"Thank you for coming," shone Hokuto as Kanoe passed her and her brothers. The Dreamgazer ignored the ghost, looking darkly at her ruined dress. "Thank you for coming," Hokuto said to Yuuto and Satsuki as they exited the grove to join Kusanagi and Yuzuriha outside. "Donít forget thereís the reception dinner too."
"Reception dinner?" repeated Subaru, standing beside her with his hand in Seishirouís. "You didnít tell me there was going to be a dinner!"
"Now, Subaru," Hokuto admonished. "Itís traditional. We have to have a dinner!"
"Come on, Subaru-kun," Seishirou purred. "Just a little longer then we can go back to the bedroom, alright?"
Karen and Seiichiro had come up and heard that last comment. Subaru turned red.
"Congratulations, Subaru-san," said Karen. "And to you too," she added to Seishirou. "I wouldnít have thought the tastes of a man like you would have run in that direction, though."
The assassin bowed slightly as Subaru received his own congratulations from Seiichiro. "I take that as a compliment."
The Soapland girl winked. "I was going to bring a present, but itís a good thing I forgot it," she said slyly. "I didnít know it was two men getting married."
Subaru sweat-dropped. Seishirou just smirked. "Thank you anyway."
The two of the moved on as Sorata and Arashi were next. "Um, congratulations, Subaru-san. Wait, do we have to call you ĎSakurazuka-saní now?" asked Sorata. Seishirou chuckled and Sorata glanced nervously at the Sakurazukamori. "Just wish you had given us some warning before running off with this guy."
Hokuto giggled. "No, donít blame my brother," she corrected. "Itís all my doing. I kidnapped them and locked them up together."
Sorataís face lighted up. "I donít suppose you could kidnap me and Miss and lock us up?" he asked hopefully. Arashiís eyes went wide. Then she elbowed him in the stomach before bowing politely to Subaru and Seishirou.
"Congratulations." Then she walked away, Sorata following behind.
"Someone needs to liven that girl up a bit," muttered Hokuto. "Thank you for coming!" she beamed at Nataku pushing Kakyou past them. The bioroid looked confused. Kakyou lifted up his head and ever so slightly smiled.
"Oh!" Hokuto snapped her gloved fingers. "Iíd better go and show everyone where to go for the reception! Iíll be back!" With that, she flew off in the direction where the Seals and Angels were milling about looking confused. Having no idea what was going on, Nataku followed, pushing Kakyou with it. Subaru sighed, glad the whole thing was nearly over. He searched around for the last person to exit.
Kamui stood uncomfortably in the entrance, hands behind his back and head bowed. Slowly he looked at Subaru with Seishirou beside him. The Sumeragi felt the small smile he had been wearing for everyoneís congratulations die away.
"Kamui . . ."
The Dragon of Heaven straightened. "C-congratulations. Subaru," he managed to say. He glanced at the Sakurazukamori. "Congratulations to you both. I hope youíll both be happy."
Subaru sighed. Kamuiís eyes were bright and his body unusually tense. He turned to Seishirou. "Do you mind if . . . " he said softly to his Ďhusbandí.
Seishirou smiled. "Of course not. Iíll be waiting."
Subaru graced him with a thankful smile and gave his hand a squeeze before walking over to Kamui. The boy watched him with large violet eyes and bowed his head as Subaru laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Shall we go talk?"
Kamui nodded mutely as Subaru gently propelled him into the grove of sakura. Seishirou watched them go, then leaned against a tree. There was still one person left.
ĎKamuií stood casually in the middle of the path, idly watching the pink blossoms drift to the ground.
"Arenít you worried?" the teenager asked, nodding in the direction Subaru and Kamui had taken.
Seishirou lifted up his left hand and looked at the new silver ring adorning it. "No. Why should I?"
His companion chuckled. "So," ĎKamuií said off-handedly. "Have you got your wish?"
Seishirou removed a pair of sunglasses from the pocket of his suit and put them on. "In a way."
ĎKamuií smirked. "Shall we go out for ice-cream sometime?"
The assassin sighed melodramatically. "You forget. Iím married now."
"Iím sorry, Kamui."
The violet-eyed boy looked at Subaru in surprise. "What for?"
