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 What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:33 pm

Tenpou shushed her and smiled, "He's fine, it was a type of aphrodisiac and it also knocked him out after about twenty minutes. I came to that conclusion since he doesn't live very far from the bar, ten minutes at a fast pace, but if a woman had to drag him, it would've taken longer. Not to mention the time they took in the bar. Kenren remembered her calling out the culprit, though for all he was worth couldn't remember what she looked like even after I said something. He could just remember her voice and smell. Turns out it was a shy woman who didn't have the confidence to come flirt with him so she was going to take advantage of him instead."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:29 am

Mai's mouth curled into a grimace. "At least it wasn't a dangerous poison. Still though, that's attempted rape. Geez." She shook her head from side to side. "I'm glad Kenren was okay. That poor guy, he didn't need to go through all that trouble." She shook her head from side to side and then smiled, "Ran's a good sort. A little rough around the edges, but she's a sweetie on the inside. A little lonely though, so I noticed. So, if Kenren ever wants to try to track down his savior, point in my direction. I'll lead him right to her."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:56 pm

"Hmm...well, if like you said, Riko's collecting people, and Ran's a part of your group now, it's going to be a matter of time. I'd like to see how things go if he just meets her casually again." Tenpou smiled, "I didn't mean to mention something so terrible at the start of our date. Let's try and have a good time, okay?" He offered his hand to her across the table, palm up, "This is supposed to be about us, after all."


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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:40 am

Mai smiled and she gently placed her hand in his. His hand was calloused badly from holding a sword, but he was holding her hand so tenderly, like he knew that the roughness could hurt if he tried to grip any tighter. She wanted to melt, but she decided to focus on other things. "I'm sorry for my panic. I know you how much you cherish your men and I know Kenren's a good friend of yours too." Mai smiled at him. "What's good here?"
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:02 pm

"If you can grill it they have it, so there's quite a variety." Tenpou chuckled and handed her the menu they were given at the front, "I'm going to order a variety of the things I enjoy, and you can try any of it if it looks good. I'll try whatever you decide to order, okay? Won't that be fun? There's plenty of sauces, and the seasonings are over there." He pointed at the shakers at the end of the table. Salt, pepper, garlic, and a few others all on a rack.
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:20 pm

She took the menu and looked it over and by the time they were finished ordering the meats that Tenpou liked to try as well as anything Mai found interesting, they were back into conversation. "I know we're supposed to ask questions about each other, but I don't even have a clue of where to start." Mai admitted with a blush. "It's been a long time since I went out with anyone, so I am sorry that I'm rusty in this."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:07 am

"As have I. If ever. I don't remember much these days unless it's important, and if I dated it must not have made much of an impression on me." Tenpou agreed with a tender smile, "Tell me...about what you like about the lower world? That's an extensive topic right there."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:11 am

Mai blinked and then hummed as she thought about it, "I think what I like most about it, is what they're able to create." She tapped her finger to her lips. "I seen humans do some incredible things, but I've also seen them create beautiful things as well. Artwork, landscaping, sculpting. It always impresses me. I've seen some really, beautiful things from them, it's so breathtaking sometimes. What about you? You have a massive library of things you collect from both here and there."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:23 am

"I like baseball, and I taught Kenren and my unit how to play." Tenpou admitted with a small smile. "It's a very fun game. I've been thinking of introducing it to Goku. I also enjoy the environments and food down in the lower world. So many mountains and rivers and forests. Waterfalls are such a wondrous sight. I never have a chance to lurk around, explore. I can only go there on missions. I know there's other ways to get there, and I have used them to sneak down for my unit to go to a grill similar to this one. We nearly got into a lot of hot water for it, however."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:47 am

"What's life without a bit risk though?" Mai teased lightly, her eyes lightening up. "Oh Goku's going to love that. So would Kaede. I bet they'd teach Nataku if they knew a way to do it in secret." Her mouth thinned. "Li is certainly not one you want to mess around with, but he seems to be stirring up quite a bit of trouble himself. I really sincerely hope that Riko can get Nataku out of that situation, but just because she's a goddess doesn't mean people are gonna listen. She mothers people, I swear it's a hobby."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:31 pm

