Hakkai was in his distinctly unhappy place. There were few worse places for him to be, and Gojou was coming up short on plans to save the situation. Not that Hakkai even noticed his friend's discomfort; he had his eye and monocle firmly trained on the cause of his less than cheerful mood.
Normally, she would be a happy sight indeed -- at least if she were alone. However, Yaone was very blatantly not alone, nor was she with her usual companions; and she was dressed to, well not kill, because that would be her default outfit; so how about we say that she was dressed to cause ruin and havoc in the male population. Green silk dress, split to mid-thigh; high heels, and a black bolero jacket that failed to hide the fact that she was curving in a manner suggesting a high quality, form fitting bra hidden underneath her ensemble. She even, heaven help them all, had her hair up in a bun, fastened with tasteful pins that would no doubt become deadly weapons should she need them to.
Hakkai was torn between hoping she would need them, and fearing for her if she did. Because, the one she blatantly wasn't being alone with, was none other than the renegade Toushin Taishi.
Gokuu felt like the meat buns he'd scarfed down just an hour ago, had turned to nuggets of lead inside his stomach. Homura was out on a date. With a girl.
Hakkai's girl. And Kougaiji's girl, too.
How she could do such a thing, was beyond him. He knew both Hakkai and Kougaiji liked Yaone, and he was pretty sure Yaone knew that. She was really smart, after all, wasn't she? So how come she was out on a date with Homura? And for that matter, why the hell was Homura out on a date with Yaone?
If this was Homura's way of telling him he wasn't interested anymore, it was a damn crappy way of doing it. And ... and ... Oh hell no, he wasn't about to spoon feed her that strawberry cream was he?
Gokuu had his question answered when Yaone bent forward and accepted the offered cream, followed by the sound of Hakkai's teeth grinding.
Sanzou was pissed off beyond belief and well into the Twilight Zone. If Homura thought that taking out Yaone on a date and throwing it in their faces was going to win him any points whatsoever, he was dead wrong. Actually, if Sanzou got things his way, the Toushin Taishi would be dead, period. With Gokuu moping and Hakkai about to split at the seams, he just knew the next few days would be absolutely intolerable. Especially since Hakkai splitting at the seams meant that the kappa would become even more useless than normal.
And damn it, he was out of cigarettes again. Fucking useless fags only lasted a couple of minutes each.
"Gokuu, go get me another carton of smokes."
Gojou, while entirely sympathetic to dating Yaone (forget the explosives and the poisons, check out the rack on that chick!), was sinking steadily into a pit of gloom. Livid Hakkai usually lead to Hakkai needing stress relief, and this usually lead to Hakkai dropping his limiters. As desperately sexy he was in youkai form, Gojou would rather avoid just that.
Gojou had issues with being the bottom.
Meanwhile, Homura kept spoon feeding Yaone the most delicious strawberry cream. Neither of them deigned to notice the four travellers who variously glared, stared, ogled and smoked furiously at them.
It had been that renegade Sanzou priest's idea, actually. He had sought out the likewise renegade Toushin Taishi, and listened to him. It was the first time since Rinrei that anyone had ever bothered to truly listen to him, and frankly, in his heart of hearts, Homura doubted that Rinrei had understood much of his ramblings anyway -- he had trouble understanding them himself, and she wasn't all that bright. The attentive and sympathetic ear of a fellow renegade from the Oppressors in Tenkai was a welcome and soothing novelty, and it made Homura inclined to listen to the Sanzou in return.
The polite and humble suggestion to take up dating made sense, and Homura was all in favour of that. And when the Sanzou had offered that he knew of a young lady of impeccable background, exotic beauty and gentle temperament, who really could use some happiness in her life, Homura rose to the occasion as only a Toushin Taishi in all his might and glory could do.
Homura invaded Hotojou again, beat up a variety of guards and wards, only to present the young lady trapped within with a gigantic bouquet of flowers, bright and fragrant. And an invitation to a dinner date.
Shien, who, for all his outward asceticism, was a bit of a gourmet, swore by the menu in the "Dragon King's Head" inn, so this was where Homura had taken his date. Thus far, it was an extraordinary success. Even the arrival of Konzen and his harem hadn't managed to ruin the evening so far. All they did was sit there and stare. Although Tenpou did have that look about him; the one Homura had seen and shied away from when he met the Marshall on his way to smack Litouten around. Well, Tenpou was hardly a menace in his current incarnation, so Homura cheerfully ignored him.
