Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha. 'Nuff said.
'She is beautiful,' that was Bankotsu's first thought upon seeing her. She, with her unblemished, ivory-tinted-with-pinky-rose skin, her slender, yet shapely frame, her emerald orbs, which shone like diamonds, and her silky black hair with natural blue highlights, falling in tight ringlets down to her bum.
Ignoring the utterly dumbfounded look Jakotsu was giving him, Bankotsu sauntered over to her. "Hey beautiful, what's your name?" he asked.
Twirling around elegantly on her dainty feet, the girl looked him straight in the eye – not something many women dared to do in the presence of he, Bankotsu – and said simply, "I am Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi, of the Yumehoshi household."
Upon hearing this, the rest of the Shichinin-tai tried to contain their laughter. After all, what sort of person named their daughter 'Princess Butt Cute-Neck'? And since when was 'Dreamstar' a surname? They concluded immediately that this girl was severely deluded.
Not Bankotsu, though. "A beautiful name for a beautiful woman," he said sincerely.
Jakotsu sincerely hoped Bankotsu was joking.
"Why thank you," she said breathily. Casting her bright green jewels to the floor, she said lowly, "Many a man thinks that I am unsuitable wife material, just because I know how to use a sword, do karate, read minds, and do not ride horses sidesaddle."
Bankotsu decided immediately that there was something below his belt that he wanted her riding right now.
"Anyway," she sighed tragically, "I must get back to my maid work. As I said, I used to be a princess, but my family was killed several years ago, and our treasures were all stolen. I now work at this inn to make my living. You know, I never liked being a princess, and…"
Renkotsu barely stopped himself from rolling his eyes. "Does that woman think we care?"
"Gesh. From the way she's going on about herself, I think she does, Renkotsu-aniki," Ginkotsu answered instantly.
"I say we cut her to pieces for her impudence," said Suikotsu, looking down eagerly at his claws.
"I'll take her," Mukotsu said in an enthusiastic tone of voice, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.
"If she had more meat on her bones, she'd be a perfect midnight snack – but I'm not all that picky," Kyoukotsu stated greedily, licking his lips as he imagined how Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi would taste.
Jakotsu hmphed. "What I'm concerned about is why oo-aniki is humoring her like this." He gestured towards Bankotsu, who was slumped forward with a painfully obvious blush across his cheeks as he listened to the princess's life story, nodding and saying 'yeah' or 'I'm so sorry for you' every now and then. What was worse was that there was no sarcasm in his voice. Jakotsu shuddered.
Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi turned her emerald gaze to them (much to their displeasure; especially Jakotsu, who, upon taking another look at Bankotsu's face, struggled to keep himself from emitting a feral growl). "Who are your lovely traveling companions, Bankotsu-chan?"
The other six Shichinin-tai held their breath, waiting for Bankotsu's Banryuu to cleanly slice through the middle of the woman who dared address him as such. When had he told her his name anyway?
It didn't come.
Instead, he merely said, "Well, these are Kyoukotsu and Ginkotsu – real softies once you get to know them, you can tell from their size. All big, ugly hulks secretly have humungous hearts, as I'm sure someone like you knows."
Kyoukotsu lost his appetite for the first time ever, and Ginkotsu was just itching to fire his artillery at something.
"This is Mukotsu. He may seem like a dangerous, poison-wielding rapist, but he's just afraid of rejection. Really."
Mukotsu wished he could take out the poisons Bankotsu had mentioned and direct them towards himself, Bankotsu, or the princess. He didn't really want to die, and upon taking in the princess's 38-D size, he came to a decision. 'Sorry, oo-aniki.'
"This is Suikotsu. We pity him and his horrible mental disorder." Bankotsu gave Suikotsu a sympathetic look, usually reserved for the terminally insane.
Suikotsu twitched. The claws were so shiny and the offender was right in front of him.
"This is Renkotsu. He acts like a callous, heartless bastard of a man, but you know, he really likes baby animals and fluffy things."
Renkotsu shot Ginkotsu a look, through which they both silently agreed. 'Bankotsu-aniki has gone off the deep end.'
Bankotsu grinned widely and turned to Jakotsu. "And this…this is my most best friend ever, Jakotsu."
