Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Ain't making any money. Don't sue.

Archiver's Note: Minor time shifts are denoted by a horizontal rule; Major time shifts by the bar divider.

Author's Note: Spoilers for Soi's past and hopefully Soi was nineteen when she entered the anime. If she wasn't, pretend that she was, otherwise this whole thing'll be thrown out of whack.

C&C Welcome (Please? Even just one lil’ word? I’ll take anything.)


Heavenly Playground

Chapter 3: Seriyuu's triumph, Suzaku's tears - Part 2

By Night~Mare


The small boy picked up a bug and inspected it in the light. He watched as it crawled around in the palm of his hand, then down his arm. He lifted the bug again and set it back in his hand.

"Stay," he commanded the beetle. The bug didn't listen and began crawling toward the boys fingers. Suzaku stifled his laughter as the boy sighed in frustration and put the bug back in his palm.

He was a chubby little boy and short. His black hair was tied back from his forehead by a green strip of cloth and hung loosely about his ears. His eyes were a light blue, and curious about everything.

He was about four now. Suzaku would have seen him sooner except Taiitsukun-sama wouldn't let him after what had happened with Chichiri. She'd told him to wait. So he had and was glad that he did. Mitsukake was so fun to watch. He kept trying to train manners into an insect that didn't pay much attention to him.

The fourteen year old god wanted to watch closer and jumped down from his perch in the tree. Mitsukake looked up sharply and his eyes widened as if he saw him. That was impossible. Babies could see him but could children too?

"Who are you?" Mitsukake asked. Apparently they could. Suzaku quickly folded his wings tightly behind his back and put a hand to the back of his head.

"Nobody important. Why, who are you?" he countered. The seishi stared at him for a minute, then re located the beetle that was crawling up his sleeve.

"My name is Juan. Myo Juan." He crouched and gently set the bug back in the earth. Then he stood. " I go in now. Bye bye."

"Wait, can't you stay out here a little longer?"




"So we can get to know each other."

"Why?" Suzaku couldn't think of a good reason for that.

"Please?" he asked. The four year old nodded and stared at him. His blue eyes expecting him to say something. Suzaku ran a hand through his hair. Mitsukake wasn't very talkative was he?

"Hey, where's your kitty?"

"I don't have a kitty."

"You don't?"

"No." That was strange. He specifically remembered making a neko for him. Of course he'd made it when he was older and sad. Now he was young and happy. He probably didn’t need the neko yet.

"Do you know the legend of the miko?" Suzaku asked, for lack of anything better to say.

"Hai…there are…," he looked at his hands and spread his fingers, " one, two, three, four, five, six…seven stars," he said, holding up eight fingers. Then he blinked and put one down. " Seven. Seven stars equal seven seshi."

"Seishi," he corrected gently.

"Hai, seishi. Seven seishi to protect one miko. Miko saves kingdom by gaining power."

"Your right."

"I know."

"What would you do if you were a seishi?" The boy shrugged.

"Do you want to be a seishi?" The boy shrugged again.

"Juan? Juan come back inside the house," his mother called.

"Bye bye," Mitsukake said and turned away. Suzaku smiled. He didn't talk much…but he liked him anyway. He was nice…and gentle. The phoenix began to walk away.

"Who were you talking to out there Juan?"

"Suzaku," the boy answered simply. The red head froze. He had…. But how…. He hadn't let on…. If Taiitsukun-sama found out about this he would be able to see his next seishi until he was twenty. Maybe if he got out of there fast enough.

He launched himself into the air and changed into phoenix form. He flew as fast as he could back to the mountain. A white tiger was lying on the top and eyed him calmly as he landed.

"Hey Byakkie-kun I…"

"You shouldn't have been in such a hurry little one." Suzaku winced.

"I'm in trouble aren't I?"


"Who told, Seriyuu? That baka lizard breath! I'm gonna…"


"Nani? Genbu? But I didn't see him."

