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 Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:22 pm

"You shouldn't put down your date night like that," Hikari teased as she pulled the door open and slipped in. "It'll give me a bloated ego and I may be lead to think you were holding back for the first night."

"That would be because I was," Makoto smirked at her and put the car into gear, waving to Sora and Moriko who were on the porch watching them leave, and once he turned around he let out a long sigh, "I was testing the waters before, but now that things are actually legit and underway, I can relax a bit and let go. That brings me to my very first question, before we even get to our destination...just /what/ are your boundaries? No last name until third date, if I remember right...but what /other/ rules do you have? What are your stages? I want a bit more insight as to what I've gotten myself into."

"Ah, you want a cheat sheet." Hikari's eyes sparkled in delight, as she cackled. "Let's see. You're allowed to kiss me and hold me and cuddles are practically a have-to. Sex isn't until I know you for about a month /and/ Moriko and Sora accept you. If they like you, then this whole dating scene can be easy as wind. If they /don't/ like you, then I don't care if you're my soul mate or not, I must dump you. They're my children. I put them first."

Makoto held no worries about that last part. Sora liked him well enough so far and if Moriko ever got mad at him he could go through Hakkai to figure out the problem and promptly fix it. As for the others...no sex for a month. He had already become quite more acquainted with his hand than he had been before. The /outfit/ she wore would certainly serve for more fantasies to enjoy. He just hoped by the end of the second week, he'd be able to add physical memories, like more passionate kisses and body caresses, to his mental fap-material. "So...I could possibly kiss you so hotly, so intently, and then leave you wanting for more because of the no sex rule. You could do the same. So mean," he gave her a sidelong glance with a smirk, "I'll add a rule of my own, then, to level the field. No naughty touching...you can't grip my balls to tease me, and I can't fondle you in any way. Of course, I'll /always/ let you rub those lovely, slender hands over my chest."

Hikari grinned, "Oh, I like that. Save something for the bedroom." She nodded. "I can handle that. Let's see, what else do I have for you..." She tapped her long finger against her chin in thought. Her eyes gazing off in the distance. "This goes for both of us, if any question or any action makes us uncomfortable, we have the right to say no and it has to be obeyed. Other than that, I think it all depends on what happens tonight that determine the rules of the game."

"Fair...totally fair," Makoto grinned and nodded, and focused on the road for a time as they went down the winding paths from the mountain. Once on level ground again, and more weaving through streets than anything, he flashed her a grin, "I hope you're starving. We passed this place on our way up here. I could smell the food from the window and almost begged Hakkai to stop so we could eat." They rounded a few more lanes and corners and once they went around one, he groaned as they were hit with a wall of grilled fish and beef smells. "Here we are! I looked them up and they actually have a variety of food. If you're chicken like Kouryuu, you could eat a salad, and chow on fruits," he said and gauged her reaction. He figured he would be doing that a lot tonight.

"I like the smell of the fish," Hikari said with a smile as she was hit with the scent. "It's been a while since I had some. I'm supposing your someone that likes the beef?" She asked curiously as they got out of the jeep to head in. The restaurant glowed with a warm orange and yellow light invitingly. She could hear music trying to entice customers to come inside as well as the warm smells.

"I enjoy all sorts of things. Salmon is good, tuna sushi is delicious, but yeah...nice, juicy beef is fantastic," he hummed happily as he found a parking space and they got out. He managed to get around to her side and open her door before she could, and took her hand to ease her down as there was usually a hop down and he didn't want her heels to cause her injury. They walked over to the entrance and bowed to the host, who eyeballed Hikari. Makoto's knee-jerk reaction was to growl possessively, but he swallowed it and gave his name. The host looked at his list and nodded before leading them into the restaurant. Only, it was just through. He brought them back out on the other side into a gorgeous garden with little private alcoves where there were built-in grills. That was where most of the smell was coming from. They were led to one and given menus to look over for their choices of meat, and the host explained the salad bar where fruits and vegetables were was just inside.

"Thank you," Hikari said to the host as he left, a small smile and a wink given to her as he walked away. She pulled in her chair and looked out at the garden. It was just beautiful. She could see Moriko loving every bit of it. "Moriko would know all the names of these plants and how to care for them." She said conversationally. "She has a gift with that."

"Really? That's awesome. I know Hakkai likes plants, too, but I'm not sure if he would know the same things," Makoto admitted, making a mental list of what to cook, "Hey, by the way don't worry about prices at all. If you want to drink, too, go right ahead. I just can't because I'm driving, but I don't mind if you do."

"Hm, just a glass then." Hikari smiled warmly as she leaned in, grinning at him. "I'll go ahead and start getting the know you process. Why are you an exorcist?"

"Ah, is it time for the life story?" Makoto snorted and shook his head with a chuckle, "Well...I guess you could say the beginning of my life was rather...uneventful. The usual crap for being a demon, but otherwise...pretty plain and boring in comparison to the sob stories of the rest of my teammates. I was a tough, macho kid, believe it or not. I caused a bunch of my own battles."

He rolled his eyes, "That continued into my late teenage, young adult life. I got myself into some trouble...a real bad spot...and I couldn't get out. I reached my breaking point, and I...killed them all. At /least/ twenty demons. That got me into a whole new world of hurt. I was on the run. Then I crossed the Sanzo team...ah, that's his Buddhist name or some crap. I thought they were going to kill me...but then they helped me. Taught me some tricks and we hunted the hunters. It's been...more of a repayment thing than anything else that I'm with them."

"That's an interesting thing." Hikari hummed her agreement. "I heard from plenty of sources that said demons both fear being on the edge of their sword, and enjoy it. Mostly because they're more compatible for second chances than most teams would give. Bad because of how tough they are." She shook her head. "Have you ever heard of the Magician? Do they affect your work in any way?"

"I...vaguely remember that name. I didn't seek the person out...but they somehow found me. Very mysterious...helped me escape the ones hunting me, which helped me find my team," Makoto shrugged, and when their waiter came over, he wished they was actually a female one. The host had just given Hikari glances in a sort of appreciative manner, which he couldn't fault, because she was amazing. This guy...it was like he was eating her with his eyes and it made him want to punch him. It didn't help he was basically ignored, the waiter scoffing at him when he raised his voice. When all of their orders were made for sake and meat, he was glad when the fucker was gone, "Please tell me you noticed that," he said quickly.

"Him looking like a doe-eyed maniac and looking at me like I'm something toe eat? I noticed." Hikari rolled her eyes, but the smile faded from her face. "It's something to get used to I'm afraid. I'm good looking, undoubtedly, but it gets creepy and disheartening. One of the many reasons why I didn't seek out my soul mate. I didn't want to deal with them being...one of those."

"I'm so very glad that I am not," Makoto had liked sitting across from her while they talked, but after that...he stood up and walked around to sit beside her instead. They had some time to wait so he slipped his arm around her shoulders, "You are definitely dressed provocatively as well. Had you been alone at a bar, guys would be all over you. I'm with you now, though, on a date, and I'm going to make sure this ends up being as amazing as possible."

"Now you're setting high expectations." Hikari laughed. "You really /are/ fire. One minute your flames are low enough to be embers, the next they're high enough to be considered a bonfire." She shook her head, but scooted her chair closer and allowed herself to lean into him slightly. "The guys might climb all over me because of how I'm dressed, but you don't have to worry about protecting little ol' me. I used to be an exorcist so I know how to fight if needed." She winked at him. "Something you and I have in common."

Makoto tilted his head curiously, "You were? Before Sora? Is that another reason you're so attached?" he let his hand trail along her arm, enjoying the softness of her skin, "It's only fair if I get a glimpse into your life story, if you don't want to tell me everything."

"I used to be really good at it, had my own team. We were called Avalanche. It sounds strange, but it was a good name. We were a group of demons who were just...tired of our lives. We wanted to erase what blood our kind did. Sure there's good demons, but back when I was an exorcist, it wasn't like that. Demons were synonyms for evil and no one was good. I was a big believer in doing the right thing, in making sure that my kind were defended. But I realized, when I saved Sora from her family, that it was the human's revenge. Make me fight against my own kind in order to make them think we can be good again, it was irony at it's finest and we were so stupid. So I made my own revenge. I took Sora and raised her as my own. I taught her how to fight, I taught her how to protect herself, but I also taught her how to be gentle and love. I taught her that a human may be weak, but that they can be just as strong as a demon. That a demon maybe strong, but that doesn't mean that they'll always have to fight. Humans and demons have evil and good on both sides. It's up to us to be able to judge character as well as we can so we don't get hurt."

Hikari sighed in her rambling story as she shook her head. The waiter came back with the drinks. She smiled politely at the flirtatious manner in which the cups and the drinks were handed, though she did notice the slight jealous glare the waiter gave Makoto before leaving. She rolled her eyes but poured the sake.

"Oh geez..." Makoto's eyes were wide, and he took in this new information. She was just so...fuck. He could use all of the cliche words and all, but that wasn't the point was it? She was indescribable. Just his luck that she would be his mate. It made his heart swell, and he clinked with her before taking one swig, "That's all I have. You enjoy the rest," he said sweetly, "We can always drink together another time, like at the bonfire." He set everything up so they could begin grilling their food, and he was glad to find seasonings like pepper, garlic, and even salt under the grill. They focused on cooking for a time, before he spoke up, "So...what happened to your team? Were they upset? Have you had any contact with them since?"

"We split off." Hikari sighed. "When I noted that the humans were using us, two of us decided to go and make a different kind of team. I refused and they were butt hurt. So I didn't bother with my time. However, Lulu...a young girl who was with us...committed suicide." For this, she took a shallow drink and set her cup to the side, allowing Makoto fill it. "She was a gentle soul, and in no way was going to last long as an exorcist. However, she was strong in many other ways. She was compassionate, merciful. Several times throughout our adventures together she kept us from a massacre, she healed what we thought couldn't be healed. She was a miracle worker." She took another drink and took a bite of her food, no longer tasting the strong seasonings. "When she discovered what I discovered of the humans, she couldn't handle it. She really thought she was fighting a good fight. She thought she was making humans see us as something other than monsters. If suicide didn't kill her, her heart would've." She set her food down and pushed the plate to the side for a moment. Her throat tight and tears on the corners of her eyes. "I know that those who split off from us are using her name as a way to get revenge. They use her death as a means of getting it too. Me? When I raise Sora, I raise her with Lulu's love and compassion. Damn that girl was wise. And she was so young...fifteen I think was when she died. Fifteen or sixteen. She had nothing, no where else to go. She could've made it. /I/ could've saved her if I thought to."

Brown eyes softened and were full of understanding, "Things like that...shape how we are in the future. I'm pretty damn sure you wouldn't have liked the asshole I was before I got my ass handed to me and was humbled by defeat and hardship. I would've been that dude who's our waiter." He shook is head, "I guess that's why it angers me more than it should, not /just/ the fact he's staring at you." He stroked her cheek and made her look at him, "I didn't mean to make all of this depressing and bring down the mood. I'm sure Lulu is in a much better place, and is happy that you are doing well in your new life and using her memory for good things. She would've been really proud of Sora."

