Seeing as both sides of the war for the future of the earth were both expecting some kind of nasty surprise upon arrival, it was something of an anti-climax when they both arrived at Tokyo Tower to find the second observation deck . . . looking absolutely normal.
"Hey, pretty boy!" Sorata yelled as the Dragons of Earth made their appearance, Nataku pushing Kakyouís wheelchair. "Long time no see!"
Yuuto looked up and flashed a dazzling grin. In contrast to Satsuki, who looked rather severe in black from head to toe, he was dressed in a suit in various shades of warm brown. "Itís been a while, comedian," he called to Sorata.
The Kansai monk grinned as he pulled Arashi to his side, bumping against Kamui as he did so. "Maybe you can introduce me to your little lady," Sorata said with a wink, draping his arm around Arashiís slim shoulders. "Sheís cute, but not as pretty as my Miss here." He pretended not to see the icy glare the priestess was giving him although the elbow in his ribs were harder to ignore and left Sorata more than a bit short of breath. With hardly a backward glance Arashi made her way towards the others.
"I think Miss there does not appreciate your advances," commented Yuuto. Satsuki's lips quirked up a fraction.
"She just doesn't like to show affection in public," said Sorata, flapping a hand dismissively.
They were perhaps the only ones to greet the enemy so amiably, though no one saw the shy smiles Yuzuriha and Kusanagi were exchanging. Kanoe gave a thin leer as she scrutinised the opposition. Seiichiro and Karen watched Nataku and Kakyou warily and Kamui . . . well, Kamui mutely stared at his former friend. ĎKamuií merely laughed at his sorrowful face.
"Why so glum, Kamui-kun?" he asked cheerfully. The young man looked so much like Fuuma, except Fuuma never wore such a dark smirk. "Youíre the one who called us here. So," he added gaily. "Whoís the lucky couple?"
The sad violet eyes turned confused. "What do you mean?" Kamui asked. "Didnít you send us the invitation?"
The dark ĎKamuiís smile was replaced with a frown. "No. I thought you did."
There was a ripple of bewildered murmurs from both sides.
:If the invitation isnít from the Dragons of Heaven . . .: said Kakyou in everyoneís mind slowly.
"And neither is it from the Dragons of Earth," continued Karen.
"Then who sent it?" finished Kamui.
The ripple of bewildered murmurs turned into a swell, and the swell into a wave, and the wave into a roaring surge as everyone piled questions and speculations on each other and was answered by yet more questions and speculation. Nataku, dressed in a Chinese style blue tunic over white loose pants and top, looked from one person to another trying to figure out what all the fuss us about. ĎKamuií rolled his eyes impatiently. The air around his hands began to glow sullenly.
"Who cares?" he snapped, causing everyone to stop talking. "Weíre here, so letís get on with it."
Kamui blinked. "Huh?"
He got his answer as ĎKamuií fired a very large and very powerful blast into the middle of the group of Seals, scattering them around the deck.
"Hey! No fair!" yelled Sorata, running for cover pulling Arashi along behind him. "I didnít hear anyone say start!"
Caught by surprise, the Seals were immediately on the defensive. Kamui, his hands full as he tried to pull Yuzuriha to safety could do little except repel what he could from himself and the inugami mistress. The air was alive with howling winds, writhing wires, crackling flames, bolts of electricity and sheer force alike making a total mess of the place. Kamui swerved to one side, nearly tripping Yuzuriha as he dodged a white scarf. There wasnít enough ceiling height for leaping but people bounced off the walls like balls anyway. A flick of a whip came disturbingly close; he could see ĎKamuií coming towards them a glowing nimbus around his raised hand . . .
Suddenly a blinding white light seemed to encompass everything. A whirlwind of golden sparkles whizzed around them and Kamui instinctively raised an arm to shield his eyes. There was a wrenching sensation as if he was being pulled in different directions, then falling, falling . . .
With no warning whatsoever, Kamui found himself sprawled over the ground beside Yuzuriha. Inuki whimpered and nudged the girl with his nose. Groggily Kamui got up and hurried to her side.
"Are you alright?" Kamui asked worriedly. The youngest Seal nodded, a scared look on her face.
"I donít know."