"I know."

"Suzakuseikun, I know you're here." Taiitsukun-sama's voice drifted up to them.

"Wish me luck," Suzaku whispered.

"All the luck in the world wouldn't help you now."

"I know."


Seriyuu watched as the boy twirled with his little brother in his arms. Even while holding a child his movements were graceful. His lithe body twisted like a snakes and his silvery black hair curled around his shoulders.

He was one of the more beautiful seishi. Especially without all that garish make up on. Tomo loved his family very much. That was obvious. He hung on them and depended on them. They were poor, yet they still seemed happy. The dragon could understand it however. Simple mind, simple pleasures.

Even with the hard life they led, Tomo wasn't strong enough. He acted like a little boy still. Thinking of the present rather then the future. Not even knowing what he was or caring. That was all right for some children, but not for Seriyuu shichi seishi.

Well…Seriyuu would just have to change that somehow. The first thing he would have to do was separate him from the thing that was hindering him. Namely his family. It was doubtful that the emperor would attack this village. The capitol was doing well this season.

The god had to take it into his own hands. The question was…what could he do? He smiled as he had an idea. He concentrated his chi, making his human form appear to be a normal human. It was hard for him, he didn't have enough humanity in him to do it as Suzaku did.

He managed it after a while. He reached up and felt his ears. They had turned into the alien round human shape. He looked at his hands, they were small like that of a seven year old. He smiled, his disguise was perfect. He slouched a bit, imitating the stance of a human boy. He knocked loudly on the door. He despised lowering himself like this, but he needed to in order to pull the trick off.

The door opened and Tomo's father stood there.

"Is Chuin there?"

"Hai, who are you?"

"He'll know me." Seriyuu said shortly, annoyed this man was interfering. The man stared at him strangely, then looked over his shoulder.

"Chuin, someone's here for you," he called. The seishi came to the door and peered around his father.

"Hai?" the boy asked. His voice was soft almost like a girls.

"You know me," he told him. Tomo blinked slowly and half recognition flooded his eyes.

"H…hai. I do."

"Come with me, I have something to show you." Then he turned and walked away, knowing the human would follow him. As expected he heard quiet footfalls behind him. He led the young seishi to the banks of the river and stopped before the water. He let Tomo come up beside him.

"Is this what you wanted to show me? I've seen the river many times before."

"Don't be stupid," the dragon snapped, " of course I didn't come just to show you the river. You know you're a seishi." It was a statement of fact rather then a question.

"Hai. I've known for a while. What does the river have to do with it?"

"There's something here for you. To help you."


"In the mud."

"Ke ke ke, the mud? That's funny. Ke ke ke. What would possibly be in the mud?" Seriyuu whirled around to glare at him and the boy was silenced.

"It's there. Find it. I'll be back." He stalked away without a word. Ugh. He hated interacting with humans. They were disgusting. Almost as bad as Nyan-nyan's in their own way. He would prefer if the world wasn't populated with them or he didn't have to interact with them. Unfortunately things didn't work that way.

He easily slipped back into his god form. It was so much easier to change back. He went into the seishi's house and looked over his family. They were worried about Tomo. The woman even begged the man to go after him, sensing something was wrong. The man gently brushed her off, saying it was probably nothing.

Seriyuu approached the little boy, Tomo's little brother. He looked up at him, his eyes wide and round.

~You hear me?~ The boy nodded once. ~You like dancing?~


~Do you see that lantern on the hook above the chair?~ The small boy looked.


~Knock it over and you'll see dancing like you've never seen before.~ The boy nodded enthusiastically and hobbled off. Seriyuu went from the house, and used his chi to firmly shut the windows and doors.

He turned his back to the house, and folded his arms. He knew Tomo would come back. He sensed as the house burst into flames, but didn't turn around. He really didn't care.

