Title: Sanctuary P 1/2
A sequel to Culture Clash
Author: Kyoko_godaikun aka sentaikat
Pairing: JunDa Shota/Ohkura
Disclaimer: I do not own Kat-Tun. Wish I did. But I do own the concepts of the Gotsu Empire and the Miyagi Empire.
Note: This takes place in the far future.
Note 2: this is simply a love story with no war.
Note 3: This story is weird.
Summary: Junno plans to get married. But Shikayko arrives to demand his return to Gotsu. Plus Shikayko's husbands want freedom for themselves.
Shota and his six brothers had lived a special life. As nephews of the Empress of Miyagi, they had the best in everything, the best education, and the best trips. Every thing had been wonderful in their lives. Their parents, the Empress's brother and his wife had taken their sons on their annual tour of the Empire. To see that the empire wasn't one of just Miyagi Prime. But one of a vast, rich culture that they would spend their lives serving.
They had been princes once. Princes that was free. But that was before, before their ship had been captured by a Gotsu war ship. Their pleasure cruiser had ventured into Gotsu space by accident. Their captor was thrilled when they were caught. Spoils of war she called them. Though Miyagi weren't at war with Gotsu.
Everyone on the ship had been released, except for the seven princes. Their captors quickly put them into two groups. One with Uchi, Koichi and Junichi, the second with Hina, Ryo, Subaru and Shota. Their captor called the groups units. They would now have to consider themselves co-husbands. Then Shikayko picked the larger unit. She tortured them into agreeing to marry her. Even though the oldest of the unit was barely fourteen.
The smaller group had an honor that they didn't consider an honor. They where co-husbands of the Empress of Gotsu. They to were young, but they would grow and learn to appreciate being the one of many husbands.
Shota remembered the happy days. Before, their capture. He could remember the freedom, when they didn't have to live in the men's quarters. Shota could still remember, though he told his wife he couldn't remember. He loved Gotsu he told her. They all told her that. She didn't hurt them as much when they told her that.
When they were alone, in their unit's bedroom, they whispered to each other. They were Miyagi. They would always be Miyagi.
Their lives had grown worse since their brother Uchi had committed what the Gotsu had considered treason. He had simply fallen in love. Then, as Gotsu tradition stated, all three brothers in the unit were executed.
But still Shota dreamed, of his home. He never thought he would see it again, until the day that his wife, Shikayko was ordered to go to Miyagi and get her brothers back. They were getting married, to men. She decided that she would bring her favorite units with her. Not caring that one unit was born under the suns of Miyagi. For she had guards, and she would make sure they didn't escape.
The unitís whisperings changed. They wanted to go home. To defect.
A year passed since Ueda had asked Junno to marry him. It was a long engagement. The Empress wanted to wait until the time was right before the pair did get married. Ueda was going to be Emperor some day. That meant that Junno would also be the Emperor Regent. The Empress wanted to make sure that the lovers were absolutely sure that they wanted to get married.
Junno wished that he could have the kind of wedding his brother Koki had. It had been a simple ceremony. It wasn't shown on the public broadcasts. But Junno was marrying the crown prince. The ceremony had to be a big one. The date had been set. Everything was in place.
Still, Junno wasn't expecting his sister, Crown Princess Shikayko to be sent to Miyagi Prime on a diplomatic mission. Not only that, but she sent flimsy after flimsy to Junno demanding that they see each other. The last told Junno he was being recalled. He would be forced to return to his home system. His dream wouldn't come true. He would never be able to marry Ueda.
Junno couldn't even talk to Ueda about it. Ueda being Crown Prince had to attend all the meetings with Shikayko. He hated the thought of his wonderful prince spending time with Shikayko.
He also couldn't discuss it with his unit. He didn't want his brothers to worry about his orders. They would insist on returning to Gotsu with him. Junno had to give them their freedom.
It was hard for Junno to make up his mind. He didn't want to leave Ueda. His beautiful prince. The one who had taught him what real love was. His heart still flipped every time he looked at Ueda. All he wanted was to spend the rest of his life on Miyagi. He felt Miyagi, not Gotsu. To save his new home, he would have to leave.
The tears came, and Junno didn't fight them. Instead, he sat on the couch and sobbed.
Finally Ueda returned to their quarters from yet another young meeting. He saw the distressed look on his finance's face. "Suke, what's wrong."
