Haha dang it’s been a while huh, I should probably check in since there’s been news.
Okay so this is a deeply late announcement, and I am deeply sorry to the three people who sometimes come on here of their own volition for not blogging about it sooner, but I recently (ish?) auditioned for and was invited to join one of the new Court Games podcasts, Crimson Gold Agonies. We release every fortnight on Fridays, and our first episode, The Bells of Hirosaka, comes out tomorrow.
The show is an actual play, but we try to structure main beats outside of the game so that we can do some research and Try To Be Competent while recording (to varying degrees of success). The plot focuses on rebuilding after a natural disaster, as well as the politics of dealing with the people who want to take advantage of those affected by it.
Court Games also puts out another AP, Fortune and Strife, every Monday. Their first two episodes are already live, so you can get caught up over the weekend!
I had a seven paragraph intro to a future series that’s in the early stages written out before I realized that all of it should just be part of the first entry. So, you’re getting the TL;DR here: historical examples of disabled people doing all the things some corners of the fandom take issue with, e.g. being warriors, powerful, or in some way respected.
Keep your eyes peeled.
Moving back to the podcast I’m on, I did a bit of writing to establish something I always place a lot of importance on in my characters: family. I find it kind of hard to write a character if I don’t have a solid idea of where they came from, and so I wrote a very self-indulgent bit of fiction about my character, Soshi Yuzume, as a very small child. It hints at where she got some of her habits from, which you’ll hear in the show, and the whole exercise really helped to flesh her out.
I hope you enjoy?
Yoshirou wouldn’t usually be up so late, but a potent combination of thunderstorms, missing his husband, and a crying daughter in the next room had woken him up from an uncharacteristically light and fitful sleep. He wasn’t used to this; Yoshirou slept like the dead each and every night, but he’d made a risky decision yesterday evening in the hopes it would pay off by now. Given that his bed was still empty, clearly it hadn’t.
He rolled out of bed with all the grace and elegance of a man twice his age and scrambled to put on his jinbei, the cries in the next room tugging at his heartstrings enough to make him feel guilty for not wearing them in the first place. Precious seconds he could be spending comforting his child, and he was wasting them putting on pants.
After a few moments wrestling with his clothes, Yoshirou hurried out into the storm, rain pouring from the eaves of the roof and down into the garden below. The wind blew some of it into him as he fiddled with the door to his daughter’s room, and he shivered as he finally slid it closed behind him. The storm still raged outside, but at least the wind wasn’t howling in his ears any more, and he could hear the stifled whimpers of a little girl who was trying her best not to cry in front of one of her parents.
His baby girl sat sniffling in a bundle of blankets on the opposite side of the room to her bed, as close to the adjoining wall they shared as possible. No mean feat, he realised as he knelt down beside her, as her chair was still next to her bed.
“Papa,” she croaked, and wiggled into his lap, bringing her blankets with her. For a moment she didn’t say anything else, and Yoshirou helped her to get comfy before taking a reassuring hand to her hair. “Papa, the storm is too loud. It scares me.”
He doesn’t know what to do in situations like this. He’s never awake when she’s like this. Kageta had always handled her late-night upsets and told him not to worry about it when he found out in the morning. But Kageta was away now, and without any clue as to what to do, he could only guess.
“It scares me too, sweet potato,” he told her with a gentle smile, and she poked him in the chest at the nickname. Barely four years old and already refusing to be treated like a child.
“I- I am not a sweet potato,” she pouted, still sniffly, but her fear was giving way to indignation quickly enough. Enough that she felt confident enough to accuse him in a similar fashion, at least. “You are a sweet potato! I am a little girl.”
She jabbed him in the chest again, and looked up at him with a scrunched up face. Yoshirou just grinned, and patted away the tears and snot on her face with the edge of his sleeve.
“Well, since I’m not a little girl, I suppose you must be right,” he joked, in that way all parents do when they want to let their kids know they take their nonsense seriously. She beamed for a second, then remembered herself and gave him a very haughty nod instead.
“My logic is floorless!” She said proudly, and Yoshirou laughed as he picked her up, blanket cocoon and all, before standing to his full height.
“I think you mean ‘flawless’, sweetheart,” he replied, not unkindly, and she pouted at him again.
“That’s what I said! The way father says it, it’s the same.”
“Your father teaches you bad habits,” came the lie. Yoshirou knew he had that down to an art form that even his siblings would never be able to master. But his daughter wouldn’t hear a word against Kageta, and glared daggers at him as he carried her out into the rain. She seemed too caught up in defending her father to even notice that the storm was still raging, splashing Yoshirou and her blankets during the sprint to her parents’ room.
