Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, ain't makin' money, please don't sue.

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Heavenly Playground

Chapter 2 - The Trouble with Seishi

By Night~Mare

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Taiitsukun-sama floated down a dark passage. The only light was the magic that gleamed from her mirror. Suzaku, in boy form, followed her. He looked straight ahead because there was nothing else to look at, just dark. He didn't know where she was leading them. It was surprising that she was still speaking to them after what had happened yesterday...or rather...last night. Well...at least he had gotten the south. He grinned at the thought.

"You scared Suzaku?" Seriyuu jeered. Suzaku ignored his older brother. Seriyuu was just mad because he got stuck with the east. There was nothing wrong with the east. It just wasnít the south. Suddenly sharp claws dug into Suzaku's side making him shriek. " Aw look. The little god is scared!"

"No I'm not Seriyuu! That hurt!"

"Uh-huh."

"Leave him alone Seriyuu," Byakko said, " Why don't you pick on someone of your own intelligence for once?" The blue haired boy snickered.

"Yeah."

"Like a slug," Byakko finished.

"Why you..." The dragon moved to attack the white haired boy. Byakko simply lifted a hand and a razor sharp claw slid out of his fingertip. Seriyuu backed down grumbling. Byakko smirked and continued to walk. Suzaku stuck his tongue out at the dragon and launched himself in the air lest he poke him again.

They soon arrived in a dark cave. Seven pools filled with something other then water lit the cave eerily. Suzaku perched at the edge of one pool and glanced down in it. The water was alive. Amorphous shapes floated in it, brushing against each other and going under each other. He couldn't tell the difference between them.

"This is the cave of being. Those souls who will be born rest here," Taiitsukun-sama said.

"Everyone who will ever be born?" Byakko asked, peering down into the souls.

"Everyone with the potential to be one of the shichi seishi. Now look." Suzaku looked back. Taiituskun-sama swung her hand out and mirrors lighted the walls. There were twenty-eight mirrors, and under each mirror was a goblet resting on a table. Seven goblets were black onyx, seven crystal, seven sapphire and seven ruby.

"Choose the souls you want and put them in the goblet of your color," Taiitsukun-sama explained, " Now to make it fair you will all have to look in the same pool. But you can only choose one from each." Suzaku shrugged.

"Ok." He jumped into the pool he was closest to. Souls splashed up as he landed and fell with a plip back among the others. The souls were warm and held the electricity of life. He carefully picked up a soul and watched it throb like a heartbeat in his hands. This...was...or was going to be, a shy human, nervous and high strung. With the tendency to blow up at people, he slipped it back among the others. He turned in the waist deep souls to see what the others were doing.

Byakko was hunched on the edge of the pool. Golden eyes flickering back and forth. Every once in a while his hand would dart out and scoop up a soul. Then he would shrug and toss it back. Genbu was slowly picking away examining the soul in his hand carefully. Seriyuu was...was no where to be found. Suddenly the dragon jumped up in front of him and slapped him in the face with a soul.

Suzaku glared and threw a handful of souls back in Seriyuu's direction. Seriyuu dodged.

"You have to do better then that bird boy!"

"I will lizard breath!" He charged his brother, using his wings for momentum and pushed him down into the souls. Seriyuu kicked up, caught him in the stomach and sent him flying. Suzaku landed on his back and souls flew up and draped themselves all over Byakko. Suzaku poked his head above the living mass and grinned sheepishly.

"Sorry Byakkie-kun." The white haired boy hissed under his breath and proceeded to peel souls off him and drop them back into the pond.

"Can't you two just grow up? I mean..." he struggled to remove a soul that was tenaciously clinging to his hair, " I mean...," he grunted, " it's somewhat...argh....annoying!" he said finally managing to retrieve it.

"He started it!" Byakko wasn't paying attention to him. Instead a thoughtful look drifted into his eyes. He stood and started to take the soul away.

"The first soul you take will be the leader of your seishi," Taiitsukun-sama said. Byakko nodded and continued. Suzaku climbed out of the pool to follow his older brother. The tiger paused to look back at him. Then waited until Suzaku was beside him before placing the soul in the goblet. The mirror sprung to life. A ghost appeared suddenly and the two jumped back. The ghost stared straight ahead, neither speaking or even moving.

"N...nani?" Suzaku breathed.

"That is what you're seishi will look like when the miko first arrives."

"Nice choice Byakkie-kun."

"I know." He was a man, there was no doubt about that. Yet he was beautiful. He had long soft brown hair that fell to the back of his legs.

"What are you going to call him?"

"Umm...Chibi-Bya. Of course he's not half as beautiful as me but..."

"You can't do that Byakko."

"Why not Taiitsukun-sama?"

"You have to name him after his constellation."

"What constellation?"

"Any one that's over the western sky."

"Hum...I guess...Tatara then. He looks like a Tatara."

"Woah! I found a cute girl soul!" Seriyuu cried.

