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Yami no Matsuei » Sky Diving » Polarization – Part Three

Polarization – Part Three

Watari finally succeeds in becoming a woman, and Tatsumi finally finds out why he wanted to so badly. And why Enma is so upset about it. Drama with Romance and Porn, I-4

Pairing(s): Tatsumi/Watari

Watari left the offices at quarter to twelve the next day and walked steadily out the door, looking straight ahead.

Tatsumi lasted perhaps five minutes.

And then he left, too, holding his bento prominently to stave off questions about why, and locked himself in one of the soundproof library viewing rooms. He gathered into his palm the tiniest thread of shadow he could weave and sent it sliding down halls and walls and under the door of Enma-daiou’s audience room.

He suspected he’d get a lot worse than a docked paycheck if he was found out, but the tightness around Watari’s eyes and the tension of her mouth were more than he could ignore. He liked most of his co-workers, even when they were being idiots or breaking expensive things, but Watari…

Watari was the only one who laughed at him.

He heard the thud of heavy doors swinging shut and then nothing for so long he wondered if Enma’s power had somehow closed out his shadow.

“So,” Enma’s voice finally rumbled.

“You wanted to see me,” Watari stated. “Here I am.”

Tatsumi could imagine Watari spreading her hands demonstratively, and probably turning around just to show off everything.

“You have unfitted yourself for your purpose.” Enma’s voice was clipped. “This does not speak well for your dedication to your work, Golden Bird.”

“It wasn’t my work, or my purpose,” Watari shot back, fearless as if she merely faced Konoe.

Now Enma sounded surprised. “Of course it was your work! The entire project is based on your discoveries and calculations.” A sly, coaxing edge slipped into his tone, one that made Tatsumi bristle to hear. “Surely you want to see if you were right? To carry the experiment through to the end and see the final culmination of Mother? To have your brilliance vindicated before all?”

Watari was silent for long enough to alarm Tatsumi. He knew how Watari was about his damn experiments…

“No,” Watari whispered, at last. “Because I wouldn’t see. I wouldn’t know. If the Golden Bird of the Sun and the Jade Hare of the Moon combine the way you want, to make Mother complete… I will be gone.”

“You agreed to that once already.”

The simple, factual tone of Enma’s statement horrified Tatsumi more than anything ever had before, bar seeing Tsuzuki bleeding out in the midst of black flame.

“I agreed to give my mind, and my body.” He could imagine Watari standing straight, chin lifted. “Not my soul.”

“Is there a difference in our world?”

Oddly, the next thing Tatsumi heard was a sigh and a rustle. When Watari spoke, her tone made Tatsumi think of her running a hand through her hair. “Enma-daiou. I’m sorry. I know you want to escape. To give your throne and history to another and finally pass on.”

“You know.” Enma’s voice was suddenly contemptuous. “You can’t know, Golden Bird. I have been here since the beginning! The first human who died, caught in this… trap of the gods! Everyone passes on. Everyone but me.”

“I know.” Watari’s voice was soft. “Mother contains your mind, and it was me they poured all that through in the first attempt. And yes, my calculations are almost certainly right; Mother could replace you, if it incorporated pure representations of Yang and Yin to give it eternal balance. But I will not be Yang to take your place.” Her voice turned wry. “As you see, I am not a suitable representative anymore.”

Enma’s voice rumbled deeper than ever, heavy with anger and threat. “So, are you any use to me anymore?”

“Less use,” Watari returned agreeably, just as if utter destruction wasn’t hanging over her head. “But still some. As any other employee.” A small sniff. “Any other employee who’s a genius inventor, anyway. The only inventor,” she added, “who might find another way.”

A snort that could only be Enma. “Begone.”

As the doors’ thud echoed down his shadow again, Tatsumi exhaled and realized that his shirt was soaked with sweat and he was shaking with tension.

No wonder Watari had been tense last night, gambling for her soul’s integrity on one roll of the dice!

Or, perhaps, on one roll, at any rate.

And her damn sense of humor was rubbing off on him, too.

