Kitsune Boyfriend: Toshiyuki
Winter can be hard to get through, but as long as you have some warm food, everything should be fine. Well, maybe a hand to hold would be nice.
Female Reader x Male Monster
Every year, there is a festival of lights along the border of the Polar when the frost first occurs. The passages into the kingdom are opened up, and the neighboring kingdoms all come together to celebrate. Your village is on this border, a small town near the base of the mountains where hot springs naturally occur. It is also the site of one of the festival's best-loved treats, called the Fox Trap.
For generations your family has run a boarding house, which includes special treatments using the hot springs on your property. You have been taught how to be a hostess as well as prepare the beloved Fox Trap. Your family has a secret recipe for it, and people will line up far beyond the gates of the boarding house just to have one.
The story goes that your ancestor learned of the recipe from one of the kitsune that hide in the mountains above the hot springs. They camouflage themselves in the steam and snow to escape detection, taking a beautiful guise to sneak down into the village to steal food, gold, and sometimes hearts. The kitsune are particularly fond of food, especially anything easy to grab. The Fox Trap was made as a way to detect a kitsune in disguise. Your ancestor captured a kitsune in such a way, and from that trapped creature, they learned how to create the most delicious Fox Trap recipe in the Polar.
You hate it. Ever since you were little you have been unable to enjoy the festival because of your family’s business and the Fox Trap. You work the entire time, and everything is over whenever you get the chance to finally leave the grounds of the boarding house. You only get brief glimpses of how grand the festival had been. Even when you are serving, you barely get to see the floating lanterns as they are released. You have tried for years to get away from the boarding house during the festival, but you are often left burnt out and exhausted. You always end up staying, knowing how hard the rest of your family works, especially your parents now that they are older.
This past year has been particularly trying, as they expect you to marry. You’ve been meeting their prospects all year, and it has become more and more grating with each new man you meet. Each one seems to have something to say about the missing finger on your left hand. The middle finger was severed a long time ago. You wear a specially made wooden prosthetic, but it does not deter the comments.
The festival is drawing near, so you are preparing large batches of fox traps. Vats are stuffed to the brim with filling while you work on flattening out the sheets of meat that will be shaped into pockets. As you are forming the pockets, there is a tapping at the window. You look up and see someone wearing a kitsune mask looking in. He’s quite tall, so he has to bend over to look inside.
“Looks mighty tasty what you got there,” he says. “Mind if I have a sample?”
You look at him and furrow your brow. “It’s not cooked.”
He tilts his head to the side. “The filling is, isn’t it?”
You continue to frown at him. The sharp features and wicked eyes of the mask make it feel like he’s taunting you. “Are you a guest here at the boarding house?”
He holds up a single finger, and you see his nails are painted red. “Would you like me better or worse if I was?”
The boarding house is full right now as the guests wait for the festival to begin. You’ve met almost all of them, but you cannot recall someone quite as tall as the mask wearer outside. “I would like you better if you weren’t, but that raises questions. The gates are locked right now, and we have a guard to let our guests in and out. So if you aren’t a guest, how did you get in?”
He chuckles and wiggles his shoulders. “I’ll tell you the secret if you give me some of that filling.”
You take a scoop of the sticky filling and form it into a ball. It clumps together easily, keeping its shape. You open the window and pass the round lump out to him, and he takes it gently. “Thank you!” He turns around and lifts up his mask to eat it, not showing you his face at all. Probably smart on his part.
You wipe the sticky residue of the filling from your hands. “So how did you do it?” You take off your false finger to wash it while his back is turned.
“Do what?” he says through a mouthful.
You lean over the counter to get closer to the window. “How did you sneak in if you are not a guest here at the boarding house?”
Still without facing you, he points to one of the great trees around the walls of the house. “I climbed up and fell in.” He tugs his mask back down and turns to face you. “An accident.”
Staring blankly back at him, you begin to close the kitchen window. “I doubt that.”
He captures the window and fights to keep it open. “I mean no trouble! I could just smell the food! I was really hungry!”
