I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
You,unsuspecting,wear me too-
And angels know the rest.
I hide myself within my flower,
That,fading from your vase,
You,unsuspecting,feel for me
Almost a loneliness.
~With A Flower 1,by Emily Dickenson
Shuten glared at each of the other Masho,feeling too crowded for
comfort.Rajura,Annubisu,and Naaza;he had always been aware of,all through
those two centuries.Now his glare settled on the newcomer,the outcast:Toriyuki
with the icy armor.His face was pale though not as much as the Gen Masho's.
"So."Shuten began,shifting his gaze to the other Masho,then back to
the ice Youja,"Your new."
"That should be obvious,Oni-san.I am,"Toriyuki drawled,his gaze
flicking to the others,"Toriyuki."The cold ghoul bowed slightly,his voice
hinting with annoyance.
Naaza made a disgruntled sigh,clearly bored with having to welcome a
new annoyance to the Youjakai.*That man is going to cause me grief later,I can
see it.*Naaza said to himself as Toriyuki straightened up,*So egotistical,
Toriyuki looked him in the eye.*So damned...Hummm...*Naaza frowned as
his train of thought was cut off as he was engaged in a staring contest with
the new Youja.His attention flicked to Rajura who snickered.Naaza grabbed
Rajura's arm in a near death grip and dragged him to the next room,turning and
glaring at the one-eyed man,"What's so amusing,Raj-kun?"
Rajura smiled as he flicked his long white locks out of his face and
stared at him with his perfect blue eye,"I think someone's found a new
interest."Then he tipped his head to the side,wrapping his hair around his
finger,"Or,could it be,vice versa?You two would look interesting."
"He is a Youja.Not human,Youja!"
"I am not interested..."
"I am interested..."Toriyuki murmured as he floated about the castle
halls.The guards and even the Masho were uneasy with an unknown Youja hovering
just behind their backs,lurking just over their heads.It gave them both chills
and frights.Obviously they haven't dealt with the kind who liked company,or
the kind that liked to stalk you.Even if he's been around for a hundred years
But it was Naaza he enjoyed hovering about.While Rajura,fun to scare,
was protected by Annubisu who tried striking at him whenever possible.Shuten
went running to the next room,or even to Arago's throneroom to avoid his icy
presence.But Naaza,well,he'd either ignore or confront him.
Toriyuki was now sitting on one of the baconies,admiring both the view
of the gardens and Naaza's lack of notice to his presence,possibly because he
was out of the Masho's keen sight.Naaza was in his sub-yoroi,but with a kimono
over it,clean white and lined with dark green velvet.He was sitting under a
cherry blossom tree,cradling a brown spotted boa.If Arago wouldn't go off on
him,Toriyuki would have him and the garden iced for preservation,but Arago
would be enraged if he did such a thing to any of the Masho.
Instead,Toriyuki let out a sigh of regret and continued his vigil.That
was,til Naaza took notice of his presence.
"Stop stalking me,you damned ghost!"
Toriyuki saw Naaza stand up,the boa was half draped over his shoulder
and wrapped,like a vine,about his slender arm.Tori(since I'm tired of the
full name)jumped down and walked towards him,caressing flowers as he went,
letting them freeze at his touch and turn into crystallized petals.Naaza was
not very happy about that,"Your ruining my garden!Stop that!"
Tori stopped.His hand,a dark cloud,hovered mere inches away from a
vibrant hibiscus,"This...is your garden?You planted the seeds that grew into
these things of beauty?Assembled this...fountain of nature?"
Naaza blinked,stupified.He hadn't thought a Youja,especially one who
seemed as cold as Tori did,could speak like a poet and appreciate all the
garden was,living beauty."Yes,I did."he replied,the snake recoiling up his arm
and wrapping around his shoulders,"I did all of this,why?Not as if you'd..."
He paused as Tori's hand dropped away from the rosen bud and waved to melt
the cold clutch that clung to the flowers he had touched.
"So sorry that I so harmed your works of art."
"Works...of art?"Naaza blinked again,just as stupified.He wondered how
growing a garden could be considered art,"This isn't art..."
Tori disagreed,"Art is the will of the creator!You have willed life into
seeds that grew and budded into blossom's,one of nature's greatest beauties.