There was a chorus of various groans and moans and befuddled complaints from around them. Kamui glanced around to see his enemies and allies alike all dazedly getting to their feet off the grass.
Grass. There wasnít any grass in Tokyo Tower last time Kamui had checked. He frowned and turned a three-sixty as he looked around. His frown got bigger. He was also pretty sure there hadnít been a grove of large, flourishing sakura trees in the Tower either. Or a flock of white doves. Or rows of white chairs arranged in neat, equal rows on either side of a long red carpet facing a raised platform with a table on the platform and a white cloth draped over the table and a red cushion on the cloth and two silver rings on the cushion.
Since Kamui was pretty darned sure that these things didnít exist in the Tower then he was pretty darned sure that they werenít in the Tower. One thing he wasnít pretty darned sure about was how the got out of the Tower and into what looked like an outdoor wedding in Ueno Park.
"Sorry about the rough ride," came a high-pitched, feminine voice from somewhere. "But itís your fault for disrupting the flow of things with your skirmish. I did specify the that there was to be no fighting."
Not surprisingly, the reactions of the Dragons were as follows: Kamui and ĎKamuií both began to summon rather destructive forces. Sorata had another excuse to get close to Arashi who looked annoyed. Nataku was becoming more and more confused, but got out its scarf anyway. Kakyou tried to find some explanation to the situation in Dreamscape as did Kanoe. Sensing nothing remotely electrical in the area, Satsuki pouted as Yuuto extended one arm out in front of her. Kusanagi took a rather protective step towards Yuzuriha who rested one hand on Inukiís ruff. Karen and Seiichiro, perhaps the only Ďnormalí adults present, looked around for the source of the voice curiously, but still readied respective powers just in case.
"Who are you?" demanded Kusanagi, seeing no one.
The voice giggled musically and in a high octave. "I think youíll guess very quickly," the speaker chirped. As one, the Dragons of Heaven and Earth turned around as two figures figure floated towards them. The first figure was a rather dignified old man with a pair of spectacles that kept slipping off his nose. He was dressed in priestly robes and had a disgruntled expression on his face. Fragments of conversation carried over to them
"You drag . . . away fr. . . work to what?"
" . . . ficiate my li . . . brot . . . wedding."
"Why couldnít . . . have taken place . . . ortal realm?"
" . . . címon, all you do is write in that book all day anyway," the second figure said, finally coming into view and becoming clear. Kamui rubbed his eyes. The second figure was a giant talking sakura blossom.
Or thatís what he thought at first anyway. It was actually a girl in a pale pink dress styled along the lines of a sakura blossom. The long, flowing skirt had five waist high slits giving the impression of petals with a mini-skirt underneath. Tiny blossoms were delicately sewn around the neckline of the bodice, which was sleeveless with a low-cut back. A simple silver cross for a necklace, dainty sakura-pink shoes and lacy sakura-pink gloves completed the ensemble. More sakura blossoms provided a wreath in the short black hair.
But it wasnít the dress that captured everyoneís attention. It was the delicate, translucent white wings that peeked out from the girlís back and the softly glowing halo that adorned the heads of both the girl and the priest.
That, plus the fact that everyone thought for one wild moment that the person was Subaru wearing a dress.
Yuzuriha frowned. "You look like Subaru-san."
The girl winked. "Of course I do! Iím Sumeragi Hokuto, Subaruís cute twin sister!"
A stunned silence greeted this announcement. Hokuto grinned. Sorata blinked, absently loosening the tie of the semi-formal suit Karen had forced him into. He was the only who had to suffer; in fact the Soapland hostess had made all of them dress up, saying, Ďtrap or no trap, weíve been invited to a wedding so wear something appropriate.í Then again, he should thank Karen for finally giving him the opportunity to see Arashi in something more flattering than a sailor fuku. The priestess of Ise was positively stunning in a long, sleeveless red dress patterned with black roses near the hem. Unfortunately for Sorata, Arashi had taken no notice of his lavishly sincere compliments.
The other Seals had been more responsive. Yuzuriha had blushed which made her look even cuter in her white summer dress with short orange jacket. Karen had winked and posed in her slinky dark violet slip. Seiichiro had thanked Sorata nicely for complimenting him on his beige suit that made him and Karen look like such a nice couple. Even the usually silent Kamui dressed in navy blue clothes of a vaguely military cut had graced him with a shy smile. Sorata distantly wondered what he was doing wrong with Arashi.