“Wanting our food is trouble!” You grasp the window with both hands, only to realize you forgot to put your finger on properly and it is loose.
“Knowing you make it only makes me want it more!”
Your finger slips off from struggling, so you let go instantly. He lets go too, and picks your finger up from off the ground.
“Don’t go to pieces.” He hands your finger back. “Is that what makes the filling taste so good? Fresh maiden?”
You snatch your finger back and start to laugh.
“What is so funny?” he sounds smug.
“You! That line,” you snicker. “The line from before, too!”
He huffs and puts his hands on his hips. “Come on now, everyone knows that food is always better when prepared by a beautiful person.”
“You come on.”
His hand flutters and slaps to his chest. “I do, fair maiden, I do. But not before you,” he jibes playfully.
Your face heats up while you snicker. “That sounds absolutely filthy.”
He spreads his arms and he bows low. “I apologize if it does. I only intended to make you smile.”
You shake your head with a grin on your face. “If you are not a guest, then who the hell are you?” You tuck a loose strand of your pinned-up hair back into place.
“You will not find me by any name I give you, but I will give you a name by which you can call me.”
You cross your arms. “And what would that be?”
“Toshiyuki,” he says as he leans back into the window. “A fan of delicious foods and the delectable creatures who make it.”
“I take it you follow the festival just to steal food from all the vendors?”
“This year the winter of the Polar has been particularly harsh. I have been holed up with nothing, so I am quite famished for something that I have not hunted myself.” He taps the nose of his mask. “I smelled your wonderful food and knew I had found my treasure.”
“You and a thousand others Polar, lizardfolk, and kobolds alike come here just for the food.” You sigh and get back to work, smile evaporating into a scowl.
“They just leave you alone to do this?” Toshiyuki asks. “For thousands?”
“I don’t like people in the kitchen with me. So we take turns. I have others chop and prepare the ingredients for the filling, then I come in to make it and prepare the meat for the fox traps.”
He whistles. “Do you put them together too?”
“No, there is a team to do that, as well as assist with the frying.”
Toshiyuki tilts his head to the side. “Sounds like you’re miserable.”
You stand still for a moment, hands frozen on the knife as you prepare to cut the meat. “Am I so transparent?”
“If you were, I would hate it, because then I could not see you,” he teases. “But if you are so unhappy, why remain?”
“Because even though I hate this time of year, I love my family.” You look back up at the mask. “It is not your concern anyway.”
He cups a hand under his chin, and dangles the other inside the window frame. “Do you ever get to enjoy the festival, then?”
You remain silent.
Toshiyuki snaps his fingers. “Well, how about I give you a midnight tour? I need a way to sneak out unnoticed, so you could be my ticket. As thanks for your discretion, I’ll take you around the village and show you the festival.”
You frown as you wash off the knife. “The festival hasn’t even started, and if we go so late then nothing will be open or even prepared. It will just be dark streets and empty tents.”
“But I know the secrets,” he whispers. “There is more to the festival than just the vendors and the tents and the lights.”
You glance back at him and frown. “What else is there?”
Toshiyuki taps his finger to the nose of the mask again. “It is better if I show you.”
That evening, after dinner and putting the guests to bed, you go back to your room. As you open the door and light the lantern, Toshiyuki is sleeping peacefully on your bed. He rolls over, still wearing his kitsune mask. You sneaked him in earlier and left him with some food, but you never expected him to be there when you got done with your duties. You shake him awake and he stirs, stretching on your bed and yawning. “What time is it?” He touches his face all over to make sure the mask is still there.
“Weren’t you supposed to run away before I got back?”
“Why would I leave when I am waiting for you?” He rises off the bed. “I haven’t slept that warm or comfortably since the first snow. I bet it would be better with...” He stops himself. “Never mind.” He hops up off the bed. “Well, are you ready to see the hidden marvels of the festival?”
“I still am unsure if I should believe you. For all I know you could be throwing me to the wolves as a sacrifice.” You point to his mask. “Why are you hiding yourself?”
