Summary: Kanbei's suspicions about Kyuuzou grow.
Warnings: yaoi and implications of f-Kyuu (see author's note)
Author's Note: I'm trying out the "hidden female" angle for Samurai 7 fic for the first time. Crossposted to fanfic_bakeoff.
It's how he kept himself apart that's got Kanbei's overactive mind constantly on Kyuuzou now. The ever-vigilant war bride noticed, gave sly grins. The illusion of asceticism was simply illusion, Shichiroji knew in every fashion imaginable. But one could misread signs, and as Shichiroji knew only part of what obsessed Kanbei with this enemy-turned-temporary-ally so Kanbei wondered if he knew only part of what drew him to the silent, sullen samurai.
The kind of close observation that would settle the question in Kanbei's mind was impossible, as Kyuuzou was uncanny in his ability to feel another's attention upon him and shift away from it, physically, psychically, effectively. The most obvious, of course, was the most unviable: catching the lanky ronin as he undressed. But Kanbei had stayed alive at least in part based upon skills in unobtrusive surveillance, so he and Kyuuzou were well matched. Opposites drawn together: watcher and watched, dark and fair, reluctant leader and resentful adherent. Could it be so far-fetched that there was one more binary that drew them: male and female?
Shichiroji curled nearer in half-sleep, hand unerringly finding the hardness in Kanbei's robes with a hazy grin, mistaking it as an offering between them. Kanbei smiled and accepted the miscommunication with gratitude. Attraction to Shichiroji came naturally; the allure of Kyuuzou—this man who might well be a woman—was all the more forceful for the fact that it did not. He claimed Shichiroji's mouth and silenced the questions, for now.