"Where?!" Suzaku yelled. Bolting back toward the pool. Seriyuu was holding a squirming soul in his hands. It slipped out and away in the pool. Suzaku dove after it, spreading his wings to give him a longer leap. Seriyuu grabbed at his foot.

"Hey!" Suzaku cried.

"She's mine! I saw her first!" Seriyuu snarled.

"No! She's mine! You let her go!"

"Taiitsukun-sama! Tell him to stop chasing her!"

"No! Tell him to stop chasing her! He let her go! She's fair game!"

"He already got the south!"

"That's because you weren't fast enough lizard breath!"

"That's because you cheated bird brain!"

"Did not! You're just to stupid to admit youíre a loser!" Seriyuu's blue eyes narrowed and he inhaled. Suzaku winced as he knew he was about to be blasted by fire.

"SERIYUUSEIKUN! DON'T YOU DARE YOUNG ONE!" Taiitsukun-sama yelled. Seriyuu cowered away from the angry creator. " Suzaku is right. She is fair game! Now stop squabbling before I blast you!"

"Yeah, so thupp!" Suzaku said, then before the creator could threaten him too, dove after the cute girl soul. He caught one in his hands and felt it. It wasn't the girl soul. He scowled, about to throw it back, something stopped him. This soul...this soul was very loving. It had a big heart and a determination that surprised the young god. He liked it. He continued to stare at it as he put it in his goblet. The mirror flashed and the ghost appeared. He was a young man, seventeen. His blue black hair was somewhat wild in the front and fell in a ponytail down his back. His eyes were a dark violet and his smile gentle, if somewhat arrogant. Suzaku smiled, yes...this would be it.

"Not to bad," Byakko said, coming up beside him, " what's his name?"

"I don't know. He needs a nice sounding name. Something that fits him."

"He looks like a Mitsukake to me." Suzaku wrinkled his nose.

"Too many syllables. I like Tamahome better."

"Suzaku...Tamahome is four syllables and Mitsukake's only three."

"I don't care. I like Tamahome better anyway."

"What a stupid name," Seriyuu scoffed, dumping a soul into his sapphire goblet, " Tamahome...humph." A tall blond man appeared in front of the dragon.

"Oh yeah. So what's his name?" Suzaku asked gesturing to the blond human.

"Nuriko."

"That's one of my constellations moron." Seriyuu blinked.

"Oh...Subaru."

"That's mine," Byakko said, " don't you know anything about you're stars?"

"They weren't going to be my stars...if someone hadn't cheated!"

"Nyah!"

"Why don't you name him Tomo? He looks like a Tomo," Byakko said.

"No. Hey bird brain, if you're so smart you name all my stars." " Well in the south theres, Tamahome, Hotohori, Nuriko, Chichiri, Tasuki, Mitsukake and Chiriko. In the East there are Nakago, Amiboshi, Suboshi, Soi, Ashitare, Tomo and Miboshi. In the west there are Takara, Tokaki..."

"ALL RIGHT! I DIDN'T ASK FOR ALL TWENTY!"

"There are twenty eight," the redhead said with a giggle.

"Fine...this one's name is Nakago."

"I still like Tomo better," the white haired boy said, " but you can pick an unfitting name if you want. It's not my problem."

"Hikutsu," Genbu said from the other end of the cave. They all looked to see another man in front of the turtle, with long, light brown hair.

"I get to call the next pool!" Suzaku cried.

"Do not!" Seriyuu snapped. The phoenix boy launched himself at a pool, skimming above the ground. Seriyuu grabbed his foot, holding him back. Suzaku shrieked and tried to tug his foot from his brotherís grip.

"TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! TELL SERIYUU TO LET GOOO!"

"TELL HIM I GET TO PICK THE POOL!"

"IT'S MY TURN LIZARD BREATH!"

"IS NOT! YOU GOT THE LAST ONE!"

"If you're done fighting..." Suzaku looked and saw Byakko waist deep in souls in the third pool. He strained his wings, trying to fly out of Seriyuu's grip. His brother suddenly let go.

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Byakko didn't look up as his winged brother sailed over his head and slammed into the cave wall. Suzaku was sometimes too much of a brat for his own good. He brushed a red feather out of the pool and pushed delicately through the souls. The first one he'd liked because he was going to be gentle. Now the god wanted something fast and exciting. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his oldest brother casually pawing through the souls.

He sighed to himself. Genbu was so slow and brutish. He also thought he knew everything, which could get slightly annoying at times. And boy was the turtle ever a suck up. Hai Taiitsukun-sama. No Taiitsukun-sama. Whatever you wish Taiitsukun-sama. He had no sense of adventure or fun or, Byakko flicked his hair over his shoulder, beauty.

Seriyuu was mean and vicious sometimes. He always liked to pick on people and more then once Taiitsukun-sama had caught him with a human in his mouth. The dragon thought he owned the place and sometimes even Byakko was hard put to keep him in line.

