It wasn't Celestia's first charity ball, but with a new addition to the Togami family expected in a few months, it seemed her husband had forgotten that.

"Are you quite comfortable? Shall I get you a glass of something? Lemonade? Water? Some punch?"

Celestia smiled. "Thank you, Byakuya, but I still have the tea you brought me. I ought to finish soon, your associates-"

"-can wait," Byakuya said firmly, not budging from the elegant chair he was currently sitting on. "I am sure there are many distractions to keep them busy until I am ready to meet with them. Are you certain you aren't hungry?"

"Yes, darling, quite certain."

The music lifted softly around them both, perfume from the many flower centerpieces wafting in tandem with the gentle sounds.

"Is that Mr. Nagetsuteru?" Celestian gestured with a slight tilt of her chin at a man approaching from across the highly polished floor.

"Yes," Byakuya replied curtly, and checked his watch. "Punctual fellow." He rose as the man stepped up to him. "Hello, Nagetsuteru."

The man inclined his head. "Togami. Always a pleasure. And the lovely Madame Togami-" he bent over Celestia's hand, brushing the red silk glove with his lips- "I am as ever enchanted. May I borrow your husband for a moment?"

Celestia watched their shiny shoes tap away, both men already conversing in lowered tones. She smiled. This might be entertaining.


Byakuya was back within a few minutes, looking rather annoyed.

"And?" she inquired, quirking an eyebrow at him.

"Idiot" was all he sighed.

He took a seat beside her, taking her hand and tugging off the silk glove. Gently massaging each finger, his face softened again.

"What did he want?" Celestia asked. "He used to do business with your father, no?"

Byakuya's face twisted with distaste. "He was as much an annoyance and a farce to my father as to me."

"Well, then, I certainly hope you gave him what for."

"Naturally, princess. Are you certain you aren't hungry?"