"Just as Goku is changing Konzen, Riko changes people her own way. Kaede was her first as she adopted her, and you were her second. So now she found Kenren's mystery girl, Ran, for her third. She's slowly absorbing us." He smiled, "I think it's a good thing, even if Nataku is someone she put a target on. The only problem I see about him is that if Riko says Kaede and him ran into each other and she wanted to see him again, Li could turn his target on Kaede..." He lowered his voice, knowing talking about things like this in the open was dangerous. He knew Mai could follow his train of thought about Kaede becoming a candidate for breeding.
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:12 pm

Mai shuddered, her mood darkening a bit. "I don't know what Riko could do differently though. Running into each other would be the best excuse, which is the unfortunate thing. I think that Riko has a feeling Li might target Kaede, but...would Li really go up against a /Goddess/?....I suppose I am talking about a mad man..." She winced a little. "They're not good to reason with...or use reasoning with. You have think more villain like."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:39 pm

"I fear Li would go so far as to attack Goku, which would anger Konzen. I have already written a report on my suspicions. That's what I was doing all week, and I know that's going to raise warning bells and I know I drew attention to myself. Something's going on." Tenpou finally finished his first plate of meat and seasoned it how he liked before breaking his chopsticks. "I fear I might be dragging you down a dangerous road."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:42 pm

Mai was just about to season her own meat when he spoke about this and she placed her elbow on the table and leaned in a little, "Is this you telling me that you're too dangerous and therefore this might be a bad idea, or is this you telling me to be prepared for the worst but still want me?"
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:18 pm

"Be prepared for the worst. You knew I was dangerous, I'm a Marshal. Yet you still persued me." Tenpou smirked at her, "I just want you to be aware, that's all."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:21 pm

"A danger to yourself maybe." Mai teased, leaning back and the the mood lightened again. "I heard you fall over in the library and having your books crash. I also hear about your reckless yet ruthless nature in the fights you have in the Lower World too. You're also a danger to those who cross you, but I'm pretty certain I don't match that description. Well. I take that back. You /might/ be a danger to me." She mused, her tone still teasing.
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:03 am

"I keep you on your toes, at least." Tenpou agreed and the two were quiet for a moment while he ate. he tried to get things back on topic. "This is supposed to be a date. So, tell me, how do you like your food? Was it what you imagined?"
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:57 am

Mai softened, "It's a lot better than I imagined honestly. I like that you're able to cook the meat to your liking rather than to hope that the chef understands what you want." She decided to take pity and put a topic on a lighter conversation too. "Have you ever been to a hot spring before?"
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:01 am

"Unfortunately, no I have not. It would be a nice place to try to experience during a vacation, I think. That's far off, but it's an idea." Tenpou shook his head, "You?"
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:19 am

"Many times," Mai beamed. "Back at home there's a beautiful mountain that has a hot springs scattered about to make a flowing waterfall. Some people don't like the heights so they stay down below where the waterfall stops, but those adventurous enough go up a decent height. There's also many of them that aren't in mountains but in villages. There's people who claim them so that can make profit, but if you know where to look that's a moot point. They say the hot springs in the mountains have better healing powers than the ones down below, but I believe that it's all of them. I've never been to a hot spring that /didn't/ soothe my mind or body. The mountain one has the best view in my opinion."
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:46 pm

"How long has it been since you've been home?" Tenpou asked, feeling his heart twist at the passion in her voice as she described everything. How nice it would be to go there someday.
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:21 am

Mai frowned, thinking about it. "A while." She said slowly, trying to ejaculate it in her head. "I think...a year maybe? A few months? The trouble with this district is that time is so flexible here. Night and day have the same amount of length, and I don't think I seen a winter go through here at all. Not that I'm saying it's a bad thing, your heaven is exactly that. A heaven. Ours, seasons happen, night and day change...I think that while time is flexible here, the people are not. And while time isn't flexible where we are, the people are. I don't know for certain. It's just what I feel. I don't think I seen something so lively as a festival. The most excitement I heard was when your army or the Eastern Army is deployed and you celebrate somewhere. Riko swears that your men are so loud, she can hear it from where she is." She laughed a little. "It's quite sad you're the only ones that know how to throw a party."