Hikari smiled warmly as she looked at him. His eyes spoke of sympathetic understanding and his expression didn't betray anything more than concern for her well-being. "Yes, well." She laughed gently. "Since it was my fault to begin with, I'll ask a lighthearted question. For an example, who do you get along most in your team and who do you not?"

There was some thought put into this one as he cooked and ate some of his food. After a long moment, he nodded absently, "I would have to say I actually don't get along with Goujun. He's the one who gives our group orders and stuff. He's always so damn serious and if he does chuckle, it's because of our stupidity. He doesn't put up with any shenanigans when we work with him on any case. Actually, the lot of us prefer him to go do his own thing than to cramp our style. I always get into fights with him because I tell him to loosen the fuck up, and he hates it when I point out that Kouryuu has less of a pole up his ass than he does. Gojyou gets a good kick out of it. Hakkai just sighs all the time, and Goku...is actually very quiet around Goujun, like he's afraid of him. Kouryuu doesn't like it and I find it unnerving."

"One of the few Dragons, so rumor tells." Hikari rolled her eyes. "Well if they're as one-tracked minded as stories say, then it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. I feel bad for Goku though. I hope that Gojuin isn't someone from his past that taunted or hurt him. What about who you get along with most?"

"Goku," Makoto beamed, "I feel like a role-model or something, like I need to set a good example. You probably thought I'd say Gojyou, since we're really similar, but it's mostly just a relaxed nature we have. Sometimes we play around, of course, but that's mostly his thing to play-fight with Goku. I think if I left Gojyou would just shrug and move on. Hakkai, too. He and Gojyou are the closest, I swear, but that might have something to do with their past. Hakkai is more the team adviser and therapy guy. He understands and all, and he might be a little sadder if I was no longer with them. Kouryuu I have an understanding with. I can get on his nerves, but then again, anyone can. He's even threatened Hakkai from time to time when Hakkai has those very /rare/ moments where he's a mischievous little shithead. It's like, every once in a blue moon. It's scary. The most recent was April Fools." He shuddered, "You ask him what he did. I won't speak of it."

Makoto ate a little more before continuing, "Goku...Goku would want to get me back, I'm sure of it. I play with him, I teach him, I temper him...but it's like I'm a rounded person who's a little bit of Gojyou, Hakkai, and Kouryuu all wrapped into one. I can be stern with him if he fucks up just as much as Kouryuu and Kouryuu will actually be grateful for it because he won't be in the mood or something. The first few times it weirded the others out how much Goku listened to me, but over time we came to the conclusion that since he more or less grew up with the others, having an outside new voice pointing stuff out makes him think of things differently and he realizes it's not a joke or 'same old-same old'."

"It's always nice to have that type of view." Hikari laughed. "I should've guessed that Goku would be your choice. You're like an Uncle to him, and he's stated so before when Sora and himself were talking about family."
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:11 pm

Makoto was a bit surprised, "An Uncle? Is that so? He's never really told me that himself," he smiled happily, "I like that. Do tell me your relationship status with Kerica and Rei I'm rather interested in that, as Moriko and Sora dragged them in."

"Kerica is like an Aunt to Sora." Hikari said after a moment of thought. "She's teaching Sora how to draw and do figures so they have a lot in common. Moriko and Kerica seem to have hiking in common, but other than that I'm not sure what else. Reading I suppose. As for myself, I see Kerica as a little sister who gets herself in to trouble because she's oblivious to danger and people sometimes."

A snort, and Makoto chewed thoughtfully on some beef, "I really should get to know your group a lot more. I can't wait for the bonfire. Oh Kami, Hikari! I had an idea! Do you know what the name of that game where you switch chairs after a few minutes? Musical chairs or something? I want to do something like that so we can all make the rounds and talk to everyone instead of parking it at one place and not talking to anyone else the whole time."

"You know that'd be an awesome idea." Hikari laughed. "Everyone talks to everyone and no one is left out in the dark! Rei would like that. She may be closed-lipped and stiff, but she's an interesting conversationalist. I suppose the best way I could describe her for the family is that she's a teacher. Her knowledge is...incredible, and she's an old soul. She sees things in ways that makes my head spin sometimes. She's one hell of a good judge of character."

"That sounds intriguing," he hummed as he tilted his head, "I can't wait to actually sit down with her, that will be loads of fun. Would fifteen minutes a piece be enough? Should we make it thirty instead?" he was giddy, "We should come up with more games to play for Rei's Summer Solstice. She'd enjoy that."

Hikari's heart swelled. It made her deliriously happy that he was thinking of her friend and how to make her party seem more enjoyable. "You're going to spoil her." She teased after a moment. "The talking game seems to be a lot of fun. Maybe after wards, each one has a trivia question about themselves and the person has to get it right. If not, they have to take a penalty. For an example, if you told me what your nickname was, and after I spoke to many different people and the game was over, you ask  me what your nickname was, I have to answer. It'll reinforce what we learned about each other, and keep us connected."

"That sounds freaking fantastic!" Makoto's eyes lit up, "Kouryuu might fuck up, but that's okay. He has his own way of listening. We can't talk to people from our own group, that's cheating as we're always with them, it has to be from the opposite side. Which is why I don't think thirty minutes would be so bad."

"Not at all, thirty minutes is completely reasonable. And those who asked the question get to decide the penalty if the person who answers gets it wrong." Hikari nodded, sipping her sake.

"Well that's settled then," Makoto grinned brightly and they continued to finish their meal.
~+~
Hikari wasn't /acting/ tipsy, but it her face was certainly flushed. It was...sexy. It spread from her glowing cheeks down the expanse of her neck and over her collarbone and chest. Makoto shifted and tried to focus on the road instead. The dinner had ended well, but he had made sure they left enough room for desert. They didn't have it there, though. he grinned as he parked at an ice-cream parlor, and once again helped her out of the car, "We won't be here long, I have one more place to take you. Kouryuu suggested it. I just thought something nice and cool to lower your body temperature from drinking and cooking would be nice."

"It's been a long time since I had ice-cream." Hikari laughed as she got out of the jeep, stumbling a bit from the height and her heels. "And Kouryuu suggested a place? Should I be honored or shocked?"

Makoto steadied her and shut the door, leading her inside, "Honored maybe? He's been there before, and was obviously taken by what he found or he wouldn't have said anything. Anyway...what kind of ice cream do you like? Looks like they make custom cups here. /Oh/, that means I can get real strawberries in mine!" he grinned wide like the Cheshire cat.

"You like strawberries?" Hikari asked curiously as she thought about hers. "I think I'll take a chocolate ice cream with chocolate topping and almonds on top." She grinned a little. "I'm in a chocolate mood. Probably from all that fish and sake you shoved at me."
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:52 pm

"Yes, and strawberry ice cream is my favorite, but I prefer real strawberries or strawberry syrup with it when it's just the flavored kind," Makoto explained and he picked up a bowl before going through the different stations with ice cream flavors galore and toppings. His had two scoops of strawberry, and one straight chocolate, with chocolate drizzle and strawberry syrup with real strawberries on top and brownie bits, oreo chunks, and chocolate chips, "This is going to be fantastic," he was giddy like a child.

Hikari laughed, delighted in seeing how his face lit up. She rolled her shoulders back and dug herself two scoops of chocolate, and went to the hot fudge topping where she put in a generous amount of it on top. She also sprinkled some almonds and followed him to the cashier. This time, she beat him to the bunch and pulled out her money from her clutch. "Oh no sir." She told him in a false stern voice as he tried to stop her. "You paid for a meal and a drink. I pay for dessert. Otherwise, I'd be planning the next date by my lonesome."

"Haha, if you say so," Makoto grinned at her and felt a bit sheepish when his was more expensive, but she didn't bat an eye. They went outside to sit back in the jeep, and he smiled at her, enjoying the privacy they finally had, "I hope you're not disappointed I don't have a more luxurious ride to take you all these places."

Hikari smiled warmly at him and shook her head from side to side. "I like the jeep." She said after a moment as they got comfortable in the car. She smiled as she got as close as she could without making it hard for him to eat. "I don't want luxury." She said after a moment of taking a bite of her chocolately-chocolate ice cream. "I have plenty of it, easily given and taken." She looked at him seriously. "Companionship? A nice night, good food with conversation, and a couple of laughs over drinks? Isn't that rich enough? Isn't this," she tapped the Styrofoam cup, "rich enough? You paid for dinner, you already made your impression. What more could you possibly give when I haven't even tried to pay you back yet?"

"I have a lot more to give, Hikari," Makoto's smile turned tender, reaching out to touch her thigh, but not in a way that meant anything naughty, as promised. He just stared at her in the eyes, "It's nice because you also have a rich personality. The more we've talked tonight, the more I'm glad that you're my mate. I don't want luxury, either. Honestly I was a bit nervous when you said that I have to make a big impression, but you seem to be happy with me so far."

"You made a huge impression, and you went farther than I thought you would." Hikari admitted as she took another scoop of ice cream with her spoon. "I'm going to refuse giving up my estate." She said with a teasing glint in her eye. "Since that's where you and your friends will be living from now on. Or at least a rest-stop while you travel."

"Wait...what?" the maroon-haired man blinked rapidly, "Come again?"

"The girls and I both know that since we're connected, we're going to become weak if we part for too long." Hikari sighed after a moment as she pushed around her ice cream in the bowl. "You'll have to visit in order to keep your energy up. I don't know /a lot/ about how it works, I'm sure Rei does, but I know that much."

"I've heard about it," Makoto nodded, "That...is awfully generous, even if it /is/ practical." He grinned, "I like the thought of having somewhere to go. Thank you," he leaned over and kissed her cheek before going back to his ice cream, enjoying every moment of it.

~*~

The Kiyomizu Temple was their third location, and by now the stars were bright and sparkling. They were standing on the veranda and he had his arm around her waist, "So...how is this?" he asked softly, his mouth by her ear as he whispered.

“I love this,” Hikari smiled as she leaned into his grip. She leaned her head against his shoulder, nesting herself into his collarbone without making it too uncomfortable. The temple was well lit up with lanterns and the stars were shining brightly behind a black background. It made her feel like she was a different person. This made her feel so free. It’s been a while since she felt like that. Though, she’d never tell that to Sora or Moriko. She wouldn’t change anything. “Good pick.”

"Heh...I'll tell Kouryuu you enjoyed his suggestion," he kissed her temple through her soft hair, and enjoyed her natural scent. As he held her loosely around the waist, he nuzzled her neck, "You're not cold in this getup are you?" he asked gently, "Or is my body heat to your back good enough?"