Suzaku was immature and reckless. Sure the god was adorable at times and almost always happy...but he was a brat. He got away with a lot of things the others didn't. That wasn't so strange considering he was the youngest...and blissfully unaware of his freedoms.

Byakko was glad that there was a god such as himself. A benevolent, beautiful, gentle god who was perfect in every way there was to be perfect. If he weren't there, who knows what the heavens would be like?

"Hey Byakkie-kun?"

"Hai?"

"What does sexy mean?" He looked at his fiery haired brother.

"It means really nice looking."

"Like cute?"

"Much better then cute."

"Well I don't care much about it then. Sorry sexy lady."

"SEXY LADY?!" Byakko, Genbu and Seriyuu yelled at the same time.

"Yeah," Suzaku said and put the soul gently back in the pool. The three gods shared a glance.

"MINE!" Genbu yelled, darting after it. For a turtle he could be pretty quick when he wanted to be.

"NO WAY!" Byakko yelled. Leaping for it with outstretched hands.

"BACK OFF!" Seriyuu snarled. Byakko frantically grasped for the soul, it kept slipping away from him. His entire concentration was aimed at catching the elusive soul. He looked up for an instant and saw Genbu plowing straight for him, also hell bent on getting the soul. Byakko went wide-eyed. Not again.

"GENBU! ST-" It was to late. The bigger god slammed into him sending both plowing into the souls. Byakko kicked his oldest brother off him and scrambled to his feet. Seriyuu had the soul and was trying to scramble out of the pool.

"SHE'S MINE!" Byakko roared. The symbol on his forehead glowed bright white.

"N...no," the dragon stammered. Byakko narrowed his eyes and brought his chi into his hand. White light surrounded it. Seriyuu hesitated, then dropped the soul back into the pool. Byakko approached it. Seriyuu dove for it again. Byakko's chi blast caught him in mid dive sending the dragon slamming back into the wall.

"BYAKKOSEIKUN. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NOT TO CHI BLAST YOU'RE BROTHER?!"

"Gomen Taiitsukun-sama," he folded his hands behind his back and bowed his head.

"Now apologize to him right now." Byakko watched out of the corner of his eye as Genbu caught the soul and picked it up. No! It was his soul! He could feel it.

"Hai Taiitsukun-sama, sorry Seriyuu," he said quickly. Then he snatched the soul out of the turtleís hands and scrambled out of the pool. He slipped the soul into the crystal goblet next to Tatara. He grinned as she appeared. White flowing hair, low cut gown. She was sexy and was perfect to compliment his good looks.

"You call that a seishi? Looks more like a wimp to me," Seriyuu said. Byakko looked over his shoulder. Seriyuu was standing next to Suzaku looking at his choice.

"Be right back, Subaru," Byakko muttered and wandered over to his brothers. He looked up at the seishi. He was eighteen, with short dark brown hair and dark eyes. There was a calm expression on his face.

"He doesn't look like a wimp!"

"He looks like a wimp."

"I think he's handsome," Byakko said, " another good pick." The phoenix beamed.

"Hai! So there lizard breath!" Byakko touched the cup, just to see what this man was like. Well...one good thing about Suzaku was he knew how to pick them. He let go and put a hand on the youngests shoulder.

"You know what? He's going to be an emperor. Not so weak now, huh Seriyuu?" Byakko said.

"I've picked mine," Genbu interrupted, " You still have to pick yours Seriyuu." The dragon stomped to the pool, scooped one up and plopped it into the cup. A little man with long earrings and slitted eyes appeared. Byakko snickered.

"GREAT! JUST PERFECT!" the dragon snarled, throwing up his hands, " Genbu gets a cool looking man. Byakko gets a sexy chick. Suzaku gets an emperor. AND WHAT DO I GET!"

"A midget," Byakko said.

"IT'S NOT FAIR TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! I WANT TO THROW HIM BACK!"

"You can't. It's you're fault for not picking carefully."

"Ha ha!" Suzaku said and began to dance from foot to foot pointing at Seriyuu, " You got a midget! You got a midget! Whatcha gonna call him? Chibi-you?"

"SHUT UP!"

"Aww...look at the cute little midget! Could he be one of the great, terrifying Seriyuu shichi seishi?!" The redhead burst out laughing. The blue symbol grew bright on Seriyuu's forehead and he inhaled.

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Genbu rolled his eyes as Suzaku's high-pitched scream rang through the cave.

"TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! DID YOU SEE? SERIYUU FRIED ME AGAAAIN!"

"HE MADE FUN OF MY SEISHI!"

"I MADE FUN OF YOUR MIDGET! IT'S NOT MY FAULT YOUR BRAIN IS AS SMALL AS YOUR SEISHI!" There was the sound of chi fire and Suzaku screamed again.

"TAIITSUKUN-SAMAAAAA!"