"That is a very accurate depiction of our different districts." Tenpou assured her, taking another bite of his food and chewing thoughtfully, "Perhaps...we should go there. With everyone. I'm sure you wish I would say just us, but I'm sure, if we did go with everybody, we would all separate eventually to do our own thing."

"Wish." She laughed a little. "With Riko and Kaede already having their sights on someone? Well...Kaede has her sights on Goku. I don't know if Riko has her sights set on anyone or not. But know wherever Goku goes, Nataku and Konzen will come." Her smile faded a little at that, but then she beamed. "I can't wait to see Kenren's expression though. He'd have such a fun time considering all the sake you tell me he drinks."

"Yes!" Tenpou laughed softly, "Your district sounds like a dream come true for Kenren, honestly. Has Riko been there? As for Kaede, Goku, and Nataku...they might be young enough where they might be able to pull off the three of them, if they so desire. I know I, for one...could be a bit jealous if anyone else tried to woo you." He hummed low, eyeing her over his glasses.

"Riko's a part of the district too." Mai said with a small laugh, rubbing the back of her neck. "We run in separate circles, since she's a bit of a higher status than me. She found me and she basically said that I was hers now and here we are. Assistant to the Divine Goddess. Anyone would kill me for that position, but..." She snorted, "Riko has a taste." Her smile changed into something more teasing, but sincere. "It's a good thing I don't have any suitors then. You're basically competition free. Shame though, I bet possessive's a good look on you."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Tenpou mused, looked just a tad bit surprised at first and then he smiled wistfully, "It is good we're doing this. Learning things about you at every corner and turn. I'm sure, however, that you're going to continue to keep me on my toes the entire time we know each other. The relationship would become quite boring if there was nothing else to learn, and we will continue to grow as time goes on, as well."

"Shouldn't you save that kind of speech for a marriage proposal or something?" Mai teased, though her expression was fond and happy. "Though the same can be said for you. I'll probably never stop learning things about you, or find something new to learn with you. I think that's the most exciting part really, learning new things together. Though you better keep me on my toes too. You and I need to stay unpredictable otherwise everyone's gonna think we lost our touch."

"True, very true," Tenpou grinned at that, and he reached into his coat pocket and produced a sake bottle, "I suppose that's something we could drink to?" he winked, "Kenren gave me this in hopes to get us to do reckless things. He complained I waited too long already to ask you on a date."

"Oh Kenren." Mai laughed, though her exasperation was clear. "As if sake's going to get us to do something reckless. We're reckless without it. I did wonder if you were waiting for me to make the move. Here, I'd love a drink." She pushed her cup forward for him to fill.

"My unit would agree with you about me being reckless. I have yet to see you be so, however. I'm sure you'll show me that side of you eventually. I'm rather looking forward to you relaxing more with me." Tenpou admitted as he popped the lid and poured her a glass, then his own.

"Then." Mai lifted her glass and raised an eyebrow. "To learning."

Tenpou toasted her with a clink, "To learning."

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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:46 pm

"Kaede!" Goku shouted across the courtyard as he found the girls. Kaede was making a flower crown and Riko was content to sit underneath the tree. His clothes were bloody since Nataku had bled on him after seeing him return with Kenren. He wondered if he could get Kaede to meet Ken-chan, but right now wasn't important. "You gotta come with me! Nataku came back! He's hurt though."

"Nataku?" Hurt? Oh no, and Mai wasn't finished setting up the kit she'd asked for. She felt her heart pounding in her chest at the sight of the blood on Goku's outfit, reaching out and touching it. She felt sick, but not because of the blood. It had more to do with anger, but she shoved it down for now. "Can you sneak us in to see him?" She was sure they took Nataku from Goku to get him bandaged up, but it would be like slapping a patch on a ripped piece of clothing.