He cups his hand around the mask protectively. “I’m not good looking whatsoever. In fact, I have no nose and one of my eyes is melting right off. I look like a fish left on the beach for too long.”
You scowl at him. “I don’t believe you.”
He stiffens his stance and lowers down to face you. “Fine, I am beautiful. My looks are envied and desired, and I keep my face hidden so I can live my life and trust that someone will fall in love with me for my innermost parts. Because you know what else? I am a prince searching for a soul to love and who will love me no matter who or what I am.”
Your stare turns blank.
He scoffs and flops his arms out. “You are frustrating.” He holds his hand out. “I will be whoever you want me to be. I can be your kidnapper, your rescuer, and yes, I can even be your prince if you need one. You can imagine I am whoever you want.”
“No such person exists.” You take his hand. “But I will still show you out.”
You take him from your room and lead him down the dark corridors. The whole house is silent aside from the occasional snores of the guests. The house opens up towards the back, where a trail winds between the many hot springs on your property. They go up along the base of the mountain and between them a curving path leads to a locked gate. Taking a key from your pocket, you unlock the gate and step into a garden.
“Oh, wow,” he murmurs. “How do you have a garden like this right now?”
You lock the gate. “The heat of the hot springs keeps it warm, and the soil is so rich from the volcanic activity that we can grow anything we need here.”
Toshiyuki takes your hand again, marveling at the garden as you walk through it. “Is this your work?”
“It’s the only place I can be alone without making an excuse.” You come to the wall, where there is another locked door. You use the key again and usher Toshiyuki through it.
He turns back to look at you in the doorway. “Aren’t you coming? I made a promise.”
“I thought you just wanted a way out. I did not expect your story to be true.”
He still holds his hand out to you. “I was being honest. I want to show you what you are missing.”
You take his hand, letting him lead you beyond the boarding house and into the village. The tents and stands have all been set up, but everything is dark and silent. You stay close to him, tightening your hold on his hand. “Where are we going?” you whisper.
“Just wait.” He stands still and squeezes your hand. “Look ahead. What do you see?”
You squint your eyes through the darkness and see something moving through the forest ahead. You see the light zigzag through the trees, growing brighter and brighter as it comes closer. The lights come onto the path and begin marching through town. Toshiyuki tucks you behind himself as the parade comes closer. “Stay there. Don’t make a sound.”
You watch from behind him as balls of fire float along the street, dancing and swirling around. Figures materialize from them, great foxes with many tails, wearing beads of fire around their necks. You hold your breath and cling tighter to Toshiyuki as the kitsune parade through town with their fire. Toshiyuki reaches back, keeping still until the last of the fire and the kitsune passes by. Once they do, he takes your hand again and pulls you away.
Looking back, you see a kitsune on the path watching you. You race up behind Toshiyuki, hitting his back when he comes to a stop. Toshiyuki giggles excitedly. “Did you enjoy it?”
You grin up at him. “How did you know about such a thing?”
He pats the top of your head. “My family knows some secrets. The whole festival of lights is because of the kitsune and their fire.”
“Why did they come down from the mountains though?” you ask breathlessly.
“Duh for the food! The festival has made it so much easier for them to get good delicious treats, so they just wait for the frost and make their way down.” He chuckles. “Not very interesting is it?”
You sigh deeply. “They were so beautiful! I would love to feed a kitsune one of my fox traps just so I could look at them.”
Toshiyuki murmurs something under his breath.
“I probably have, though,” you laugh. “I’ve probably fed hundreds of them over the years and just never known, since they stay in disguise.”
He chuckles. “Exactly. Makes feeding the thousands that flock to your fox traps all the more interesting, doesn’t it?”
You smile up at him. “Is that why you showed me this?”
“Well that, and to spend alone time with a pretty girl.” He takes your hand. “Let me walk you home.”
He takes you back to the gate you left from, but it isn’t the last time you see him. He sneaks back onto the grounds regularly, appearing at the kitchen window when you are there. You’ve gotten good at hiding him in your room, or taking him to your garden. Yet he always keeps the kitsune mask on. Not once have you seen his face.
