Hope You Enjoy!
"You've been at it for hours. Take a break, Yasaka," Ichigo said absently as he flipped to the next page of the book he was reading through.
The soft scratches of a pen continued on, heedless to his words. "I can't. There's too much to do. If I'm to go out with you and Kunou tonight, then I have to finish up all these documents."
He let out a soft sigh as he lightly shook his head. "You've been at this since before dawn and, even then, you spent most of last night buried in paperwork. Take a break. A human would have their hand paralyzed with cramps."
Though he kept his gaze on the text in front of him, he could feel the weight of Yasaka's irritated eyes. "You know how important this trade deal is. It took me months of sending ambassadors to even open negotiations with Titania. Stupid stuck up soulless bitch."
"Yasaka." His book snapped shut.
"Ichigo," she responded mockingly.
He rolled his eyes. She always got like this when she was under stress and her mood befouled. Even when it was just the two of them together, his wife channeled her best haughty imperial conceit when she felt the pressures of her sovereignty.
Yasaka had been reigning over mystic Japan for the last four-hundred years as its empress. However, in the past year, the political climate of the Supernatural World had become incredibly turbulent.
Though it was hardly surprising. Primordials from ages before recorded history were slowly awakening from their ancient slumber and Humanity was more involved than ever in the realms of the supernatural.
And, above all, the Dragon Lords were once again openly wandering the planet. All five Dragon Kings could now be accounted for, the Scaled Emperors were active once more in their brutal glory and the Divine Two had broken their centuries long seclusion.
He let out another sigh, as Yasaka's golden gaze bored into his brown eyes.
Several moments passed and she arched her brow in challenge of him. So used to her ever shifting moods, his lips couldn't help but twitch in amusement.
She must have caught the movement because her brows furrowed in a minor frown.
Shadowed mirth playing across his face, Ichigo placed the book on the side table and opened his arms wide, knowing all too well how this would end. She continued to glare at him for the barest of seconds before she got up in a huff.
His eyes tracked every movement of hers.
He loved watching Yasaka walk. Every step caused her waist length hair to swish in a curtain of shimmering gold. It was such a singular color, unique and rich as the person who it grew from. And as she sat beside him on the sofa and rested her head against the bone of his collar, he pressed his lips to that glittering gold.
His arms caging her, he gently spoke against the crown of her head as his chest shook with a silent chuckle, "What's gotten into you? I know it's not the trade deal with the Fae Race."
He could barely make out her childish murmur stifled in his shirt. "Halloween."
He blinked in confusion. 'Halloween? Why on Earth does that bother her?'
"Care to elaborate?"
Slowly, her head tilted up to meet his eyes. The edge of her lips, twisting in on themselves as she chewed on them, betrayed her innate regality so completely that he couldn't help but lean down and kiss her softly.
Her glare intensified as he pulled away, nonetheless, her arms encircled his neck and she pulled him back down for another kiss. This one with some added intensity as their lips moved against one another with a hint of fervor.
Yasaka adjusted herself in his lap so that she was looking down at him and he moved his hands up and down her spine.
"Well?" His tone light and enquiring. "Are you going to share?"
"I fail to see a reason why my daughter should partake in a pagan ritual holiday that has nothing to do with this country's history or traditions," she said swiftly while averting her eyes completely.
"That's what's bothering you?" he asked incredulously.
Along with being an Empress, Yasaka was also the High Priestess of Amaterasu; Japans' Divine Matriarch as well as the head of its pantheon. While it was of little surprise that the four-hundred-year-old Yokai would be indignant of what was once a religious event of significance taking hold in her country, nevertheless…
His bangs swayed in front of his eyes as he shook his head and dryly drawled, "Yasaka, Halloween has all but lost its religious connotation to the world at large. It's nothing more than a glorified excuse for adults to act juvenile and children to gain enough sugar to give said adults a monstrous headache for the next few weeks."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, now I'm entirely sold on the idea. It's quite the miracle you manage to get anything done in the Underworld with your eloquence."
"Your confidence in me is astounding." The sarcasm in his voice practically dripping onto the floor.
"Hmph!" She tilted her chin away imperiously.
"You're such a spoiled princess," he muttered under his breath.
Unfortunately, Yasaka's sensitive ears picked up on his words and she smacked his arm in indignation. "I am not spoiled!"
"But you're still a princess?" he teasingly questioned.
She crossed her arms and looked away from him.
Ichigo let out a small laugh as he craned his neck upwards and kissed the side of her jaw. "Halloween is a perfect chance for Kunou to interact with Humans without fear of revealing our existence to them. I know that and you know that. So why don't you tell me what's really bothering you?"
Even though she wasn't looking at him, the moment a hint of red colored her usually pale cheeks, Ichigo knew right away what was eating away at her.
Still not looking at him, her tone was brisk and curt "Will the living fossil be accompanying us?"
