अप्सरा (picnicbird) wrote,


I wrote this for the hetalia_contest, but I'm still wrestling with that voice that tells me it needs more polishing.

eta: No hetalia_contest; I know there are some things that should be improved but I don't have the heart to. BEHOLD THE STARVING ARTIST -- carry on.

Title: Transculturation
Rating: E for ever-one
Genre: General
Characters/Pairings: China-Turkiye
Summary: Chance meetings along the Silk Road, and an archeological shot in the dark two millennia after the fact.
Words: 280
Notes: Part of a bigger piece that is not letting itself be written; human names used for hopefully apparent reasons.

.Chinese texts were first to mention the nomadic Turkic tribes, in reference to their power and trading along the Silk Road.

.They gained considerable control over the Silk Road and began to build a powerful foundation that would become the Ottoman Empire.

.The extensive and convoluted network of those known as Turkic peoples originated in Central Asia -- China, Mongolia, and Siberia. Today they stretched across Central Asia to the Anatolian Peninsula, where they have become known as Turkish.

.('Turk,' in fact, is taken from 'Tujue,' the Chinese word for the powerful nomadic Göktürk Empire.)

8th Century

The barbarian was walking discordance.

From the age of seventeen he claimed grey-dust trails for himself and held the cowering traders at knife-point.

From the age of twenty-one he stalked toward Yao seasonally, as often as Yao would pull his stubborn caravan jingling with jade, silks, around the quick bends hailing Kashgar. The barbarian would ask for tea and sit on the frozen stones exposed in the foothill dirt. He would slosh the warm bitter drink appreciatively in its cup and pull away his mouth-covering to take a sip, and then another.

Stilted, in an accent implacable, he told Yao that this is how he will make a land into a home. He will take this all, the foreboding mountains of Pamir until the Bosphorus splits the land and introduces him to the sea. He will sit on each stone and brush his fingers against every boundary and he will name it all, he will learn to love it as his own.


A millennium later, they count their worth.

Twenty-one provinces to Sadık's name.

Twenty-two to Yao's.

They both think: it’s a start.


Yao dusts them both off. They are not so old as that, to sit unearthed and unattended, too delicate.

He reaches up and presses his hand to Sadık's cheek -- the cool porcelain hiding his eyes, and then skin and that tension he carries still vibrant, still green.

Yao looks up at him, feels dissonant in his urgency, in his tenderness. He looks up at him, fiercely.

"I know you," he says. Cavalcades of their many names, old onslaughts and charms and contentions all cast aside.

"You're one of my own."

We lived.
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