"Shikayko's ordered me to her quarters." Junno finally told him.
"You're going to tell her no, aren't you?" Ueda was the more logical member of their partnership. When Junno panicked, Ueda was his rock, always calming him down.
"I don't have the choice." He looked at Ueda. "Do you know why she's here?"
"She's asked for you to be deported back to Gotsu."
Junno tried to fight the tears that tried to overcome everything. "I don't want to go."
"If you don't want to go, why would you have to?"
"Gotsu law states that the Empress can recall me any time she wants to." Junno passed Ueda a flimsy. "This was delivered to me about an hour ago."
"Do you want me to go to my mother?" Ueda asked. "See if she'll give you citizenship? That way, they can't force you to leave."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because no matter what she says, I am still your fiancťe."
"My mother says Gotsu will invade." Junno reminded him. "I cannot be responsible for the start of a war."
"The Empress of Gotsu is lying. She won't invade." Ueda told him. "The Empress threatened to invade when Masa married."
"What happens if they do invade?"
"Then we will fight back." Ueda said firmly.
"No, my beloved." he made up his mind. "I'm going to the empress, I'll tell her I give into the demands."
"My life isn't worth the millions of people that will die in the war." Junno reached out, touching Ueda's cheek. "My only regret will be leaving you, my prince."
"Your mother will have you killed." Ueda said firmly.
"I know," Junno looked away from him; he couldn't let his prince see his tears. "It's a sacrifice I'll have to make."
"What about us?" Ueda asked him. "We're engaged."
"I am doing this for you," Junno told him. "Because I love you so much. Please my prince, honor my decision."
"One more time." Ueda kissed Junno's lips. "I can't give you up without us loving one last time."
"Yes, I would like that very much." Junno kissed Ueda back. His prince, his love.
Ueda pulled away from him and led Junno to the bedroom. Then one last time, Ueda made love to his finance Junno.
In an ironic twist of fate, the Crown Princess of Gotsu and her husbands had been put in quarters that had originally belonged to Shota's family. It felt strange having to serve the woman he hated more then anything in a place that he considered home.
Shota had been sent for. Shikayko was tired from the long day of negotiations. She wanted to relax. The best way she believed in relaxing was with her husbands.
"Do you want to stay here?" Shikayko purred to Shota. They where sitting on a couch in her bedroom.
"Why would I want to stay here?" Shota asked her. He knew this level of questioning was dangerous. It was always dangerous around his wife.
"You where born on Miyagi," She reminded him.
"Was I?" Shota pretended ignorance. "I've forgotten."
"What about your unit?"
"We are all Gotsu," Shota told her. "Why would we want to stay here when we have a home all ready?"
Shikayko seemed pleased. "How old were you when we married?"
"Eleven my love." Shota told him.
"How old were you brothers when we married?"
"Subaru had just turned fourteen, Hina was thirteen." He said by rote. "Ryo was ten."
"Your unit is getting old, too old for my tastes." She told him. "Perhaps it would be best if I gave you to my mother."
"Please don't," Shota knew what this line of questioning meant. If Shota agreed with her, he would be tortured. "We love you so much."
"How old are you?"
"I'm twenty one, beloved."
"You're next birthday is in a few weeks isn't it?" She demanded. "You know what happens when you turn twenty-two?"
"Yes, beloved." Shota said sadly. Twenty-two, the magic age. When the youngest of a unit turned twenty-two, Shikayko always had a celebration. For when a unit grew too old, Shikayko would give them as presents to others.
There was a tap at the door. Shota went and got it. It was Ohkura. Their eyes met briefly. Ohkura's eyes full of regret. Then Shota went back to the couch and sat down.
Ohkura came into the room and bowed. "I am here at your pleasure beloved."
"What a good boy." Shikayko purred. "But Shota has not been a good boy. We need to punish him."
Shota watched for Ohkura's reaction. If he didn't respond right, she might figure out their secret. The secret that would mean the death of both of them.
"It is the wife's right to punish her husbands." Ohkura said by rote.
"Since I own Shota, he is going to feel my wrath." Shikayko spat. "I want to punish him before the thought that Miyagi is his home enters his mind."
Shikayko was going to torture Shota, not because he had been bad, but because of acts that he might commit. Shota knew that was an excuse. Torture turned on his wife.
