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[Yami no Matsuei]

Author's Note: Written for [profile] comment_fic's Any; Any; Masked Ball. Featuring Muraki/Tsuzuki, in my on-going AU where Tsuzuki is Muraki's kept man.

Tsuzuki had thought that the masked ball at the Count's palace was lavish, but this one, which Muraki had brought him to, made it look like a kid's costume party. The jewels glinting on the headpieces and collars on the ladies, or the shirt studs of the gentlemen; the swish and rustle of silken and velvet skirts; the jewel tone colors of the ladies' gowns; the graceful strains of the waltz music that a string orchestra played; waiters moving about carrying trays of champagne glasses or the things Tsuzuki thought of as 'fancy folks snacks'.

He snagged a glass of champagne and a couple of square crackers with caviar and had ducked into a corner to watch the dancers swirling about the floor. He spotted Muraki, waltzing with their hostess, though he could tell from his keeper's body language that he would rather be dancing with someone else. Tsuzuki couldn't help empathizing: the lady kept pressing herself a little too close to Muraki even for his liking.

A lady in a turquoise gown and a matching mask from which peacock feathers trailed, champagne glass in hand, approached him. "You looked lonely," she said. "You're the one who came with Doctor Muraki, aren't you?"

"How could you tell? Everyone's wearing masks," Tsuzuki said. "Oh, you figured it out from the color of the mask."

"And the fact that the doctor is so tall and pale," she said, smirking under her mask.

"He does stand out, that's for sure," Tsuzuki said, looking across the room to his keeper.

"Must be hard, being with a man who stands out: then they're all looking at you, as well, when they're looking at him," she said.

"Oh, not really: people look at me a lot anyway, so what's a few more stares?" Tsuzuki said.

"Because of your height and your eyes?" she asked, looking up at him.

"Dangit, and I thought this mask made my eyes harder to see," he growled, chuckling. "Yeah, especially because of my eyes."

"You don't see violet eyes much, not among humans and not often among our kind," she said, glancing across the room, toward the dancers and guests, their silver and golden eyes framed in masks.

"At least here... I don't stand out quite so much," Tsuzuki said, thoughtfully.

The lady peered at Tsuzuki, looking him in the eyes. "You're not comfortable with your eye color," she said. "Someone treated you hard because of it."

"Are you... reading my mind?" he asked.

"No, not directly: You'd know if I was," she said, with a smile.

The orchestra played the final chords of the waltz; the dancers stopped, applauding the players before they dispersed in twos and threes. Muraki, finally quit of their hostess, approached, smiling below his silver and white mask. "Found some company?" he asked.

"Yeah, I've been speaking to this peacock lady..." Tsuzuki said, turning toward his companion, only to find she'd slipped away.

"Shy creature, she must be," Muraki noted. "I thought I saw you with someone, but I didn't get a good look." Glancing at Tsuzuki's glass, he asked, "May I?"

"As long as you get me another glass," Tsuzuki retorted, handing over the drink.

"That can be arranged," Muraki said. "If you tell me more about your mystery lady: perhaps I can help you find her."

"I'm not sure it would be that easy," Tsuzuki said.

Muraki chuckled. "I have my ways of finding things out, you know that," his keeper said, going on his way to fetch Tsuzuki another drink.

As Muraki moved away through the crowd, Tsuzuki thought he heard a woman's softm gentle chuckle, though when he looked around, he saw no woman close enough to make that sound and soft enough for him to hear it at such close range.

This entry was originally posted at http://mtxref-fic.dreamwidth.org/358413.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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