"Nah," Hikari shook her head with a smile. "Though if you want to be chivalrous and offer me a jacket so I can steal it for the night, I'm not saying no." She teased lightly, gently nudging him with her hip. "Your heat's good enough and it's not too cold."

"I don't have a jacket, but..." Makoto chuckled and stepped away to unbutton his grey overshirt and he placed it over her shoulders before hugging her again, this time a little tighter, "Hey...before we do any heavy kissing and so you don't think I'm doing it 'in the moment' as an excuse...would you allow me to make an amendment to the 'no fondling' rule?"

Hikari gave him a flirtatious yet suspicious look as she brought the over shirt close to her. "Maayybe." At his pout, she laughed. "Tell me what it is."

He gave her a boyish, sheepish, lopsided smile, "We can squeeze and slap each other's asses," he made sure she understood it was that they both could do it, and he wasn't making it all about his benefit, "My reasoning...is that /your/ ass looks so squeezable and I just want to know what it feels like to grab it in my palms when we kiss. In turn for you, I'm sure my own ass is quite smackable. Besides, you could get a kick out of shocking me and hearing my squeals." He brushed his lips against the shell of her ear as he said the next part, "Also so I don't incriminate myself and make you angry if we wake up tomorrow morning and you have a solid surprise nestled between glorious butt-cheeks. I will honorable and loyal to the 'no sex' rule, but I intend for us to drink more when I return you to the cabin, and there's no harm in a good snuggle, is there?"

"I can do that," Hikari laughed, wincing a little at how his breath caught in her ear. It was ticklish, and a little arousing. But definitely ticklish. "Alright, we can make that amendment. I also would want you to stay over. It'd be nice to see if we can actually manage to sleep in the same bed."

"Without having a sleep-fight and wake up with bruises? Of course, there's also discovering who's the bigger bed hog and who steals the blankets," Makoto snickered, but he just shook is head and kissed the top of her head. They stared up at the night sky, over the illuminated city below, and just enjoyed each other's presence. He enjoyed how she fit so perfectly against him, even from this position. After a time of just....lovely silence, he whispered, "This makes me happy. I have tried my best to file away every new thing I learn, and I hope I shared enough about me for a first date."

"I think that we shared a good amount." Hikari nodded, sighing happily as she closed her eyes. The breeze felt nice, she was cloaked in his scent, warm like fire. "We have things in common right off the bat, and that's good. We have a strong ground, and that's more than what some soul mates get."

"I don't understand that..." Makoto frowned a bit, "I mean...okay. I told you, back at the grill, that you would have hated the Past Me, right? I like to think that...if I had met you then, and found out that you were my soulmate, I would have tried to change for you, to make you happy. We would've made something work. What do you think?"

"Me?" Hikari was thoughtful. She didn't know much about his past. Just that it was horrid. However, "You know, I'm probably really stupid for saying this. But if the Magician saved you and found you a team...your past self probably wasn't as bad as you make it out to be. I think we would've burned the world together. Maybe we would've fought sometimes, argued. Hell, I bet we will presently. But I think we would've been a good power-couple, you and I."

"I am glad you see it that way," He felt like now was a good time, so he took her hand and spun her around, catching her around the waist and dipping her, staring into her eyes that sparkled in the starlight, "I think I may be starting to fall for you," he admitted to her genuinely, his nose brushing hers, his breath coating her face, and he brought her back up so he could kiss her fully and completely.
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:08 pm

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The girls had gone all out with the Solstice. The pool was lit up already as the sun was dying on the edge of the horizon. Food was laid out in different areas on two long tables. One table was filled with home-cooked meals of America, Italy, Japan, and some Indian and Chinese. The other table was filled with pure Japanese deserts and small biscuits and cookies to eat. There were coolers of Ramune and beer, ice kept cold and unmelted by Hikari’s magic. Music was playing from the portal speakers and from an iPod. Most of it was dance music, a lot of bass and heavy electronic, but there were some dance songs in there that wasn’t so electronically centric.

The streamers that went from the front porch to the nearest of the trees and on top of the fences were colors of red, yellow, oranges and golds. Some of them were braided, some were just free and flapping. Right at the back, not close to the house nor the pool, but still within the fence line was a bonfire already made thanks to Makoto’s magic. It wasn’t huge like the one that they did in their back yard, but it was decent and it made Rei extremely happy. No one paid her any mind as she circled the bonfire about three times, tossing in herbs and salt that changed the fire’s colors from a deep red to a gorgeous blue and green. The smell, though strong, was pleasant enough for everyone.

"Whoa, those are some really cool colors!" Makoto was giddy as he watched his fire warp with the multiple shades, pausing only briefly in his grab for food. he had about three plates on him, two on one arm and the third he was filling with sweets. He wanted to try all of the things so there wasn't much of one or the other, and when he picked his last treat he walked over to sit at his chair, carefully placing his goodies on the grass, "Hey! Do you have any prayers or something that we should say before we eat at all or can I just dig in?"

Rei blinked in shock at Makoto’s thoughtfulness and she shook her head from side to side, adjusting her hat to tip it down forward as if it could hide her face, but she peered at him from under the rim. “No, go ahead and eat. I’m not holding anyone hostage from eating.” She let her hat go and she looked at the fire, scratching her cheek. “You’re a weird one.”

"What makes me weird? That I thought about you and the stuff you do?" Makoto arched a brow, "You must really be shy if that's the case. You must've thought I was crazy for the musical chair thing I came up with too. Are we starting that now or what, anyway?"

"We can." Rei held up a finger to give him a pause. She hurried over to one of the coolers and took three Ramune. "Okay, we can start." She said as she sat down next to him. She peeled off the plastic and popped the marble. "Let's see, topic..." She wrinkled her nose. "Ugh, I don't like picking conversational topics. You pick the topic and I'll flow with you. Whatever it is."

Makoto laughed at her and took a drink she offered, also popping the lid, "Okay...what do you like to do for entertainment? For /fun/, not like, this boring reading crap but like, something more exciting."

Fun. Rei hummed softly as she thought about it. Reading, to her, was fun in it's own right, but she knew what he was going after. "I go to raves and I get lost in elevators." She said after a moment. "Oh and I harbor friends when I need to since they're not always on the good side of things. Drives Kerica crazy. One time we had someone in our closet. I wasn't phased, but she freaked out."

"Wait what? In your /closet/?! Why in your closet?!" Makoto stared at her.

"I have no idea. I think he felt safe there or something. What's really odd is that our apartment was locked." Rei shrugged. "He probably found a bad window and managed to get through, or it wasn't as locked as we thought it was. If I remember right, he was good at lockpicking."

"Why in the hell weren't you freaking out? They could've been a murderer, or some crazy pervert psycho!" Makoto gaped.

"Because if he was a murdering, crazy, perverted psycho, the last place you'd go into is in a closet. That's where the victims hide, not a killer." Rae said patiently. "That being said, that was the only time it happened. Now I just find shelters and make sure they can get in. I only let them in my house if they're badly injured and a hospital is a no go." She clicked her tongue. "Also, the apartment has weapons everywhere. Baseball bats, knives, chairs....and Kerica's demon-hearing which is an amazing alert system."

"Haha, I suppose that makes sense," Makoto shook his head, "Poor Kerica, and you're the one who called /me/ strange," he accused, "Anyway, you mentioned raves before? I don't think I've ever been to one but I hear about them all the time. What are they like? Are they actually like, really sexual or is it just like any other party?"

"They're a bit of both." Rei hummed. "I don't think I seen anything sexual about it unless it was happening in the bathroom. I think that the only thing that can be taken as sexual about it is the lack of clothes that's being worn. The rave style is mostly about kandi, tutu-skirts, kandi bikini bras...so on and so forth. Not that a man would dance in his boxers, but I seen plenty of shirtless guys. What makes the scene a rave though is the pure ecstasy you feel. The bass hits you hard and makes you feel like you're in an earthquake. The lights are blinding and all over the place, but the light show, while giving you a migraine is like a drug trip all on it's own. Raves have they're own family and names, and just for a night, your name is basically anonymous and you can do and b whatever you want. It's a nice...relaxing feeling."

That made Makoto wonder, but he only hummed, "Sounds like a lot of fun. How do you find out where on's happening? Aren't they supposed to be secret so the cops don't bust your fun?"

"Not so secret." Rei smiled gently winking at him. "If you ever want to go, I'll hook you up. Better to go through me than hunting down an Informer or annoying the Magician with those kinds of things. They have more important things to look out for than a rave. Though I'm sure they know where and when they are too."

Snickering, he nodded, taking out his phone, "Give me your shit, then," he smirked as he handed it to her once it was on a blank contacts page.

~*~

"Goku's a nice kid," Hikari said as she sat down next to Kouyruu with her plate of food. It was piled with a lot of fish and small amounts of pasta. She had steered clear away from the dessert table, letting everyone else have a shot at it. Her figure, as much as she worked out, needed some loving attention and that was all going to come from food. "Usually by now I'd be telling you to tell your kid to keep his paws off, but...ah...soulmates. Can't do much about that when Fate hits you in the face."

"No, not really," Kouryuu agreed, popping a piece of American food in his mouth. He found this little game an irritant, but the others seemed to be enjoying themselves, so he'd keep it to himself, "He enjoys playing too much to be too much of a fiend like Gojyou. They'll more than likely go through the motions, friendship, dating, fighting, making-up, but they probably won't get serious in any adult regard besides kissing. That's my two cents. Though, Goku has a habit of doing things unexpected."

"Knock on wood, I want Sora married and bonded before she gets pregnant, Kami." Hikari groaned. "I'm too young to even /consider/ being a grandmother at this age. And you too." She eyed Kouryuu. "So, you're an exorcist yeah? How in the world did you manage to get in /that/ career?"

"Personal story. Rather not talk about it. Anything else?" he dismissed quickly, a bite of Italian his next choice of food. He didn't have any sweets, like her, but more because he didn't care for it.

"How in the world did you get Rei to sing you /praises/." Hikari rolled her eyes. "Oh wait, no I'm sorry. She's /just like you/." She snorted. "Ask me something if you don't want me prying in your life, kid. Otherwise, I'll try to crack open that snail shell you have going on."

"I prefer tortoise shell, thank you, something I can hide in away from people," Kouryuu drawled, "Why modeling? I'm not talking about because you know you got looks. Did you do it because it was hiding in plain sight? Connections? Offer?"

"Ding ding, all of the above." Hikari smiled. "Hiding in plain sight from a couple of people who don't agree with my backing out. I am connected since I got the photographer's daughter out of trouble /and/ I'm good at figuring out if the client's are shady and not and I was offered the job when I was out and about. So, it's a good deal when it's all three. My looks were just a bonus."

"Hmm, well aren't you lucky?" He leaned back in the lounge chair he'd settled in by the pool, watching others swim and he even had on his trunks in case the mood struck, "Are you alright with not seeing Makoto all the time? Some relationships that's a problem."