Riko frowned deeply and before she could say anything, let alone do something, Goku already was nodding his head. "Yeah, I can, come on." He grabbed her wrist. "Don't worry Ri-chan I got her!" He said as he waved a little. "Hurry hurry!"

Riko bit her lower lip as she listened to them run off. She stood up swiftly and grabbed her bo. She would have to hurry herself and hope Li didn't catch them. At all.

~

Nataku heard whispering, and this body wanted to stiffen and go on alert, but he was so /sore/ already. He just...wanted to sleep and be left alone in this cold, isolated room. His nightmare was whirling, remembering all the dirty nasty names he was called growing up. He snapped his eyes open and it took a moment for things to clear. His head was pounding, but he saw Goku and Kaede hovering over him. "You...guys?" he asked, voice hoarse.

"Hey." Goku looked happy and relieved. "You're up. You were hurt badly. Are you alright? Do you need anything?"

"Shh, don't be so fast with your questions." Kaede scolded lightly, "Can you answer all of them, Nataku? It's okay if you can't really talk." She told him gently.

He was taken by such surprise that he just blinked at them both for a moment before he shook his head. "I'm...fine."

"Like hell you are!" Kaede exploded, catching both Goku and Nataku off guard. She took a deep breath and tried to calm down. She wasn't suppose to stress the injured.

Goku stared at her for a long time and turned to Nataku. "Why isn't anyone here to take care of you? You're all bandaged, but you're put in such a dreary place. It's sad."

Kaede had to immediately agree with Goku, "I can't believe they left you all alone. They should have people constantly checking up on you!"

Nataku sighed heavily and gritted his teeth so he could sit up and be at their level. It touched him that they were so adamant about this. "This happens every time. No one cares about what happens to me." He told them frankly, and he watched Kaede grow even more red in the face with her anger. He had the brief thought that it would be amusing if she suddenly started steaming. Really, though. Why were they so upset?

"We should get someone to check up on you." Goku frowned. "Stay here I'll-" But Nataku grabbed him by the wrist quick and he blinked in surprise. "Nataku?"

"Don't go." Nataku pleaded with Goku, "It's fine. Really, it is. They'll send someone eventually due to necessity, anyway." He was used to people only coming near him if they had to, but here these two were, here for him. To make sure he was alright. "Please stay with me." He looked at Kaede who seemed uncertain and worried again, "You, too. Both of you."

"Sounds good to me." Goku said, plopping down again with a happy smile on his face. "Come on Kaede. He'll tell us if he needs something."

Nataku was curious to why she hesitated to climb on the bed, but if Goku didn't seem to mind, neither would he. She was looking between them, and the way she bit her lip...he reached out to her now instead and tugged her forward, "Come on, you scared of me now, of all times? Is it the bandages?" He was sure he had dried or drying blood soaked through, but he had his haori on most of the way which hid it.

"No, not scared, just..." Kaede blushed, "There's just...not a whole lot of room on this little bed for the three of us."

Goku blinked. "No we're good. You can lay on top of me if you want or squeeze in the middle. We can dogpile it, we just gotta be careful."

Kaede stared at Nataku and Goku giving her expectant faces and she couldn't believe her ears. They were...so oblivious, weren't they? It...made sense in a way, and she wondered just who would explain it to them. Tenpou might with Goku, Konzen would find it too embarrassing. Nataku, though? Taking a deep breath, she shook her head and decided it was a thought best left for later. She motioned to Goku, and watched him sprawl out and he and Nataku split the pillow, which she had to say, at least it looked comfortable and fluffy. When they were settled, crawling up on shaky, nervous arms she slowly laid down and put her head on Goku's chest. Her face was red for a whole different reason now as both boys wrapped their arms around her. It was nerve-wracking, but as soon as their breathing evened out, Nataku passing out first, she found it hard to keep her own eyes open.