"Best friend and MORE," Jakotsu muttered, making sure the princess could hear.
Giggling, she said, "He's so funny, Bankotsu-chan!"
"Isn't he though? He's also gay. I know most people in this era would shrink away from someone like that, but you don't mind, do you?"
"Of course not," she chimed, her voice like an angel's. "I make sure to be very open-minded to everyone's preferences." She smiled at Jakotsu, who was currently giving her the stink-eye. "If you like him so much, I'm sure we'll get along wonderfully."
"Yeah, and I'm pretty damn sure we won't, filth," whispered Jakotsu, once again making sure she could hear.
The princess let out a heavenly laugh. "You just crack me up!" She patted Jakotsu on the head, as though he were simply a very vivacious toddler, and not a vengeful twenty-year-old man who wanted her dead.
Leaning over to Renkotsu, Jakotsu murmured, "If we decide to kill her, I'm dealing the blow."
"The six of us will be dealing it together, Jakotsu," Renkotsu answered. "With or without oo-aniki's approval."
Jakotsu's face lit up. "Do you have a plan?"
"Not yet. But I will, be sure of it."
Bankotsu sighed. The Shichinin-tai had settled into their rooms for the night. As usual, he and Jakotsu were sharing. It had been several hours since he'd seen Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi, and he missed her so. For the umpteenth time that hour, he decided to tell an unusually grumpy Jakotsu this. "Ah…Jakotsu?"
"Wha?" answered the other man, from his place on the bed. Bankotsu decided he had just imagined the surly note in Jakotsu's voice.
"I really miss the princess." Jakotsu groaned, and clamped a pillow around his ears, but Bankotsu didn't notice; he was thinking of her. "I want to run my hands through that silky, naturally highlighted hair of hers…I want to feel the touch of her supple lips against my own…"
Jakotsu, despite his best efforts, could still hear Bankotsu's monologue. He decided not to ponder how exactly his lover knew the princess's lips were supple, or how silky her hair was. 'What kind of witch is she? Or maybe I did something to offend Bankotsu, and he's just playing with me. Yes! That MUST be it!'
Abruptly standing straight up, Jakotsu proclaimed, "I'm really, really, really sorry, oo-aniki! Please, for the love of all things good AND evil, stop this!"
Bankotsu gave him a look of pure confusion. "What are you sorry for? And what should I stop?"
"I…abuh…wibba…never mind…" This time, Jakotsu took his own pillow, and Bankotsu's so he could cover his whole head. Maybe, were he lucky, he would suffocate before he had to see Bankotsu fall in honest-to-goodness love with a woman.
But unfortunately for him, he did hear, "Oh, did I tell you me and Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi are soul mates of the deepest caliber? We are, you know, and I can tell, even though I just met her about three hours ago…"
"THAT'S IT!" screamed Jakotsu, nearly four hours later. He wasn't succeeding at killing himself, or shutting up Bankotsu and he just couldn't take it anymore. Grabbing Jakotsutou, his pillow, make-up, clothes, and a few other necessities, he kicked the door off its hinges, stomped down the hall to Renkotsu and Ginkotsu's room, flung their door open, and dramatically dumped his belongings right in the middle of the floor.
Ginkotsu's metal jaw hung wide open, and a passing fly wandered inside – he didn't notice, instead keeping his eye trained on the cross dresser in front of him.
"Would our surprise visit from you have anything to do with that…commotion down the hall?" asked Renkotsu carefully. He wasn't stupid. When Jakotsu was upset and angry, eardrums were shattered, and things went flying. It was best to approach the subject of his distress cautiously.
Jakotsu, whose eyes had become filled to the brim with tears, yelled, "YES! WHAT DO YOU THINK RENKOTSU-ANIKI?! WHAT?!" Jakotsu pounded his fists into the floor with such ferocity that Renkotsu was afraid the floorboards would be entirely smashed through, and the seven of them would get stuck paying expenses.
"Did you talk to oo-aniki and find out why that wench is so alluring to him?" said Renkotsu calmly. If he hadn't liked staying in his personal space so much, Renkotsu would have placed Jakotsu's destructive hands somewhere where they couldn't break anything of value.