"We have our own lives to live. Didn't he tell you that I offered my estate as a safe-house for him and your group?" Hikari questioned, raising an eyebrow at him. "It's not much, but you won't have to worry about anything being unstable. The only /problem/ with this tiny little plan is getting Rei to agree. She might not. She...is addicted to where she is now. She hates change. Hates it."

"That's why I said 'all the time', because he did, that still doesn't mean he's going to be there a lot," Kouryuu shrugged, "The lot of us are happy you offered and greatly appreciate it." He glanced at her, "It's not like you are asking Rei to leave her home in Tokyo. Merely suggestion we come crash with you. She still has the option to go home."

Hikari smiled, but then let it fade just a little into a ghost of one. "True." She nodded. "I'm glad that I'm able to help out. I have a lot to offer, but not many people to give it to if that makes any sense." She paused and then eyed him. "What type of soul-mate are you hoping to get?"

"It doesn't matter to me as long as they're the opposite of my current team. /Quiet/," he snorted, watching Goku do a connon-ball and closed his eyes as some of the spray landed on him. He popped a sushi in his mouth this time, chewing on it thoughtfully before speaking again, "I also want her to just /sit/, enjoy my company as I'm engrossed in the newspaper every morning, and doesn't get in my face. In a silent room I can feel their presence and that's all I need to be content. Just /knowing/ they're there. I'm not the best cook in the world, but I'm able to make it edible. I do better with the less ingredients I have and a rough recipe or none. So someone who can actually make a good, savory meal every once in a while to liven up the blandness is always nice. I'm not sure if it's a lifestyle or if it's because I'm that way out of necessity, but I'm happiest when things are simple. Women who twist my words or are otherwise toxic and selfish and beat around the bush making me guess what they want upset me."

Hikari smiled brightly, like she just won an award or something. Before he could say something, or do something that would take it off of her, she decided to press. This had to be something he thought of. "Did you always have the tattoo or did you just recently get it?" She knew that Rei always had hers, but she wasn't going to assume that Kouryuu was always waiting for his dream girl to walk through the door.

"My master, year ago when I was young, told me mine appeared when I was five. Only, it didn't start off as a tattoo, more like obscure birthmarks or bandaids. They didn't start showing detain until I was ten, then they were fully formed when I was sixteen," Kouryuu explained, "I've always been...unusual, and I've just come to accept it. Being brown with or having your soul-tat appear early is nearly unheard of and I know it."

"Oooh!" Hikari grinned brightly. "You know, mine didn't appear till I was seventeen. I thought I got wasted or something and went to a tattoo parlor to get it." She rolled her eyes. "I don't get drunk all that often, so that should've been a sign but stranger things had happened."

"Makoto's never talked about his, whether it appeared early or late," he set his now empty plate away and stretched out fully, arms behind his head as he basked in the cooling night air, "I think our times up."

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:35 pm

"Hey, Goku," Kerica popped up behind the brown-haired boy real close to his shoulder after the groups got up to mix around once their half-hour was up, "How about after we're done we totally dunk Ryuu?"

"He's going to shoot you with a gun." Goku was grinning in mischief. "I don't mind, but you'll have to help. I'm not going to do this alone. He needs to have something interesting happen."

"I can always distract him to get up in the first place and you can jump up and grab his tunks, pulling him off balance into the pool?" Kerica suggested.

"Works for me." Goku nodded. "You and Gojyou would make a team. Too bad kappa's afraid of water though. Otherwise he'd totally be into this."

"I might ask him to help me talk to him," Kerica hummed, "I'll think about it. Anyway! We got half an hour to chit-chat!" she bounced up and down in the pool water, her hair gliding around her, "Do you have anything you want to talk about?!"

Goku was thoughtful. "Where are you from?" He decided to ask the boring question, but at the same time he didn't know /all/ of Japan. She could be from somewhere that he never heard of before.

"I'm actually from the Okinawa island," Kerica smiled at him, "I moved to Tokyo because I hated it there. Not so much the people but...I felt isolated. I wanted more places to go, more people to see! The prejudice against demons didn't stop me. I acted and looked normal enough, so people didn't bother me too much. I've been in more than one fight, though."

“I really hate that humans see us so differently.” Goku frowned deeply as he let his arms cross on the pool’s edge and he rested his head against his hands. “I don’t understand that. Oto-san and Rei-chan don’t seem to think much differently about it, but they’re just few out of thousands and hundreds. I try to keep up hope that human’s will be able to see us in the right light, but I also know that I’m asking for the impossible. They really, really hate changes. And people who are powerful than them.”

"People despise things that they don't understand, and those that take the time to understand it have different ranges. Some want to experiment on us, others want to understand us so they can better know how to act or change, and the rest, like Ryuu and Rei, want to be our friend. Thankfully I've not run across the first type, but I've heard of terrible things they've done to demons to figure out how we tick," Kerica shuddered.

"Yeah..." Goku shivered. "They're everywhere. It's disturbing. I'm always thankful that Oto-san found me before they could. Whoever they are. And humans think that the Exorcists are the ones that are demon's worst fear."

Kerica nodded and hugged Goku before ruffling his head, the water droplets going everywhere, "Okay, so that's about me...tell me, Goku! What kind of weapon do you use to fight on your adventures with the others?"

"Bo staff." Goku grinned happily. "I'm really good at it though it took a lot of practice and training. Gojyou's the one that really got me challenged. What about you? What do you fight with?"

"Oh! I love using the Bo myself," Kerica was bright, "Though I can use a broom, pipe, or mop, anything with a long handle as a Bo staff if I don't have my personal one with me. I like to think I'm like Jackie Chan and use my environment to my advantage. Besides that I just know martial arts with a mix of street fighting. Rei and I have been teaching ach other and we each have our own style."

"Gojyou relies more on street." Goku nodded. "I bet Rei's talented. I didn't think she'd know how to fight. She doesn't look like the type." He looked over at her. "Though I guess if you live on the streets you have to know how. That's why I sucked at it mostly. I didn't know how."

"Hakkai looks like he'd know how," Kerica tilted her head, "Though if you don't want to ask him to teach you, I don't mind. I've been teaching Sora, but it's always nice to have people to practice on for sparing or mock-fights. Sora can take some good punches."

"Oh I know how to fight with martial arts." Goku laughed lightly. "And I don't mind looking for new sparring partners, I bet Sora would be amazing. I didn't know she knew how to fight either. I meant when I was younger I didn't know how to fight."

"Oh," Kerica smacked herself in the forehead, "I didn't realize what you meant. Herp-derp. Yeah, though, she's really good. She's knocked me out a time or two at the beginning but she's since learned how to temper her power. With /you/, I'm sure she could go all-out."

"I bet." Goku grinned brightly. "It's alright, I knew you glossed right over that." He looked over at Sora who was talking to Hakkai and smiled a little before turning back to Kerica. "I think our group is going to get along just fine with yours. This was a super good idea."

"Thank your friend Makoto. I'm enjoying this party," she nodded, "So, how about that plan?" she smirked and floated over to the edge of the pool, heaving herself out. Gojyou was ruffling through the cooler for some booze. She sauntered over and plucked what he had from his hand, "I'm glad Rei grabbed stuff that I liked, too." She smirked, "So, do you have any idea how to get the lazy duck over there to get off his chair?"

"Since when did anyone call me Ryuu? It's always Sanzo with you people!" Kouryuu groaned and swung his legs over the lounge chair, stretching as he stood, but then he joined them over by the cooler, "What? Where's the damn monkey?" he asked, shifting his feet to cock his hip and fold his arms.

"Aw don't be like that," Gojyou grinned as he watched Goku jump out, grabbed Kouryuu and before he could do or say anything, Kerica gave him a helpful shove from behind Kouryuu. Just like that, Gojyou cracked up as a loud SPLASH broke in some of the conversation that was happening. "Oh man! I wasn't expecting that! Good job Monkey! You're dead now!"

"Whoop! It worked, Goku!" Kerica laughed and clapped, "Yeah! Good idea calling for Goku, he'll always come for him." She raised her hand for Gojyou to high-five.

That was just as Kouryuu jumped up out of the water with a roar, "OKAY! You're mine!" he reached the end of the pool and slammed his hands down, "You're in for it now, missy!" Just then he heard a gasp, and it was like his ears trained right in on it. He looked behind him to see his trunks had slid down and were now halfway over his ass, showing off his tattoo. wings that were over the curve of each butt-cheek, but they were tribal in appearance with spikes and swirls. Climbing out of the water the rest of the way, he hiked his shorts back up, "Now you're /really/ in for it!" Now everyone who'd been behind him who didn't know his tattoo did.

Hikari had her fingers pressed against her lips as she looked over to the isde where Makoto was wheezing with laughter and trying to calm it down and Rei...Rei was just watching like she was in a daze. Hikari knew that look. She seen it a thousand times. She looked over towards Hakkai and Sora, and Moriko who was looking completely gobsmacked too. Those who had seen Kouryuu's tattoo, the girls, weren't in any shape to laugh. No, they were too busy trying to wrap their head around the /very/ notion that Fate had put another soulmate in their group. She glanced back over at Rei, and she silently urged her friend. Urged her to talk, to stand, to say /something/.

But Rei was just motionless. Her mind was whirling around in a thousand different locations. She was torn between happy and wanting to have a damn panic attack because /fuck/ that was her Soulmate. She /had/ a soulmate. Not that it was any surprise considering it was a tattoo and all, but it was /real/ and concrete. A part of her wanted to start crying because it was all concrete and final now. He was no longer a tattoo and a mystery and a dream. He was real, tangible, and was...going after Kerica. She wasn't sure if she should be thanking on her knees that she never really daydreamed about her man or not, because this was the most unexpected thing that could happen right about now.

Kerica was tossed into the pool with a shriek that pierced Kouryuu's ears and he was glad when it was downed out by the water. He found Goku trying to get to the other side of the pool and he reached out, grabbing Gojyou's wrist and shoulder-tossed him at his monkey son, "Take that!" he shouted, picking up the beer that had been dropped and he popped it, going back to his lounge chair, muttering 'baka kapa, baka neko, baka saru...' under his breath. He felt the eyes on him and looked over, growling, "What are you all looking at me like that for?"

"All animal names, really? Nothing creative?" Hikari was the only one that could smooth this over. Unless Rei managed to smack herself out of it. Thank God Makoto was whispering to her, otherwise Hikari feared that she would have to break the conversation rules.

"What else do you suggest?" Kouryuu sneered at her, sitting down and wrapping his towel around himself, especially his waist, "Unless someone knows something I don't, then stop /staring/ at me and go back to your own crap!" he snapped.

"I wonder what we know." Hikari replied simply, causing him to glare at her. "I know that if you keep glaring like that your soulmate that's right around the corner isn't going to want to admit it to you because of reasons." She gently poked his shoulder. "And also if you think /that's/ bad, dearheart, then you never seen a soul-mate tattoo on someone's /face/."

