Change of Diet

Disclaimer: Tokyo Babylon does not belong to me, and I make no money from this work of fanfiction at all.

A/N: I was talking to Tam Chronin about her story "Silence and I" and this popped into my head. I think I scared my roommates because I couldn't stop snickering.


            Subaru had not emerged from his submersion within himself. He wasn't aware that he was no longer alone in his room. However, that voice would not be denied.

            "Subaru-kun, its time for you to wake up now."

            Part of him wanted to hide from that voice, but the rest of him felt like it was balm on fractured heart and soul.

            "You don't have to hide anymore, Subaru-kun."

            Slowly, Subaru looked up, life changing his eyes from green glass to something with sense in them- and then he lurched backwards in fear.

            Seishirou pinched the bridge of his nose. "Subaru-kun, I'm not going to hurt you. At the moment, that is quite beyond me."

            "But-" he croaked, his voice dry and cracked with disuse. "But you-"

            "Not anymore," annoyance and humor colored the older man's voice. "I have been… supplanted. It is, I believe the phrase is, a long story."

            Subaru's mouth fell open, and then he shut it, blushing in confusion. Then he blinked and looked around. "Where is Hokuto-chan?"

            It was probably the first time he had ever seen Seishirou, in or out of his guise as the kind veterinarian, look harried.

            "That is part of the long story I have to tell you."

            Seishirou stood underneath the Tree, wondering why he was there. He was supposed to meet Hokuto… But she was late. Sakurazukamori would never allow himself to show that he was becoming annoyed… but Hokuto could do that to a person.

            "Hello, Seishirou," someone said, and he turned to see her approaching and frowned. She was dressed in her brother's shikifuku, white and splendid, looking like his clone. Seishirou felt an odd pang on seeing that. He quickly dismissed it.

            "Good evening, Hokuto-chan," he gave her a charming smile. It was reminiscent of a snake's. "What can I do for you?"

            She smiled back at him, and for some reason he felt uncertain.

            "I want to get revenge for my brother."

            "You want to kill me?" Now he was amused. "You aren't nearly powerful enough."

            "I want…" she paused. It was then that he noticed the large bag, hidden in one of her sleeves.

            "I want to talk to Tree-san," she suddenly chirped. "Hullo, Tree-san!" She waved happily at the enormous cherry tree they were under. "I've been wanting to meet you for a while now. See, I have something to discuss with you."

            Sakurazukamori's mouth went slack as she started, because he could feel the enormous, powerful consciousness of the Tree bend itself towards her. It actually seemed interested.

            "I'm sure, after all these centuries, Tree-san, that you've eaten lots and lots of people. But, haven't you gotten bored of human souls yet?"

            Now his jaw really DID drop.

            "Wouldn't you like to try something new? I mean- there is this," she pulled the bag out of her sleeve- a grocery bag. It held a variety of-

            "Oh no," Seishirou whispered. He knew what that was. The most addicting substance on the face of the planet. Even he held no resistance.

            "It's called Pocky. It's absolutely delicious!"

            "Subaru-kun- you are not a fish," Seishirou chided, looking at his audience.

            "So… you're saying that my sister… fed the Tree," Subaru said in a rush, his face turning first pale then a brilliant red as he tried to contain his reaction. He couldn't tell if it was horror or laughter.

            "Not at first," Seishirou sounded offended.

            "Hokuto-chan," Seishirou tried to keep his voice calm. "You can't just feed a tree Pocky."

            "Why not?" she asked innocently, holding out the box of Decorer Cake Pocky. There were also strawberry, green tea mouse, and almond chocolate…

            Then she pulled out the sake. He could positively feel the Tree start to grin.

            "Seishirou's a nice a guy, I'm sure," Hokuto put her attention back on the Tree. "Good at his job. But you need some variety. After so many centuries… why not try something new?"

            "Hokuto," he growled, and put his hand up to kill her- he could not stand where this was going- and suddenly he dropped on his knees.

            "My- my-" weakness flooded him, and he fell to his knees. Realization hit him hard, and he felt- felt- FELT. Betrayal, anger, frustration, longing- all things that had been subsumed by his position.

            He was no longer Sakurazukamori.

Hokuto beamed down at him, and turned to her new friend. "So- which kind would you like to try first, Tree-chan?"

            "She… fed the Tree… Pocky?" Subaru stared at him.


            "You are no longer Sakurazukamori." It was not a question.

            "Yes." Seishirou was somewhat put out by that.

            "And Hokuto..?"

            "Is now Sakurazukamori," Seishirou was positively insulted. "I worked for that thing since I was thirteen- it threw me away like I was trash!"

            "Maybe… you really should have asked it… if it liked candy?"

            Hokuto, dressed in a chic business suit, sunglasses and trench coat, sat on the Tree's roots, watching as the Tree pulled the bottles of sake and boxes of candy into itself.

            "And then, like, Tree-chan, you wouldn't BEILIEVE what my brother did! HE KISSED HIM! It took him long enough. I mean, those two were meant for each other from the beginning. How come it took us so long to set them up? Yeah, you know, that end of the world stuff, so passé. We really should see if we can get the two Kamui's to go on a date before all that stuff goes down… and like, OH MY GOD would you believe what he was wearing? Oh yeah, Kakyou and I are going out on date… no no, don't worry! He'd never compete with my time with YOU, Tree-chan," she cackled, tossing back some sake herself while she and the Tree gossiped.

            It was a good day.

The End.