Tatsumi translocated home to get a fresh shirt and a drink of water, and put his lunch in the refrigerator. He was certainly in no shape to eat anything now.

He was not entirely surprised to see that Watari, when she got back to the offices, gobbled her own lunch and half of Tsuzuki’s in exchange for Watari’s cupcakes. It was coming to him that Watari was in all ways astonishing.

It was the end of the day before Tatsumi managed to casually stop at Watari’s desk. “So, you’ve succeeded with your transformation, the way you needed to,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “Is it reversible?”

Watari’s head jerked up to look at him with warm eyes startled blank. “Tatsumi…” Slowly she answered, “I expect the change can be made back. The experience will be with me forever, though.”

“Ah. That’s good,” Tatsumi murmured. And then her wording caught up with him. “You expect? You don’t know?”

“Well, I mean,” she waved her hands as if to shape an answer out of the air. “It might reverse. Or it might not. That part isn’t vital to the experiment!”

Tatsumi covered his face with a weary hand, trying not to laugh. It would be bad for his image, and it was only his image that preserved discipline in this mad office.

“Did you, um. Eat lunch, Tatsumi?” Watari asked. The undertone of her voice was a touch husky, and when Tatsumi looked up, she was watching him with a tangle of amusement and surprise and gratitude and… something he couldn’t really name.

“No,” he admitted.

“I could make you some dinner,” she offered, properly off-hand if one wasn’t looking at her eyes.

“Not in your lab,” Tatsumi specified, on a last gasp of self-preservation.

She laughed, and it was altogether Watari’s laugh, bright and guarded. But perhaps inviting the hearer to see if he could find his way past it.

And shadows, Tatsumi was reminded, went everywhere there was light.


Last Modified: Feb 09, 12
Posted: May 27, 07
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  1. lady-readwolf

    >.< Damn. I’m going to have to hunt up the manga in order to understand this arc, aren’t I?
    I’ve seen the OVAs. Tatsumi is the guy with glasses, right? Tsuzuki’s friend? And, of course, I remember Watari. 🙂

    1. branchandroot Post author

      Yep, that’s Tatsumi! Definitely reread the manga, it’s lovely. All death and Doom and trauma, but lovely. It’s also totally unfinished. >_<

      Glad you liked it!

  2. written-in-blue

    Damn, damn, damn, Watari has balls. Even if she doesn’t anymore.

    *amused* And the bit about Watari’s humor rubbing off on Tatsumi? Priceless.

    *melts over the last line*

  3. 7veilsphaedra

    This is such an interesting story. The interaction between Watari and Enma reminds me of the myth of Hercules and Atlas, if Hercules were a transexual shinigami from Kyoto. Yay!

    “Not in your lab,” almost sounds like “not on your life” — for good reason. Tatsumi is the essence of cautiousness.

    Good work!

    1. branchandroot Post author

      Thank you!

      *nodnod* From the whole Golden Bird, Jade Hare thing, I have to figure Enma is trying to create something of great power. And I could only think that he wants either conquest or freedom out of it; that seems to be the YnM pattern. And after this long? I thought freedom made more sense, the poor schmuck.

  4. cutter-tekka

    Whew, I’m glad I came back this morning to read Part 3 and see how all of this shook out! Honestly, more than the porn or the romance or any of the rest of it, I found your explanation of the Golden Bird and the motivation behind Watari’s experiments captivating. I mean, with Watari, you never know–he could have been experimenting with sex-switching potions because he had some greater goal in mind, or he could have been doing it just because it seemed cool. But tying the two together to create a workable answer to one of YnM’s unresolved questions is truly satisfying to read and, I’m sure, to write. I really liked that.

    Also, this line made me unspeakably happy (as well as grounding me more firmly in the story): “The difference may not actually be quantifiable. How curious.” So very Watari. I heart. <3 (“Yutako” also sounds very much like something the Enma-cho gang would come up with.)