"On their /face/?" Kouryuu made a wince and shifted in his chair uncomfortably. His soulmate was around the corner...he /had/ heard her gasp, but he just couldn't bring himself to look her way. When they reached the break between the switch, he would talk to her. /Damn-it/ though, why did it have to be like that? He glanced over as he heard Kerica shouting at Gojyou to calm down, and saw her gripping her face in her hands and guiding him to the shallower water. He was tall, but Kouryuu had thrown him into the deeper waters. Once Gojyou could touch and stand upright, Kerica smiled at him reassuringly and muttered 'it's okay, see?'

Hikari watched him for a moment and she shrugged. "It's just an example of how bad it really could be. Besides, I don't see anyone, sans your friends, laughing at you. We're just too shocked to even do anything, let alone laugh at you. We take soulmate marks seriously. It's no joking matter no matter where they're placed. Rei and Moriko are /extremely/ sensitive about it too. Joking about it...well...that sends Rei into a fit and depending on what the joke is...Moriko might laugh with you or walk away."

Sanzo grunted before shrugging and just deciding to be quiet. There wasn't much time left, anyway.

Back with Kerica and Goku, the woman had helped Gojyou out and had returned to the money boy, "Besides Gojyou freaking out, that was really good. Well done. though, it sounds like something fun happened when I wasn't looking."

"I think someone discovered that Oto-san's their soul-mate but I couldn't place who gasped." Goku frowned. "Or maybe they know who it is that has the matching tattoo. I really don't know." He grinned. "But that was a lot of fun tricking them like that. I know I'm not going to hear the end of it...oto-san's real sensitive about the tattoo. So everyone's staring put him on edge...it looks like Hikari got him to settle down though."

"That's good," Kerica nodded, but then the buzzer, which had become the cook timer Hikari had grabbed, she ruffled Goku's hair, "Looks like our time is up, I really enjoyed that. Let's go find out what the hullabaloo is about!"

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:19 pm

"Hakkai! I can't tell if you look bored or just chill," Sora chirped as she bounced over to the man in green with her plate of food, already knowing what she liked out of what was offered at the tables. She sat down with a thump and took a giant bite of sushi before looking up at him, awaiting his response.

Hakkai smiled lightly at Sora as he took a bite of his own food. "Relaxing." He replied. "The party is a good time to kick back. Especially since it's a celebration. To be honest, I'm just waiting to see if there's going to be a drinking contest coming up. Gojyou and Makoto have a thing about drinking each other under the table."

"That sounds like fun," Sora laughed, "They are definitely two peas in a pod, from what I can tell. Kerica will more than likely join in the drinking contest, though. She has a good tolerance. What about you? How's your alcohol tolerance? Can you out-drink these guys any day?"

"Basically." Hakkai laughed. "My tolerance for alchol is one of the many reasons why I'm banned from drinking games unless it's against an opposing team. I'm the ace in the hole so to speak. That also goes for gambling. Do you drink and gamble by chance?" He didn't know if Hikari cared about that or not. Considering that Goku learned Majhong and knew /little/ of how to drink himself, Hikari might be a little stricter or laid back.

"I've got no poker-face, so I can't gamble, though I like the slot machine with the matching three," Sora giggled, "Hikari won't let me drink anything but wine right now and that's only when she's with me. She's got a store of alcohol, though, many different flavors rather than like, a crap ton of one thing or the other. So I'll get a fair chance to try them next year."

Hakkai smiled, "Sounds like Hikari just might also be apart of that drinking contest should we have one, if she has such a huge store. And the provider." He looked over at her with a soft smile. "It's something to look forward to, if it should happen. I hear from Goku that you draw and that Kerica taught you. Do you have any other hobbies that you like doing?"

"Does climbing trees count as a hobby?" Sora asked honestly, "I also like soaring around the forests, seeing what I can find and then try to lead Kerica and Moriko to the places I discover."

"Sounds like you're a match for Goku besides the flying." Hakkai laughed. "But sure, that counts. I was thinking of what you do for fun. Things that get you out of the house so to speak."

"Shopping? Moriko and I enjoy shopping together, especially if we go somewhere new. That is also how we met Rei and Kerica so we make it a point to meet new people every time we go out. Sometimes we're lucky, sometimes we're not. No one's tuck out to us like they did, though," Sora took a moment to eat a bit more.

"How did they manage to do that?" Hakkai questioned as he too took time to eat some of things on his plate. His was smaller portioned so he could try at least a good amount of things without crowding his plate like Gojyou or Makoto. "Get your attention I mean."

"They were polar opposites. Kerica was loud, being giddy and pointing out this and that and dragging Rei everywhere, and Rei was just quiet, letting herself be led and only saying anything when she was asked an opinion. Moriko and I thought that was really strange, so we found them at the food court later and chatted them up. Kerica talked our ears off while Rei just sat back, observing us. I think I got her to talk the most, really. I ask lots of questions."

Hakkai nodded. "What do you usually look for when you're shopping? Books? Trinkets? Clothes?" He shrugged. "I tend to find small knick-knacks that are weird or strange, or books since we travel a lot and we do have plenty of down-time between missions."

"I collect buttons!" Sora beamed, "The ones you pin on your clothes. Also key-chains! I have a bunch of fandom ones! I don't usually buy clothes, that's Moriko. I buy things I can use like cups. I like buying candy I haven't tried before, either. Small things that can be hidden and easily stored."

"Goku used to collect marbles." Hakkai replied after a thought. "I bet he'd enjoy the button collection idea. He's been wanting to do more with his drawings and if he knows that he could do that with buttons, he may just as well try to start selling them. Then again he may not. His drawings are very personal to him."

"Marbles! Oh, I gave Hikari the best gift a few years ago for Christmas and it was an antique bottle and when she opened it I shouted 'I found your marbles, Ka-san!'!" Sora clapped happily at the memory.

Hakkai laughed. "Never a dull day around you is there?"

"I'd sure hope not! Even when I'm sick I'm very whiny," Sora smiled sheepishly, "What's your favorite part about being a part of Kouryuu's group? Being a healer for your friends?" she tried to guess.

"Not being alone in my head." Hakkai smiled. "Healing is just one of the many reasons why I can travel with them besides my fighting skills. It takes up less hospital bills and we can move quickly. I also like the adventure. We make a mis-matched family, and as sentimental as I get about it, I wouldn't trade any of them for another team. Even if that team was better for me."

"That's wonderful!" Sora 'awed' softly and grinned, "I'm glad! Do you...think there'd ever be a chance we'd all get to fight together?"

"While a lot of demons have blood-lust, and fighting for them is a sport, I'm....different in many ways." Hakkai smiled at her. "A spar would be simpler, fighting together, well...it'd be interesting to see the styles that you'll bring to the table. But is fighting something that I like? Is it something that I wish would happen for all of us? Not quite. If we have to get into a fight and bring you into it, it means that it's a large amount of trouble. Also, I'm more of a defender than I am on the offense, though I do both if needed. It depends on the fight, how many of us are down and if Kouryuu leaves us out to hang. He sometimes does that."

"Oooh, okay, that makes more sense," Sora nodded a bit and then furrowed her brows, "Just what is going on? Kerica's with Gojyou, that can't be good...OH NO!" she gasped and covered her mouth as she watched Goku burst from the water, grabbing Kouryuu's swim trunks and it was a team effort to get him in the water. All hell broke loose and she actually cracked up at the sight.

"Oh....dear this is bad." Hakkai watched as Kouryuu resurfaced. He heard a gasp and his eyes snapped over towards the source. It was easy for him to pinpoint, considering that Rei looked as if she had lost a good amount of color. Makoto was laughing, but even he was slowing down when he saw her reaction. Hakkai shook his head from side to side. "Gojyou's going to get it next."

"Oh my goodness," Sora kept giggling though it'd quieted after seeing Hikari and Rei make the reactions they did, "Oh wow, this is crazy. I hope he doesn't murder anyone." He didn't, though both Kerica and Gojyou ended up in the water, Goku being knocked further down in the deep when Gojyou's body landed on him. "Does this happen often, shenanigans such as these?"

"Usually. Kerica just made herself apart of our group without even knowing it." Hakkai smiled lightly. "Considering it was her idea to begin with. She'll get along just fine with us."

"Oh, that's great! Kerica's always so lonely. Being a part of your group will make her really happy!" Sora nodded enthusiastically. More things happened in the background and she smiled at Hakkai gently, "I enjoy talking to you. You're really patient. I guess it comes with the territory, huh?" she motioned to the others in an offhanded way.

"I used to be a teacher." Hakkai laughed. "It only increased after joining up with everyone." He smiled at Sora. "And I enjoyed talking to you as well. You're very much like Goku, it's no surprise to me that he's your one and only."

That caused her to blush darkly, ducking her head into her shoulders, and after a moment she heard the buzzer, "I'll see you around, then!" she beamed and bounced up, heading off to her next destination.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:55 pm

"How many beers is that?" Moriko asked as she joined Gojyou on the poolside, "Three? You don't seem remotely affected, either. Do you have a good alcohol tolerance?"

"I'm closer to the tolerance Hakkai has than Kouryuu." Gojyou laughed lightly. "Three beers isn't going to do much." He smiled at her. "Though that brings up the question of how good your tolerance is, if you drink."

"I drink, but only if I'm in the mood or dared. I never particularly tested how good it is. A six-pack wine-cooler is pretty much a joke, however. The most it affects me is it flushes my cheeks and makes me feel too hot," she smirked a bit.

"That's just a wine-cooler. Not a lot of alcohol in that sweetcheeks. Now if you could chug a whole vokda bottle like a Russian, well, Hakkai might as well have you as a drinking buddy. It'll save Goku a sore liver if we ever get into tag-teams again." Gojyou took a drink and set it aside.

"That's just a wine-cooler. Not a lot of alchol in that sweetcheeks. Now if you could chug a whole vokda bottle like a Russian, well, Hakkai might as well have you as a drinking buddy. It'll save Goku a sore liver if we ever get into tag-teams again." Gojyou took a drink and set it aside.

Moriko giggled at that, "I'm not too sure. We'd definitely have to find out one day," she nodded, "So...anything you want to ask me? I'm kind of drawing a blank..."

"I'm shocked, considering that I'm holder of all of Hakkai's secrets." Gojyou laughed. "It's funny you say that, though considering that I'm drawing a blank too. Normally I'd chat you up, but I respect Hakkai too much and you."

Moriko blushed at that, "I didn't want to be obvious, I guess," she said shyly, "Okay, then...I guess...what are some things that make you angry? Pet peeves, that sort of thing." She /wanted/ to ask about Hakkai, but she was rather torn about it. On one hand this would be a great opportunity to learn how to make her Intended happy, but on the other hand she wanted to learn how by herself. Learning about Gojyou would be good, in any case, because they were such close friends. He'd be happy that she tried to get to know him. So, she'd have to think of more things to ask.

