I got 2024 words done tonight. That's just over twice my goal for HoI. Whee. The chapter just took off from me. Keiki threatened to quit (his duties as Sabi'Oji). I ended up sending Barukei in and Keiki had a nice little "you hurt me" moment with him. I think this has effectively hit the ball back into Barukei's side of the court, so to speak. He's not happy. Keiki had to break several taboos so he could come to peace with his past with Barukei, and this has upset Barukei. Now, however, Keiki's able to focus on his other duties--I hope. I'll find out when I get back on HoI. I need to work on DS tomorrow. Whee.
Having cleansed his soul, I do believe Keiki's going to get a bit braver. He's been afraid to move on, I think, and I'm ready to shove him off into the dangers he needs to face; he had to tell Barukei how he felt first, I think. Now he's done that, I think he's ready to go off into the other important stuff. Like finding that illegal mage. And being dutifully horrified by Akiro's Tendering of Courtship.
As for Barukei, I believe he's going to be thinking very hard about what he's done to Keiki and Keiki's response. After all, Keiki, though he ran away from the situation when Barukei broke off their young relationship, did go to inei to become a Sabi'Oji. Barukei, I think is realizing that he's been moping about things too much. Not only that, his Sabi'Oji is serving him despite very mixed feelings. Things are not resolved on Barukei's side. In fact, now he knows it's Keiki under that gairi, I think he's going to either be more upset, or more thoughtful. Probably both. A little hopeful, even. Maybe. I hope Keiki's confession has awoken Barukei to some of Keiki's strengths, at least some of the truth of the breakup, and to some of Barukei's own weaknesses. Maybe now Barukei will take some risks. Whether or not he actually accepts Keiki's Certificate of Oji . . . that doesn't have to happen; it's not that important. What is: that they both do what they need to.
I think they're ready to.