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Title: The Lost Dollmaker
Characters: Tezuka/Fuji
Rating: Gen
Warnings: Grief as a theme. (I couldn't help it, the first sentence made it so. I tried to make it not as painful as it might have otherwise been.)
Wordcount: 692
Summary: Fuji teaches dolls to grieve.
Author's notes: Written for chain_of_fics, which requires the first sentence to be the last sentence of the last fic, taken verbatim. Perhaps one day I will flesh out the story with details. For now, short it shall be.





Between them they know just about everything there is to know, but they still don't know how to grieve.

Fuji contemplated this random thought as he studied the doll before him, and then patted its head lightly.

***

TezuFuji dolls were couples in love. If a Fuji doll was purchased together with a Tezuka doll, the dolls harmonized completely in every way, from behaviour to friendship to protecting the families that housed them. And because they were dolls and did not age, the love lasted a lifetime. When an uneven number of dolls were purchased, the TezuFuji dolls would somehow pair up and the odd-ones-out would play with other dolls and remain contented members of the doll family, but obvious outsiders until a counterpart was found. Two Fuji dolls and two Tezuka dolls simply did not interact.

No one had ever made paired dolls like this before, and though there were copycats, no other dolls matched the right-ness of TezuFuji dolls--for that was what dealers called them now, a brand of their own. There were other dolls--master and slave, and Rikkai dolls that worked in trios. But only the TezuFuji dolls complemented each other perfectly. Even the Golden Pairs (an Eiji doll and an Oishi doll, lively and happy creatures that played and gambolled) paled in comparison. Golden Pair dolls were happy neighbourhood children who would continue to be happy playmates forever. But they were not dolls in love.

Tezuka and Fuji had met each other by chance, craftsmen recognizing each other's care for trunks that felt too light to contain anything else but the masterpieces of a lifetime. Fuji's dolls, every last one of them, smiled with their eyes closed. Tezuka's dolls, every last one of them, never smiled. When the trunks were opened and shared in the comfort of Fuji's room at the inn, the Fuji dolls had approached the Tezuka dolls, and the makers had done the same.

It was an idyllic existence at first, dollmaking from sunup to sundown, pausing merely to take care of life's necessities. Dolls came and went. Most were well-made and would last years. Some broke with the first jolted trunk and would be discovered in pieces when Tezuka halted the carriage and Fuji checked on their wards. But Tezuka and Fuji merely saved the pieces and made more. They did not mourn the broken ones, even those that had taken months to build, that had taken years, that were narrow escapes and miraculous activations and never-would-be-again.

After all, the dolls were just that. Dolls. They could be made again. Grief was a foreign emotion. Neither of them cared for the dolls as much as they cared for each other.

Fuji knew that so long as this continued, their craft would stagnate. As the world grew ever-suspicious of the little forms they crafted that moved of their own accord, the dollmakers of the world hoarded their skills and their secrets, taking fewer and fewer apprentices. Some took their secrets to the grave. Eventually, they hoarded their identities as well. Sales of dolls remained, for even if the makers were viewed with eternal suspicion and avoided (even hated and persecuted in some places), the dolls themselves were things of beauty.

But one grew bored of everlasting love and other constants.

Even without prior knowledge of how to do so, Tezuka would grieve, Fuji knew. Tezuka dolls would do the same. Because Fuji had made every single Fuji doll to stop when Fuji did. And Tezuka had instilled in his own dolls the need to endure--

"They will be my legacy, and will persevere when there is nothing in them but the will to hold on. Just as I do, so they will."

--and Fuji knew Tezuka would succeed. He was sure the world would continue to marvel at Tezuka's masterpieces, and perhaps they would mourn Fuji's.

Even if the world did not mourn, Tezuka and his dolls would. That was enough for Fuji.

***

Poised on the edge, Fuji turned back and smiled at Tezuka. "Don't miss me too much," he said. As he stepped backwards into the embrace of progress and change and thin air and nothing-beneath-my-feet, there was a ghost of a smile on his face.




---
Please comment/critique, thank you! ^_^
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Comments

( 47 apples — Throw me an apple? )
Page 1 of 2
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inner_demons_
Feb. 27th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
*____________________*

-memories-



every constructive comment has left me
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
*gasps* <33333333 *snuggles happily* <3
misterwalnut
Feb. 27th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
I like the soft, almost-dreamlike imagery. Although that's no excuse for writing angst.

Lovely concept.
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
Would have made it happy if I could, but the chain_of_fics required the first sentence to be what it was, and it had the word "grieve" in it.

