Night #3: The little match girl...

Enter, stage right...

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The little tessen bandit...

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Once upon a time, during the most bitter winter in Hokkan, there was a little tessen bandit who lived with his adoptive parents, Tamahome & Miaka—

Tasuki: *baring his fang* Oi, what the h*ll am I doing with obake-chan and Mi-chan…? As their *SON* moreover—

*annoyed* Do you want to end up with Chichiri-sama or *not*…?!

Tasuki: *eep* Gomen gomentsuzukeru kudasai, authoress-sama

*ahem* As I was saying… Once upon a supercalifragilisticepiellilocious, there was a little tessen bandit… Now this little tessen bandit had been sent out of the house by his beloved on a simple errand—

Tamahome: *grinning like a mad monkey on sugar* *aside* Ooh, I love my role in this story *aloud* Oi, FANG-BOY…!! Get out there and start earning me more okane, or else no sake…!!

Tasuki: Iie—not my sake…!!

Tamahome: Then *GIT*!! *kicks poor son out of house*

(background) Miaka: Honey, was that little Shushu crying again…?

Tasuki: *eyes boggling* *growling at authoress-sama* SHUSHU…?!?! What kind of sick kiddy-name is that…?!?!?!?

*sweatdrop* Um… the kind that'll make you spare the authoress because you'll get yaoi-ed in the end…?

Tasuki: *grumbling* Chiri better know what I'm going through for him…

So anyway, the little tessen boy was thrown out of his own home to earn some money for his *cough* beloved *cough* father, otherwise he'll get beate—

Tasuki: Get this straight, baka onna – do you *think* I'll let obake-chan lay one hair on me…?!?!

—*cowers* ehehe… I mean, take his sake away… So the little tessen bandit began wandering the streets, selling… um… Tas-chan?

Tasuki: *eyebrow twitch* What?!

Just what *are* you selling…?

Tasuki: Fire, what else?!?! *reads original story* Ain't that what the Little Matchstick was selling too…?

*sweatdrop* It's 'Little Match Girl', not 'Little Matchstick'…

B-but, Tas-chan… the little match girl had dozens of matchstick bundles…

Tasuki: -.-;; So, what's yer point…?

Well… you only have… um… *one* tessen…

Tasuki: So I'll Rekka Shien whatever they want burnin'. Are you so dense…?!?!

Aah… wakarimashita, wakarimashita… (note to self: When did I ever agree to taking in such outspoken seishi…?!?!)

*ahem* Anyway, to continue the story…!! So, the little tessen bandit strolled down the streets, yelling—

Tasuki: Fire! Fire!! Anyone there, I've got Fire!!

—to which all the villages panicked—

Random villager #22: *wide-eyed* Fire? Where??! Gah, where's Genbu when you need him…?!?!

Random villager #37: *pulling wife and children* Quick, there's a fire – run for the hills…!!

Random villager #11: *abacus in hand* Lesse, if there's a fire, then the Hokkan National Insurance should pay me…

—and in less than 30 seconds, all of the village had fled, to shelters unknown… Leaving behind one very confused little tessen bandit…

Tasuki: *sweatdrop* Ch, buncha morons…

Anyhow, as the story goes, our little tessen bandit was too afraid to go home—

Tasuki: Whaddaya mean AFRAID?!?! I am *not* afraid of doing the sort – if anything, I'm gonna beat the cr*p out of obake-chan for making m—

*hands on hips* Tas-chan, I repeat, do you, or do you NOT, want to end up with Chiri somewhere during *this* *CENTURY*…?!

Tasuki: Hai hai~~~ *kisses authoress' arm, Gomez-Addams style* Mou ichido kudasai, ne…?

*hmph* Alright, our little tessen bandit was too afriad to go home, for fear of his father taking away his sake (*tasuki twitches*). It was a cold, lonely night… And for want of a little comfort, the little tessen bandit set his tessen alight… With a little imagination, he began to see—

Tasuki: *eyes wide with glee* SAKE!! *grabs a bottle* *bottle spills open, revealing—* *leaping 20 feet into the air* MILK?!?! It's *MY* tessen, *MY* imagination, and I conjure up *MILK*?!?!?!

So the little tessen bandit began trying to rid the horrible image by batting his tessen onto the ground, trying to dissipate the flames.

Tasuki: *shudder* *twitch* Milk… bad… memories… mother… baby… suffocating… *shudder* *twitch*

The night did not pass kindly, and once the delirium had ended, the little tessen bandit found himself cold and lonely once more. So he decided to light his tessen once mor—

Tasuki: Oh no, I AIN'T…!! That last scene prol'ly scarred me fer life, baka onn—

*holds up familiar picture of a kawaii monk with poofy bangs, no da ©* One word, Tas-chan : Chichiri

Tasuki: *shivers with delight* Your wish is my command, authoress-sama

Tasuki: All right, let's try this again… REKKA SHIEN~~~!!