You have willed these flowers to join in harmony and bring such a desolate
place to light."
Naaza was,without a doubt,astonished by Tori's speech.If that was true,
then maybe he was an artist of some kind.*The will of the creator...*
She went as quiet as the dew
From a familiar flower.
Not like the dew did she return
At the accustomed hour!
She dropped as softly as a star
From out my summer's eve;
Less skillful than Leverrier
It's sorer to believe!
"Arago had been defeated,by a boy,but a very strong boy.One that joined
the yorois to make Kikotei,the white inferno.Everyone in the Youjakai had been
disappointed with our defeat.So Saranbo(don't know his Japanese name)had
tried his luck and died like the fool he was.Served him right!Now Tori wants
to try his hand,but I can see it spelling nothing but grief for Naaza..."
"Their own faults!"
Naaza frowned at what he had been told by Rajura,"Shuten betrayed us,
we were defeated,Saranbo was destroyed and that foolhardy ghoul wants to...to
try his luck?!How stupid are the Youja getting?Less or more?!"
"Me thinks your worried for his safety..."Rajura stated,circles around
his eyes as he had been up for hous,scouring tombs and old scrolls for anything
they could learn of Kikotei,but to no avail.
"I'm not."Naaza growled savagely,"If I was...I would....I'd..."
Rajura tilted his head to the side,"You'd find a way to finish that
Rajura groaned and shook his head,"I'm so bloody tired..."
"I feel for you,but we can't start relaxing.We need to start planning.
And first thing I'm going to do is talk that baka out of getting annihilated."
"Your worried for him..."
"No I'm not!"
"I'm still going."
"No your not!!You'd better listen to me or else!"
"Or else what?"Tori countered,challenging Naaza with his dark eyes,he
intended to bring the troopers' heads on a silver platter to offer in respects
for the Masho's persistance in the fight and he couldn't believe he was being
yelled at by the one he most intended to do such a feat for.
"Or else I'll kick that Youja ass of your that's what!They'll destroy
you,I'm sure of it!"Naaza snapped,his own eyes burning with the challenge for
Tori to ignore his warnings,to throw himself into battle and get killed.To
leave him without anyone to tell him he was an artist.
Naaza was blocking Tori's way to the gate that he,and Rajura,would surely
lead to his defeat at the troopers' hands.But Tori snorted,brushing his threat
off like it was dirt on his shoulder."I'll bring their heads,Suiko's especially,
on a platter fit for Arago-sama,just to you.But,one would think you wouldn't
want such a th-"
"I don't!Besides I'll get Suiko's head in due time,myself."
"But why wait?Nani?You'd wait for another defeat,and another...They are
too strong for you,Doku-chan."That was when Tori made his way around Naaza and
his objections and out the gate...
(After Toriyuki's defeat by Suiko no Shin,Youjakai,1988)
"You warned him..."
"I did?Did I warn him enough?"
"You warned him,I warned him...Arago's defeat warned him!But that didn't
matter to him...now did it?He wanted your approval and when he didn't get it,
he wanted to go even more,to prove himself..."
"But he didn't prove anything but the fact that the Youja are stupid and
Naaza was depressed.His whole life;before the Youjakai,before his garden,
he hadn't gone without being depressed.Living alone,stealing to live,he had never
had anyone before.And,when he did,they abandoned him as if he was a cat they
were unable to care for,a plague of some kind even!
He'd never,never,experienced love,or even the slightest hint of it.He
was always told it was a great feeling,something that gave meaning to your life.
But for him,it never lead to anything but regret.Anyhting but a deeper wound
in his already mutilated heart and anything but the sting of salty tears in
his sensitive eyes.
Now he stared at the hibiscus,the one Tori had spared when he realized
Naaza's garden,the lively,vibrant one.Colored with vermillion and blood red.
Tori's favorite...But now he was alone,with his garden,his snake,his...
He swore he'd pay Suiko back.Pay back to him the loneliness and regret
he had been served up with.And,to take utter and merciless revenge for Tori's
death,even if it meant his own...
Hard to be sure
Sometimes I feel so insecure
And loves so distant and obscure
Remains the cure
All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself
All by myself
Don't wanna live
All by myself
~'All by myself' Celine Dion
**Now we know why Sekhmet/Naaza's so crazy sometimes.**
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