"My pet peeves? Getting on me about my cleaning." Gojyou rolled his eyes. "Hakkai and I used to live together and he likes to nit-pick. So what if I put cigarette butts in my beer can? The can's empty. Does he /want/ me to burn my house down? Oh and stealing my food. Goku's a damn /fiend/ when it comes to it, though it's mostly out of good fun. Other times though, Goku's a bit of a pig so there's that."

A snorting laugh erupted from her and she covered her mouth to stifle it, "Steeling your food is rude, yes. I try not to nag, but when I mention something and then two hours later the person still hasn't done it, then I get a bit upset. I don't expect you to do something right away, especially if I know you're busy, but really." She shrugged, "I also don't like it when people repeat themselves, saying the same point three time in a conversation."

"Kouryuu hates that too." Gojyou nodded. "Goku has a problem with that sometimes. He gets so excited, he just wants to share it. He tries." He shook his head. "You have a nice laugh." He smiled at her. "Who gets you to laugh the most?"

"Ah," Moriko blushed and shook head, "It used to be Sora, but since Kerica joined she and I just...like to laugh. Sometimes for no reason, just because it's too quiet and we want to to be noisy. We're a pretty happy group overall. What about you? Who makes you laugh? Or...do you and the others not really get to laugh very much because of your work?"

"Goku and Makoto. Myself and Hakkai. We're basically a laughing-stock of the Excorist groups because we don't take things as seriously as a lot of them do. Gets them all irritated. Goujun especially." Gojyou shook his head from side to side. "He needs to lighten up I swear."

"Goujun? Who's that?" Moriko blinked at him and tilted her head, "Another member of your group? I haven't heard about him."

"He's our mission-giver. Our eyes behind the scenes. He doesn't fight much unless he absolutely has to and when he does," Goujyou whistled. "It means more paperwork and our pride is kicked down a notch. Besides Hakkai. Hakkai and Goujun actually /get/ along it's scary."

"He's stoic and serious, from the hints you're giving me," she hummed, tucking her black hair behind her ear. She moved to the edge of the pool and sat there, her feet and legs dangling into the water. She hummed at the feeling before looking back up at him, "What kind of demon is he? Sometimes fighting prowess can depend on species. I know I can be quite powerful if...I let myself go," she shrugged and fiddled with her ankle bracelet.

"He's a dragon." At Moriko's incredulous look, Goujyou nodded his head. "And that's why our pride gets kicked like a puppy. He's one of the last ones that are roaming around."

"Oh!" Moriko's eyes widened at that information, "A 'last of my kind' scenario? That's...you don't hear about that very often at all. That does explain his personality a bit, but even so." She tapped her chin, "Is his tattoo just as hidden as Kouryuu's? I know some people have it on their crotch and no one knows unless they tell them. Unless they're the 'never nude' types. Of course, if he's a very powerful fighter then he hardly gets injured, am I right?"

Gojyou snorted, "Don't tell that to Kouryuu he's sensitive as fuck about his. Never seen his tattoo. I don't think Dragons get them. If they do, Goujun never said." He shrugged. "It's a mystery."

Moriko glanced over to Kerica where she and Goku were chatting, and she hummed when her friend swam in a circle, showing off her side where her scaled tattoo was. Kerica had a one-piece red swimsuit on that was cut out at the sides, and she tilted her head. Maybe? It would certainly be interesting, a guy with a pole up his ass having a very opinionated mate. Though...would it be one of those situations where the soulmates weren't happy together? She certainly hoped not. All of her friends deserved better than a tragic love story.

"I'm going to grab another beer. All this talk is making my mouth dry." Gojyou reached over and ruffled her hair. "You'll make 'Kai happy. Don't doubt yourself." And proceeded towards the cooler where Kerica managed to corner him.

Moriko watched in shocked horror and amusement combined as Goku and Kerica managed to get Kouryuu into the pool, and once Kouryuu emerged he tossed both Kerica and Gojyou into the water. Kerica landed near her, splashing her, and she held her arms up to protect herself, "Oh my goodness!" she gasped and slipped in to help Kerica steady herself. "What int he world?! Why would you do something like that?" she asked.

"Haha! Because it was fun, why else?!" Kerica beamed, only to turn around and see Kouryuu had sat back down and Gojyou was splashing around on the other side.

"Go help him, he doesn't look like he can get afloat," Moriko pushed he forward and got out of the pool herself while the brunette swam over.

Kerica caught Gojyou by the wrist and gave him a yank, bringing him to her, "HEY!" she snapped to get his attention, "You're not drowning, it's okay! See?" she coaxed, kicking her legs to gain momentum and floating them to the other side.

Once they were at the shallow end, Gojyou practically scrambled out of the pool. "I can't swim." He admits to Kerica and Moriko. Goku was on the other side of the pool, shaking his head free of excess water. "And water is practically a phobia. I don't go near it, and it doesn't come near me."

"Hey, it's okay, it's fine," Moriko and Kerica chorused, "Don't apologize, we aren't going to laugh at you," Kerica added, "Just take deep breaths, Gojyou. I'd stay, but my time isn't up yet..." she looked regretful, but she dove under and made her way back to Goku.

Moriko took over the comforting, standing next to him and patting his arm, "Let me guess, the extent of water you do is a shower or a hot spring, hmm? Where you can see the bottom and you can touch?"

"I can shower." Gojyou nodded. "I just...I just can't stand water. As long as it something I can stand in, sure. But if it's anything deeper than my waist and I can't touch the ground? I'm out. I'm not drowning. I know I'm supposed to be a kappa and all, but water and I don't mix."

"No one's judging, at least not me or my group," Moriko promised, "I think this time everyone was more focused on Kouryuu, anyway. A lot of people saw his tattoo, if it makes you feel better."

To their surprise, as they continued to talk, Kouryuu finally settled down and Moriko arched a brow at Gojyou, "Or he's not going to shoot anyone. Hikari is a mom, she knows how to talk down an angry kid."

"True." Gojyou nodded. "I'll owe her a beer if she can keep Kouryuu from jumping on my skin regardless."

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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:26 pm

Now that it was finally the break time between the different sets, Kouryuu could hardly bring himself to get up from his chair. Hikari had left him to go talk with someone else, and he swallowed thickly, looking down at his lap and pursing his lips together. Just /what/ could he say? Why was this such a big deal? His stomach was twisting in knots, but it wasn't because of /who/ he realized. It was that he /did/ have a soulmate. Taking another breath, he heaved himself up and walked over to the bonfire, where no one else was. He wanted privacy.

"Remember what I said," Makoto rubbed Rei's back, "He won't bite, I swear to you. He's just as nervous, just talk to him like you normally would."

Rei nodded, and carefully stood up. Her legs felt like jelly and her stomach felt like a black, gaping hole that managed to feel like an ocean waving in and out. She had a hot flash go down the spine of her back and she tried to keep her breathing even. In for four, out for six and so on. She got next to him and she put her hands into her pockets. She made noise, to let him know that she was there, so that he wouldn't turn around and fall into the fire in surprise...if he was the kind of person to do that.

It was weird /thinking/ that. Her soulmate was...a stranger. It made her anxious. How was she supposed to love a stranger? How did...anyone? How did Hikari do it? Sora and Goku? Well they shouldn't count, they were young.

Moriko and Hakkai were probably the only ones taking this at a /normal/ level. Rei /knew/ Hakkai wasn't normal by the longest shot in the universe too, so that was saying something.

"Hikari should be amused..." Kouryuu broke the silence, "She asked me what I wanted or hoped for in a soulmate and I told her a good cook would be nice."

"Aw don't tell her that," Rei kicked at a clump of grass as she came close to him. "She'll never let me live it down." She felt her shoulders roll-back and she took a breath. "The only time the topic of soulmates came up with Makoto and I, I was too busy trying to figure out how to land when the world flipped."

"I don't think anything's different," Kouryuu said softly, "My thoughts of you haven't changed. Nothing's /changed/, it's just that things have come to light." He paused, and then glanced at her, his violet eyes glinting in the firelight, "What, do you expect me to do what Makoto and Hikari did and kiss you?"

"It seems to be the soul-mate trend," Rei said dryly, her sarcasm evident. "Kiss, kiss fall in love." She shook her head from side to side. "I don't think that's your style."

"You're right, it's not," he hummed in agreement, and they were quiet for a moment before he took a deep breath, "I knew, you know."

Rei frowned, looking at him curiously, "That we were destined?"

"That sounds so story-book-like when you say it like that," Kouryuu wrinkled his nose, "I knew who you were, is more like it. I don't...like saying 'love at first sight' because that's not what it was. It wasn't /love/ but it was more...like something clicked. When I first saw you, the knowledge was just /there/. I ignored it at the time, thinking it was just delirium from having a concussion. Yet...don't you recall? I woke up almost immediately after you walked in. I asked Goku and Hakkai separately and they told me the same thing." He turned to her fully, looking down at her with a soft expression he only really used for Goku, "I have more to say, but I'll let you take that in first and tell me your thoughts."

Rei folded her arms and edged closer towards the fire, enjoying the warmth and the smell of the smoke and the flames. It settled her heart-rate and she felt a little more comfortable with the topic. "You saw me when neither Hakkai nor Goku noticed me," she conceded after a moment. "I don't think I managed to hit much with the hammer with a nail or however that saying goes in Japanese. What I /do/ know," she paused after a moment, "Is that I chose a room at random to peek in and it happened to be yours first. I didn't follow Goku or Hakkai."

"I thought you did go into mine on purpose, really, as everyone was gathered near it," Kouryuu shrugged, "That is interesting to know, though." He stepped closer to her, staying near but not too close in case she had moved to get away from him, "I told Hikari that what I wanted in a soulmate was someone who was quiet, and you are...outwardly, quiet. You soul, like Goku's is a different story."

"I do have a very loud personality," Rei admitted. "Though what kind of story do you see? Or hear for that matter?"

"Your personality and your soul are very different," Kouryuu was confused by that statement, but dismissed it, "It's not a story, either. It's a voice. Every soul has a voice, their level of volume is different on their emotions. There've been times in our travels where I can hear my comrades souls screaming because of tragedy that occurs. Someone we can't save or something. Outwardly we don't say a word or shed a tear. Inward? Complete opposite. I learn to tune it out or it would drive me insane. Goku's is very unique, almost a different wavelength. I can't ignore his very easily. Just...as I cannot ignore yours. It's not that you're loud. Rather...while your outward self is rather quiet and you don't really talk unless spoken to and just rather watch the world go by, you soul is quite talkative with things you want to say. Sometimes it's a whisper, sometimes if it's a strong emotion it's very in my face. Like..." he shifted, "Just now...when you saw my tattoo...I heard you gasp verbally, but what my ears trained on was your inner shriek."