    As porn, though, I’m not sure I got into it as much as I often do your porn, at least not until the unquantifiable difference. And I asked myself why that was: it shouldn’t be the heterosexual nature of it, because I can pretty happily read porn of all stripes. What I think it was for me–which is not to say anything was “wrong”; I just offer my conclusion in case it is useful to you–is that it has rather less lead-in than many of your other sex scenes. I think I was expecting a little more from Tatsumi’s end first. It wasn’t hard for me to see him sleeping with Yutako, but it was hard for me to see him doing it without a touch more visible deliberation. Yes, he has the confidence, and perhaps the question of whether a sexual encounter/relationship would unduly upset office politics might not be such a major issue (though would it affect his image?), but Tatsumi’s always seemed rather more of a deliberator to me; someone who comes to your answer but has quickly run through the other possibilities in his mind first. This might just be my spin on him, though. Then I thought, well, maybe he agreed with so little explanation because he’s always rather wanted to sleep with Watari anyway. Which totally works for me too, but in that case it would’ve been kind of touching to see Watari figure that out about him and confront him with it.

    But I also need to tell you what gave me 100% satisfaction: “Well, I mean,” she waved her hands as if to shape an answer out of the air. “It might reverse. Or it might not. That part isn’t vital to the experiment!”

    Seriously, my little Cutter heart was filled with joy when I read that. I could hardly read the rest of the chapter because I was just laughing too hard! Oh Watari, how I love you. <3

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *hearts* Lovely feedback all around, thank you!

      *considers* Tatsumi is hard to work with that way, because he keeps his emotions very much to himself–reticent even in his own head. I think he agreed partly because Watari was so serious and so desperate, he figures this must be important, and perhaps I’ll lean on that harder in the first part. *pokes part two* There may also be room for Watari to intuit more of Tatsumi’s feelings and motivations, though his own urgencies are distracting him pretty heavily there. It’s true I don’t want to push it too far, though; they haven’t really gotten to the place most of my characters are by the time it comes to porn. They’ve only started getting there. Hm. Maybe I’ll see about making /that/ more evident.

      Thank you again! *grins* This was, indeed, very satisfying to write, and Watari is just the most fun muse ever.

      1. cutter-tekka

        You’re welcome as always. ^^

        I can certainly see where you’re coming from with Tatsumi being “reticent in his own head,” now that you mention it. And I also may get part of my deliberation thing from the fact that he can clearly and coherently explain NOW why he had to leave Tsuzuki THEN–but that doesn’t mean his reasoning processes weren’t very quiet at the time…maybe like a computer in which the emotional processes are running in the background? And the company budget is the program that’s running in the front. [laughs]

        1. branchandroot Post author

          *laughing* Excellent metaphor for him!

          I also tend to think that Tatsumi isn’t very good at dealing with raw emotion, witness the way he just couldn’t handle Tsuzuki or, before that, his mother. That may be part of why I picture him as ‘courtly’ when he’s with a partner, and why he really wants Watari to relax from that manic multitasking edge that’s so very Watari.

          *rumples hair* Now how do I get that into the narrative… Hmmm.

          1. cutter-tekka

            Oh, Tatsumi would so totally be “courtly.” ^^ Yes, raw emotion + Tatsumi = failure. I’m not sure why I didn’t integrate that knowledge more into my reading experience, either. But that must be why Watari makes so much sense as a partner for Tatsumi, since Watari’s got a very good handle on his emotionality (unlike the rest of the office) and isn’t threatening in that way.

            Okay, I’m stopping now; it’s just an interesting train of thought. ^^

  5. drmsr@livejournal.com

    Lovely story I loved the way you portrayed Watari as a woman and the reactions she got out from Tatsumi were priceless that porn was magnificent too hope to see more YnM fics from you^-^

  6. takerzmuse@dreamwidth

    He liked most of his co-workers, even when they were being idiots or breaking expensive things, but Watari…

    Watari was the only one who laughed at him.
    YES. This. Exactly this is why I adore this pairing to bits and you bring it to life with such skill. And with such tasty plot-bits to flavor. ^_~

    “It might reverse. Or it might not. That part isn’t vital to the experiment!”
    Hahaha~ that’s so Watari! XD

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *sparkles* Thank you! They’re so complex; I love them too. And there’s just so many plot-hints dangling, begging to be experimented with!