Shota wanted to run away, to hide from Shikayko. He could remember good hiding spots in the castle. Places where she would never find him. But he knew what would happen if he ran away. Ohkura would be punished in his place. Shota took off his clothes and got on the bed on his stomach. The restraints were all ready on the headboard. He could feel his lover putting the restraints on him.
Then Shota closed his eyes. If he didn't look, he could pretend it wasn't Ohkura doing these things to him. But he didn't hate Ohkura for hurting him. He hated Shikayko.
The portable torture devices were attached to Shoat's back. Then with a flick of a switch, the pain began. Shota bit the pillow beneath him as hard as he could. He wouldn't give Shikayko the satisfaction of hearing his cries of pain.
They met in secret. They had to. It was treason for them to be together. Every minute together a golden treasure.
Ohkura had never been a prince. Just the son of the president of a border planet. Shikayko had come one day, with her fleet of invasion ships. His father had been given the choice. Give three of your sons to Shikayko, or the planet would be invaded. To save his planet, Ohkura's father had given up his children. As soon as they got back to Gotsu Prime, the three boys, Ohkura being only nine had been married to Shikayko.
Ohkura went into the bathroom. He was wearing only a robe. He was planning to take a shower. Shikayko's guards didn't care if he showered. He wasn't too sure if his lover would come this time. She had hurt Shota badly. Not for anything he had done, but because she got a thrill out of it.
A few minutes later someone from a different unit came into the bathroom. He didn't look at Ohkura, just went to the shower and turned it on. He moved as if his body hurt all over.
Ohkura went behind Shota. Then touched his shoulder. Shota turned in his arms. Then Shota looked up to him. His both of his eyes were bruised. All of Shikaykoís husbands had bruises. Their wife enjoyed hurting her husbands. But this time it had been different. It had been Ohkura's hands that hurt the one he loved.
Ohkura reached out, touching Shota's cheek. "I'm sorry."
"It wasn't your fault, it was hers." Shota told him.
"We both know what would happen if you had refused." Shota told him. "Our wife likes her husbands young. If we don't do as she asks, she'll give us to the empress. We have to do what she says; I have a birthday coming up."
"You're right," Ohkura told him. Both knew that Shikayko usually gave away her husbands when the youngest of a unit turned twenty two. Shota would be twenty two in less then a month.
"I've heard of people who've defected to Miyagi," Shota said softly. "Let's defect. We could be together."
"We can't," Ohkura interrupted. "If we defect, Shikayko will kill our units."
"We'll all defect," Shota decided. "I grew up in this castle. I know I can find a way out of here."
"That's a secret," Shota smiled. He looked so hopeful that Ohkura decided to believe him.
Then Shota pulled Ohkura's head down to meet him. Then he kissed him, his hunger great in his kiss. Ohkura sighed and put his arms around Shota.
They loved each other, really loved each other. A forbidden love.
They both knew what would happen if they where caught. They had seen what happened to the Empress's husband Uchi, who had fallen in love with Maru the Empresses son. Uchi had died slowly. Maru had been sentenced to a life of insanity.
They both knew the risks, but still they loved. They couldn't help love each other.
They where on Miyagi, because their wife was on a diplomatic trip. A place where both had dreamed of freedom.
But still, the two lovers were forbidden. Still, they loved each other in the showers. They needed each others touch. To prove to themselves that they weren't just concubines.
Junno called a unit meeting. He knew he should have called one earlier, but he had to make the choice of giving himself up on his own. Maru was easy to find, he worked in the castles security along sides his new husband Koki.
Finally Jin showed up. Jin was now a busy man, going to university and also working designing sim games. The brothers spent little time together because of Jin's hectic schedule.
"What's wrong little brother?" Maru asked.
"A few hours ago, Shikayko sent me a message." He passed the flimsy to Maru. "Our mother is ordering my return to Gotsu. If I'm not returned, Gotsu will invade Miyagi."
"What about us? Is she ordering our return?" Jin asked.
"No, just mine for now." Junno said. "But I am afraid she will come for you if I'm not given up."
"So you're going to go?" Jin asked. "Shouldn't that be a unit decision?"
"Well, that is why I called this meeting." Junno pointed out.
"I say to hell with Shikayko." Jin told the two brothers. "Stay here, show her whose boss."