"Tiamat," he fought to keep the mirth out of his voice, "will be in Greece for the next few days. She's spending time with some old friends."
Very, very old friends.
Monstrously beautiful and well over the age of twenty thousand years, the primeval entity known as Tiamat had ritually bonded herself to him on a bare whim. The dark seductress had long been a point of supreme aggravation for his wife.
Not that he blamed her.
Most women would be peeved if the Primordial embodiment of Femininity and Sexuality had attached herself to their husband and made a habit of being very 'touchy feely' with him.
Yasaka squirmed in his lap as her cheeks flooded with warmth, filling him with the enticement to kiss her again. "Come on, let's go get some lunch."
"No!" She shook her head resolutely. "You've already distracted me long enough from my work! I have to finish this Ichigo."
"Yasaka, it's already," he glanced over at the clock, "half-past-two. In exactly forty-five minutes that perfectly pampered appetite of yours is going to fill your stomach with growls."
Her face went flat crimson. "So stop acting so damn childish and let's get something to eat."
"I-I won't be tempted by the Devil! Forty-five minutes is plenty of time to get much needed work done!"
He curved his lips impishly. "Oh? You won't give into temptation? Then how 'bout his seduction?"
She went deathly still in his arms.
"Ichigo," her enunciation slow and deliberate, "you know how important this deal is to for the future economy. I absolutely cannot see this fall apart. Despite the heavy obstruction I'm facing with most of our aged population's isolationist attitude."
And ever so slowly, her words gained more bite and fervor and Ichigo merely nodded his head along while still smiling predatorily.
"I mean; you would think that after being alive for a thousand years they would have gained the insight to realize that the world is ever changing and so with it must we. At the very least our foreign policy! But noo. They are content to nestle in their senile cradles while I'm left to deal with the fallout of their sheer stupidity! And unlike some people, I cannot threaten to snap my fingers and banish all my annoyances to the deepest bowels of the Infernal Pit! No, at the merest sign of progressive ideology I have to deal with a bloody rebellious uprising!"
"What!?" Her eyes snapped down to his in a furor…which instantly died when he tightened his arms and drew her down to him.
"I'm going to kiss you now."
Eyes wide, she began to wriggle but he kept his arms steeled.
"Ichigo, wait! Don't you da-mmm!"
He silently laughed to himself as he took her mouth and threw their bodies down onto the sofa.
Yasaka glared balefully at her husband as she adjusted the collar of kimono to hide the love-marks across her neck. The maddening idiot had injected his demonic power into his teeth, ensuring that her supernaturally enhanced healing would be unable to erase the marks off her skin. And the worst part was, the magic in the small wounds repelled any and all forms of make-up she tried to apply.
"Stop fidgeting, you look beautiful." He threw an arm around her waist and drew her towards him.
That infuriating smile never left his lips as she coldly ignored his words. Unfortunately, she couldn't ignore the pleasant sensation of his body heat radiating off of him and melting past her clothes and into her skin.
Due to his infernal nature, Ichigo was a walking heater at all times…making for a rather comfortable snuggling partner, regardless of the occasion.
"What about me!?"
Both adults turned their gaze towards the ten-year-old girl swaying her shoulders in a childish pout.
"Does it need to be said sweetheart," Yasaka asked her daughter with a gentle smile. "You're the most beautiful girl around."
Apparently it did need to be said. Just not by her. Kunou's wanting eyes never left Ichigo's.
"You're looking gorgeous, Kunou." He smiled gently. The young girl giggled softly as she wraped herself around one of his legs.
Yasaka held back the headache beginning to form at the forefronts of her mind.
At first it had been cute, but her daughter's crush on her own step-father was beginning to become cumbersome. During the initial stages of their relationship, Ichigo was a valued and close friend that both mother and daughter enjoyed spending time with. But, as friendship quickly boiled over into romance and the subject of their highly controversial marriage was revealed, things began to become complicated.
Kunou was still very young, but Ichigo had been the girl's first crush. Still was in truth. And it was not made any easier by the fact that Ichigo was the only male which Yasaka allowed her daughter to have prolonged contact with.
Which was why tonight's excursion being something she was looking forward to. Rather, the guests of tonight's excursions were what she was looking forward too. One guest in particular.
Standing together, the three of them waited in the main hall of the of her palace in the supernatural district of Kyoto. Not a moment later, a soft crimson glow formed a circle on the marble floor and three separate figures arose out of it.
The tallest of them was a young, handsome man of the most vivid red hair that hung wildly past his shoulder. Standing to his right a woman of cold and elegantly cut features, her hair and eyes of a dull silver. And in front, a young boy the splitting image of the red-haired man.
"Yo. You sure took your time." Ichigo waved from beside her.
Yasaka forced herself from rolling her eyes. While, for the most part, her husband's casual mannerisms were endearing and even refreshing at times, there were moments where he could prove to be quite grating.