Yaone still couldn't believe it. She was on a date with Toushin Homura Taishi, and it was actually pleasant! The kami was charming and funny and gentleman to the bone. His choice of food and wine was impeccable, and ... it was all so very, very wrong. The worst bit was her lack of guilty feelings. She told herself that the only reason she had accepted the invitation, was to ensure that Homura didn't wreck Hotojou and endanger her loved ones in a fit of anger. Really, in the end it was all to protect her Lord Kougaiji.
Lord Kougaiji, who had never brought her flowers. Or taken her out to dinner. Or read her poetry.
Lord Kougaiji, who always ordered her to look after his little sister while he took Dokugakuji out to do all the fun things.
Lord Kougaiji, who, let's be honest here, had a seriously disturbing fixation on his mother and would never ask Yaone out on a date. If he even knew what a date was.
Still, she had sworn her life and service to him, so live and serve she would! Right now, she was doing it by keeping Homura away from her Master.
After the first taste of the dessert, she firmly decided that there was absolutely nothing wrong with having a good time while doing her duty.
Gokuu was on the verge of despair. The unholy torment of watching Homura feed Yaone was driving him crazy. It wasn't right! Yaone was a girl, and everyone who knew anything about girls knew that they didn't need as much food as boys. Nor did they want much food. Completely bonkers, in Gokuu's humble opinion, but there you go. Girls were a different species, after all. So why was she letting Homura feed her? Why wasn't Homura feeding Gokuu?
Misery, thy name is Monkey.
Sanzou was itching to whip out the harisen and give Gokuu some serious what-for. The teary, puppy-dog "feeeeeed meeeee" look the boy sported was enough to drive anyone batshit insane. Especially since the look was glued to the blasted god, instead of where it was usually directed.
But Sanzou was nothing if not an astute observer of lunatics, and his current observation told him that any sudden movements or loud smacks would ignite pandemonium. Pandemonium, Sanzou groused to himself, was highly unwanted because a) he was tired, b) he had a stress headache and c) there were too many pesky "innocents" around.
Innocents who really deserved to die for being a hindrance to his righteous walloping of the stupid glutton monkey, but Sanzou really didn't feel like dealing with the accusatory glares, stares and barbs from his minions once it was all over.
So instead, he went upstairs, where he a) could lie down, b) couldn't see jumbo-breasts and the cheating slut kami fawning over each other and c) ... Hell if he could think of a c), but who the fuck cared.
"I'm going to bed. Make a noise when you turn in, and I'll kill you."
When Homura conjured up a diminutive white freesia and leaned over to gently fasten it to Yaone's jacket, Hakkai had had quite enough. He stood up so fast that his chair fell over, grabbed Gojou by the arm and proceeded to tow him upstairs post haste.
When Hakkai dragged Gojou off for goddess of mercy only knew what kind of relaxation; Gokuu sure as hell didn't want to know; it left only a dejected Son Gokuu to watch as Homura paid the bill and rose to escort Yaone from the premises.
Gokuu wasn't normally given to envy and other such sad feelings. In fact, he preferred to see happy people around him! But that part of his personality seemed to have slipped out for a late night rendez-vous with someone else's sense of divine mischief, so as he watched them leave, Gokuu thought to himself that they had no right--
--no fucking right to look that happy.
Homura didn't even look at him! And there were no leftovers on their table, either.
Gokuu pushed away from his own table and slunk upstairs too, closing his ears and mind to the growls and whimpers sounding from Hakkai and Gojou's room.
"Sanzou ... I'm hungry."
The sound of a gunshot exploded in the room next door. Hakkai didn't even blink and kept right at exorcising his frustrations, while Gojou was mentally cursing his brother and his brother's boss to Samarkand and back for causing his current orgasmic predicament by failing to keep their woman companion interested.
In a field of flowers, far away from noisy inns and noisier clientele, Yaone and Homura stood gazing at the night sky. There were hand in hand, and counting stars.
When one of the stars fell, they each made a secret wish; that there be more evenings like the one they'd just shared.
Nii congratulated himself on a most inspired experiment gone unbelievably well. The readings he'd got from the Sanzou-ikkou's auras when they watched the dating couple were simply off the charts. So too were the readings he'd got off Kougaiji and his henchman. They were absolutely livid, and, judging from the conversation he'd listened in on (purely for scientific reasons, of course), they had no idea how to deal with this, since Upsetting Yaone was apparently Right Out.
Oh, was it ever good to be Nii Jieny.