"Jin, listen." Maru ordered. "If Junno isn't returned, there might be a war."
"In this Empire, the Empresses children always fight in the space fleet during war." Maru told him. "On the front lines."
"That would put Kame in danger." Jin guessed. "Ueda too."
"If there was any way to stay, I would." Junno told him.
"But you can't," Jin realized. "When are you to give yourself up?"
"As soon as the Empress finishes talking with Shikayko." Junno said.
This would be the last time the three brothers would be a unit. Maru was the first that went to Junno, putting his arms around him. "No matter what happens, you will always be my brother."
"Someday we'll get you back," Jin promised, before he too put his arms around his brother.
"Some day Ueda will fall in love again," It hurt Junno to say it. "You two will have to give him your blessing. Tell him it's what I want. I don't want him alone forever."
"We'll take care of Ueda for you." Jin promised.
The tears that Junno had been holding in finally came. But his brothers were there, supporting him. He would miss his brothers, but for the good of everyone, he would have to give himself up.
After yet another meeting with Shikayko, the Empress called for them. Junno couldn't help but watch his fiancťe. His heart still went doki doki every time Ueda came into a room. They had been together only a year. Only a year of freedom and of love.
"What bothers you my sons?" the Empress asked.
"The Empress of the Gotsu has recalled Prince Junnosuke." Ueda explained. "She has also said she will invade if we marry."
"Yes, I have talked to your Crown Princess Shikayko about the demands." The Empress looked at Junno. "What do you think about this?"
"To save the peace, I must return to The Gotsu Empire." Junno told her.
"My child, I appreciate your choice, but I cannot allow you to return to Gotsu." The Empress decided.
"If the Gotsun's invade, millions of Gotsunís and Miyagi will die." Junno tried to reason. "I cannot have their deaths on my conscious."
"If you have the choice to stay would you?" The Empress asked.
"I don't want to return." Junno confessed. "In my heart I feel Miyagi. But to save lives, I will give myself up."
"Your decision is worthy of an Emperor," The Empress told him. "You are thinking of your people before yourself."
"Thank you Your Majesty." Junno said.
'Your choice has made me realize just how good of a husband you will be for Ueda."
"But I am going to give myself up," Junno reminded her.
"Prince Junnosuke, Twenty five years ago, your uncle and his unit defected to the Miyagi Empire." The Empress said. "Your mother threatened to invade."
"Yes, I remember learning about that in history."
"The Empress is trying to frighten you." The Empress told him. "She does not want a war. She will not invade."
"Yes, your Majesty," Junno said. What the Empress said made sense. His mother did hate war.
"What about Crown Princess Shikayko?" Ueda asked. "Can't she invade?"
Princess Shikayko might want war," The Empress told him. "But she is not the ruler of the Gotsu Empire."
"Please Suke, reconsider your decision." Ueda told him.
'But under the laws of Gotsu, I must follow the Empress's orders." Junno reminded him. "I am Gotsu."
"Would you be willing to renounce your Gotsu citizenship take Miyagi citizenship?" The Empress asked.
"Yes, I would." Junno said without thinking.
"You would have to give up your title of prince."
"I don't mind being a commoner if I am with my prince."
"Then give me a few minutes to draw up the document." The Empress gestured to two chairs.
They sat down in them. Junno felt Ueda's hand on his arm. "I told you, donít worry."
Junno looked at his lover. Even though he was very nervous, he couldn't help but smile at Ueda.
They waited in silence. Then the Empress printed out the formal flimsy.
"Come read this." The Empress ordered.
Ueda went to her and took the paper. He read it, and then passed it to Junno. He read the contract. As he had promised, he gave up all his Gotsu titles and citizenship. It also gave him Miyagi citizenship.
"Would you be willing to sign the contract?" The Empress asked.
"Yes, your Majesty." Junno signed his name to it. Now he was no longer a prince, simply a commoner. But he was free from the male laws of Gotsu.
Home, this planet was home. Shota kept reminding himself. He had been assigned his old bedroom. He didn't want to go to sleep. Instead, he just lay in bed. Ryo and Subaru had been called to entertain Shikayko.
"What's wrong?" Hina asked. He was the brother that Shota could always tell his problems to.
"Why did they have to give us this room?"