Tomo was coming from the river. He saw the house and broke into a run, Seriyuu noted that his hand was clenched around something and he smiled. Good, he had found it. The seishi was going to run past him. The dragon held out an arm stopping the boy.

He looked at the boy's face. The light of the fire was dancing in his golden eyes. Tears slipped unheeded down his cheeks and Seriyuu rolled his eyes. The boy would have to grow up sooner then later.

He continued to hold the boy back until the fire had finished its job. Tomo collapsed to his knees, his hair swinging into his face. He cried, loud, grating sobs that got on the dragons nerves. He let the boy cry though, as much as it annoyed him. If humans suppressed their emotions too long they tended to become warped and the last thing he needed was a warped seishi.

"Great Seriyuu…," the boy whimpered, " bring them back to me. Please. Bring them back."


"Please! What do I have to do?!" the boy wailed.

~What do you have to do? Survive. You should be glad that I'm making you powerful Tomo. You should be grateful.~

"I won't be grateful! Not until I get them back! It's not fair!"

~Life isn't fair.~ The boy began to cry again. Seriyuu shook his head and left him behind. Humans…what could Suzaku possibly see in them?


The Nyan-nyan's giggled around him. Suzaku tried to keep his own laughter in and put a finger to his lips, telling them to be quiet. The girls stifled their laughter, although not very effectively. He formed his hands around the girl shape, molding it to fit in with the rest. The Nyan-nyan giggled again and took turns adding chi to their new sister.

"Suzakuseikun where are you?" Taiitsukun-sama's voice drifted through the halls. The green haired girls laughed.

"No where Taiitsukun-sama," he called back.

"Suzaku…" There was a warning tone to her voice. It was closer too. He quickly brought the Nyan-nyan to life and shoved it behind him.

"In here Taiitsukun-sama." The door opened and the woman looked at him suspiciously.

"What are you doing?"

"Playing," Suzaku said innocently.

"Playing," the Nyan-nyan echoed.

"Remember what I told you about making one more," Taiitsukun-sama said, " this is just a warning."

"Hai Taiitsukun-sama. If I make more I'll have to spend a day in time out, but I didn't make one more."

"Didn't make one more," the Nyan-nyan said again. Then one giggled and clapped her hands. " Made twelve more!" Suzaku winced. Uh-oh. Taiitsukun-sama shot him a look that would have made Genbu run for cover.

The boy changed into a phoenix and dashed out of the open window. He felt an enormous amount of energy behind him.


Byakko yawned and absently watched as his youngest brother went flying by surrounded by Taiitsukun-sama's chi. The twelve year old phoenix smacked into the side of a mountain that happened to be in the way. The tiger winced a little, that was going to leave a bruise.

He stretched, yawned, rolled over, and went back to sleep. His brother would never learn to just get out of the way. Byakko roared in annoyance as two dozen pairs of little feet ran over him.

"Suzaku hurt! We fix fix! We cure cure! We Nyan-nyan!" He glared after the little girls. Dammit, if his brother didn't stop making those annoying little people he would chi blast him.


The dragon flew over the trio on horseback. His attention specifically focused on the young blue-clad soldier in the middle. Nakago, thirteen now, a very young soldier indeed, but he looked older. Much older. His eyes especially aged him. They were cold blue and knew far too much that any child should know.

The emperor's whore. That's what they called him behind his back. Seriyuu had led Nakago so he'd overheard the remark several times. It was slowly making the boy stronger. Very slowly. He seemed to refuse to close his heart. Well, changing humans did take time after all. So at the moment he left that alone.

He was intending to use him now. It was for another seishi, a younger one, Soi. She had come from a well-to-do family. Seriyuu had made sure disasters had befallen the shipment of their merchandise and ill-luck had followed them. They had become so poor, they had been forced to sell their daughter to keep the money coming in.

