Warnings: My G. has a foul mouth.
Summary: G. cannot speak Japanese
A/N: For the prompt G / Ugetsu - After their first meeting with Giotto
G. cannot speak Japanese. This did not concern him before now, but…
“Oh, I didn’t see you there,” Giotto calls from behind his desk. “Thank you for coming. I’m so happy that you two can finally meet. This is Asari Ugetsu.” He turns to the other man in the room, who has a smile dancing in his exotic eyes and playing on his full lips. His flowing white robes make him look like some kind of foreign priest, and his conic headpiece is almost too easy to make spiteful remarks about. But G. is not thinking about how absolutely ridiculous the man looks because Giotto has turned to the guest and is speaking in staccato tones that G. cannot understand because G. does not speak Japanese.
Suddenly, inexplicably, G. feels inadequate. There is really no reason for this—G. knows that there are many things he can do and do well, and goddamnit if this foreign bastard can top him in sharpshooting or archery or navigating the fetid back alleys of Palermo—but that does not stop him from feeling trivialized.
He knows that Ugetsu cannot even hope to replace what he has with Giotto, an iron bond built upon years of trust, sacrifice, and brotherly love. He knows that. Giotto met Ugetsu in Japan, where he spent those many months away from G., who was running his life into the ground back in Sicily until his friend came back to bring hope to the hopeless. Months cannot compare to years of friendship, and G. has never minded before when Giotto spoke of that kind, selfless samurai boy he met overseas. But now that boy is here, and he and Giotto share a language and a history, and G. cannot speak Japanese.
Asari Ugetsu says something unintelligible to him, and G. scowls in return.
“Stop.” G. growls, deep and deliberate. “Stop following me. Bastard,” he adds for good measure, even thought Ugetsu does not understand. Ugetsu smiles but also raises his hands in placation because a stink eye transcends language barriers. He has forgone his traditional clothing in favor of a simple linen tunic and a pair of tweed trousers that accentuate his long, lean legs. He looks slightly less doltish this way, and G. cannot help but notice how tall he is, even without his gaudy hat.
“What the hell are you doing here?” G. continues because it is actually a little amusing to watch the brief look of confusion that passes over Ugetsu’s face before it seeps back into his smile. Then Ugetsu lets loose a stream of tack tack tack reports that leave G. bewildered at how anyone can understand such a cacophony.
G. snorts and shakes his head. “Oh, shut up and stay the fuck out of my way. Just because Giotto likes you doesn’t mean I have to—”
He stops abruptly, staring at the indents in his skin where Ugestu holds his forearms with gentle hands that belie the strength G. can see in them. Before he can even think to protest, one of those hands, broad, scarred, and calloused, lifts to grasp at a lock of G.’s hair. With childlike avidness, Ugetsu admires the scarlet strands before flicking his eyes up to meet G.’s. They twinkle with some unknown emotion.
When Ugetsu speaks again, his voice is lower, and its cadence almost sounds like poetry. At least that’s what it sounds like—for all G. knows, the man could be maligning him. G. cannot speak Japanese.
At least for the time being.