“Close your eyes,” he whispers to you as the steam of the hot springs fills the garden.
“What for?” you ask.
“Close them,” he urges again. “I promise I’ll give you a nice surprise.”
You do as he says, even placing your fingers over them. “Okay fine, they’re closed now. What’s the game?”
“No matter what happens, keep your eyes closed.” Toshiyuki’s long fingers slip under your chin. You feel the soft press of his lips. You so want to open your eyes to see him, but you obey his wishes. You stand on tiptoe, kissing him deeper.
“Careful,” he whispers into your ear. “Don’t excite me too much. You can open your eyes now.”
His mask is in place as you look at him. “Why can’t I see you?”
“I told you, I must be certain you love me for me.”
“I thought that was a joke,” you protest. “There is no way you are a prince.”
He sits down on a stone and sighs. “You are right, the rules stand though.” He pulls you into his lap, wrapping his arms around you. “I have my reasons for courting you the way that I am. If you do not like it, I will...”
“Don’t stop,” you interrupt. “I don’t mind the mask. My curiosity has a way of running wild.”
He chuckles. “Do not worry, I will be just as lovely to look at as the mask.”
You hug your arms around him and rest your head upon his shoulder. “So, you have been courting me?”
“I have wanted to for so long, but now seemed like the best time.” He rests his chin upon the top of your head. “Falling from that tree was an accident, but only because I intended to scale the wall, not fall.”
You chuckle softly. “I had a feeling.”
“Tomorrow you will be unavailable all day, correct?”
You nod and sit back up. “I will be preparing and serving fox traps all day long, and even into the night.”
He tilts his chin down. “They never let you go to see the lanterns?”
“It’s always too busy,” you murmur.
Toshiyuki cups his hand around your eyes. “Close your eyes again.”
You do so, and he kisses your forehead. “I know you will be exhausted, but meet me at the garden gate as soon as you can. It will be important.”
He moves his hand away and you open your eyes. “Try your hardest.” He taps the tip of your nose.
The next day is busy right from the start. Right away you begin preparing the fox traps and getting the fryers set up outside. The line has already begun forming as you start serving the fox traps. All day people come and go with their treats. It should be something you are used to, but the sheer amount of people is always a surprise. Morning turns to afternoon, afternoon to evening, and soon the lanterns will be released into the sky. You watch the walls around the gate, hoping to see the lanterns float above them. Every year you always pray one floats over the wall so you can see it up close. Despite the lanterns being lit, people are still lined up out the gate. As you continue to serve, your apron covered in grease, you keep thinking about Toshiyuki and how you so want to see him.
Looking up from the fryer briefly, you see a light over the gate. With a gasp you think your wish has come true, but the light explodes, sending sparks and balls of fire out along the grounds. The gates burst open, and kitsune come running in with their fire. People scatter instantly, and the kitsune rush up and take the fox traps right from their hands. One comes up to you, taking the tray of fox traps at your side and fisting them into their mouth.
Your mother is screaming for you to move, but you can’t help but grin at the kitsune as it eats. Their sharp eyes focus on you, and they dart off, chasing after the people who had been waiting in line. Your mother finally gets your attention and rushes you inside as the guards try to chase everyone and everything out. Fireballs fill the courtyard, and there are even some floating around inside the boarding house.
You are taken to your room and instructed to lock the windows and doors until it is safe. All you can do is laugh once you are alone.
“What’s all the commotion?”
You leap from your skin as Toshiyuki sits up on our bed. “You scared me!”
He chuckles. “Forgive me. I thought it would be better to meet you here than at the garden gate.” He holds out his hand to you. “Take off that apron.”
You hold your breath and bite your lip. “What’s going on, Toshiyuki?”
He rises off the bed and approaches you. “What do you mean?”
“You know I am not foolish.” You reach up with both hands and touch his mask.
He grabs your wrists instantly and holds you there. “You’re greasy.”
You smirk. “I’ve been around grease all day.”
Toshiyuki lowers your hands. “Will anyone be at the hot springs?”