"Itís just a room." Hina told him.
"It didn't used to be just a room." Shota reminded him. "It used to be my room. Remember? I shared it with Ryo and Uchi."
"That was a very long time ago."
"Don't you remember?" Shota persisted. Hina never talked about the days before they had been taken by Shikayko. It was almost like they didn't exist.
"Of course I remember," Hina said hoarsely. "Just like I remember that bitch is using our parentís room."
"I wish our parents where here," Shota said. "Do you think they live on this planet? Father did tell us he was going to be assigned to a border planet. Do you think he's on Cygnus?"
"No one told you," Hina realized.
"Told me what?" Shota demanded.
"You think our parents are alive." Hina guessed.
"They are aren't they?" When Hina didn't answer, Shota realized the truth. "When did they die?"
"They where killed while the cruiser was being held by the Gotsu. Shikayko asked them to give us up. She said they would be allowed to leave in peace." Shingo told him. "But our parents refused. They said they would die before they would give us up."
"How do you know she killed them?"
"I was there,"" Hina told him. "She made us older ones watch. We decided that we wouldn't tell you. The three of you were so close to mother."
"I understand," Shota told him.
Shota turned towards the wall. He began to cry for his parents. All this time he hoped they where alive, that they would someday save him. Then he could be free. But he would never be free.
He felt Hina's hands on him, turning him. Then his brother took him in his arms. "We'll get out of here." Hina promised. "We'll bring Ohkura with us, and the two of you will together forever." Shota couldn't hear the hope in his voice. The news of his parents deaths blocked out everything. Instead he sobbed for his parents.
Finally, Ueda was finished with his conferences with Shikayko. It was late when he returned to the quarters he shared with Junno. The meetings with Shikayko had run late again. All she was doing on Miyagi was renewing trade agreements, something that should be easy. But Shikayko had a way of arguing over every line in the contract. So what should be just a formality took forever.
Ueda was surprised to see that Junno was still awake. He was playing a holo game. He was also wearing a Ueda's black kimono. When he saw Ueda, he turned off the holo game.
"Welcome home," Junno got to his feet, he went to Ueda. "Long day?"
"The longest," Ueda agreed. "Why can't your sister just shut up and sign the contracts?"
"Because that's the way she is." Junno shrugged. "She likes to argue just to argue."
"You're free," Ueda put his arms around Junno. "She canít' take you back."
"I'm Miyagi now," Junno held him tightly. "I'm yours."
"Did you ever tell your brothers about Shikayko's ultimatum?"
"They understood my choice." Junno told him. "Of course, now their happy because I donít' have to return."
"When Shikayko finally leaves, let's get married right away." Ueda kissed him gently.
"All right, let's." Junno agreed.
"Mother's changed her mind about the big ceremony." Ueda's hand unfastened Junno's obi. Then he pushed the kimono over Junno's shoulders. "She says we can get married in the garden."
"Good, I hate formal ceremonies." Junno let his robe fall to the ground.
Junno took Ueda's hand and lead him to the bedroom. He lay on the bed, his body beautiful as he waited for Ueda to undress.
Ueda undressed quickly, and then got on the bed with Junno. After Junno decided to return to Gotsu, he knew they would never be together again. But things had changed. Junno was Miyagi. He couldn't be taken away from Ueda.
"What is it?" Junno asked concerned.
"I was just thinking of how lucky I am to have you." Ueda smiled at his lover.
"No my prince, I am the lucky one." With that, Junno was kissing his lips. Then he pulled Ueda on top of him, and the two celebrated their love.
"Are you awake?" Hina asked Shota.
Shota pretended to be asleep. He knew that Hina too needed sleep. But instead of falling asleep, Hina slipped out of bed. He opened the door that separated their room from the other units.
Someone joined him at the door. He put his arms around Hina, kissing him deeply. In the darkness Shota couldn't see who it was. The fact that Hina was with someone hit Shota like a brick. He was so close to his brother, but he hadn't been trusted enough to be told that Hina too had a lover.
"We have to be careful," The voice was Yoko's. "Your brother might tell on us."
"He's asleep," Hina said between kisses. "He won't find out."
"You haven't told him, have you?"
"You made me promise not to." Hina reminded him. "Shota wouldn't tell anyone."
"It's better if he doesnít' know."