When would Suzaku learn just to get out of the way? He pushed through the souls. Trying to find one that suited his taste. No one seemed just right. He picked up one and gasped. It was...it was such a perfect soul. Sweet, nice and gentle...yet it was loyal as well and had an innocence to it that he found appealing.

"Brothers...come see this one." The three gods entered the pool and touched the soul in his hands. There was a surprised silence.

"Wow," Byakko breathed, " this one is...is amazing."

"Hai." Seriyuu said.

"I want it," Suzaku said. Genbu glared at his youngest brother. This soul was his. He was the oldest and he'd picked it.

"Not this time Suzaku," Byakko said, " this one's mine."

"You got the sexy one! Let me have it!" Seriyuu said.

"I had it first!" Genbu interrupted, " and since I am the oldest I get fair claim to it!"

"Sorry shell face. I'm taking it," Byakko said.

"No I am!" Suzaku said.

"You already have an emperor bird brain! Let me have it!"

"Why should I lizard breath? Byakkie-kun already gave it to you!" Genbu growled and tried to pull the soul out of the others grip. They refused to let go and instead began pulling in their own way. Genbu was determined to have this soul! His brothers wouldn't get it! He pulled back with all he had.

Suddenly Taiitsukun-sama was hovering over them. Glaring down at them. She lifted her hand and the gods were chi blasted in four different directions. She picked up the soul. and it hung limply from her hands.

"See what you're fighting did to him?" the old woman snapped.

"Aw comon' Taiitsukun-sama. It's just a human."

"Just a human Seriyuuseikun? Someday you are going to regret underestimating them." Genbu looked at it. The soul looked weird now.

"It's stretched," he said when he had figured it out. Byakko wrinkled his nose.

"Ugh. It is? Well I don't want a stretched soul."

"Neither do I," Seriyuu said.

"Throw it back Taiitsukun-sama," Genbu said. Who wanted a stretched soul?

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Suzaku waded through the souls and tugged on the hem of Taiitsukun-sama's dress. She looked down at him.

"Can I see it?" he asked. The creator nodded it and placed the soul in his hands. It was absurdly stretched and looked different from the rest of the souls. He felt sorry for it.

"Drop it bird brain. It's not worth a gods' time," the dragon said. The redhead scowled at his brother.

"Seriyuu's right," Byakko said, " it's going to be weak now. No matter how much power you put into it."

"It's...it's fixable," Suzaku said. He patted and stroked the damaged soul. Trying to get it back to its original shape. It just wouldn't go. Just hung limp in his hands. It pulsed subtly and slowly...like it was dying. Suzaku gathered some chi into his fingertip and gently touched the soul. The pulse strengthened and quickened, but it was still weak. He started to put in back among the others. Then changed his mind and hugged it to him.

He climbed out of the pool and put it into the third cup. The image sprung to life. It was a boy...he looked eight, but Suzaku knew he was thirteen. He had light brown hair, pulled up in a tall ponytail and smiling sea green eyes. Suzaku liked him.

"It'll be ok..." he whispered to it, " don't worry. I'll make sure that you're special. I'll find you good friends...and...and a good miko too. I won't fail you little soul. Little Chiriko." Then he looked at his other seishi. " You take good care of him Hotohori...and you too Tamahome."

"Good pick Seriyuu!" Genbu said. Suzaku looked at his brotherís cups. He had a woman with purplish pink hair and a ok figure...for a girl.

"Me-yow that's one good lookin' female!" Byakko said and purred appreciatively. " She's got the biggest set of..."

"Eyes," Taiitsukun-sama interrupted.

"Yeah...eyes that I've ever seen," the tiger finished. Suzaku curiously walked over to her. Her eyes were purple, sort of a pretty purple too, but they didn't look that big.

"What are you going to call her?" Suzaku asked.

"What about Ashitare?" Byakko said, " That seems to fit her."

"No! Soi."

"No. The midget looks more like a Soi."

"The midget is Miboshi. The woman is Soi. You have no sense of naming furball."

"Whatever."

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Taiitsukun floated over to her corner. For the most part she ignored the name-calling and the occasional maiming. They were gods after all, pain wouldn't kill them. She watched Seriyuu jump into a pool and begin chasing after a soul.

She nodded and looked back at the new creation she was making. It wasn't a god. She'd finally learned her lesson after creating four. No. This one was mearly a helper with special powers. She needed all the helpers she could get. She molded it carefully with her chi and wondered whether or not to give it a soul.

"AAAH! TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! SERIYUU'S BITING ME AGAIN! TELL HIM TO STOOOP!"

"TELL HIM TO STOP MAKING FUN OF MY MIDGET!"

"TELL HIM TO STOP MAKING FUN OF MY CHIRIKO!"

"HE'S WEAK!"

"HE IS NOT!"

"YES HE IS!"

"AT LEAST HE ISN'T THREE FEET TALL!" There was a loud sound of teeth piercing flesh and Suzaku screamed. " TAIIITSUKUN-SAMAAAA!"