"Oh, ow." Rei winced. "I know my screams are ear-piercing, no wonder you were in a snappy mood to Hikari then. That's headache inducing right there."

"I had thought...maybe you didn't...want /me/ as your soulmate?" Kouryuu grimaced, "Was it...shock? Was it despair? Was that a happy shriek? I know women do that...but I couldn't make sense of it, things happened so fast. Your soul is quiet right now. You have a strange ability to quiet yourself and everything. Maybe it is because you have so many thoughts and feelings you cannot focus on one? I am unsure."

"I'm focusing on my breathing so I don't send myself into a panic attack, and oddly enough being around you is helping. You're making this conversation less awkward and painless than it can be." Rei replied as she tucked her hands into her pockets. "Your worry is the same as mine. We have a lot of scars on our souls, a lot of them deep. A lot of them that cause us to be jaded to things that we're too young to be jaded for. I think my shriek is mostly of shock. Panic. A "Oh /fuck/ what the hell do I do now" type of thing."

A slow nod, "That is understandable. You don't need to worry. I won't force myself on you, or do things you aren't comfortable with. There are things that...we should talk about later, now that we know. You should be aware of my past, for example. Hikari tried to ask and I shot her down."

Rei sighed, "I know you won't. I trust you. You should be aware of mine. I can't promise a happy middle, but...my life turned out okay." She smiled gently at him. "I...am thinking that we're going to be subjected to some really interesting and highly uncomfortable conversations later. Well, at least we have the estate."

"I agree," Kouryuu nodded, and he glanced around to see the rest of the group were moving towards their next set person, "It looks like our time is up, but...I am glad we were able to get things off of our shoulders." He reached out and had her turn around, and stepped closer, his hand on her cheek and tilting her head up. Without much ado, he leaned down and placed a very light kiss on her forehead, "There..." he whispered only for her, "That should make everyone happy. I hope it makes you, happy, too," he shrugged and went back to his seat, leaving her by the bonfire.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:27 pm

Makoto was adding logs to the fire to keep it fresh when Kerica walked up to him holding the ingredients for smores, “Heeeeeyyyyyy, you speak my language, girl!” he beamed and took the tongs from her since her hands were full. They didn’t even use their chairs, just sitting on the dirt and not caring since they could just use the hose to wash off if they wanted to get back in the pool.

“There may have been butt-loads of sweets on that blasted table, but I wanted the classic roasting wonder of marshmallow goeyness,” Kerica beamed and stuffed the huge marshmallow on the stick, holding it close to the fire but not enough to light it up.

“How do you like you mallows? Golden brown or...” Makoto stuck his close and watched it light up after a moment, grinning and pulling it back and placing it on the graham cracker. He broke off a chunk of the chocolate bar and placed it on it, then the other cracker, taking a large crunching bite, “Mmm….”

“Golden,” Kerica smiled and after a moment pulled hers back and it had a lovely yellow sheen all around. After doing the same process of Makoto she moaned to herself, “Perfect! That just hits the spot,” she nodded happily.

“You know, that sounded really lewd,” Makoto snorted at her, finishing his one and started to make another, letting it simmer a bit longer this time before he allowed it to light up.

Kerica paused and glanced at him, “Oh, did it?!” she blushed darkly, “I didn’t...I didn’t even realize.”

“I figured. Otherwise that would’ve been really mean, considering I have a lovely soulmate I’d much rather be coming on to me,” Makoto smirked a bit.

“I’m sorry!” Kerica whined, taking her time on eating as well as making her second, “I’ll...I’ll keep my reactions to myself, then.”

Makoto laughed, “That’s not what I mean at all. You’re just the unobservant one for your own actions, aren’t you? You could be flirting and you would have no idea.”

“If I do, then I’m also probably trying too hard,” she agreed, “I'm...honestly not the best at flirting. Then I go and do things like that that make people think otherwise. I was accused in the past by high school kids that I was totally flirting when I was just making conversation. I don't know how, though..."

"It's a subconscious thing. When you're attracted to the opposite gender you make gestures, and your voice even goes up an octave. It's like saying 'hey, I'm into you' but without even using the words," Makoto explained with a reassuring voice.

"I'm not all that into you, though! I was just enjoying my smore!" Kerica whined.

"Haha! That's alright, I know, I know," he moved his hand up and down in an 'easy, easy' motion.

"So...is there anything you do, then, that you do without realizing it sometimes?" Kerica asked.
He thought about for a moment, before shrugging, "I guess it's mostly in battle? Gojyou tells me I look like a feminine girl in the way I move. I use a sword mixed with my martial arts," he smirked a bit, "I dance. I /literally/ dance. Not just fancy footwork, but I twirl and sweep and slide."

"/Oh/ my /freakin'/ God!" Kerica cracked up, "That's fantastic! I would love to see that!" she clapped after setting down her smore, and then went back to making another one, "We really should go on a mission with you guys. Hikari's rusty, but I think a good brawl would be enjoyable for the lot of us."

Makoto's eyes widened, "You guys? Join us? Wouldn't that be dangerous?" he was hesitant to agree. The others probably would hate the idea.

"The best training for Sora is to get her actually out on the field. I can only teach her so much as a student," Kerica shook her head, "We all know how to fight. I really don't see a problem. I just would hope Moriko or Sora don't freeze up when they see real battle. It can be rather...jarring."

That gave him pause, "You've...been on the battlefield?"

"Not...exactly. I've been in plenty of fights, but nothing of any scale where I fear for my life in the sense that I'm going to be brutally murdered, not just beaten up. I've...crossed the aftermath of one by accident. I went roaming the countryside for a time, a year after I turned twenty-one and settle back down in Tokyo."

"How...did you live?" Makoto furrowed his brows.

"Painting. I would use watercolor or acrylic and paint my surroundings or people. People /love/ it when you paint them because they either feel special or vain," Kerica snorted and took a big bite of her second smore. Chewing for a bit, she rolled her eyes, and spoke again when she swallowed, "I painted a few special ones for big wigs, but I always turned down offers to be taken under their wing. Of course, if they wanted to use my shit in their galleries or whatever I didn't care as long as my name was on the tag."

"That's...actually really damn impressive. I'll have to check out some galleries when my team go around, see if I can spot anything of yours," he winked.

Kerica just snorted, "Good luck with that."

There was a pause while they each ate a third smore, but then Makoto glanced at Kerica sideways, “I saw what you did with Gojyou. A lot of people make fun of him when he acts like that, thinking it’s fake because it’s so dramatic, but you took it in stride and helped him get on his feet so he could get to the latter and climb out. If I didn’t know you didn’t have each other’s mark, I would think you were soulmates.”

Kerica blushed again, remembering how she forced Gojyou to look her in the eyes and just focus on her while she floated them back to the shallows. His deep brown eyes had been gorgeous to look at, and when he had stood up, the water coming off of his body was quite the sight. “I am glad I was able to help him,” she nodded a bit, “I enjoy his company, so I’m...okay with that.”

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:17 pm

Rei continued to stand at the bonfire and she was just about to leave when she noticed that Hakkai was walking towards her. Two glass bottles of Ramune in his hand. “I noticed you weren’t coming towards the circle.” He said kindly, handing her a bottle. “It looked like a serious conversation.”

“A soul-shattering one.” Rei replied as she took the bottle from him and tore off the wrapper. They were silent, besides the loud pops of the marble. They stood there for a moment and she tilted her head.

“He’s not all that bad,” Hakkai laughed, amused by Rei’s reply.

She merely hummed her agreement before nodding her head over towards the circle. Catching the message, Hakkai and Rei both started walking towards their designated seats. At least, that’s what Hakkai thought until a shirt was tossed at his head. He caught it and looked over, just in time to see her taking off her binder.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go inside to do that,” Hakkai asked, quickly looking away. He wasn’t sure who all saw the display, but he wasn’t going to hesitate and believe that everyone managed to see it. The only ones probably unfazed were the girls if they even noticed. “Ah too late,” he mused as she grabbed her shirt back and working at some of the buttons. She only did it part way. “I’m tempted to ask if this is an American thing.”

“It’s a Rei thing.” Rei replied smoothly, putting her binder over her arm. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, but I couldn’t breathe.”

Hakkai quickly looked at her, “If you were having problems-“

“Ah, it happens.” Rei shook her head from side to side. “I’ve been wearing that thing for too many hours. It was get it off now, or collapse. Come on, I’m hot and I haven’t swam in the pool yet.”

“I’m at a disadvantage here,” Hakkai told her. “As I don’t have anything to swim in.”

“I’ll just dip my feet in, it’s the same thing.” Rei laughed as they approached the deep end of the pool. She discarded her shoes and socks and sighed as her feet were engulfed by the waters, her binder beside her. Hakkai followed the suit. “You don’t have many questions for me, do you?”

Hakkai already had a hunch of one of his questions. But it was personal, and…honestly he wasn’t in any way to judge if she was or not. Her immodesty almost indicated that she was so used to having it on display. No, that question was saved for someone else. He knew that she carried a knife with her. Whether it was pocket or switchblade or even a bowie, he wasn’t sure. He just knew and recognized the outline from her back pocket.

It…painfully reminded him of how Gojyou used to carry one before he learned how to use the Monk’s Spade. He was skilled at it, he had to be if he was living on the streets. He and his brother both had to. They took care of each other until the streets finally let them go and even then…well…Hakkai doubted the lifestyle ever left. It was too much in his blood.

“You used to be on the streets.” It wasn’t a question, not by the slightest. “How did you come to get there?”

“My inability to make money.” Rei replied. “I’m lucky that the Japanese put a lot of stock into fortune telling. Otherwise, I’d be really outta luck and that’d be bad. It wasn’t too awful. I had a group of people that I hung out with, and I had someone with me who taught me how to survive the streets here. It’s…less dangerous than the American ones, I can promise that.” She shrugged. “I’m also good with stealing money if I come up short.”

“Then how did you come to Kerica’s house if you had a group?” Hakkai questioned.

“She found me when I was sick. The person who usually watched over me was taking care of one of our group members who was also sick and we needed the money. So I went out, the pouring rain, sick as a dog, and i just…couldn’t breathe. I fainted and when I woke up I was in a warm household with a promise of a good meal and a shower. It was a game of give and take for awhile until I was basically told that if I have an escape way from the streets to take it. So…I did. She helped me find a job and everything was smooth sailing after that. Of course, that doesn’t count my side and main job that I do now.”

“It sounds oddly how Gojyou found me.” Hakkai mused. “Only I was half-way dead and gone. I didn’t care much about the world…and what would happen to me.”

“Because of your former soulmate?” At Hakka’s surprised look, Rei smirked. “Moriko can’t keep her mouth shut around Hikari and I move a lot.”

“You do have a knack for that. It’s surprisingly scary. I’m glad you’re on our side.” Hakkai teased gently. “But you’ll be right about that. It’s a story…I don’t like to repeat. Considering that I washed my hands of it and gained a new name.”