"Um," began Sorata hesitantly. "I thought Subaru-sanís sister was dead."
Hokuto gave the Kansai monk a very patient look. "There is a reason why I have wings and a halo, you know."
"Good point," Sorata admitted.
The priest beside her was looking over the group with a strange expression. "Wait a minute, Hokuto-san . . ." he muttered. "These are the Dragons of Heaven and Earth. Why are they here?"
Hokuto turned sparkling eyes on him. "Theyíre the wedding guests."
"You have got to be joking." He sighed. "Alright, letís get this done and over with." Without a single glance at the gathered assembly, the priest made his way to the altar. Being a discorporate spirit, he floated straight through anyone in his way, much to their startlement. He ignored the stares, levitating onto the platform and set about making preparations, muttering under his breath the entire time.
"Donít mind him," said Hokuto. "Heís just a little annoyed that I told him about this last minute."
Despite the fact that this was Subaruís sister, Kamui was giving the spirit a very suspicious, very wary look. He wasnít the only one. "Do you have something to do with Subaruís disappearance?" he demanded.
Hokuto was all wide-eyed innocence. "Me?"
She winked. "Of course! I have to take care of my little brother."
Kamuiís face lighted up. "Where is he?" he said excitedly.
The dark Kamui was not one for propriety when it came to conversation. "What are we doing here?" he interrupted in a cold voice before Hokuto could answer Kamui.
Hokuto gave a very un-Subaru-like grin. "Wedding guests, of course! Didnít you read my invitation properly?"
The suspicious looks got even more suspicious. "What wedding?" Kanoe asked, trying to balance in stiletto shoes in the thick grass. She wasnít managing very well. The rather figure-hugging green dress may have looked nice if one wanted to see Kanoe but it wasnít very practical for standing.
Hokuto giggled and winked slyly. "Youíll see. Now go sit down and behave yourselves!"
She wasnít wasting any time Ė the spirit had been waiting for over nine years for this day. Before anyone could say anything, the chairs suddenly came to life. Like a swarm of bees, each targeted a standing Dragon and zoomed over to scoop that person into its seat. Kamui yelped and hung on for dear life as his chair zipped back to its position in the front row. Kakyou, slumped lethargically in his wheelchair dressed in a loose white robe, was pushed by invisible hands to a niche right up front next to ĎKamuií. One by one the others were set down, some more gently than others Ė Yuuto was thrown out of his chair, the Dragons of Heaven on one side of the carpet, the Dragons of Earth on the other.
"Hey!" Yuuto yelled as he picked himself up. "Whatís the big idea?"
Hokuto flitted up to the platform and beamed down at them. "Now, now," she admonished with one slim finger. "Such behaviour isnít appropriate on such a happy day!"
"So we really are here for a wedding!" said Yuzuriha, seated in the front row next to Kamui. They were the two shortest after all.
Hokuto winked at her. "Of course!"
Kamui was looking more and more confused. "Whose wedding?"
Sorataís face lit up. "I know!"
Everyone turned to him. "Who?"
The monk grinned and fell to his knees in front of Arashi. "This is obviously set up for us, Miss," he said with stars in his eyes. "Fate has brought this opportunity! We should take advantage of it. Miss Arashi," said Sorata in a husky voice, taking the startled priestessís hand in his own. "Will you marry me?"
Large sweat-drops adorned everyoneís head. Arashi gave the Kansai priest the coldest look he had ever seen. Sorataís sweat-drop froze into an ice-block.
Dark ĎKamuií was looking darker by the second. "This is boring." He stood up, a scary leer on his face as he glanced at the other Kamui. His hand began to glow dangerously. "But I suppose the location doesnít matter."
Kamui only just managed to jump off his seat with a startled yelp as a sizzling bolt came flying at him. Karen rose to his defence and flung a fireball across the carpet. Nataku responded with its scarf and well, everything went downhill from there as the interrupted fight in the Tower began where it had been broken off.
"Hey!" Hokuto yelled, ignoring a chair that whizzed by her head. It went straight through the priest who was lighting candles. He glanced up at the dust-cloud that was the brawl and sighed.