The oracle sweat dropped. Nope. No soul for this one. Another soul was the last thing she needed. She was tired of making boys though. Maybe she'd make this one a little girl.

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Seriyuu poured his soul into the cup. The image misted before him and he blinked in confusion. He'd picked it because of the arrogance in the soul and also the determination to do anything to get what it wanted. He hadn't expected...this.

"Hey lizard breath, what's with the face paint and feathers? Is one of you're seishi a clown?" The dragon glared at his brother. Suzaku just had to comment on everything didn't he?

"Yeah?! Well at least my seishi aren't weak like yours!"

"THEY AREN'T WEAK!" Seriyuu pushed aside is brother and stalked over to his seishi.

"Well look! Come on! The first two are pathetic enough! But you have a kid! And look! That one has a scar! You know he lost one fight!"

"Just because he has a scar doesn't make him weak no da! He can probably kick you're seishi's butts no da! ESPECIALLY THAT MIDGET NO DAA!" Suzaku panted for breath and his brothers stared at him wide eyed.

"No...da?" Byakko asked.

"What have you been drinking?" Genbu asked.

"And where can I get some?" Seriyuu asked.

"I...I don't know where that came from," the phoenix said sheepishly.

"What are you going to name him?" Byakko asked, " he looks like a Tasuki to me."

"Chichiri." The tiger threw up his hands.

"They never listen. Your poor seishi are going to be walking around with inappropriate names. Well don't come whining to me when you find their names don't suit their personalities. I bet you're going to name clown face something like Tomo aren't you?" Seriyuu cocked his head and went back over to the seishi. Tomo?

"Hai...Tomo."

"See I knew it."

"Hai, Tomo Clownface. Seriyuu shichi seishi." The dragon's head whipped around to glare at the annoying bird.

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Byakko wondered over to the sixth pool. They hadn't been in that yet. Again he heard Suzaku's scream.

"TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! SERIYUU'S GONNA EAT-" his words were suddenly cut off. Curious the tiger turned. Seriyuu was in his dragon form, with a foot sticking out of his mouth. The white haired boy laughed softly to himself.

"SERIYUUSEIKUN! YOU SPIT HIM OUT RIGHT NOW!" Taiitsukun-sama demanded. Seriyuu shook his head. Now that he thought of it. Taiitsukun-sama had been awfully quiet back there in her corner. He wondered over to where she had been and saw the shape of a human tingling with magic. Well Taiitsukun-sama had said she'd wanted helpers.

The tiger winced, they'd probably be as grumpy as her too. The last thing he wanted were grumpy miniature versions of the creator. One was enough. He concentrated on pleasant thoughts and gathered his chi into his finger. He started to apply happiness to the new being. There was large thud and he looked over his shoulder.

Suzaku was sitting on the ground, looking befuddled. He was covered all over with dragon slime and loose chi energy that had been in Seriyuu's mouth. Byakko wondered why the young god looked so confused. It was as if he hadnít been eaten by Seriyuu many times before, once even swallowed and boy had that been interesting. He'd laughed so hard he'd nearly passed out.

Then he noticed one of his brotherís wings was hanging limply to the side. The tiger shook his head. Suzaku broke one or both of his wings at least once every week. It was nothing new. Taiitsukun-sama always healed him right away anyway.

He felt something draining from him and realized he was still putting energy into the creature. He yelped and pulled his finger back. Now, besides Taiitsukun's energy, white chi wreathed the small figure. Oops. That was a lot of chi. He calmly walked away like he hadnít done anything and joined Genbu in his chosen pond. He hadn't done anything...oh no. Not him.

He sorted through a few souls, his other brothers joining him. Silence rang through the cave as they worked. It was strange, silence was not something he was used to. Then he found it, the perfect soul for his collection. Wild, arrogant and a pervert to the core. He wasn't going to be stupid and tell everyone about it though.

"Hey Byakkie-kun, whatcha got?" Suzaku asked, cheerfully bouncing over to him.

" Uhh...er...noth..." The phoenix poked it gently and grinned.

"Check it out! He's got a pervert!"

"Where?!" Seriyuu said. Genbu looked then shook his head and went about searching. Byakko sighed with relief. Now he'd only have his younger brothers to contend with.

"Don't even think about it! The pervert is mine!"

"But..." Suzaku started. Byakko reached in, found a soul and tossed it to his brother.

"Here. You can have this one."

"Byakkie-kun I..."

"I want the pervert Byakko!" Seriyuu growled, " Look at the seishi I got stuck with! At least let me have a little fun!" The tiger threw him another soul, hoping the dragon would back off. Then Byakko's eyes widened as he saw the soul he had given. It was huge! It was going to be a very powerful soul.

He didn't care about power as much as his scaled brother did however. All he needed to do was get the pervert out of the pool before Suzaku started whining about it.

