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The Sounds of Laughter
By Cindy Franklin

 

Sound of Laughter

Disclaimer. As you know FY belongs to Watase-sama, Bandai, Tokyo Television, Flower Comics, and others. No infringement was intended in the writing of this fic.


It was early morning and no one else in the Palace was up. Chichiri liked this time of day. He didn't have to keep his mask on and didn't have to always be cheerful. And it was quiet. He liked the silence that filled the courtyard in the early hours of the day. But he liked the sounds of the daily life in the courtyard, too. The whispers of the ladies of the court. The quiet talking of the servents, as they went about their work. The discussions between the ministers and the Emperor. All the usual sounds of the courtyard.

But there was one sound that the courtyard did not have. The sound of laughter, or more precise, the sound of a child's laughter. Children laughing was what he missed by being at the Palace. He knew it wasn't anyone's fault that there were no children around (well Chiriko was a child, but he never acted like one). After all the Emperor was still young, so it'd be a few years before he ever had children.

A sound caught his attention. Someone was crying. He followed the sound and found Chiriko by the royal flower garden, crying. Chichiri wonder what was wrong. He'd never heard Chiriko cry, and didn't like the sound. He had to cheer the child up. He took the mask from his shirt and put it on. He walked up to Chiriko. "Daaaaaa!"

Chiriko jumped a little and looked up. "Chichiri-san," he said, scrubbing the tears from his eyes. "I didn't think anyone else was up." He continued sniffing.

"What's wrong, no da?"

"I had a bad dream last night that a monster was chasing me, trying to eat me. I woke up and saw that my character was gone." He held up his foot, sans character, and began crying again. "I want to go home!!"

Chichiri hated hearing that sound. He knew that crying was part of life, but that didn't make it any easier to hear a child cry. Children were suppose to laugh. And there was one guaranteed thing that would make the child laugh. "Chiriko, are you ticklish, no da?"

The look of panic that Chiriko gave him, told him that he was ticklish. He got up and tried to run, but Chichiri was too quick and easily caught him. He began to lightly tickle Chiriko, who started giggling and trying to get away. "Don't", Chiriko laughed. "Stop!"

Chichiri stopped for a moment. "Don't stop, no da? Okay, no da!" He started tickling Chiriko, who hadn't recovered from the initial tickling. He began to squeal with laughter. He sat down, trying to get out from under Chichiri's arms. Chichiri only followed him down and having him on the ground, could tickle him more easily.

As Chiriko continued to squeal, laugh, and try to wiggle his way free from Chichiri's tickling, Chichiri began to feel something he hadn't felt in a long time. Joy. It bubbled inside him until is finally made it's way to the surface. At first, it started as a chuckle, but gradually it worked it's way up to a laugh. For the first time in years, Chichiri was laughing. Suddenly, it seemed his mask was smothering him. He stopped tickling Chiriko so he could pull it off. He felt freer with it off and continued to laugh, tears rolling down in face.

When the tickling had stopped, Chiriko rolled away, still giggling. He sat up, wiping the tears from his face. This time they were tears from laughing and not from crying. His character was still gone, but at least he wasn't frightened or sad anymore. Calming down a bit, he finally noticed that there was another's laughter. He looked at Chichiri, surprised. He had rarely seen Chichiri without his mask and had never heard him laugh. "Chichiri-san, you're laughing!"

Chichiri had finally calmed down. Wiping the tears from his face, he smiled at Chiriko. Still filled with joy, he pulled the child into an embrace. "Hai, Chiriko, I'm laughing. Thank you. Thank you so much for giving me that gift." Chiriko cuddled up against Chichiri, enjoying such a precious moment.

Then he felt Chichiri begin to relax a bit. A wicked grin spread across Chiriko's face as he began to retaliate. Chichiri was now the one at the mercy of Chiriko's tickling. Chiriko learned that Chichiri was also very ticklish as he began laughing again. Seeing him laugh now was the most wonderful thing he had ever witnessed and the laugh itself was the most wonderful sound he'd ever heard. Chiriko didn't want it to stop.

But soon, his laughter joined that of Chichiri's as the older man started tickling him in return. For the next couple of minutes, they continued their tickle match, their laughter echoing through the courtyard. Finally, the two lay on the ground, Chiriko on Chichiri's chest, with the older man holding him close. They were still laughing softly and taking deep breaths. Chiriko raised his head to look at Chichiri. "Chichiri-san, thank you. I feel much better now."

Chichiri smiled back at him. "Has your character returned?"

Chiriko shook his head. "But I'm fine, so it doesn't matter. I'll try to raise it later." He moved off of Chichiri's chest and sat up. Chichiri sat up as well. Both had finally stopped laughing, but were still smiling.

"You hungry," Chichiri asked. Chiriko nodded. "Then lets go get some breakfast."

They both stood and straightened their clothes. Chichiri held out his hand to Chiriko, who took it. "Chichiri-san. Aren't you going to put your mask back on?"

"No. I think I'll keep it off a while."

Chiriko was glad, because Chichiri was actually smiling and he wanted to look at that smile for a while longer. Hand in hand, the two went off to the dining room.


Written by
Posted Aug. 28, 1998.



 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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