"Knew this was going to happen," he muttered. "Canít expect them to behave themselves. Always told Him that it was a bad idea to entrust the future of the world to a bunch of psychotic teenagers with destinies, but did He listen, nooooooooooo."
Another chair was flying straight at the candles. The priest rolled his eyes and the chair spanged off an invisible barrier to hurtle back into the fray. Hokuto ground her teeth. "Stop it!"
Unfortunately, even Hokutoís shrill voice wasnít loud enough and her screech went unheard among the cacophony of screams, howls, crackles, barks, yells and various crashes of chairs. She was getting madder by the minute. It called for desperate measures. She pulled out a mallet in the way only a ghost or an anime character can and began laying into everyone with it.
"I- *bonk* SAID- *bonk* STOP!!!!!" *bonk bonk bonk*
By the time she had laid Sorata, Kamui, Yuuto, ĎKamuií and Kanoe flat the others got the picture very quickly and sheepishly returned to their seats. Those people whose chairs were halfway across the grove went and retrieved them, returning the place to some semblance of order. Kakyou had fallen out of his chair and Hokuto quickly put him back.
"Is she really related to Subaru-san?" whispered Yuzuriha to Sorata.
Hokuto put the mallet away and bowed to everyone. "Sorry!"
Sorata looked up with her with swirly eyes and a large bump on his head. "Ow . . ." he moaned. Arashi rolled her own eyes and pulled him roughly into his seat beside her.
"Oh thank you, Miss I donít suppose you could kiss me better Ė ow!"
Sorata fell to the grass again with a second set of bruises while the other victims of the ghostís wrath shakily pulled themselves to their seats. Kanoe stood up groggily, swaying in her high heels, then fell over again. Hokuto folded her arms and glared at the group of before her as if she were a teacher staring down a group of unruly children who looked ashamedly at their feet.
"I am going to be really upset if someone wrecks this," she threatened. "Iíve been waiting for nine years and NOTHING, not even the Final Day is going to stop this wedding."
"WHOSE wedding?!" everyone yelled. Hokuto blocked her ears.
"No need to shout, geez," she replied. She looked at the priest. "Are we ready? Iíll go get them if so."
The other spirit nodded. Hokuto giggled and with a pirouette and a shower of golden sparkles, disappeared, leaving only her laughter to die away.
Kanoe blinked. "I donít suppose you can tell us the meaning of this?" she demanded of the priest.
The man shrugged. "Nope."
"I donít know whose getting married either."
Kanoe fell over and out. She had tripped in her high heels again. There was a shower of sweat-drops from the Dragons of Heaven.
"And I thought Karen-sanís clothes were um, revealing," Sorata mumbled, his face pink. Arashi hit him. His face turned even redder.
Kusanagi scratched his head. "What are we waiting for?"
"For the bride and groom to show up apparently," replied Satsuki sourly.
"But who Ė"
Everyone jumped as a majestic fanfare sounded. There was a sound from behind them, like feet rustling against grass. Everyone turned around.
Hokuto stood in between two sakura trees, her sakura blossom dress billowing in the slight breeze. She was shining like a light as she glanced to her left.
Seishirou stepped out from between two sakura trees. His mismatched eyes flicked over the assembly before him. Depending on whether one was a Seal or and Angel, he was greeted with either defensive posturing or wary looks. However the moment everyone got a good look at him they openly gaped. The Sakurazukamori was immaculately dressed in a formal suit of the deepest black with a silken dark red shirt. The waistcoat was patterned red and gold, and the cleanly pressed tie and shiny shoes matched the suit perfectly. A tiny sprig of sakura graced one perfectly pressed lapel held in place with a white dove pin.
The entire contingent went BLINK BLINK.
Hokuto was grinning her head off. "Ready, Sei-chan?"
Seishirou smiled. "Of course, Hokuto-chan."
The Seals were looking confused.
:I thought the Sakurazukamori killed Subaru-sanís sister.: Kakyou asked.
Kamui looked between the assassin and the assassinís victim with wide eyes. "He did," he said slowly.
:They seem to be getting along very well.:
"Can someone please explain to me whatís happening?" pleaded Kusanagi.