Taking a moment to sniff loudly, Jakotsu said, "Well, the thing is, he won't shut up about her. But none of his talk makes any SENSE!"
Thoughtfully, Renkotsu replied, "Speaking of not making sense, did either of you," he looked at Ginkotsu and Jakotsu, "really hear that woman's story earlier? Not only were several of the things she mentioned humanly and chronologically impossible, but she spurted out all this gibberish about 'CDs', 'Hot Topic', and 'Evanescence'."
"Gesh, gesh. I noticed some of that too," said Ginkotsu.
"I was too busy struggling to keep Jakotsutou in its sheath. Do you guys know how badly I wanted to take it out and slice through her heart? One quick strike, that's all it would've taken, and she'd be dead," muttered Jakotsu sullenly.
"I have a feeling what we're dealing with is much more powerful than that, Jakotsu. If she could ensnare oo-aniki with a choice look, I don't imagine you could have killed her that easily," Renkotsu responded.
"Still, it wouldn't have hurt to try," Jakotsu returned.
"Gesh, gesh. Is there a chance that it's some sort of mind illness, Renkotsu-aniki?" asked Ginkotsu. "Waking up Suikotsu's doctor side isn't usually a good idea, but if it knows something…" Ginkotsu left the sentence hanging.
Jakotsu stared in amazement. It wasn't often he heard Ginkotsu speak, unless it was to agree with, or respond to, something Renkotsu said.
"That's…" Renkotsu said slowly, "not a bad idea." Jakotsu was even more shocked now; since when did Renkotsu agree with anyone's plans but his own? "On first thought." Ah, yes. "We will, of course, have to factor in other things, such as the time it will take Suikotsu to get back to normal, and the chance that that damn doctor doesn't know anything." Renkotsu looked at the two of them. "I'm going to take all of this into consideration. Either way, we're going to have a long day tomorrow, so I suggest getting some sleep. Ginkotsu and I were just about to turn in for the night when someone came bursting in. Good night," he said brusquely.
Jakotsu heaved a heavy sigh and looked straight ahead. "Gesh?" said Ginkotsu, cocking his head as much as possible at the normally cheerful man.
"All right," grumbled Renkotsu, in a very long-suffering tone of voice. "What do you want?"
Gulping down a fresh deluge of salty tears, Jakotsu said quietly, in a voice that seemed almost purposely pathetic, "Well…a hug would be nice…"
Renkotsu's thoughts immediately replied, 'No. No. No. Tell him no. Never. Say you wouldn't touch him with a twenty-foot pole, even if it was the difference between life and death.' However, he had more tact than that. Backing up a few steps, he nudged Ginkotsu's shoulder and nodded in Jakotsu's direction.
"No. No. No. Never!" yelped Suikotsu the next morning. "I am NOT letting the doctor take over. NO."
Six of the Shichinin-tai were gathered around a table in an inconspicuous corner in the inn's main room, eating breakfast. Bankotsu had been there earlier, with Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi on his lap. Then, after a quick meal (Something that usually didn't belong in the same sentence as 'Bankotsu'), they had announced that they were going to her room in order to 'warm up' (it was ninety degrees inside). Jakotsu had had to be stopped from throwing the nearest table at the princess by the combined power of Kyoukotsu and Ginkotsu.
"Pleeeeaaaaase, Suikotsu?" whimpered Jakotsu. "Do you want oo-aniki to be like…like…oh, you know…forever?" He clasped his hands together, and moved his face within an inch of Suikotsu's.
"If you were me, you wouldn't do it either," the other man growled in response.
"But I'm not you. I'm me. So shut up and listen to us!" wailed Jakotsu, flailing his arms about.
Renkotsu shook his head at Jakotsu's nonsensical words, and turned to the furious Suikotsu. "Suikotsu, as your second-in-command, I am saying that you are going to let the doctor take over, like it or not."
Out of the blue, from an area they all knew led to the private quarters of the inn's staff, the six men heard a very high-pitched squeal, and then, "OH BANKOTSU! OH YES, YES, YES!"