"I'm so afraid." Yoko confessed. "What if we get caught?"
"It's all right, youíre safe." He took Yoko's hand, and then led him to the fireplace. He reached behind it and flicked a switch, a door swung open. "We can love in here, no one will find us."
"Can we get out?"
"Of course, my brothers and I used to play in the tunnels when we where children," Hina told him. They went into the tunnels and shut the door.
The tunnels, why hadn't Shota thought of the tunnels? They could escape through the tunnels. They could find some place safe. Perhaps even find the empress. She had been Shota's favorite aunt. She would give them sanctuary.
It was very early when Shota got up. All three of his brothers were back in bed. Ryo had fresh bruises on him. Free, if only they could get free. His brothers would no longer have to suffer. They wouldn't be sent away when Shota turned twenty two. Shota wasn't the youngest in their unit, but Shikayko had already voiced her displease in the unit. She wanted fresh new husbands, and Shota's unit would have to go.
It was still dark outside. He opened the door that separated the two rooms, if Ohkura woke up, he would see the signal. But he knew it was probably too early.
He put on his robe and went to the showers. He turned on one, and got under the water. He stepped under the warm water, letting it take him away.
Today had to be the day they escaped. He thought of the way they could get away, the tunnels. But where could they go once they entered the tunnels. They would have to be very careful. He knew what would happen if they got caught.
He was concentrating so hard that he jumped when someone touched him on the shoulder.
"It's all right, itís me." Ohkura told him. "Why are you up so early?"
"I'm making plans," Shota told him. "How would you like to be free?"
"It's just a dream." Ohkura told him. "I can't return to my home planet. My father will just give me back to Shikayko."
"What about if we stayed on Miyagi?"
"It's not my home," Ohkura reminded him.
"Any place would be my home if you are there." Shota told him.
"But we can't get away," Ohkura told him. 'The guards watch us."
"Can't we dream?"
"We can always dream." Ohkura kissed his lips. "Dreams are the only thing that keeps me going every day."
Their love making was quick this time. It had to be, at any time the guards would come in to wake them up. There was even a chance that Shikayko would want to eat breakfast with one of her co-husbands. As they loved, all Shota could think of was freedom. Perhaps next time they were together, they would be free.
Ueda woke; Junno was all ready working at his desk. He was playing a newscast on the vid screen. It was the same clip, played over and over. The clip was about the arrival of Crown Princess Shikayko at Gotsu Prime. Ueda wondered what on earth was so fascinating about her arrival.
Junno was wearing Ueda's black kimono. Ueda had to admit that his fiancťe looked better in it then he did.
"Stop, rewind computer," Junno ordered. "Play back the last thirty seconds at slow motion speed."
Ueda put on his robe; he went being Junno and put his arms around his shoulders from behind. "Good morning my love."
"Good morning," Junno turned in his arms and kissed his lips gently. "Have a good sleep."
"I had a wonderful sleep," He admitted. "What are you doing?"
"I'm trying to see if there is a clear shot of Shikayko's husbands." Junno tried to explain. "I can't find one."
"What does that matter?" Ueda asked. "They only came here for her off hourís entertainment."
"Have you seen Shikayko's husbands?" Junno asked.
"I just wondered what units she brought." Junno mused.
"There's a unit with three about our age, and a unit of four." Ueda tried to kiss Junno again. He wanted to get Junno from thinking of Gotsu, and to start thinking of the two of them together.
"A unit with four members?" Junno pulled away from Ueda. "Are you sure of that?"
"Shikayko has a unit of four husbands," Junno began. "They where born on Miyagi."
"Miyagi!" Ueda gasped. "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive." Junno continued. "They were on a cruse ship that strayed into Gotsu space. There were seven brothers in all. But three were put in one unit and given to my mother. The other four Shikayko took. But they used to be princes of Miyagi."
The news hit Ueda like a tidal wave. He used to have an uncle that had seven sons. All of them had been killed when their ship was boarded by Gotsu raiders. At least that was what the official story was. The bodies of his uncle and aunt had been returned to Miyagi. But not the bodies of the sons. Could some of Shikayko's husbands be in reality kidnap victims?
"Maru's lover was named Uchi," Ueda gasped. "I had a cousin named Uchi. I should have realized."
"Uchi was Miyagi."
