title: smoke, shadow, and light
fandom: Mushishi
characters/pairings: Ginko, Adashino
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Ginko heals, with Adashino's help
notes: for egelantier, for this request on fic on demand.

He recognized the smell before he recognized what the shapes above him were. Jasmine and lily, masking something bitterer, obviously medicine. The slightly oily scent of many lamps. Cigarettes. A musky scent that came from the casual housekeeping of a bachelor home.

Above him, it was smoke. Smoke, and lamplight, and shadows... He didn't want to turn his body to look and see who was there. He would wait for who was there to turn and see him. He focused on the swirling shadows above him. Mushi? He was sick of them today.

"They misunderstood, huh?"

Ginko only grunted. If the man knew he was awake, he should be tending to all the places where Ginko hurt! Anyway, Ginko wasn't sure how he even got to the doctor's house. The last thing he remembered... The village, and their problem. The children... the children had already been dead before he removed the mushi... he tried to make them understand, but they didn't even believe him when he told them of the filaments, and why would they, since they couldn't see it themselves...

"Don't stress yourself out thinking. Your head's been knocked around enough today. Maybe you need an assistant, someone to explain things a bit more clearly! It's a good thing I was in the area shopping for herbs. You wouldn't have survived!"

A good thing. Luck. Ginko wasn't sure he believed in it, but the other theory would involve design and fate, and his life being somehow intertwined with Adashino's.

"I got the silver feather. I assumed that was important?"

Ginko grunted again, but this time, more from the pain, although the silver feather was important, and most likely, the doctor would keep it as a fee. Ginko would need to seal it properly still, but. Until he was up and moving again...

There was a shuffle, cloth against the tatami, and papers moved aside, and then very cool fingers were touching his face, his neck, his chest.

"You worried me."

There was no response to that, but Ginko tried to look at his friend. The haze from the smoke, though, obscured everything but the odor of eucalyptus on his fingers. Ah, he was searching for herbs... it was a good area for eucalyptus.

"I suppose I should know better by now. Hey, Ginko, what will happen one day when some mushi or some ignorant villager gets the best of you? How will I know what's happened?"

For a second, there was perfect silence, during which neither of them were breathing, even. Ginko blinked, and moved his hand, raising it up a bit...

He couldn't see Adashino's hand, nor where he was. He was a shadow amongst the light, and that seemed appropriate somehow. If Ginko was the smoke, then, eventually, they would both be displaced by the light, right, scattering off to their own ethers, separate, as they should be.

Luck, perhaps, was real. Luck, perhaps, was truly why he was alive.

"Nevermind. You can't be gotten rid of so easily. Like moss, right? Just keep coming back..."

But moss left something behind, Ginko would have said if he could have spoken. Perhaps he could have spoken, but he was unwilling to loosen his tongue.

"Close your eyes, idiot. You haven't yet slept enough."

Adashino's fingers ghosted over his eyelids, and the light, the smoke, and the shadows all slipped away behind his eyelids. Good enough, for now, most certainly. Good enough.

When he awoke again, with luck, he'd remember to thank the doctor.








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