Calmly ignoring Ichigo, the red-haired man stepped forward and, with a perfectly executed old-world bend of the waist, gave his greetings in rich and cultured voice. "Greetings, Your Highness. I'm honored to once again stand in the Halls of Kyoto."
She smiled in hospitality. "The honor is mine, my Lord Lucifer."
The current and most powerful Satan of the Underworld. De facto ruler and overlord of the Underworld's society, his name was both reviled and revered across the known worlds. After the original Lucifer died in the cataclysm of the Great War, Sirzechs and his fellows had overthrown the old regime of demons and supplemented it with one of their own. He was a man who decidedly earned both fear and respect through conquest and legend.
Said legend was hopping from one foot to the other with urgency plainly etched across his countenance. "Now that we've got the greetings out of the way, could I trouble you for directions to the nearest bathrooms? Had a tad bit too much tea before we departed."
She continued to smile and merely pointed left. "Down the corridor, third door on the left side."
"Thank you," he exclaimed before racing off.
He was unquestionably different than his predecessor.
The previous generations of the Denizens of the Dark were, in a word, evil. Sick and tired of bloodshed which would lead his kind into extinction, Sirzechs turned everything around and reformed thousands of years of brutality and cruelty. Though, that wasn't to say that everything was sunshine and gumdrops. The Devil was as ruthless and cunning as his name implied. However, he had become a new form of evil. A more…modern one. In short, he was a politician.
Albeit, one with the potential to turn all of Earth into a slag of simmering rock within the span of a single day.
Yasaka quickly broke from her thoughts as both her husband and the silver haired she-devil simultaneously dropped their heads into their respective hands.
A moment, passed where the silver-haired one looked up and smiled warmly. "It's nice to see you again Yasaka-hime."
"It's good to see you as well, Grayfia."
Grayfia Lucifuge was the wife of Sirzechs and, in all sense of the phrase, leash holder. The Underworld would have fallen into anarchy without her constant presence at her husband's side. Yasaka appreciated the effort Grayfia always put to conform to Japanese etiquette and culture, whenever she visited.
The two of them both had many similarities, which had led to a quick friendship. They were of similar age, with Grayfia being a mere thirty-seven years older. They both had scandalous marriages. Yasaka, a priestess, had married a Lord of the Underworld whilst Grayfia, once a member of the old regime forces that rebelled against the new government, had married her arch-nemesis. And they both had children of the same age.
Speaking of children…
Little Millicas Gremory had stridden up to Kunou a complete and endearing quivering mess. "M-Mae l'ovannen, K-Kunou-brethil!"
Yasaka held a sleeve to her mouth to stifle her laughter while Ichigo didn't bother holding back his bark of laughter.
Kunou turned towards her with an absolutely lost face. "Mommy, he's speaking funny."
She clutched the sleeve tighter to her mouth.
Ichigo spoke to Millicas in whatever language the poor boy had spouted out nervously.
"Huh?" He turned towards Ichigo, looking even more confused than Kunou. From behind him, his mother prodded gently.
"Japanese, Millicas. Speak Japanese."
A second passed, then another, before the boy's ears became as red as his hair. "…oh…"
"Yes 'oh', you big goof." Ichigo teased. "What? First sight of a pretty girl and your brain melts?"
Poor Millicas' face quickly changed to blend in with his ears and hair.
"Ichigo," she chided, "leave the poor boy alone."
Kunou, for her part, was apparently quite flattered with attention given to her by Millicas and the compliment paid to her by Ichigo.
The little girl tilted her head with a finger to her lips. "What's your costumed supposed to be?"
At her question, the three adults present suddenly turned their attention to the hide like substance covering the young boy. Yasaka had to admit, she too was curious as to what the young Devil had come dressed as. In truth, it resembled a red version of that ridiculous giant lizard creature the human natives of her county were obsessed with. The one which that always ended up destroying Edo.
"Do you like it!?" It was almost humorous how brightly Millicas' sea-green eyes lit up in joy. The poor boy had developed a colossal crush on Kunou when Ichigo had brought him over for a playdate several months ago. "I dressed as the Red Dragon Emperor!"
Yasaka blinked down at him. Ddraig…? He decided on a costume of one of the most feared beings in existence? One, who was responsible for countless massacres of his own kind?
From beside her, Ichigo let out a groan.
"Tiamat's idea?" At Grayfia's curt and annoyed nod, he released a sigh.
Millicas, for his part, was practically bouncing in glee. "Aunty Tiamat gave me the idea days ago! She said the best revenge on someone is to…is to…add the epitaph of adorable! ...By the way, what's an epitaph?"
At the mention of the primordial, Yasaka's mood immediately soured. The ancient being was thorn in her side, often sliding up to her husband right in front of her and openly engaging in acts of affection without heed of her. Unfortunately, Tiamat was a being of such extraordinary power and capacity, Yasaka was helpless to do anything against her.