Subaru sighed. "I should have told you earlier. But Hokuto-chan likes surprises."
Kamui violently shook his head. "No, really itís alright. Iím glad to know that youíre okay. I was just scared that Ė that . . ." He trailed off uncomfortably. "When you disappeared, I was thought that you might not come back."
Subaru looked at the boy. "Youíre scared that Iím leaving, is that it?"
Kamui stared at his feet. "Yeah." He looked up at Subaru. "Thereís only four people in my life that understand me," he said softly. "Mother. Fuuma. Kotori. And you. Mother burned to death, Kotori was killed . . . Fuuma became . . ." Kamui shuddered. "Theyíre all gone. I just donít want you to go either."
"Why do you think that I would go?"
Kamui blushed. "Well, um, youíre married."
Subaru smiled and drew the boy into an embrace. "I not going to leave you, donít worry about that. Iíll still be here."
"Really?" said Kamui brightening.
The boy shone and held him a moment longer before drawing away.
"Iím glad that youíre happy." Kamui looked at him. "You are happy with him, arenít you?"
Subaru smiled. "Yes."
"Good," said Kamui with emphasis. Then he grinned nervously. "Youíd better get going. I donít want a jealous Sakurazukamori coming after me."
The Sumeragi laughed. "He wonít. I wonít let him." He turned to go. "Coming?"
Kamui waved him on. "Iíll be there in a minute."
Subaru gave him a quizzical look, but walked out of the grove anyway. Once he had disappeared, Kamui sighed and let his gaze drop to his feet.
"Heís sweet, isnít he," said a voice from somewhere behind him. Kamui turned around to see Hokuto floating a few centimeters off the ground.
"My brother, you dolt." She flitted over and cocked her head as she looked at the boy. "You remind me of him, you know that?"
"Huh?" Kamui blinked. "How?"
The ghost gave him a smile. "Youíre both cute for starters. You both have the whole angst thing going on, and the obsession thing too. I see great potential for dressing you up." She paused, her face softening. "And the loneliness."
There was nothing Kamui could say in reply. Instead, he mutely stared at the pink-clad ghost with large violet eyes that had become glowingly dark.
Hokuto rolled her own eyes. "Argh! Donít do that!"
Kamui blinked. "What?"
"Donít give me that depressingly angsty look! (Geez, and I thought emerald was bad!) I had enough of it from Subaru!"
The Dragon of Heaven very slowly and very carefully backed away from the ghost as she emphasised her words with flailing arms, shaken fists and stamp of feet. "Sorry! Sorry!"
"And stop apologising!"
Hokuto rolled her eyes again. "Are you naturally like this or have been hanging around with my twin too long?" she muttered under her breath. "Never mind that. Iíve got someone to see you."
"Are you capable of speaking in anything else apart from monosyllables? I run into a lot of people up here and thought Iíd arrange something for you. Now I need to see to the reception. Just wait and when youíve finished just follow the path out of here."
She was going too fast for him. "W-wait a moment, what are you talking about?" Kamui spluttered. Unfortunately Hokuto was already leaving.
"See you later! Donít take too long!" She waved at him then pirouetted and winked out of sight in a shower of golden sparkles. He rubbed his eyes in confusion.
Kamui froze. Then he very slowly turned around, and stared for a long time at the glowing angel before him before smiling.
The reception dinner was actually rather good, thought Subaru. Hokuto had wisely put Kamui and ĎKamuií on opposite ends of the table with the Seals and Angels in between. He was rather jittery about some of the other placements though. Sorata and Yuuto formed the link where the Seals seating changed to Angels and from the bickering he could see from his and Seishirouís own private table Subaru wouldnít be surprised if something happened.
He was relieved that he had sorted things out with Kamui, who had arrived late to the dinner with a smile on his usually melancholy face. As long as the boy understood that Subaru wasnít going to abandon them, it was good. He wasnít quite sure how he was going to balance Seishirou and being a Seal though. Heíd have to think on that.
Hokuto, having no need to eat, floated around serving everyone pieces of wedding cake. Subaru watched his sister, silently thanking her for all the trouble she had gone through for him. And he was glad to know that despite the fact that she was dead, his twin was still the outrageous, lively and stubborn girl she had always been.
