Pairing: Muraki Kazutaka and Tatsumi Seiichirou
Title: Between Gentlemen
Spoilers: Pretty much most of the anime and manga
- Hou. Are you that renowned Mr. Secretary of Enma-chou? I’m so pleased to be able to meet you… Tatsumi-san.
- Likewise. Being able to meet the notorious Doctor Muraki is certainly quite an honor.1
Okay. So Muraki/Tatsumi isn’t a very prolific pairing in Yami no Matsuei fandom. So much so that, off the top of my head, I can think of only one fic. I mean why pair two men who’ve met only once? Well, I ask, “Why not?” Especially since these two men have very dramatic histories and their only meeting is very intensely emotionally charged.
As Pure as Washed-away Sins
Meet Muraki Kazutaka. Angel. Renowned doctor. Psychopath. Murderer.
Yet, dressed up all in white, with delicate silvery hair, and steely grey eyes (of which one is an glass eye that slits unnaturally), and flawless skin, and coming from a long heritage of well-known doctors, Muraki-sensei is often called an angel by those who know him in passing, and even Tsubaki-hime who knew him for most her life still thought of him as one when she died. He is also refined and sensuous — he can pick out roses and wine with knowledge and flair. And he’s savvy enough to load a simple act of drinkinga glass of wine with too many connotations to make a dinner rated NC-17 on innuendo alone.
Underneath the family honor is Muraki’s mother, his philandering father, and a childhood spent drinking poisons to develop a resistance to their effects. And underneath that pristine white facade is the blood of countless people he’s killed. For Muraki, each kill is beautiful and sensuous — the pain, the blood, the delicate condition of life, the spiritual energy flowing into him. It’s a grotesque beauty that Muraki is obsessed with as his obsession with learning to control life and death — even if it involves the extremely high-stakes high-risk act of taking the most powerful shinigami he knows, Tsuzuki, at all costs.
Underneath the Stable Earth
Meet Tatsumi Seiichirou. Stable and dependable.
Dressed in earthy browns, Tatsumi appears to be as solid as the earth. He keeps the books balanced and in general keeps the office running smoothly and inline. His mother came from a line of nobility and he keeps up appearances well — his suit is always pressed neat, he has immaculate manners and can take in the subleties of wine tasting at the Earl’s parties.
But shadoes lie on the ground as they do in the darkness and Tatsumi is one of only two known shadow-masters. With skill, he can summon the shadows to do his bidding. And as hot lava flows underground, Tatsumi has some intense emotions in him from the guilt of letting his mother down and killing her to the present day when he still feels guilt for letting Tsuzuki down.
The Easing and Healing Effects of Amethyst2
So, what is so damn special about this bleeding heart, purple-eyed shinigami, Tsuzuki Asato? Well, he has this enormous capacity to love and has a personality and smile that can brighten a room. He also has amazing healing properties — in the eight years he spent in the hospital not eating nor drinking nor sleaping and attempting suicide multiple times, his body didn’t age. And there is his power. Tsuzuki commands twelve shikigami, a handful of whom are very potent forces, and Tsuzuki’s calligraphy and skill with fuda are second to none.
Exotic eyes, a young unaging face, and enough power to make any Fortune 500 CEO of weep. What’s not to desire? Apparently, not much.
Despite a partnership with Tsuzuki (whose details haven’t been revealed… yet) that ended disastrously, Tatsumi still has some strong feelings of affection, vowing to watch over and protect Tsuzuki well-being as well as still having strong feelings to touch Tsuzuki’s face whenever he can. Wiping rice of Tsuzuki’s face with his fingers and then licking rice off his fingers is something that Tatsumi does as naturally as breathing air.
As for Muraki, can we say, “love at first sight,” albeit in Muraki’s very own dysfunctionally special way? As a schoolboy, from the moment he saw that old photo of Tsuzuki bandaged-up in the hospital bed he was obsessed. And to finally meet Tsuzuki in person at the church brought tears to Muraki’s eyes. And unlike Tatsumi, Muraki doesn’t restrain himself — going straight for full-body contact or at last going hands on to where the hands shouldn’t go.
Yin and Yang
“So Muraki and Tatsumi have the hots for the same guy. Is that any reason to ship them? Besides, they’ve met only once.”
They’re unnervingly quite alike — respectable family lines, educated, refined tastes. They even look similar with glasses and similar haircuts. But as they’re alike, they’re opposites — the cunning planning to the emotional outbursts, the warm and dark earthy tones to the cold pure white. They’re alike enough to be equals, yet different enough to have this tension between them, and a common thread, Tsuzuki, brings out the sexuality in them both.
So, yes, they’ve met only once in canon. But wasn’t that meeting, while short, very intense and destructive? Two men of status meeting their equal, meeting the essence of which they despise regarding each other with reserve and over-polite sarcasm…
And for homework, some reading material…
This is the fic that turned me on to Muraki and Tatsumi — reading Muraki push Tatsumi’s buttons, forcing Tatsumi to confront his more passioned feelings for Tsuzuki, seeing Muraki use sex as the dangerous weapon it is, seeing Tatsumi trying to keep such weapon in check… Whew. Now I want to see more.
Tatsumi x Muraki, Muraki x Tatsumi, or even Muraki vs. Tatsumi. I find these two compelling together no matter how they would be paired because they are so equally matched either one could go seme on the other, or even, both could go seme on each other. There is just something so compelling (and sexy) about seeing two men in similarly high positions go at each other vying for power and control.
- Translation from senshigakuen.com’s manga translations.
- I don’t know about eastern culture but in the west, Amethyst is believed to increase a person’s tolerance for alcohol and is the stone of choice for recovering alcoholics. It’s also a stone known for calming properties, in particular easing people going through transitional periods. It especially aids lost souls on their way to the afterworld where visibility is low.