Jakotsu felt his innards reverse their normal process as everything he had eaten that morning went rushing to his mouth. Renkotsu was purely scandalized by the woman's loose ways. Ginkotsu had half a mind to turn his weapons on himself. Mukotsu scowled out of jealousy as remembered Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi's measurements. Kyoukotsu lost his appetite for the second time in two days, and was thusly outraged at both his leader and the princess.
As for Suikotsu…he had begun to think seeing what the doctor knew wasn't such a bad idea.
"Great. Just great. The one time we need him, he won't come!" fumed Jakotsu, stamping his feet a few times. After Suikotsu had agreed to their plan, they had realized that they didn't know how in the world they were actually supposed to get the doctor to come out.
"Gesh. Where's Renkotsu? He wouldn't have forgotten to think about this," stated Ginkotsu, looking around.
Suikotsu scratched his head. "Haven't seen him since right after breakfast."
Just then, Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi skipped by in her usual fashion of ungodly perkiness. "Hey guys, what's up?"
"…The sky?" asked Kyoukotsu, looking at her oddly, as were the rest of the assembled Shichinin-tai members. What was that supposed to mean?
"You boys are just so silly!" she giggled, her gigantic boobs jiggling as she did this.
Mukotsu found himself victim to a very unwanted nosebleed.
"Anyway, I know you're looking for Renkotsu, what with my mind reading powers and all, so I think you should know you can find him by the stream over that-a-way," she exclaimed, giggling again, as she pointed northwest. Suddenly, the Shichinin-tai (sans Renkotsu and Bankotsu) noticed, she sprouted wings and began to fly.
"Wh – wha?!" they exclaimed together.
Nearly blinding them with her dazzling smile, Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi replied, "I must have forgotten to mention that I'm an angel. Did you know that I'm also a tiger-panther-lion youkai, Inuyasha's half-sister, Miroku's best friend from when he was little, Kohaku's only confidant, and Kikyou's other reincarnation? Before Kagome?" With that, she flew off.
The five men stood speechless in her wake. They didn't need Renkotsu to tell them that that hadn't made sense at all.
Speaking of Renkotsu, he came skipping down one of the village's paths in a manner that reminded them all eerily of the princess. "Hey guys, what's up?"
"…The sky?" asked Kyoukotsu. Then he paused a moment, before adding, "Hey, déjà vu!"
Ginkotsu, Suikotsu, Jakotsu, and Mukotsu all took this time to come upon a horrifying sight – Renkotsu had hand-drawn pink flowers on his head. Not to mention, he was wearing a gold necklace that said 'Ho'.
"Er…Renkotsu-aniki?" said Jakotsu, walking backwards a few steps. "Why do you have a necklace that's calling you a garden tool?"
Renkotsu gave a savage, scary grin. "Oh, that's not what it means, Jakotsu. Would you like to find out?"
Eyes widening in realization of what that most probably implied, Jakotsu squeaked. "Oh no…oh no. I mean – ehhh…I'm fine. Good. You know, not – not sex-starved or anything."
"Suuure? I could give you a little somethin' somethin' with Bankotsu on the blink and all," he responded, closing in on Jakotsu, who would have never, in a million years, guessed that anything like this would ever happen to him.
"Anou…I – I just remembered! I have to pick something up at the tailor's! Yes, that's it!" yelped Jakotsu, bolting from the man who claimed to be Renkotsu. Behind him, he vaguely heard the rest of his comrades yelling out similar excuses and making their own getaways.
Things weren't good. They weren't good at all. During the past five hours, Mukotsu, Ginkotsu, and Kyoukotsu had all gone missing for a period of time, and then returned acting entirely out of character. Jakotsu and Suikotsu decided not to leave each other's sight, lest a similar fate befall them.
"Gesh. I just love the color pink," giggled Ginkotsu, in a very un-Ginkotsu-like tone of voice.
"Me too!" agreed Kyoukotsu eagerly, as Mukotsu nodded.
Jakotsu and Suikotsu shuddered at this display of peculiar behavior (though Jakotsu rather liked pink as well). This wasn't the worst their comrades had spouted out in the hours since they'd begun to behave like that, but it was still creepy beyond belief.
"Can I borrow one of your yukatas, Jakotsu? The really pink one?" asked Kyoukotsu, blinking with stereotypical 'big, gentle guy' naïveté.