"The names of the ones in the Miyagi unit, what are they?" Ueda asked. "It's very important."
"Shota, Ryo, Subaru and Hina."
"I didn't have a cousin named Hina." Ueda said disappointed.
"Hina's name used to be Shingo," Junno tried to explain. "My mother's chief husband is named Shingo, so Shikayko changed his name to Hina."
"I think they are my cousins." Ueda decided. "I have to tell mother. We might be able to rescue them."
Ueda went to the communicator; he made an emergency call to the Empress. Telling her about his suspicions. If the unit was really his cousins, they would have to find a way to help them get free. After all, Miyagi was their home.
Defection, the word seemed so simple. But they had to get out. They waited until Shikayko had left to talk to the empress again.
Shota went to the fireplace, the lever was still there. He touched it, and the door opened. He stepped inside. It wasn't just a storage room; it was a tunnel that stretched out in front of him. Then quickly, he shut the door.
His other three brothers were still asleep. He went to Ryo, shaking him. "Ryo get up!"
"No, I'm tired." Ryo turned over and feel asleep. He had just come in from his evening with Shikayko.
Next he tried Subaru with the same results. Subaru had rope burns on his arms and wrists. That meant that Shikayko had tied him with ropes.
So he tried Hina, who had gotten good nights sleep.
Hina looked at him, his eyes still half open. "What's wrong?"
"We have to get out of here," Shota told him. "We need to escape."
"Hina," Shota said excited. "Remember the passages we used to play in?"
"There are no passages."
"Yes there is!" Shota told him. "You know, the place you had sex with Yoko last night?"
That made Hina sit up, he clamped his hand over Shota's mouth. "How did you know about that?"
Shota tried to answer, but he couldn't. Not with the hand over his mouth. He pulled on Hina's hand. Hina got the hint, and moved it.
"I wasn't asleep when you took Yoko in there." Shota explained.
"Are you going to tell anyone about me and him?"
"Of course not!" Shota told him. "Listen, this isn't about your love life, it's about escape."
"How can we do that?' Hina asked skeptically. "She'll be coming for one of us."
"Shikayko's will be gone all day." Shota reminded him. "This is our chance."
"What about the other unit?"
"We'll take them with us." Shota told him.
"That's too many people." Hina told him.
"No it isn't." Shota said firmly. "She'll kill them if we don't take them."
Hina got up; he quickly pulled on his clothes. "We have to wake everyone up. Then all of us will make the decision."
Ohkura hadnít' fallen asleep after his encounter with Shota. His lover, so full of hope. He had talked about his dreams again, of being free together. Shota was such a dreamer. Both knew that they wouldn't ever be free, but still Shota hoped. Shota's enthusiasm was enough to make Ohkura feel the way his lover did, at least when they where together. When they were apart, reality set in. They where one step above slave. They would never get their freedom.
Ohkura could hear noise coming from the other room. That just meant that the other unit was awake. He tried to ignore the noise. He could hear Shota talking, not the words, but he was so excited, talking a kilometer a minute.
The door between the rooms opened. Subaru came to the door. Then he went to the bed Ohkura's unit slept in.
'This is an emergency. Can you wake up?" Subaru shook Maruyama.
Still sleeping, Maruyama grabbed Subaru's hand; he tried to pull him down to the bed. "Come back to bed baby."
"Stop playing around!" Subaru snapped. "I mean it; we have to get everyone up!"
"I'm all ready awake," Ohkura admitted.
"So am I," Yoko said.
"You guys get dressed, and come to our room." Subaru ordered. Then he left.
"What was that about?" Yoko asked.
"I don't know." Ohkura looked Maruyama up and down. "You and Subaru?"
"Perhaps," Maruyama blushed so deeply that Ohkura knew they had to be together.
The three brothers got dressed and went into the other unit's room. The other unit looked very, very serious. They sat on the bed together. Subaru gestured to the couch and all three sat down. Ohkura looked at Shota. His friend looked him in the eye for a brief moment, and then smiled.
"How would you like your freedom?" Subaru asked.
"You know we can't have that." Maruyama told them. "Freedom is just a dream. It can't really happen."
"Men aren't allowed to be free." Yoko reminded them. "We have to forget what we where before, and concentrate on what we have now."
"Do you remember the legend about the passages in this place?" Shota asked.
"Yeah, they don't exist." Maruyama told him.
