dark and mysterious, but also gentle and there was a certain tenderness in it.
„I am sorry, master, that’s what they told us in the shop,” Nino said with a bow. His anger vanished and he felt a little hope in him spreading. It was the first time since years he felt something like being save.
„Tell me, Nino, was Jun the only one being sick?” Masaki wanted to know.
Nino shook his head. He didn’t want to think about the corpse he had seen during the last months. One after the other had died. „Please help him, master,” Nino murmured.
„Look at me,” Sho said and Nino brushed away a tear in his eyes before he eyed Sho. „Tell us exactly what you know about the symptoms and how they got sick.”
Nino tilted his head. He had tried to look away from the whole misery around him to prevent going mad, but sometimes it was not possible to look away. „There were two boys … they got sick some months ago. They had high fever and they started throwing up soon later, till they were too weak to stand up.” Nino got silent.
„And then?” Sho wanted to know.
„They brought them away and we didn’t see them again. Some weeks later another boy got sick. He …,” Nino said. „He died one night ago.”
„Nino-chan, what did they all have in common?” Masaki asked.
„What do you mean, master?”
Masaki took Jun’s face in his hands and opened his eyes with his fingers. He turned his face left and right and opened Jun’s mouth to take a look into it. Jun let everything do with him. Nino could see Jun’s eyes fluttered open, but he closed it immediately again. „These symptoms aren’t signs for a normal flue. Is there something they drank, ate or are there places they went to?”
Nino froze. „Oh my god,” he said. „Master.” He took Sho’s arm, even though he knew he wasn’t allowed to touch his master, especially when he was dirty like he had been right now, but Sho didn’t seem to care about it. „There was this fruit,” he said. „Jun came home some days ago. He told me that he had found a special fruit which blooms in winter. It shall taste good, and it’s something to eat for us.”
„How does this fruit look like?” Masaki asked.
Nino shook his head. „I don’t know, master.” Jun leaned against Masaki. Probably he wasn’t even conscious right now. „Wait, he told me it tasted like apple mixed with lemon and strawberry. Does that help, master?”
„Yes, that helps.” Masaki smiled at him, but Nino couldn’t get rid of the feeling that this meant nothing good. Masaki and Sho exchanged a look, and Nino knew what this meant. Jun was seriously sick.
A/N: Hello everyone, welcome to the new multi chapter, and already thank you for reading <3 I am really a little bit nervous about posting this, because it's something I really enjoy writing, so I hope you enjoy reading it. <3
Tell me what you think about it? I know it's a little bit darker, but I promise that the moments between them won't be dark. <3
Sakumiya and JunBa will have almost equal space in this story, because it's Nino's POV and Masaki's, so there'll be a lot of scenes for both pairings. ^^ And I really enjoy writing Sakumiya here :D