"Byakkie-kun?" Suzaku said, tugging lightly at his tail, the tiger paused, " I was going to say I don't want the pervert. But thanks for the soul."

Byakko grinned down at the youngest and held out a hand to help Suzaku out of the pool.

"Let's see what you got," he said, wanting to save his pervert until last.

"I like this soul. It's like me. Fiery and wild but with a soft side." Suzaku dumped the soul into the goblet and the seishi flared to life.

He was seventeen with wild flame colored hair and flashing amber eyes. He was smirking revealing the tip of a fang over his lower lip.

"He looks like you too," Byakko said, " I picked well. Now this guy looks like a Nuriko." Suzaku giggled.

"No. He's Tasuki."

"NO FAIR!" Seriyuu roared, " I GOT GYPPED!IT'S NOT A POWERFUL SOUL!IT'S TWO OF 'EM!" Byakko and Suzaku went over to their brother and looked at his seishi. Sure enough the single soul had formed two boys that looked exactly alike. They were average height with greenish-blond hair and blue-gray eyes. The first one had a gentle smile while the seconds was a bit wilder.

" Seriyuu...their beautiful," Byakko said," you weren't gypped."

"You think so?"

"Yeah. For once you have good looking seishi lizard breath."

"You should name that one Ashitare," he said, pointing to the first one, " and that one Amiboshi. They are twins after all."

"Will you get off the bad naming thing?" Seriyuu muttered. Byakko switched his tail. What did his brother mean...bad naming? He snorted.

" The first one is Amiboshi and the second one is Ashitare," the dragon said.

"What about Suboshi? It sounds like Amiboshi..." Suzaku said.

"That's a good idea. Amiboshi and Suboshi..."

"And Miboshi! HEY ANIKI WE GOT A MIDGET IN THE FAMILY!" Suzaku said. Then burst out laughing. Byakko stepped out of the way as, for the third time that day, Suzaku got crisped by blue chi. He trotted up to his own goblet and dropped the seishi into the cup.

The image flashed to life of a white haired man...with a smile that was half arrogant...half drooling. Oh yeah, he liked this guy.

"NO FAIR! SERIYUU CAN'T GET EIGHT SEISHI!"

"YES I CAN!"

"WHY?"

"BECAUSE I'M SPECIAL!"

"HA!" Byakko sighed heavilly. Those two needed to get along...or be gagged.

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Genbu ignored his fighting brothers and went to a pool. He noticed out of the corner of his eye Taiitsukun-sama floating over to mediate the argument. His eyes flicked to the corner she'd been working in. He wondered over to her corner and looked at it.

She was creating something, a helper probably. Knowing Taiitsukun probably some sour helper too. Well he would make sure that wouldn't happen. He gathered black chi into his finger and put as much happiness in as he could without the chi becoming tainted. Then he snuck away and hopped into a pool.

Byakko was there, sitting on the edge and dangling his feet in the souls. Roars echoed through the cave compliments of Seriyuu and loud screams provided by Suzaku. The older brothers exchanged glances and almost as one shook their heads.

"You know Genbu-kun. It really isn't fair."

"Hm?"

"Well. Suzaku has wings, Seriyuu has dragon ears, I have slitted eyes and a tail...not to mention these..." he lifted a hand and slid his claws from his finger tips," But what do you have that marks you as a beast god?"

"This," Genbu said. Then he pulled his head, legs and arms inside his skin. He didn't like doing it in boy form. It was too loud and noisy in there and to hard to sleep. He popped himself out again and glanced at the tiger.

A look of disgust was on his beautiful face and one delicate hand to his stomach.

"Do me a favor Genbu-kun."

"Nani?"

"Don't ever do that again."

The turtle smiled and picked up a soul without answering. Finding that he liked it he took it to his goblet and placed it inside. He was a boy...he looked to be in his teenage years. His hair was black and his eyes piercing.

"Tomite," Genbu said, and smiled at his seishi. Only one more to go."

"Yay! Byakkie-kun look! I finally have woman seishi." Out of curiosity Genbu looked as well. She was cute. Not as sexy as Soi or Subaru, but nice in her own way. Her hair was purple and hung down her back in a braid, her brown eyes were twinkling and a little mole under her left eye, added to the effect.

"She's cute Suzaku," Genbu said.

"Hai...cute...but there's one problem."

"Nani Byakkie-kun, she's perfect."

"Suzaku...it's a man."

"She is not!"

"S..He is!"

"Is not!"

"Do you see any breasts?"

"Just because she's flat chested doesn't mean she's male!"

"What's the point of a flat chested female anyway?" Seriyuu asked.

"IT'S A MALE!"

"Byakko, I never thought I'd say this...but...you need help," Genbu said.

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Seriyuu and Suzaku watched as their older brother attacked their oldest one. Byakko was normally calm, but he had an explosive temper and they never knew just where the fuse was at. White and black chi flew out everywhere.