"I found one." Shota looked at Ohkura. "We can be free."
Freedom, their dream. Ohkura came to a decision. He was going to meet his fate with his lover, no matter what happened. Ohkura got up, he went towards Shota.
"You can't!" Yoko tried to stop him. "If Shikayko catches you trying to escape, she'll kill you."
"I can no longer live a lie." Ohkura said. "Meeting in secret. Hiding my love away from everyone. Not being able to talk to him in case anyone finds out."
"You've fallen in love again," Yoko sighed. "Who is it this time?"
"I have the chance to live with him." Ohkura said almost heartbroken. "You can't understand what it's like. To love, to really love, but not being able to love back. Terrified that you will be found out.Ē
Yoko looked very troubled. Finally, he said. "Are you coming Hina?"
"All four of us are going," Hina told him.
Yoko did something that Ohkura didnít' expect. He went to the bed and sat beside Hina. Then he whispered into Hina's ear. Hina nodded yes. Hina took Yoko's hand. Then he brought Yoko's hand to his lips, running them over the fingers.
"I'm coming with you." Yoko looked at Maruyama. "What about you?"
"I'm coming," Maruyama decided.
"Ohkura, are you coming?" Shota asked his eyes so wide, so innocent.
A chance, Ohkura realized. Finally he was going to be able to have a chance to be with Shota. Ohkura went to Shota's side. His lover looked at him, hope in his eyes. There was only one answer Ohkura could give. "Yes, I'll escape with you."
"The Empress of Gotsu demands the return of her sons." Shikayko told The Empress of Miyagi. As crown prince, Ueda was present. Ueda tried not to sigh; Shikayko had this conversation with the Empress at least twice a day since she had arrived on Miyagi Prime.
"What sons are those?" The Empress sighed.
"My brother's were sent to this planet as gifts for your daughter." Shikayko told her. "There has been no marriage."
"On the contrary, there has been a marriage." The Empress told her. "My nephew has married your brother."
"Gotsu does not recognize the marriage of Prince Maru to the security guard."
"The security guard is a member of the Impearl house of Miyagi." The Empress reminded her.
"It is illegal for male Gotsu citizens to marry men!" Shikayko was not very happy.
"Prince Ueda, can you show our guest the papers?" The Empress ordered.
"Of course your majesty." Ueda handed Shikayko the copies of the citizenship papers.
"As you can read," The Empress said. "Your brothers have asked for sanctuary."
"Refuse it!" Shikayko ordered.
"The right of sanctuary is a fundamental right in the Galactic constitution." The empress said nonplussed. "They have asked, and have been granted sanctuary."
"You can't do that!" She said hotly.
"You of course are welcome to attend the wedding of Junnosuke to the crown prince." The empress said with a smile.
Ohkura wasn't too sure about the tunnels. They seemed to go on forever. Basically they were service tunnels. But the four who where born on Miyagi seemed so sure, as if they had traveled the tunnels many times.
He felt someone touch his hand. It was Shota. He had hidden for so long as Shota's lover, it felt strange for him to be touched by him around others. He unconsciously froze.
Then Shota moved his hand away. Softly he said. "Gomen,"
"I'm still afraid that she'll catch us together." Ohkura confessed.
"It's all right, I understand," Shota told him. That should have made Ohkura feel better, but it didn't.
Hina and Yoko were holding hands just a few paces away. Subaru and Maruyama were leading the escape.
The only one without a partner was Ryo. He swore up and down that he didn't like men. All he wanted was a nice woman that didn't beat him too much. The other members of his unit thought he was a little bit crazy for feeling that way.
"You two are bakas." Ryo groaned. He grabbed Hina's hand and Ohkura's hand. Then put their hands together. "It doesn't matter if you touch. We wont' tell anyone!"
Shota looked up to Ohkura. "He's right."
Ohkura had to agree, that he felt better when Shota was holding his hand. These tunnels were strange. He was afraid they would get lost.
"Where are we going?" Maruyama asked
"We'll try the crown princes quarters." Subaru told him.
"The crown prince?" he repeated. "You mean the one that looks like a girl?"
"How do you know he won't turn us in?" Yoko asked.
"Because he won't." Hina told him.
The friends kept on walking. All of them hoping that they would find the right door. The door that leads to freedom.