Unfortunately he hadn't counted on the man who brought her. He was mean and vicious and would break her spirit rather then strengthening it. A broken spirited seishi was of no use to him. He led the blond seishi to the place where the man was slapping the girl, trying to get her to cooperate.

"I paid good money for you from you're parents, and you can't even take you're clothes off in front of a customer?! Cooperate you little brat!" the man snapped. Without any prompting Nakago dismounted, strode up behind the man and brought his fist down on the back of the man's neck. He collapsed onto the ground and the young girl stared up in wonder at her rescuer.

"Arigatou," she whispered. There was something in her voice that Seriyuu recognized quite well. It was the same tone he heard from Suzaku many times. The human was in love! Or if not quite yet, there was the strong potential. Soi was in love with Nakago, simply because he'd saved her? That was utterly ridiculous.

"Nakago, what's keeping you?" a soldier snapped. Without a word the blond turned and got back on his horse, leaving the girl by herself. Seriyuu rejoined him, knowing that if the girl didn't have enough sense to run away she'd never be strong.

~You can use her. When you see her again. She loves you.~

"I will not see her," Nakago whispered, "and if I do, I won't use her. I won't use others…"

~Why not? Granted she is a seishi, but she is still subordinate to you. You can have her utter devotion with just a few words or gestures.~


~Fine. If you're not willing to do whatever it takes, then you don't deserve to be called Nakago. Stay as you are and be the emperor's whore for the rest of you're life. You're not suited to be a Seriyuu shichi seishi.~


He curled his legs around the statues golden neck, and hung from it, upside down. He folded his arms and inhaled the incense at the statues base. He loved the smell of incense, it was like sugar milk for his nose.

Suzaku closed his eyes and smiled. He loved this room. It had been the south throne room, where he'd first claimed this country. It had been converted into a shrine. He hadn't been here in quite a while. He hadn't been able to sneak out until now. He'd had the Nyan-nyan's set up a diversion.

He really should go look for his seishi. He was sixteen now, so that meant two of them had been born. He would, after he hung here for a while. He heard the shrine door opening and cracked open an eye. The emperor entered. The phoenix closed his eye again.

He didn't like this emperor much, pompous old wind bag. He cared more about appearance then he did about running his kingdom. People were becoming destitute under his rule and all he could concentrate on was whether or not he had the money to afford a summer wardrobe.

"Seikahun, Seishuku, you may enter."

"Hai lord father," two voices chimed. Suzaku opened both eyes and watched the boys come into the room. The oldest was pretty. His light hair was swept back in a tight knot at the back of his head and his dark eyes shone in the candle light. He was around ten or so.

The youngest was six, his darker hair was held back by a simple piece of cloth. His eyes were wide and golden. He was beautiful, and was young enough to be able to see him. He grinned and waved, the boy didn't react. Well that was strange.

Both boys knelt before their father in front of the statue.

"Do you know the legend behind this shrine Seikahun?"

"Hai father," the oldest said, "Suzaku entered here in brilliant glory, announcing that this glorious land was his." The phoenix grinned. Brilliant glory…he liked that kid. It had been a pretty good entrance after all.

"Do you know why I brought you here?"

"Because one of us is a Suzaku shichi seishi," Seishuku said.

"Wrong," Seikahun said, "I'm the Suzaku seishi. The legends say the crown prince." Then again, maybe he didn't like that kid so much.

"They say the seishi shall be the crown prince not the crown prince shall be the seishi."

"Of course brother," the oldest said, sarcasm dripping from his tongue. "You with the knowledge of ages were right to correct me."

"Gomen, but that is what they say."

"I'm sure he knows that Seishuku," the emperor said, "and if you cannot hold you're tongue, I think you are still to young to be in the shrine."

"As you say lord father." Suzaku's mouth dropped open in outrage. That…pompous…arrogant…human! And the crown prince wasn't much better. Seishuku bowed once to the statue and went to leave the shrine. Suzaku unhooked his legs from the statue, falling flat on his face on the floor. If only he could land like Byakko. He jumped to his feet, shook himself off and followed the young boy out the door.