The youngest looked at each other and went to hide in the dark corner where Taiitsukun-sama had been. They didn't want to get hit by stray chi. Seriyuu saw the little form that Taiitsukun-sama was creating.

"Hey...do you think she's making us another brother?"

"No. I think it's just a helper."

"Probably a mean helper too...knowing Taiitsukun-sama."

"Maybe we should help her out." He put some blue chi into his finger and watched his brother do the same. He put all the happiness he could into it. Then pulled away and watched as his brother continued.

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Suzaku was determined to make this thing happy. It was probably already sour enough through Taiitsukun-sama's magic. He put all the happiness and energy he could spare into it.

"SETTLE DOWN NOW!" Taiitsukun-sama yelled, " OR I'LL TURN RIGHT AROUND AND TAKE YOU BOY'S BACK HOME! YOU BOTH ARE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW..."

"AH SHOVE IT YA OLD BAG!" Byakko roared. Seriyuu and Suzaku glanced at each other fearfully and hit the deck.

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The whole valley shook with thunder. Villagers scattered out of their houses and ran in terror. They didn't know what was happening except the ground was coming alive under their feet!

The young man ran for all he was worth, trying to keep his balance. It was shaking as if it was alive. Something was roaring behind him. It was a strange sound that he hadn't heard before. Out of morbid curiosity he turned. The ground was...was growing! Rocks piled up on each other and rose high into the air.

He watched, wide eyed, it must be a war of the gods.

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Byakko ran for all he was worth trying to avoid the chi blasts that Taiitsukun-sama was throwing at him. He hadn't meant to say that! It had just slipped out! She didn't seem to happy about it though. She cornered him and lifted her hands. Byakko winced this was gonna....

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The earth shook violently again. Then was suddenly still. Some of the more imaginative villagers thought they heard the echo of a pained roar vanishing in the wind.

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Suzaku quietly waded in the soul pool along with his other brothers not daring to say a word. Taiitsukun-sama...to put it lightly...was not a very happy creator. It wasn't just what Byakko had said either. Suzaku had the feeling that things had been building up inside all day. They hadn't exactly been good. He found a quiet soul, gentle and unassuming...but lonely too. He put it in his cup and stepped back. Then he looked up...and up...and up. This guy was tall!

His hair was shaggy and unkempt, he had a scraggly mustache and his eyes were so very sad...like he had lost something dear to him. He stood, shoulders hunched, like he didn't want to be there, but he knew he had to be. He couldn't let his seishi be like that.

Suzaku sat down on the ground and concentrated his chi onto the ground before him. Then he began molding it into a shape.

"What are you doing Suzaku?" Taiitsukun-sama asked, floating beside him.

"I'm making Mitsukake a companion."

"If you do it will change him."

"For better or for worse?"

"I don't know. Anything you do to your seishi will change them. That includes what power you give them."

"Well I think he needs someone to be with him Taiitsukun-sama. He's so sad!"

"Do as you wish Suzaku." The phoenix nodded and added more to the shape. He modeled it after Byakkie-kun...although not as fierce. Now that the shape was there it was time to add the skin and fur. He gave it white fur mostly, with a little brown smudge on his forehead and an extra poofy tail with a brown tip. Then smiled and made his eyes closed like two little crescent moons.

Then he frowned and gave it some hair and a some clothes. He was sure this type of creature was supposed to wear clothes...weren't they?

"Is this right Byakkie-kun?" he asked his recovering brother. The tiger looked up at him through half opened eyes.

"Am I wearing clothes?" was all the tiger said. Suzaku shook his head, he didn't have hair either. The phoenix took of the hair and the clothes.... Well since he'd made it the neko could use them later on for something. Otherwise it would be a waste of good chi.

He then lifted the neko and set it on Mitsukake's shoulder. A change came over the human. He straightened and a light came to his eyes. His hair shortened to spikes and became wrapped in a yellow and green bandanna. The mustache disappeared and a small smile broke out on his face as he reached up to pet the neko.

Suzaku smiled and formed his chi again. Then moved to the front of the line. He stared up at his first choice. Tamahome...a fighter. He decided. He flew up and placed his hand on the mans forehead.

"Tamahome. Ogre. Wake and become my shichi seishi." The sign for monster flared bright red on his forehead and he got into a fighting pose.

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Seriyuu glanced over at his brother. Oh yeah? Well if birdbrain could make a neko for his seishi then Seriyuu could make something for his. He already had a dog, sort of. He looked over at Ashitare and wrinkled his nose. He needed something smaller like...like a clam!

He formed the clam and put it in Tomo's outstretched hand. The man looked ridiculous enough so why not add a clam? His fingernails grew long and bright red and he looked at the clam, an evil light flickered in his gold eyes. Seriyuu smiled. He wouldn't make his symbols so easily seen. He placed his hand on the mans hip.

"Tomo. I give you the power of illusions. Wake and become my shichi seishi."