Jakotsu opened his mouth with the intent of screaming at the mental images invading him head (especially as the ones concerning Renkotsu's earlier display had only just started leaving his thoughts), but Suikotsu clamped a hand over his mouth, and pulled him away.
"That's so, so wrong!" said Jakotsu, shivering, when he and Suikotsu stopped sometime later.
"Which part?" muttered Suikotsu. His eyes were much larger than normal, and a vaguely horrified expression seemed to have etched itself permanently onto his face.
"Oh, I don't know…ALL OF IT?!" howled Jakotsu, flailing his arms. He grabbed Suikotsu and started knocking on his head. "Mou…tell the doctor to wake up now! I can't hold out much longer."
"Ack – no – er…Jakotsu, quit it," snarled Suikotsu, pulling away and rubbing the part of his head where several bruises were forming, "unless you want to give me and him amnesia."
Sighing loudly, Jakotsu fell to the ground and sat cross-legged. "What do we do?" he wondered aloud.
Just then, much to the dismay of both men, Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi marched around the corner, leading a group of small children behind her. "Hidey-ho, guys!" she greeted them flippantly; they inched away from her. "I was just leading these poor, parentless children that I adopted out of the goodness of my humble heart on a walk. Would you like to come along?" she batted her long, full eyelashes at them. Frantically, they shook their heads. Pouting attractively, she turned away, children in tow.
"Does she think we're stupid?" asked Jakotsu quietly, once she was out of sight. "Geez…give us some more credit, filth. Those poor kids, though. Not even the girls deserve to have something like that buzzing around."
"Wait…kids? And they're…in trouble…" said Suikotsu vaguely. He began rubbing his hands against the bumps on his head. Jakotsu raised an eyebrow, staring. Then, Suikotsu stopped rubbing the bumps, and merely clutched at his head, growling.
"Hey…" Jakotsu smiled as what was happened dawned on him. "Hehe. Never appreciated kids this much before."
Suikotsu's hair came out of its spikes, and the markings on his face disappeared. The author resisted an urge to crack a corny 'the doctor is in the house' joke. Jakotsu's smile became a full-fledged, maniacal almost, grin.
"Where…where am I?" murmured Suikotsu, getting up slowly. "Who are you?" he asked, upon taking sight of Jakotsu.
"Hmm…" Jakotsu put a hand to his chin thoughtfully before replying, "well, I'm Jakotsu, and you were…just about to answer one of my questions when you blacked out."
"Oh." Suikotsu looked thoroughly confused. "I don't remember that." Jakotsu tried to appear concerned, though he was fairly sure that he was failing miserably. Suikotsu seemed to take his bad acting for awkwardness, and smiled brightly. "So, what was your question? I'll see if I can be of any help."
"Er…right. Well, my friends and I came to this town a few days ago. Bankotsu – my best friend…and more – saw this girl at the inn, and suddenly he just changed."
"He…got real weird, and started acting out of character. He fawned over her! Bankotsu doesn't fawn over people! Except me and Inuyasha when no one is around, but…" Jakotsu paused, to collect his thoughts, "never mind what I just said. I'll keep oo-aniki's secrets." Suikotsu merely blinked. "But it wasn't right. He – he…took her to bed…after ONE DAY! ONE DAY! And a woman too!" cried Jakotsu, recalling this, aghast. "Later, whenever we'd lose sight of one of our other friends, they'd come back…changed. Out of character, just like Bankotsu. We – er – I'm the only one left now."
Suikotsu frowned. "What's this girl like?"
"Perfect. Sickeningly, impossibly, perfect. And she talks about doing and being all these things that don't make sense. Really…nothing about her makes sense," Jakotsu reflected.
"I can't say that I know of any medical condition that makes anything like what you've described happen." Jakotsu groaned, feeling very tempted to take Jakotsutou, sheath and all, and smack something (perhaps his own head) with it. "However, at a village I once worked in, I did hear a legend that you may be interested in."
"Eh? Tell me, tell me!" said Jakotsu excitedly.