~
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:33 pm

Nataku felt familiar ki, but he ignored it. He was probably imagining it anyway. Goku and Kaede had come and gone already. No one else cared. He tried to fall back asleep when he felt a gentle touch on his face and he startled, his eyes snapping open. Kaede was there, looking down at him worried, breathing a little rapidly. His throat stuck, but he found himself reaching for her as well, thumbing her cheek, "You...came /back/." He was in awe, disbelieving.

"Of course...of course I came back, Nataku..." Kaede leaned into his touch, "I don't have the same restrictions as Goku. Riko and I came here together and I ran through the halls before Li Touten or anyone could stop me. I have a custom first aid kit from my teacher, Mai." She pulled away so she could hold up the box. "Can you sit up? I want to redress your wounds."

Nataku's stomach was doing odd things. She wanted to take care of him. She was here. She came back. His eyes stung, but he refused to cry. He wasn't allowed to cry. So he nodded to her and she helped him sit up, getting him the glass of water the servants had put by his bedside at least. Taking a drink, he watched silently as she sat on the bed and opened the box, pulling out a pair of scissors to cut away his soiled bandages.

It was a quiet ordeal and he was still baffled. He didn't understand. He was a /heretic/, a War God and he wasn't allowed to say it /hurt/. Even as she took a weird ointment and slathered some over his injuries, he closed his eyes and focused on her touch rather than the sting. "I don't understand." He finally said, opening his violet orbs to look at her, confusion swimming in them.

Kaede was just finishing putting the ointment on and was grabbing the wraps when he said that and she looked up. She blinked at him. "What do you mean?"

"You came back. Why?" Nataku clarified. She was just...so pretty. So sweet. All the women he'd encountered were like harpies, or well into their sexuality. All he knew were harsh words. What was expected of him. No one /cared/.

"I wanted to help you feel better." Kaede said like it was the simplest and most obvious answer in the world. Watching him, she focused on wrapping his arm and the other injured areas before she continued. "It really hurt last time when you said no one cares. I care. Goku cares. If he could he would be right here with us. You know that, right, Nataku?" She frowned at the wrapping and looked up at him. He was just so tortured, so sad. She finished her task and placed her hand on his chest, making him lay back down and she set the glass back on the stand.

What did he do to deserve this? Deserve them both? Goku was special, no one like him in the world, and was his first friend. Kaede had swiftly become his second friend, and wasn't scared of him even though she was normal. She didn't have to associate with someone as filthy as he was. Yet she was /here/. Just like Goku, she was irreplaceable. If anything happened to her because of him...he reached up again and cupped her cheek. His chest ached. "I don't want anyone to hurt you, Kaede." He murmured, "Please...please be careful. There's so much going on that you don't know. My father...he could use you, manipulate you. Try and avoid him as much as you can. I don't want him to see us together. Not like when I sneak out to be with Goku, but him specifically. Promise me you'll stay safe? Keep Goku near you when I'm not around."

Kaede gripped his hand, holding it to her cheek, and she leaned down, placing a kiss to his forehead, "I promise, Nataku. Calm down. It's okay. Breathe, Nataku..."

The way she said his name...that kiss...his skin burned with it, his stomach doing odd twists and his heart fluttering. He didn't understand these feelings. He wanted more than just that little peck. Why? What was this? He didn't know who to ask, how to ask, and he didn't know if he liked the feelings or not. They felt like they were dangerous to have right now. They made his mind fuzzy, clouding his judgement, making it hard to think about anyone but her. He felt like this around Goku sometimes, but again, he didn't understand enough to put a name to it and work it out further. So all he did was tug her so he could return the forehead peck and he let her move away, "Arigato, Kaede. You should go back to Riko now. I'll be okay."

Kaede was blushing hard, and Nataku's stomach whirled again. He /liked/ that blush on her, he could at least be confident in that. "Right. You feel better soon, okay? Goku's real worried, but I'll let him know I helped you some." She smiled brightly, shyly, gave his hand one more squeeze and then bolted off with the box close to her chest.