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Suzaku went on down the line. He gave Hotohori the power of kindness...it wasn't a great power. He made other adjustments to his seishi. He lengthened his hair down to his waist and lightened his eyes until they were brownish gold. Now he wasn't handsome...now he was beautiful.

He looked at his little Chiriko and touched his foot.

"I'm going to give you the power of knowledge. You'll know everything there is for a mortal to know and keep on learning. Use it well Chiriko. Wo ai ni." He went to the next one.

"Konnichiwa Chichiri no da!" he said with a smile, " You look sad with that scar no da. So I'm going to make you happy to na no da!" He placed his hand on the seishi's knee, " You have the power of magic no da. Also the power to look very kawaii no da. I want you to be happy no da!" The mans dark clothes changed to those of a monk. His bangs grew about five inches and his scar was suddenly covered up by a smiling mask. Suzaku grinned. He looked silly, still he loved him. The seishi shrunk to three feet tall and made the peace sign. Suzaku giggled. Kawaii!

"Tasuki!" he shouted at the next one, " Fiery haired tough guy! You're not all the tough...but I'll let you keep your mask too. I'm gonna give you the power of speed! Also I'm going to be nice. I can't control who you're family is...but I'm going to make sure you're entire family is girls! 'Cept you're father of course. Cause that way you'll always have someone to cook for you." Nothing changed in his outward appearance...but deep inside him Suzaku felt a sudden phobia of...milk? Well that was strange. Shrugging he skipped to the next one.

"Nuriko! You're already a blossom, so I'm going to make you a iron blossom. I give you the power of strength!" He grinned wickedly. " In a naughty place too." He reached out and touched her chest. His eyes widened.

"AAHHH!"

"Nani?" Taiitsukun-sama asked.

"Byakkie-kun was right! He is a guy. He's a very beautiful man. Not as beautiful as Hotohori though. No one is as beautiful as Hotohori. He's the prettiest man in the world of the four gods..."

"And you're turning him into a peacock. You're words to them also affect them. Anything you do to them changes them."

"That's ok. I like peacocks. Their pretty."

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"Soi. You have the power of lightning. Also the ability to seduce men...especially Suzaku's idiots," Seriyuu said. He was making his seishi as powerful as he could. He would win back the south.

"Amiboshi. You have the power to channel chi through your mouth and Suboshi the power of telekinesis. I will have a war for you to make you strong. To live on you're own...to depend on one another." Their eyes saddened somewhat. Sadness was a part of war as well, it would make them strong.

"Miboshi...I give you the power of possessing bodies...along with the other dark arts that I've sensed you've...you will learn."

"Ashitare...I give you the power of agility and speed. No one will stop you!"

"Nakago..."

"Hey Taiitsukun-sama?" Suzaku's voice interrupted his train of thought." What's the kanji for heart? I want to give Mitsukake the one for rare heart." Seriyuu snickered.

He ran over, scraped a kanji on his brotherís hand and slapped it on Mituskake's hand. Suzaku was so surprised he charged it with chi making the symbol permanent. Suzaku looked at the glowing red symbol on the mans hand.

"TAIITSUKUN-SAMA! SERIYUU GAVE MITSUKAKE THE KANJI RARE CART! THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE!" Seriyuu chuckled to himself and went back over to his seishi. He stared up at the blond man. Yes...this one would be the best. He would infuse him with so much power that Suzaku's seishi would fall before him. He gathered blue chi into his palm. All he could spare.

Suddenly Suzaku ran over, scraped a kanji on his hand and slapped it to Nakago's forehead. Seriyuu gasped, it was too late to change it. When he had finished giving the power he pulled his hand back.

"HEART?! HEART?! HOW IS HE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY WITH A KANJI LIKE THAT PASTED TO HIS FOREHEAD?! TAIIITSUUKUNNN-SAMMMMAAAAAAAA!!!!!"

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Taiitsukun ignored them and finished her creation. It was almost done, it just needed one more thing. She might as well put some happiness into it. Just for her boys...and some energy as well. The creature would need it just to keep up with them.

"I am about to bring this creature to life," she announced. The young gods gathered around her. " What should I call it?"

"Nyan!" Byakko said.

"Nyan?" Seriyuu asked.

"Hai! Nyan-nyan!" Suzaku crowed. Taiitsukun smiled.

"All right. Nyan-nyan it is. Awaken Nyan Nyan."

There was a poof of chi and a little girl with sea green hair appeared.

"WE NYAN-NYAN! WE FIX FIX! WE CURE CURE! WE HAPPY FIX CURE PEOPLE! WE SEE TAIITSUKUN-SAMA HAS GREY HAIRS. WE FIX! WE CURE! WE NYAN-NYAN!" Taiitsukun narrowed her eyes and glared at the children. The four gods waved, smiled sheepishly, then scattered to the wind.

"GET BACK HERE! I'M GONNA KILL YOU BOYS! I DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE IMMORTAL!" Taiitsukun screamed.

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