“Father is lovely! He reads me stories when I am scared, and kisses my forehead when I fall asleep, and then he says he loves me. My friends all say so. Then he goes to your room and you just snore in his ears.”
“I don’t snore,” he interjected, having no idea if that was even true or not, then laid her down on the bed before chucking her wet blankets onto the floor. She kept going, though, as he shut the door behind them and looked for a dry shirt to wear. The little girl automatically covered her eyes with both hands and burrowed into the dry blankets to give him some privacy, but her tirade was by no means done, merely muffled.
“And my friends even said that one time you called him a little shit! And then you bit him and threw him on the floor! Why would you do that to father? You have to be nice to your husband, papa, not fight with him!”
Yoshirou paled as his daughter waited for his answer. They’d known when they adopted her that the kami were especially chatty with her, and what that could mean, but he didn’t think they’d be gossiping to her about what he and Kageta got up to when she wasn’t around. Or teaching her all the swears he’d hoped to impart upon her when she was old enough to properly devastate someone with them.
Finally changed, he flopped down into bed and whipped the blankets off of her, and she giggled.
“You should tell your friends not to spy on your papa, sweetie,” he said, raising an eyebrow as she wriggled up next to him. He settled the blankets back over her and let her relax, then carried on, more softly. “I know they get excited and like to tell you things, but there are some things that really aren’t your business to know. Like bad words. And me and your father’s… fights.”
“They say he always wins.”
Yoshirou was glad she couldn’t see him go beet red at such a casual comment. “He does not.”
“I think he does,” the little girl says, with all the confidence of a toddler who has no idea what she’s talking about. “Father always wins at everything. He’s the best reader and the best hugger and the best sword-er.”
She giggled, knowing exactly what reaction she wanted to provoke, but none came. When she peeked up over the covers to see just why, she shrieked and jumped up as high as she could, falling forward onto the mattress. She couldn’t balance well on one leg at the best of times, but on top of all these blankets? No chance.
The reason behind her shrieking closed the door behind him in silence, rain dripping down his forehead, in between two furious green eyes, then vanishing behind the snarl of his mask. In spite of the soaked state of his clothes, he made no sound as he padded towards them, and the toddler shrieked again, buzzing with excitement as she somehow managed to launch herself at the man standing three feet from the bed.
“You’re home!!” She squealed, showing off every single one of her teeth in a broad smile.
“I hope you are behaving for your papa, little one,” the intruder said to the toddler gripping his thigh, before looking up at Yoshirou, who waved his hand to show that that was up for debate. The girl just beamed up at him from his soggy leg and nodded her head enthusiastically.
“I was edyoo-cating him on the mysterlyous ways of the kami,” she said, in her most serious voice, imitating his accent as best she could even as she worked her way through the words she hadn’t quite mastered yet.
“They’re spying on us,” Yoshirou told him, rising from the bed to wrestle his daughter away before her clothes got too soaked. In the end it was a lost cause, and he took her over to his wardrobe to change her into a spare shirt, all the while correcting her pronunciation. The clothes swamped her, but she seemed happy enough with the change that she accepted the lecture that accompanied it.
The dripping wet man by the door watched on, the smile on his face hidden by his mask, and started to ring out his hair over the growing pile of fabric that the rain had claimed tonight. When she noticed that he was starting to add his own clothes to the pile, their daughter gasped and tugged at her papa’s shirt until he’d carried her over to the bed, then made him cover his eyes before scrunching her own shut.
“You can’t peek!” She whispered loudly, and Yoshirou pouted in response. “It’s rude, papa.”
“Very rude,” areed Kageta, circling around the bed to find something to wear. “And you know that if you peek, her friends will just tell on you.”
Yoshrou’s pout became more pronounced, and there could be no mistaking which parent their daughter had learned it from. “You should stop encouraging them, Kageta. Apparently all they do is talk about how great you are.”
“That’s very kind of them,” came the response, much closer now, and then the familiar feeling of him sliding into bed behind Yoshirou. “You can open your eyes. Thank you for looking after my privacy, my sweet.”
Their daughter nodded proudly and unscrunched her eyes, then removed Yoshirou’s hands from his face while he protested that this could all be a trick to get him into even more trouble. Still, soon he was able to shoot Kageta a loving look and help him remove his mask, something of a ritual between the two. The little girl looked on, smiling as her father’s face revealed itself, and then she clambered over the both of them to claim her rightful place in the centre of the bed. A lot of budging around and almost being elbowed in the face later (Yoshirou could not catch a break tonight), and the three were soon settled against the pillows, comfortable and happy.