"Not hungry, Subaru-kun?" asked Seishirou.
"Eh?" Subaru jerked his thoughts back to reality. "No, not really."
Seishirou chuckled. "Iím sure that can be changed."
"What did you say?!"
Everyone looked up at the outraged shout at an outraged Sorata. The monk leapt to his feet and glared down at Yuuto seated beside him.
The civil servant calmly sipped his drink before answering. "I said, oh deaf one, that you are a scruffy-looking clown with no dress sense and no luck with women."
Sorata looked mad. "What are you talking about? Miss loves me, donít you?" he said, turning to Arashi seated next to him.
The priestess looked at him in surprise. "Excuse me?"
Yuuto laughed. "See?"
The Kansai monk wheeled on him. "At least I donít look like some sort of poofter!"
Yuuto stopped. He put down his drink and stood up. "What did you call me?" he asked in a dangerously low voice.
Sorata grinned. "Anyone looking at you would think youíre a pimp."
Yuutoís face darkened. Deliberately he picked up his plate of cake in one hand, held it high for a moment, then shoved it in Sorataís face.
"Now who looks stupid?"
Hokuto was absolutely shocked. "Thatís no way to treat my cake!"
Sorata wiped icing out of his eyes and blinked. He glared at his attacker. He picked up his own plate of cake and threw it at Yuuto. Unfortunately the Dragon of Earth had seen it coming and ducked. It hit Satsuki instead.
Sorata held a hand behind his head. "Whoops. Missed. Sorry!"
Satsuki was not one who accepted apologies. She glared at Sorata through her cake coated glasses. She picked up two plates of food. She lobbed them back at the Dragons of Heaven who ducked and raised plates to shield themselves to no avail. The only one who came out clean was Arashi as Sorata stood up and shielded her, all the food hitting his back.
"Wah!" howled Yuzuriha. "My ice-cream has soy sauce in it!" Beside her, Seiichiro took off his glasses and wiped the food off it with the corner of his napkin.
"Look . . . what . . . youíve . . . done . . . to . . . my . . . dress!" bit out Karen. Her violet slip was stained with wedding cake white icing. Flaming mad the pyromaniac threw her own plate of food at the Dragons of Earth. The Angels retaliated with their own edible missiles, and soon the air was filled with food flying everywhere.
Hokuto screeched at the sight. "Why does this always happen to me-e!" she wailed.
Nataku looked at its stained white scarf. "Is this what happens at weddings?" it asked ĎKamuií.
The Dragon of Earth ducked a shower of fruit. "It happens at this one."
"Oh." A piece of cake hit the bioroid on the arm. It wiped it off. "Then I too shall join in." Expressionlessly Nataku chose a bowl of soup and flicked it over to the other end of the table. In return, Yuzuriha lobbed her ice-cream at its face. Subaru and Seishirou watched the food-sight with identical pained expressions.
Hokuto glared death at the rain of food flying around the room, getting madder and madder. "This is last straw!!" An all-too-familiar mallet appeared out of thin air, and the pink-clad ghost launched herself at the nearest Dragon, which happened to be Kamui. The Seal yelped and frantically lobbed his dessert at her. Unfortunately for him ghosts arenít solid and it passed straight through. The mallet, on the other hand, connected.
"No fair!" complained Kamui when he could see past the stars again. "You have an advantage!" He rapidly ducked as a hail of pastries came his way.
Subaru watched the intensifying food fight as a piece of wedding cake flew past his nose. It didnít help that his ever-enthusiastic sister had provided a banquet for ammunition.
"Perhaps now would be a good time to leave," Seishirou whispered into his ear. His breath was warm. "Iím sure we can find something to do thatís much more . . . interesting."
Subaru sighed as his sister tried to bash some manners into the Dragons of Heaven and Earth. She was no more successful than last time. He turned, emerald eyes meeting white and gold, and smiled.
"Yes, letís go."
The two of them got up and quietly slipped away, unnoticed by most except one. Hokuto paused for a moment while chaos raged around her, watching the pair exit and smiled softly.
"Told you so," she said, though there was no way Subaru or Seishirou could hear her. "All you needed was a little help."
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