It felt empty and cold in the room with her gone, but he did...feel better. Closing his eyes again, he was so, so grateful.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: What Does Heaven Look Like To You-Saiyuki Gaiden AU    Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:58 pm

Mai knelt next to Riko on the porch, smoothing her skirt over her leg and shifting on her heels. It didn’t take long for news to spread that Nataku had came back, and it took not even longer to find out that he was badly injured. “Li’s going to be after your hide now that he knows that you’re around.” Mai broke the cold silence. She shifted on her heels again. “He was going to get rid of Goku, but if he can kill two birds with one stone-“

Riko didn’t answer and Mai bit her lip. It was hard sometimes to get a good read on what Riko was thinking. She was running her fingers up and down her bow staff, like she was reading braille or carvings that were on it. It was a habit that she had when she was waiting for something. What she was waiting for, Mai didn’t know.

She looked away from her friend and out towards the courtyard. “Konzen probably is starting to get a clue too.”

“He wasn’t very interested in the going ons.” Riko let out a sigh, tilting her head back towards the sky. Man glanced at her from the corner of her eye. “Now he doesn’t have a choice. He’s going to come to the realization that the more Goku and Nataku play together, the faster he needs to know what corruption is happening at the core of Heaven. We’re being played by strings, and it only will work if Konzen remains ignorant.”

“Li can’t actually think that Konzen’s not going to figure this out,” Mai deadpanned. “Seriously? He really is taking that for granted?”

“As long as Konzen remains as is, and as long as I remain the way I am, things will go exactly as it is. Now, if we try to rebel, he’s already got a war up his sleeve. We all know he’s bloodthirsty, if Nataku isn’t an example.” Riko kicked out her leg and then slowly brought it back. “I spoke to him.”

“What did he want?”

“He was curious about Kaede. About who she was, said that it was about time that Nataku made a couple of friends. Tried to play the good cards against me. You know, flattery and such.” Riko’s smile turned poisonous. “I told him it was about time that Nataku was let out of his cage and actually got friends.”

“Man, and we thought Kenren’s mouth was the one we were supposed to watch.” Mai groaned. “You just dug your own grave now.”

“Li wasn’t too pleased that I said that, but…well…he did laugh and say that rumors do spread faster than the truth. Which isn’t surprising. I made a little comment saying that he would know more than I would about that.” Riko sighed softly. “I did enter a snake’s hole though, I shouldn’t be surprised when he decides to bite, it’ll be because of something I did. Or said.”

“Well, at least it’s you or Kenren honestly.” Mai got herself out of her kneeling position and crossed her legs instead. She placed her elbow on her knee and rested her chin on her hand. “Both of you are so hot tempered. I just wonder which one will explode faster when this all comes down.” She paused. “Tenpou tells me that he has a suspicion that Li’s going to want to use Kaede as Nataku’s bride.”

“Killing off Goku would be killing two birds with one stone.” Riko pursed her lips together. “But does he honestly think that I’m going to just hand her over?”

“I think, he’s going to make it so you don’t have a choice.” Mai said apologetically. “I’ll keep my ear to the ground and warn you whenever, whatever I can.”

“And Konzen?”

“I think Tenpou’s already going to tell him his suspicions at a later date, probably when he has more concrete facts. Just because I can run around nosing my way into other people’s business, doesn’t mean he has the same lines of resources. I could probably get to him faster, but he’s going to want to know a lot more than I can give. Military have their own way of getting information, and let me tell you, I’d trust a man with a sword a lot faster than I trust a man with a drink on his hip.”

“Ouch, poor Kenren.” Riko teased.

“Well, besides Ken.” Mai corrected. “Can’t be against Tenpou’s best friend and general can’t I?”

“You are so smitten it’s not even funny.” Riko snorted.

Mai’s cheeks redden and she swiftly stood up. “I’m going to go play with Kaede now. You don’t stay out here for too long, I’m going to be making dinner soon.”

“Hai, hai.” Riko laughed, listening to Mai’s footsteps and the door sliding open before closing itself shut.

Score one for Li.

But it’ll even itself out soon enough.

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