"Donít look at me," replied Karen.
Sorata stood up. "I donít suppose you can explain this to us, Sakurazukamori?" he demanded warily, pointing a thumb over his shoulder at the priest and wedding arrangement on the platform.
Seishirou took a step towards them. "Of course. Youíre here to witness a marriage." He had a rather sly grin on his face. He was obviously enjoying the joke and building up the suspense as much as possible, waiting for THE question.
"Whose marriage?" asked Kamui without thinking.
THE question was asked. Seishirouís grin grew wider.
There was a resounding CRASH, similar to a tidal wave as the assembly keeled over.
"What did he say?!" spluttered Kanoe as she pulled herself up.
"Heís getting married?!" choked out Yuuto.
Seishirouís grin was that of a cat whoís been at the cream. He was waiting for THE NEXT question. Beside him, Hokuto was trying to hold in giggles.
It was Kamui again who opened his mouth with THE NEXT question.
"To who?!" he squeaked in a strangled voice.
Seishirou smiled as he glanced off to Hokutoís right.
Later they would wonder if the Sakurazukamori or the dead Sumeragi had planned this entire drama out in advance. The timing of the next entrance was too perfect to be coincidence.
Subaru stepped out of the trees to stand beside Hokuto.
The rows of chairs fell over. The people fell down with them.
Subaru looked at the sea of people lying on the grass and his maniacally laughing sister with a pained expression. He was dressed exactly the same as Seishirou, except in white and red rather than black and red.
"I knew this was a bad idea," he muttered.
Seishirou looked at him. "What, getting married to me?"
Thirteen pairs of eyes were bugging out of their sockets. Subaru tried to ignore them.
"No, letting Hokuto-chan organise the wedding."
The assassin chuckled and draped one arm around Subaruís shoulders. "Look on the bright side," he said, his voice carrying clearly to the gathered assembly. "At least we talked her out of putting you in a wedding dress."
Hokuto pouted. "But he would have looked soooooooo cute!"
"Sumeragi-san and the Sakurazukamori are . . . getting . . . married . . ." Seiichiro said slowly. His eyes went very wide and his glasses fell off.
Yuzuriha blinked several times. "Um," she began in a voice that everyone could hear. "Didnít they want to kill each other?"
"THATíS THE POINT!" yelled Yuuto.
"So the fact that both of them are male has nothing to do with it?" Karen asked.
Yuuto fell over. He wasnít the only one. Extra-large sweat-drops popped out everywhere.
"Iíve heard of crazy situations but this one takes the cake," Kusanagi said, a funny look on his face.
"What kind of twisted imagination comes up with this sort of thing?" muttered Kanoe.
Kamuiís violet eyes were about to fall out. "H-how the hell did this come about?" he stammered.
Seishirou leaned against the bole of a tree as he thought. "Let me think." He brought up a hand and began ticking points off with long fingers. "A crazy ghost . . ."
"Sei-chan!!" Hokuto protested.
". . . a honeymoon suite, pillow fight, some karaoke singing, lots of wine, cigarettes, a bath, ribbons . . ." He looked at Subaru. "Did I get everything?"
"Ice-cream. Chocolate sauce," Subaru said.
Seishirou snapped his fingers. "Ahh, yes, how on earth could I forget that?" He gave Subaru a significant look and a significant smirk that caused the Sumeragi to turn pink.
Sorata clapped a hand over Yuzurihaís ears. Beside him, the Ise priestess was blushing furiously. "I think you two should stop RIGHT there."
Satsuki gagged. "I do NOT want to know," she muttered.
Nataku looked from one person to the next, a confused expression on its face. "I donít understand."
"Someone needs to explain a few things to that bioroid," muttered Karen.
The priest standing on the platform had a strange look on his face as he took in Hokuto and the two men on either side of her. "Wait a moment," he said slowly. "Your brother is getting married to another man?"
"Uh huh." Hokuto gave the priest a devastating smile. "Sweet, isnít it."
The look got stranger. "Knew I should have stayed in bed today," the priest muttered under his breath. In a louder voice, he continued. "All right then. Shall we begin?"
The still-stunned congregation was unable to form a coherent answer. Hokuto grinned, the kind of smile usually seen on inmates of a mental asylum.
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