The boy led him outside into a beautiful garden. He stood before a small pond and stared into it, admiring his reflection. This was Hotohori, Suzaku realized. He recognized his eyes, those golden eyes were hard to forget.

He wondered why the seishi couldn't see him. He absentmindedly reached out and brushed a silky strand of hair from the boys face. Hotohori sighed heavily, and folded his hands in his sleeves.

"My brother is the seishi," he murmured to himself, "that's what everyone seems to think. My sister is useful, because she will marry into an important family. But what am I here for? What is my purpose?"

"You don't have a purpose. I think you're a mistake," came a new voice. Suzaku looked up sharply to see a girl. She was young as well.

"I have to be here for some reason Yanan."

"You're only talent is being beautiful. Maybe you should have been born a girl." Hai, Suzaku thought, and maybe you should have been born a dog. You certainly act like one. He realized that was a bit harsh to think, but he didn't care. He didn't like to see anyone teased like that.

"You're just upset because your husbands father would rather you looked like me, then yourself." The sixteen year old god giggled. For all his calm guise, Hotohori appeared to have a serpents bite.

"Apologize right now or I'm telling lady mother!"

"Suzaku forbid," the young prince muttered.

"I warned you," the girl hissed, and stomped away. Hotohori bowed his head. He seemed so lonely. Suzaku kneeled before the young prince and changed himself into his mortal form.

" It is an honor to see you, You're Majesty," he said respectfully. Hotohori jumped.

"Oh. Gomen, I didn't hear you come up."

"I have very quiet feet."

"Hai… you do. You may rise." The phoenix rose to his feet. He looked down at the six year old and couldn't keep the smile from his face. Hotohori returned the smile, more so in his eyes. "What is you're name?" Uh-oh. He couldn't tell him his real name.

"Tori Kijutsu."

"What brings you to the palace Tori?"

"To see the future emperor of course."

"Gomen nasai, but he is in the shrine."

"You mean you are not the crown prince?"


"How do you know?"

"I…don't, but that's what everyone thinks."

"Do you think that?" The boy was silent a moment.

"I do."

"You're lonely aren't you?"

"Hai. My parents do not seem to care about me as much as they do my other siblings. Perhaps it is because I serve no purpose. My brother treats me like a child and my sister treats me like a rival. My only value is my beauty…no one can see the real me. But what happens when my beauty fades? Then what will become of me?" His voice rose in pitch with the last sentence and tears streaked down his young face.

Suzaku pulled the six year old to him in a tight hug. Even though his wings were invisible, they were still there and he wrapped them around the boy as a shield from the outside world. Now he understood why Hotohori hadn't been able to see him in his god form. He was too old inside. He was at least thirteen or fourteen in his soul. Already worried about the future when he had yet to live the present. It wasn't fair that he should be like this.

There was only one thing to do to make it right. The miko. He needed to find a miko that would see past Hotohori's golden outside beauty to the porcelain beauty inside. A beauty that was fragile…and could disappear if neglected for too long.

But the young seishi had to help himself as well, for the miko wouldn't be there for a while…and Suzaku didn't want his true beauty to fade before she got there.

He let go of him with one arm and used his free hand to tilt his face up.

"Your beautiful…you know that?" The boys golden eyes became even more sad.

"Hai…I know."

"Your kind, and sweet and you want to be fair and try to please both sides. Your also intelligent and stern, not to mention quick witted. You're a sword made out of flowers…or apple blossoms with sharp edges." A smile passed over Hotohori's face and he laughed a little.

"You speak nonsense, apple blossoms don't have blades."

"No they don't. Which makes you so special. You're one of a kind. I mean you are pretty outside…golden eyes, silken hair…but it takes more then beauty to be an emperor. You know what it takes?"