A raging inferno burst forth from his mythical fan, engulfing him in a ring of fire. The images it brought this time were no other than—

Voice: Kou…? Is that you, you useless little aho…?!

Tasuki: *freaking out as a volley of imaginary logs get lobbed at him* A-AI-DOU?!?!?!

Aidou: It *is* you, you lazy little saru!! Get back here and finish up your chores before I bury you under a pile of trees, you worthless little kiseichu…!!

Then suddenly—

Voice(s): Kou, our ototou, where are you…?!?! You promise to come swimming with us…!!

Tasuki: *even more alarmed* Forget this whole sh*t, this is a f*ckin' nightmar—

And not watching where he was running, he ended up *smack* into—

Voice: Shushu!! Come here and let ­kaa-san give you a hug…

And thusly, our little tessen bandit was left flailing his limbs, gasping for air within the oxygen-deprived confines of his mother's… *ahem* very ample bosom…

(*giggle* Hmm, I *knew* the name Shushu rang a bell…)

Tasuki: *fighting to get away* *plop* *panting* S-stay a-away from m-me… K-kaa-san…!! *frantically looking around* The tessen… Where's the tessen…?! Gotta get rid of the flames before this whole thing drives me insane~~~

Run, Tasuki, run… As quick as you can. Nobody can get you, you're the gingerbrea—ai!! Wrong storyline…!!

*thunk* *bonk* Ite~~~

Tasuki: TESSEN!! *starts jumping on beloved fan and shoveling snow on it as we hear "Oi, you little aho!!" "K-o-u…!! Come swimming with us, NOW!!" "Shushu… come back to kaa-san, Shushu~~~" in the background*

Tessen: *sizzle* *sizzle* *splutter* *splutter* *splat*

Tasuki: *poking tessen with the edge of his foot* Tessen…? Oi, ol'buddy, ol'pal, are you okay…?

Tessen: *whimper* *whimper* *moan*

Tasuki: Noooo~~~!! Speak to me, tessen…!! You can't die…!! You can't… OPEN YOUR EYES, ONEGAI~~~!!!

*sweatdrop* Eh…? Isn't that Miaka's line before Nuri—mmph?!?

Well, half-a-night later, once the little tessen bandit had resuscitated his beloved tessen back to life once more…

Tasuki: *stroking diamond fan* My preciousss… my own… Preciousss…

*multiple sweatdrops* O-kay… Looks like authoress-sama isn't the only one suffering from LotR withdrawal symptoms… Anyhow, *psst* Tas-chan… you have one last vision to see…

Tasuki: *adamantly* No!! If the first didn't scar me for life already, then the second one finished the job…!!

Onegai…? Just one, I promise… the last one…?

Tasuki: *shakes his head* Never again… I swear, I s-swear…

A small, tiny, itty-bitty-flame…?

Tasuki: *shakes his head even more vigorously* Kowai… kowai… kowai… kowai…

I'll make it worth it…

Tasuki: *pause* *sniffle* *pause* O-okay… *very quietly* rekka shien…

A spark, a puff of fire warmed his blue hands, but not enough. Nonetheless, the little tessen bandit daren't call forth tessen's full power, for he did not want a repeat session of what he had experience before…

Tasuki: *teeth chattering* D-d*mn s-straight…

The fire began to wane, and though the little tessen bandit didn't want to make the flame glow any brighter, he didn't want it to go out either. Waving it weakly, he managed to stay the weakening ember fading to blue…

The blue blurred… And with it, a head materialized…

Voice: T-tas… -chan, no da…?

Tasuki: *frozen* C-chi-c-chi-r-ri…?!

Chichiri: *jumping to retrieve his little tessen bandit* Tas-chan, no da…!! You're freezing—

Tasuki: *being enveloped by his love's kesa* *weak chuckle* H-heh… unders-statement of the c-century…

Chichiri: *grinning* *seductive purr* Ah, but I know just the thing to warm you up, na no da

Tasuki: *blushing* *grinning* Wouldn't have it any other way, koi

And so our tale comes to an end, as two fated lovers blessed by Suzaku flew to the skies as one, wrapped in each other's arms like there was no tomorrow…

As for the little tessen that got left behind, it lifted itself up and smiled its little metallic smile, glad that it could help its Master find happiness at last. With a bound and a leap, it whirled its way into a plot-hole, ready to be used for another PWP Once upon a time… The end story…

The end…

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Aoi Akiko rambles:

Ai...!! *cowers under table* Gomen nasai if this isn't as funny as the last one, but Akiko was feeling a little TasxChi deprived, so decided to write a half-humor, half-romance, happy-ever-after story... Hope you enjoyed it though ^_^

And oh, Akiko knows it's way too early for this, but The Little Match Girl has always been a sweet sorrowful Christmas story, so that's what I intend this be too...!! Krismasu omedeto gozaimasu, minna!!

Review kudasai, minna...!!