Shaking your head, you take hold of his hands. “Not with the kitsune around. I bet everyone is locked up in their rooms.”
“Let’s not dally, then.”
You leave through your window, walking through snow to make it to the hot springs. You go up to the furthest pool so that no one will see you. You disrobe, removing your grease-smeared apron and clothes. Your nipples harden in the cold air, and you quickly get into the water before Toshiyuki turns around. He too steps naked into the water and sits across from you in the pool. He keeps his mask in place.
“Why did you sit so far away?”you murmur.
He places his hands on his chest. “So I could behave for a bit.”
You take your hair down from the tight bun and let it fall. “Why a bit?”
“So I can tell you a story,” his voice is soft. “About a young kitsune and his mother. They had just come down off the mountain during the thaw. The winter had been hard and food had been scarce. The two were very hungry, so they were excited to reach the village. Unfortunately, the mother got caught in a hunter’s snare. Her poor foot was crushed and she was in a panic. She told her son to run, but he would not leave her.
“He cried and cried until a little girl appeared. The young kitsune tried to protect his mother, but the little girl meant no harm. She offered to open the trap, only her kindness was without reward. She freed the mother, but in the process the trap snapped off her finger. The mother and son stayed with the young girl, but the mother was hurt as well. The son had a choice to make - protect his mother or help the young girl. He cried and cried so much that the sounds led the little girl’s family to her. The son and mother hid. Still, the young kitsune feared he had not done the right thing to help the girl who saved his life.”
“You...” You hold your hand up to your chest, gently touching the false finger. “How did you know that story?”
Toshiyuki moves closer to you, kneeling in the pool just before you. “Close your eyes,” he whispers.
You do as he asks, and as his lips touch yours your cup your hands around his face. His palms smooth up your legs and to your hips. He gently touches your skin, going up your back and then covering your eyes. “I wanted to make up for my mistake. Maybe if I did something more than cry...”
“Could you have sewn my finger back on?” you ask. “Could you have grown one back?” You smooth your fingers over his lips. “My parents found me. I was okay.”
You smile and lean in closer. “Are you still a crybaby?”
“Don’t call me that,” he pouts.
Keeping your eyes closed you kiss his cheek, feeling soft fur and wet tears. He pulls you into his arms, pressing his bare body to yours.
“Can I open my eyes yet?”
He kisses you and sighs. “If you must.”
You slowly open your eyes and look at him. He’s completely white, save for the pink and red around his eyes. He sniffles, curling his long muzzle. You smile at him and wrap your arms around him. “You’re beautiful.”
He sniffles again. “You’re not angry at me?”
“Only that you did not come sooner.”
He kisses you, moving you into his lap. You rise up and kiss him more as his hands trail down your body. “My den is nearby,” he whispers.
You smirk. “Is that how you kept sneaking in?”
He picks you up in his strong arms, floating up the mountain until he comes to a cave covered by red curtains. He takes you inside, where there is a large nest made of pillows and blankets. He lays you down there, then lays himself upon you. He kisses you all over, moving down your body. He takes your hand, kissing the base of your missing finger.
“I will spend my life thanking you,” he sighs. “For saving my mother, for saving me. I am yours always.”
You wrap your arms around him and pull him close again. “Then let me mark you.”
His touch is strong and gentle, sending tingles through limbs. He plants his warmth inside you, causing you to lose your breath and hold him tighter. You lock your legs around his waist, urging him deeper inside you.
“My love,” he whimpers.
“Are you crying?”
Tears are in his eyes. “Happy ones.”
You moan as he moves inside you. “How sweet.”
He nuzzles against your neck, burying himself against you. His hips thrust harder and faster, and his tails sway above him. You cling to his back, panting as his strokes open a deep well of pleasure inside you.
Once dawn comes the two of you step from his den. The sky is bright, yet it is raining. “We’ll call this a Fox Wedding,” you murmur. Your cheeks flush and you smile up at him. “Is that what happened?”
Toshiyuki kisses your cheek. “I said I was yours always.”
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