"You." Hotohori smiled again, a tiny fire flickering in the depths of his golden eyes. Suzaku let him go and the two stared into the pond.

"May I call you Kijutsu?"

"Hai…if I can call you Hotohori."

"But I'm not Hotohori. Hotohori is a seishi. My brother is the one most likely to be Hotohori."

"Oh? And who told him that? I know Suzaku didn't."

"No...he didn't. Which means…perhaps I might be the seishi as well. Hai…Hai, you may call me Hotohori. I have as much of a chance. Do you think Suzaku would pick me?"

"Definitely. What would you do if you saw Suzaku right now?"

"I don't know. Besides being awed beyond belief. It depends on what he says."

"What if he said that you were his seishi and that he is proud of you and loves you?"

"I would probably say arigatou then faint dead away!" The redhead laughed. If only he knew.

"Kijutsu, do you live in the city?"

"No. I just visit from time to time."

"Would…would you like to stay? In the palace? I'm sure you're family would enjoy it and you would too!"

"Gomen nasai Hotohori, I can't. Arigatou for the offer though."

"Why not?"

"What place would I have here?"

"Perhaps you are a Suzaku shichi seishi as well. I mean if I could be one, so could you. Then we could…be friends." Suzaku heard voices on the wind and knew the brat sister was coming back with the empress in tow.

"We will always be friends, but I have to leave. I'll tell you what. I will live in there," he lightly poked Hotohori's chest, " and you will live in here," he placed a hand over his own heart, " then we will always be together. Deal?"


"I'll see you at you're coronation!" Suzaku said, walking away, " Oh…and tell your sister I said, thupp." Hotohori giggled.

"Hai. I will."


Suzaku left the palace and roamed the streets in boy form. He liked it, liked being among his people. They went about their daily lives and didn't pay attention to the young boy in their midst's. That was what he wanted anyway.

He had better be getting back soon. Taiitsukun-sama would kill him if she found out he had gone. He didn't see why she always got so angry. He wasn't interfering with his seishi's lives. He was interacting with it. There was a difference. Of course she couldn't see it that way.

He heard the sound of childish laughter and followed it. A woman and her child were at a shop. Outside the shop were black kettles of various sizes. The child sat on a large, overturned one while the woman and the vendor argued. Every once and a while the girl would giggle. He came closer.

She was a little girl, five or so. Her hair was dark purple and her eyes a sparkling brown. That wasn't a she! That was Nuriko. He was a pretty boy, almost too pretty to be a boy. Not that he minded.

The woman handed the money to the vendor. Then she walked by the pot.

"Come Ryuuen. We're leaving."

"Leaving Ryuuen!" Nuriko called, rapping on the top of the kettle, then he jumped off. Suzaku blinked in surprise as the kettle grew legs. Nani? Curious he approached it and knocked on the top.

"Cut it out Kourin! It's loud in here," came a muffled voice.

"It's not me Oniisan," Nuriko said," it's a stranger."

"Nani?" The pot settled to the ground, then lifted and a boy crawled out from under it.

"See. He did it," Nuriko said pointing. Suzaku blinked…the boy looked just like Nuriko. They could be twins…except the boy looked about a year older. Then he noticed the beauty mark under the older boys left eye. That was Nuriko. So who was the smaller boy.

"Who are you?" the real Nuriko asked.

"Huh? Oh Tori Kijutsu."

"I'm Chou Kourin and that's my oniisan Chou Ryuuen. My father is a tailor and we have a shop down that way. And know what? My oniisan is a Suzaku shee chee seshee."

"Shichi seishi," Suzaku corrected.

"Hai! That's it! I bet your oniisan isn't a shichi seshee!"

"Kourin, hush. Gomen, but she's a bit of a blabber mouth."

"I am not!"

"I don't mind," the phoenix said with a smile. " How do you feel about being a seishi?"