“Did you miss me, father?” Came the tiny voice that broke the silence.
“Of course I did.”
“Did you get me a present?”
“No,” Kageta lied, and everyone else in the bed giggled. There would never come a day where he’d come home from a long work assignment without gifts for them both, and they knew it.
“Careful, love,” Yoshirou teased. “If the kami find out you’re telling lies they might start to like me best instead.” Their daughter agreed, turning to look up at her father with a put-on serious nod.
“Even though I am the best reader, hugger and sword-er?”
“Even though!” Came the excited child’s reply.
“Well,” said Kageta, putting his hand over his heart. “I suppose I must come clean, then, and admit that I am not the best at sword-ing. That is your papa’s domain.”
The little girl pulled at her hair, eyes wide as she processed this information, and then cried, “Nooo!!” in disbelief.
Both men smiled at each other as she pretended to have a meltdown, and when she was done she made an unimpressed face at Kageta.
“But my friends say you win all your fights! How do you do that if he’s better at sword-ing?”
“My dear, your papa and I do not fight in the first place. Whatever your friends are telling you, they are quite mistaken.”
Yoshirou chuckled into his pillow as their daughter explained exactly what she meant, right down to repeating the words ‘little shit’ in the most innocent way possible. Not much ruffled Kageta’s feathers, but watching him splutter as he tried to find a way to respond to finding out that the air kami were gossipy little perverts was highly entertaining. In the end, though, he couldn’t come up with anything, so it was up to Yoshirou to save the day.
“Sweetie, why do your friends like to tell you what we’re doing when you’re not around?”
She turned around and looked at him like he was the biggest idiot to walk the earth, and then turned it right around to melt his heart.
“Because you’re my favourite people in the world and I love you both so much, papa!” She huffed and folded her arms, as though there could have been no other answer. “So they like to look after you too. You’re so silly.”
Adorable gossipy perverts, then, Yoshirou thought, as Kageta pulled their daughter into a hug. He didn’t have to listen to them to know what was going on, so he sprawled back and closed his eyes while his husband explained in the plainest, most age-appropriate terms possible, that he and papa were not fighting, and that as nice as it was that they wanted to keep them safe, that he would really appreciate some privacy and for her friends to not tell her every single thing they did.
There really were a lot of things Kageta was the best at, he thought with a smile, and when he heard a small ‘okay’ from between them, Yoshirou turned around and grinned.
“And no more saying ‘little shit’ either,” he added, pecking her on the forehead. “It’s not very nice.”
“Then why do you say it to father?”
“Because he knows what I mean when I say it,” he said, raising an eyebrow to let her know he was being serious, and that she should really listen to him this time. “It’s like when your auntie Chiaki calls me ‘darling’ when she’s angry at me.”
She paused for a moment, remembering all their visits to her aunt’s estate and the many, many times her father had been scolded by a term of endearment.
“Grown-ups are strange,” she announced, yawning. “It’s better to be nice to your friends, so that they know you love them. I won’t ever be mean to my friends, just to show you how silly you all are.”
“Very sensible, my dear,” Kageta said, finally showing just how tired he was from his journey home. He reached across the bed to rest his hand on Yoshirou’s own, their daughter caught happily between them, and let out a contented sigh. “I will have to stop taking more jobs outside the city if all this time alone with you has her picking up your habits, Shirou.”
“That a promise?” Came the cheeky response, and both men laughed quietly, looking at their daughter as she struggled to keep her eyes open. It had been a big night, and with the excitement dying down she was starting to crash.
“It will have to be. I take it you didn’t drink your tea tonight?” The scolding was gentle, but also necessary as far as Kageta was concerned, and he made no attempt to hide the worried edge in his voice.
“Thought I might wait up for you,” Yoshirou said slyly, avoiding the look he was given. “Missing one night’s okay. And besides, I’d’ve slept through her crying if I didn’t.”
He nudged his daughter gently, and she murmured something in annoyance before pulling the blanket over her head.
“Be that as it may, you cannot go skipping doses, Yoshirou,” Kageta said thoughtfully. “Hmm… I was going to see if you wanted to spar in the morning, but if I can’t trust you to look after yourself for little over a week without me, I don’t know if you’ll be in any kind of condition to fight.”
Yoshirou gave his husband a pointed look, sighed, and rolled onto his back.
“You little shit.”