“So then, tell me about how Hakkai came to be.” Rei shrugged. “Tell me what made you…you.”

“That’s a hard order,” Hakkai mused as he looked down at the waters. “I suppose it’s when I started to realize I made an impression on Gojyou, and that he’d be helpless without me. I think that’s when it was.”

“Sounds like a good background story.” Rei encouraged.

“You know, I suppose it is.” He laughed and listened to the timer going off. “I think I understand why you and Kouryuu are soulmates. You two live along similar lines. Especially where philosophy of life is concerned.”

“Oh that?” Rei laughed. “You told me that you had a new name. Therefore, why should I bother about anyone else? You’re you. Your past doesn’t define anything. It just enhances your flavor that’s all.”

Hakkai let out a startled laugh. “I thought only Goku could compare people to cooking. I’ll leave you to your next guest.”

“See ya.” Rei waved.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:17 pm

“I’m so glad you and Rei are soulmates!” Sora chirped as she sat down beside Kouryuu on the poolside marble. Their break had been a bit longer than expected so that Kouryuu and Rei could talk, but now he wasn’t near the pool. She had her towel on her shoulders and was leaned forward, elbows on her knees and chin in her hands, “I never thought I’d see the day!”

“Is that so?” Kouryuu hummed, “Why do you say that? I would think you would a line you use for Kerica.”

“Mm...well, Kerica is different. From what I understand is Kerica’s dated before, since her tattoo is so strange and she is sure that no one normal would have it. She wants...craves love and has been hurt several times, but doesn’t want to be a bitter old hag like her parents...oh, I don’t think I should’ve said that,” Sora put her hand over her mouth.

Kouryuu snorted, “Who am I going to tell? Since you said it might as well explain.” He paused as he saw Hakkai and Rei get closer into view, but whatever she was doing that made them stop was blocked by Hakkai’s body. Shrugging, he returned his attention to Sora.

Sora gave a sheepish smile, “Yeah...well, okay. Her grandmother had a soulmate who was a dick and tried to hill her mom as a baby so she left him. Her mom’s soulmate married a chick who he loved more than her, yet was more or less his secret affair. Her mom had her with a guy that she didn’t even like as a way to get her soulmate jealous, but that didn’t work. Eventually her mom was unable to see him anymore and they’re both really bitter and man-hating. Kerica doesn’t want to be that way. She...has seen first-hand what it’s like to for soulmates not to be compatible. Perhaps they were at one point, but they aren’t anymore.”

Kouryuu just arched a brow, “Well...That is rough. So she’s dated to try and find a love her parents didn’t have?”

“That’s right,” Sora nodded.

“How is Rei different?” Kouryuu coaxed.

“Rei...from what I understand, her parents did...do?...love each other. I don’t remember that full story, she was rather vague. Her father didn’t love her much, though, was a complete asshole to her. So she felt like they weren’t much of a family. She doesn’t crave love, she craves family. So for Rei to have a soulmate is more of a shocker because she hasn’t actively been looking for anyone.”

“I wasn’t looking for anyone, either,” Kouryuu shrugged, “I was just as shocked, but at the same time I took it in stride. I’ve been through a lot of things that stuff doesn’t phase me that much anymore.”

“You were really upset that a bunch of people saw your tattoo,” Sora pointed out, “Not that I did, but I know some definitely did.”

“I reacted the way I did because just like my past, my soul-tat is very personal to me. I don’t like thing that are personal to be exploited or put on display. I know Goku didn’t mean to, which is why I didn’t yell at him, and I also know he won’t do it again. I will have to...apologize to Gojyou for tossing him into the water, however. I momentarily forgot his issue,” Kouryuu snorted.

Sora perked, “Do you have a phobia at all?!”

Kouryuu grimaced, “I’m not sure if it’s a phobia, but I /hate/ rain. That storm? I probably wouldn’t have gotten injured if I had been playing more attention. I prefer to stay inside when storms occur. What about you, little one?”

The blue haired girl blushed, “I’m...sure it’s ironic since I can fly? Yet I’m afraid of falling. I don’t like being play-dropped and there have been times where the wind is really bad it knocks me off balance and freaks me out. I know I can lose my energy, or pass out if I was ever injured.”

“That’s not unreasonable. It makes you cautious, and that’s better than flying around like a maniac like you can’t be hurt. I’m glad you’re aware of the dangers,” he smirked and patted her head, hearing the timer. You be good.”

“I will!” Sora beamed, jumping to her feet.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Saiyuki - Modern AU - This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things   Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:27 pm

Moriko smiled as Goku watched Sora longingly, but he'd put a shirt on and was plopped in a lounge chair, sitting on his towel with a soda he preferred, "You look forlorn." She said as she gently sat beside him, "I wish I could be with Hakkai right now, if it makes you feel better."

"Yeah." Goku smiled at Moriko. "I shouldn't be too upset though. I'm getting to know Sora through everyone else, so that's a bonus. And you get to learn about Hakkai from us. Maybe not about him personally, but about the type of people he'll surround himself with!"

"Exactly," Moriko giggled and patted his back, "I'll be honest, I haven't asked a single question about Hakkai, though Gojyou mentioned a pet peeve that involved him, so that's something." She shook her head, "I have a serious, more personal question for you, though, Goku." She flicked his diadem when he looked at her, "Are you hiding? Or are you just suppressing yourself?"

"Suppressing." Goku rubbed his diadem like he was wondering if it was still there, or hurt. "I...I do some really bad things...terrible things...when this breaks. I'm not myself and it scares a lot of people, hell it scares me like no other. It's better if that side never comes out. Oto-san's the only one who knows how to get these...or make these."

"His spiritual powers, yeah? If you go crazy I can't imagine you'd sit still enough for him to put one on you, so he grabs your head and it forms?" Moriko shrugged, "It's a rare thing, but I've heard about it." She brought her leg up inconspicuously, but played with her ankle bracelet so he could see it, "I'm sure several in your group think this is just an accessory like someone always wears a watch. I'm hiding. Sure, I'm powerful, but I don't lose control of myself. I...have people after me," she whispered softly, "A lot of demons look fairly the same when they transform, but I'm completely unrecognizable this way. My real eye color is green, and my hair is blond with brown roots and streaks. My body is almost purely white, with brown-black horizontal stripes going up from my feet, stopping at my neck."

Goku felt his heart sink. So many demons were in hiding, it was always upsetting for him to see it. To know that there's not a safe place. There were rumors of a person, he could never remember the name, who was trying to help demons. Sometimes, going as far as defying excrosists too. "I always thought we were getting somewhere." He admitted after a moment. "I try to keep up hope that we're getting there, that humans won't be so afraid of us...but I guess that's too much to ask for sometimes. Whose after you? Is there something that we can do? Or even me?"

"I don't know...I don't remember ever hearing their organization name or anything like that. I just know they're humans, but they have some demons under their control that they use to /capture/ other demons that they want to experiment on. They're trying to figure out how to exterminate us, or enslave us using fear because they're finding our weaknesses. It's terrifying," Moriko shifted, "When Hikari found me I was being chased by these demon guards. If it helps you...their symbol is the Teru Teru Bozu children's ghost doll, and their color is white. They think they're good luck to the land, so no one pays them any mind."

"I'll tell Otosan and we'll see what we can do. Who knows? Goujun might know something." Goku assured her gently. "You don't need to worry about a thing besides...uh...taking care of Sora and Hikari. Makoto really, really likes her. I feel...bad that we're going to have to tell him to say goodbye for a bit. Even if we do get to come back every once in a while."

"That's alright, I believe we all understand we have to be apart, but that'll make reunions all the sweeter, hmm?" Moriko nudged his shoulder with hers, "Don't...tell them I told you. I don't...I don't want to cause Hakkai to worry about me. I know I can trust you. If something happens and you have to, that's okay, too, but try to avoid it." She eyed the man on the edge of the pool with Rei, "Does he have a form? He has earrings..."

"Yeah..." Goku looked down at his knees. "He can subdue me pretty good when he's in his original form. Well...not original. He's...not born youkai." He pursed his lips together. "He's scary when he takes those off. Not as scary as me, but...up on the list."

Moriko didn't press, but she was intrigued. She could ask someone else, she supposed, or that could be a direct question. "Alright! Alright, enough depressing stuff!" she said firmly, smacking his back, "Tell me, Goku!" she leaned in close and nudged him, "What are your hopes for your relationship with Sora? It's /because/ you're not jumping her bones like Makoto is trying to with Hikari that I'm asking. You're more like the childhood friends you never had. Makoto's plans are obvious, Kouryuu just /found/ Rei, and Hakkai's the slow romantic type so I'm not going to hope too hard, but you? You're completely up in the air."

"That's cuz I respect Sora. I'm not just going to...do what Makoto does. It's not my style. I like having friendships." Goku frowned at Moriko. "Just like everyone else here, I just found her. I don't /have/ a lot of friends that are my age. I don't /have/ a lot of relationship experiences like everyone else does. I'm flying blind and I think so is she. So regardless of speed, we're going to fuck up somewhere. I'd rather have a foundation of friendship to be our back up in case things go down south, than have nothing at all and rely on blind intuition. But some of this is up to her too and what she wants out of me."

"Does it surprise some of your friends when you're insightful?" Moriko teased him with a giggle, "That was a /very/ impressive answer. You know, I'm sure Hakkai would be the best to go to for advice if you feel stuck or even just for some ideas, if you feel like having a romantic date with her instead of all fun and games. Kouryuu I imagine would say 'what the fuck are you asking /me/ for?' and Gojyou and Makoto would be very lewd. Hakkai won't lead you astray," she nodded, "So, for me...a hope I have for Hakkai is that we can make the best of our relationship, and heal each other. For both of us, our soul-tats are still new, and I know his story was tragic, and mine has been mostly me running for my life and at a loss for who I really am, what my life means. When people ask me what I'm doing with my life I get very tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Recently, though...Hakkai gave me inspiration and I still need to talk to Hikari, but I might be starting to have an idea for the first time in a very long time of what my goals are."

"Hakkai always has the best ideas. It's good you're following his lead than say Gojyou's." Goku nodded and he paused, thinking. "I have another hope, but it's not for me and Sora. It's for Otosan and Rei." He looked over at the girl in question, Hakkai was looking away and the conversation looked...heavy. "I hope they'll trust each other enough to put some of their burdens on each other's shoulders. They need that kind of shelter, I think. I think...out of everyone...they need someone they can trust the most. Maybe I'm projecting or something, but...Otosan deserves this."

"Everyone's story remains to be told. You know Kouryuu much better than I do. Kerica would probably have the same help for Rei. She may be a friend of mine, but not to the point where I can hope or fear for the decisions she makes in her life." She shrugged, and the buzzer went off, "Oh! That time already? See, you can play with Sora for a few minutes now that it's breaktime," she smiled, "If we didn't have these breaks we'd all go crazy."

~*~
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