As for Ichigo himself, her husband was incredibly fond of his familiar. The two of them had been through much together. Bonding through trial and tribulation. Asking him to dismiss the tremendous beauty from his side would be plain callous and cruel. And possibly damning to their relationship.
"I think she meant 'epithet', Millicas. Though considering the animosity between those two…" the last part was uttered softly by Ichigo and only with her enhanced hearing did she hear him. "Epithet means description."
"Oh…I don't get it," Millicas said, scrunching his face in befuddlement.
"Lucky you," Ichigo responded.
Millicas then turned towards Kunou. "How come you didn't dress up or-or is that your costume? W-wait, I'm not saying you look like a monster! But…but…"
Kunou regarded the young boy with a funny look. "You're so weird."
The adults flinched in tandem.
However, Kunou let out a laugh at Millicas' sullen expression. "But you're kinda funny too. I like that."
Yasaka let out a leaden breath. Sometime soon, she'd have to teach Kunou tact.
Suddenly, Kunou shook herself and the magical glamour surrounding her fell away. Soft and sun-set golden ears adorned the top of her head as the human ones on the side of her head shimmered away. Behind her, fluff and small tails sprung loose, the same golden dusk as her ears.
"Behold! We are a princess! We need no costume!"
"Kunou," her step-father warned from behind her, "how many times do we have to go over the proper place for the royalty bit?"
The little girl's response was to stick out her tongue.
"Kunou!" Yasaka immediately admonished. "That is not proper behavior, young lady."
"Sorry." And in a display of diabolical cuteness, the little vixen latched onto Ichigo's leg in a show of remorse. Of course, in the face of female sorrow, Ichigo fell apart like a snowball in his backyard.
Instantly, he placed an affectionate hand on Kunou's head and gave her and encouraging rub. Yasaka rolled her eyes. So long as he wasn't too upset or serious, it was a simple task to have Ichigo wrapped around a finger.
Several seconds passed before Grayfia suddenly spoke out. "Let us be on our way. The sun is setting and it will be dark soon. Sirzechs is taking too long and will have simply catch up."
"He won't mind?" Yasaka thought it quite rude to leave the Devil King behind.
"Oh, he'll mind alright," Ichigo answered as snapped his fingers and created a dimensional pathway. "It's just that we don't care."
Well then, who was she to argue, so instead, she urged the young ones forward. "Come children, time to get your candy."
Both Kunou and Millicas let out a cheer as they followed Ichigo into the path that led to the Human World.
Ichigo limited his usually long stride as he had wrapped an arm around Yasaka's waist. The Yokai Empress was several inches shorter than him and her gait matched that. Every few minutes or so, he would teasingly kiss the top of her head, gaining a minor glare from her. She was still upset from their abrupt romp on the couch which he had initiated.
To their left, Grayfia walked hand in hand with Sirzechs. The Devil King had been initially peeved about being left behind, though Grayfia sorted him out, as she always does.
Ichigo had been pleasantly surprised when Sirzechs had approached him with the idea of taking their respective kids trick-or-treating. Sirzechs rarely got a day off from his mountain load of ruling the Underworld. Being in charge of a country was tough enough, as Ichigo knew from being married to a monarch. Being in charge of an entire world? Terrifying.
Besides, it was good for Millicas. The lovable kid was not afforded the parental time he deserved. Though no fault of his parents nor anyone else. Sirzechs and Grayfia did the best they could for their son, showering as much affection as they could in those stolen moments they could spend with him. It was one of the reasons Ichigo had stepped up and actively taken a place in the kid's life. It reminded him of his own childhood at that age.
"That poor dear is going to have his arm torn off."
Broken from his musings by his wife's voice, he turned his gaze towards the subject of his thoughts.
A low chuckle escaped with a breath as saw Millicas being aggressively dragged across the street by a laughing Kunou. Although, he didn't really seem to mind. In fact, the young boy's full attention was locked on the hand grasping his. If anything, the pillowcase of candy was entirely forgotten as he smiled widely at the golden haired girl hauling him to and fro.
"He's young," he whispered back to her. "Let them enjoy themselves."
A moment passed and he felt a small tug on his shirt. He looked over to see Yasaka staring up at him. She leaned forward and he met her halfway. A brief kiss and, as he pulled back, she quietly spoke in his ear. "Thank you, for making her happy."
"Oh?" He raised a single brow. "What about you? Aren't you happy too?"
She gave him a mischievous smirk.
"Wait until we get home…we'll pick up where we left off…and maybe something more."
He blew into her sensitive ear, knowing full well it would cause her to shiver. "She speaks to me with daggers, though wields none."
Yasaka laughed back at him. "Ever now, by your oath, I am your Sun to the east."