"I don't know. I don't think about it much. I have my hands full with this demon," he said, putting a hand on his sisters head. Kourin folded her hands on her hips and mock glared at her brother. He grinned and hugged her. " But she's a pretty little demon."

"Hai, she is."

"Ryuuen! Kourin! You can play later! We need to get home," their mother called.

"Gomen, but we have to go," Nuriko said, picking up the pot, " see you later ne?"

"Hai! Come to our shop! I'll show you my new doll…Father got it for me and it's all white and…"

"Kourin, we've gotta go. Hop in, I'll give you a ride." Kourin giggled and climbed in the pot.

"Kourin stew!" she chirped. Suzaku grinned as he watched them go. They loved each other…even more then siblings usually did.

"Hop in, I'll give you a ride," said a mocking voice behind him. Suzaku turned and glared at Seriyuu. His brother was in his god form, smirking.

"What are you doing here lizard breath?"

"Just taking in the sights. Checking out the competition.

"What do you mean competition?"

"You're drawing attention to yourself birdbrain. Remember, I'm invisible…you're not."

"Not for long! Just wait 'till I change back lizard breath…I'll…" Seriyuu held up a warning finger.

"Ah, ah little brother. You can't do that. Not in front of all these mortals. Taiitsukun-sama wouldn't approve, and she's already mad enough at you as it is." The phoenix winced.

"You mean she knows?"

"No…but she will. For the time being though…you're powerless." Suzaku clenched his hands into fists but knew his brother was right. Taiitsukun-sama would watch over him personally if he changed, then he'd never be able to visit his seishi.

His brother walked just above the street…hands folded in his robes. What the redhead wouldn't give to chi blast that smug look right off his face. They were coming closer to Nuriko and Kourin.

"Leave them alone Seriyuu," Suzaku hissed.

"Oh I think not. You can't stop me birdbrain. This is a golden opportunity."

"I'll tell Taiitsukun-sama!"

"I'm terrified. Really. Besides, she said you couldn't interfere with them. She said nothing about me."

"Come here you little brat," a new voice snapped. A hand reached out and grabbed Seriyuu by the back of the neck. Suzaku felt sharp nails digging into his skin and found himself being lifted into the air. He looked up and grinned.

"Konnichiwa Genbu! What are you up to?"

"Babysitting that's what! The last thing I need is Taiitsukun-sama mad! All the Nyan-nyan get scared and guess who's room they charge into?!"

"Put me down shellface!" Seriyuu demanded, squirming in the eldest's grip.

"Not until you behave!"

"I don't have to behave!"

"If you don't I'll tell Taiitsukun-sama about what your doing to your seishi."

"What's he doing?" Suzaku asked.

"None of your business birdbrain."

"Looks like lizard breath really does like humans." Seriyuu's eyes narrowed and he inhaled.


Genbu sighed as his youngest brother was consumed with chi fire. If only they would grow up. He wished they would stop disobeying Taiitsukun-sama. She was hard to placate and if he didn't placate her no one would get any rest. His brothers continued to squirm and shout at each other in his hands.

He wanted to take a nap, which he couldn't do if he had to keep keeping an eye on them all the time. There was only one thing he could do. He calmly cracked their heads together, rendering both unconscious.

He closed his eyes and smiled. Ah, sweet silence. He tossed the limp phoenix on a passing cloud. As annoying as the bird was, he wasn't much of a trouble maker. He went back to Mount. Taikyoku, tossed Seriyuu in his room and locked the door.

He went to his own room and sat in the darkness for a bit. He was hungry, but not for food. Damn the girl anyway. He had chosen her to be the miko and then she had the audacity to try and stop him from devouring her. Then she had gotten herself killed.

Genbu laid back on the bed and pulled the covers up to his chin. He barely felt like anything anymore. He wasn't a full god since he had not been able to devour his miko and he wasn't a tortoise either. He was both and neither and it hurt his head to think about it.

He sighed again, then closed his eyes and fell asleep.


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