Thank you. ^_^
chouta_angel
Feb. 27th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Woah. I'm not sure how to describe how I'm feeling now. I like this. And it's good. But, I am not sure that my mere words can tell you how I thought how beautiful this is without taking something away.
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
*snuggles you* That's fine, dear. Thank you very much for telling me you liked it. *hugs*
darth_claire
Feb. 28th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
"Because Fuji had made every single Fuji doll to stop when Fuji did. And Tezuka had instilled in his own dolls the need to endure--"

That's so like them. Very pretty fic.
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
Thank you. ^_^ I need to break away from merely writing smut. ^_~
(no subject) - darth_claire - Feb. 28th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - Feb. 28th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) - Expand
grandsummoner
Feb. 28th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
^_________^ *wai*

It's a breathing piece. I think that's the only way I can put it.
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
A breathing piece? Please, I'd love to understand this more. What's a breathing piece? ^_^
silver_spray
Feb. 28th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
It has angst, but it feels so ethereal and dream-like. Really beautiful fic.
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 09:46 am (UTC)
Thank you. ^_^ *loves*
axtar
Feb. 28th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful - how do I begin to even describe it? It reminds me of a whisper; subtle as it caresses the mind. But it's not quite that - my brain's probably not in the right frame to leave a coherent review on this. But it _is_ lovely and I applaud you for that. ^____^

Also, on a somewhat different tangent, I keep hearing wind-up music-box tunes in my head when I read this, the slow, tinkly type that echoes in stillness. :)
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
*happy happy sigh* I love you. For such a lovely comment (you gave me a squee-fit!) and for hearing those tinkly music boxes in your head. Preferably in a small musty room with the doors closed, and Fuji watching the little swan move.
(no subject) - axtar - Feb. 28th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - Feb. 28th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - axtar - Feb. 28th, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - Feb. 28th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
crysaliz
Feb. 28th, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
wow....That was....vividly beautiful for some reason. I can't put my finger on it, but yeah...wow...

*is left speechless*
aiwritingfic
Feb. 28th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
<3 Thank you. <3
alaena_flame
Mar. 1st, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Aww, that was sad, but I really liked it ^_^
It's a very interesting idea, with the dolls and the like.
aiwritingfic
Mar. 1st, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Thank you! ^_^
daredtygrz
Mar. 1st, 2007 05:10 am (UTC)
*wibbles*
aiwritingfic
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
*snuggles and loves*
ad_exia
Mar. 2nd, 2007 07:19 am (UTC)
D: That was really.... bittersweet~ Very nicely written! ::is slowly catching up! :D;;::
aiwritingfic
Mar. 2nd, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
Bittersweet seems to be the word people are looking for to describe this fic. <3 Thank you!
chachirinoda
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
My first reaction that this is good. It feels original. I've never seen this plot before, at least not in this fandom. It's rather refreshing.

I can see Fuji doing just this. He finds himself in a place too comfortable, and then realizes that the only way to improve is to step out of the comfort zone.

Tezuka looks pretty good here too. Fuji's departure leaves him with room to grow, and he'd even understand it eventually, I think, for the same reasons he beats the snot out of Echizen at the beginning of PoT.

The part where you discuss how they don't grief over the dolls feels a bit awkward. It might work better if you show us lack of grief than just telling us about it.
aiwritingfic
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
*loves you* Thank you. That's a good point, and something I had put down for my longer-version-attempt.
arithion
Mar. 26th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
That was just beautiful!

Gave me goose-bumps half way through. Complete plausable for Fuji to do, and at the same time for Tezuka to endure.

The only thing I don't see is Tezuka just letting Fuji go if he is indeed close enough to hear the words and be smiled at.

But I really did love it
aiwritingfic
Mar. 26th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
<3 Thank you.

Actually, it would make sense if Tezuka was no longer there by the time Fuji did this. Fuji didn't want to be the one left to grieve.
verloren1983
Apr. 1st, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
(Yes, more comment spam ^_^)

...it's an interesting idea. Very unique. I love how they made the dolls like them *pictures TezuFuji dolls roaming around*... and the image you put in my head with the Golden Pair dolls is just priceless.

This is lovely, especially the end. <3
aiwritingfic
Apr. 2nd, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
(*loves you* <3 Please, spam away. I'm really amazed you're going through all my fics! <3)

^_^ You know GP is just fluff through and through. Why wouldn't the dolls be any different?

<3 Thank you.
(no subject) - verloren1983 - Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
cosmiko
Jun. 14th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm... it's a very interesting idea. I find how the story was told beautiful, and like the whole Feel of the piece and the personalities of their makers that are instilled in the dolls.

I don't quite understand the last part though. v__v Does Fuji die or stop making dolls?
aiwritingfic
Jun. 14th, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you. <3

He dies--jumps off a cliff. T_T
(no subject) - cosmiko - Jun. 14th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aiwritingfic - Jun. 14th, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cosmiko - Jun. 14th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 47 apples — Throw me an apple? )

Come Dream With Me Tonight

Come dream with me tonight / Let's go to far-off places / And search for treasures bright / Come dream with me tonight / Let's build a giant airship / And sail into the sky / Let's watch the clouds so far below / Let's watch the birds as they fly by / Fly so high / Come dream with me tonight!

-- Theme, Teddy Ruxpin

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