"Well," Suikotsu leaned in, "it's said that years ago, a girl much like you described came to the village. She charmed all the handsome young men, and made others into her friends and admirers. Her powers were not of this world. A few villagers, who had managed to avoid her spell, worked for long hours to figure out a way to get rid of her. Finally, they all but gave up hope – however, the next morning, they found a shiny, golden object and a sheet of paper with an incantation and an explanation. The object was called a 'spork', and they were to say the incantation, then throw the spork at the girl in order to get rid of her…"
"Oh, Jakotsu, would you like to go shopping with me?" said Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi, smiling a drop-dead gorgeous smile. "On the way, I can tell you about how I'm a half Christian, half Buddhist priestess of the uppermost order."
Jakotsu gulped. It was now or never. Fingering the hastily made 'spork' he had hidden in the sash of his yukata, he stepped forward. "I've got to talk with you about something."
"Mmm? Are you…" she sauntered right up to him, getting in his face, "experiencing feelings you've never before had for a woman?"
"You could say that," Jakotsu responded. Inwardly, he blanched at the thought, but as long as it kept her interested…
"Keep going," she said seductively, wrapping one of her long, manicured fingernails around a stray lock of his hair. Jakotsu fought the urge to run away and never look back.
'Think of oo-aniki!'
"Are you shy? Oh-em-gee, that is SO cute!" she squealed, pressing her body against his.
Jakotsu pushed away. Ick. Filth germs. Bankotsu really, really owed him. "No!" he unsheathed Jakotsutou, and before the princess could react, he used it to pin her to a nearby wall. Taking out the spork, he shouted, "Mary-Sue! You are defying canon, logic, and everything that's good!"
"Oh shit…" muttered Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi, squirming.
"When in canon does this story take place? How can you be all the things you say you are? Why are you talking about CDs and Hot Topic when they aren't even close to being invented? Is there a reason for your perfect looks, intelligence, and impeccable morals other than to ensnare my friends for your author's sick pleasure?!"
"You can't do this!" she protested, trying harder still to escape, but to no avail.
"BY THE POWER OF THE SPORK, I EXPELL YOU!" Jakotsu cried, thrusting the spork forward with all his might. It hit her straight in the heart. A blinding light overtook the area, and Jakotsu could hear the princess's scream. First, she sounded like beautiful Christmas bells in harmony, but slowly, she began sounding more like a dying cat. Finally, the light died down, and it the princess's place was a short, chubby girl with zits and greasy hair, wearing a shirt that said 'Suethor'.
"You are, like, so mean!" she squealed. "If you didn't like my fic, you, like, shouldn't have read it!"
"I got stuck in it. It's not MY fault," said Jakotsu, sticking his hands in the air as a gesture of innocence.
"Yeah it is! It has to be. You're just, like, jealous that you aren't Princess Shiri Kawaii-Kubi Yumehoshi! You're just…just…just…a stupid fag! And a butthead!" the girl looked so pleased with her 'insult', that rather than being insulted, Jakotsu was amused.
"You've rekindled my hate for filth," he pulled Jakotsutou from the wall and let 'Suethor' fall. "I'll give you until the count of five to run away and never, ever show yourself again."
'Suethor' began hyperventilating, and curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth. "Oh my God…meanie…"
Seeing this, Jakotsu sighed and put Jakotsutou back into its sheath. "You're so pathetic, I don't have the heart. See ya, filth." He walked out.
"Wait…don't ignore me! You meanie!" she yelled, getting up suddenly as he did this. "You're afraid of me, aren't you? Yeah, yeah, I knew it! I knew it the whole time!" Jakotsu didn't even bother to give her a second glance. Some people were just sad.
"Mmmm…where am I?" murmured Bankotsu, opening his eyes slowly. The last thing he remembered was walking into the inn and seeing that girl; then, it all went black.
"Aniki! How are you?" he heard a voice exclaim excitedly. Without looking, he knew it was Jakotsu.
Bringing his hand up to rub his head, he replied, "I feel like I've been asleep a million years. Did I faint back there? When we got to the inn?"
"Ehhh…you don't remember?" Jakotsu suddenly sounded a bit guarded.
"Not a thing. What happened?" he asked.
Coming to sit beside him, Jakotsu said solemnly, "Believe me, oo-aniki, you'll be much happier if you never know."
Or IS it?