Meh, this title makes me feel woozy - a bit too fluffy for my own good. I've seen Houshin Engi (aka Soul Hunter, or even Romance of the Sealed Gods) about…. Four years ago or something. I completely lost all contact of it before I saw a picture of Taikoubou, and that was whenI realised how much I loved the anime, even though I only saw about half of it, and I've forgotten almost everything, so please excuse me if I've got things wrong. And this board looks pretty empty anyway at the moment; I might as well post this up. I have the vague feeling that Nataku is a little OOC - all I know is that he's a pretty emotionless guy but with feelings deep down. It's AU too. Oh yeah, there's going to be no information on the OC's name or looks, I've been doing that more often in my stories; I'll leave it to people's imagination.

I suppose it's NatakuOC. He needs his fans, see? I think Taikoubou has enough, there's pictures of him in fanart kissing OCs. Sweet, lol, but not what I'm interested in at the moment. I saw a 'Marry Your favourite character' site, apparently, Nataku's married to about ten fangirls so far. Go andlook it up some time – look for 'marry your favourite character' or something, you may be surprised if you find it, and who'd know? You might get engaged too online if you sign up. Good luck in finding your favourite bishounen! Lol.





By Fish and Chips

"Hey Nataku…" She used her index finger to poke at his headgear around his forehead; it dipped into one of the punched holes, swirled around for a split second, before she took it back out. She was unsure whether he had felt that contact yet; since he looked the usual she had always seen him – his attire was red, mostly. With a loose, white vest top, a red scarf, white baggy pants and a red cloth tied around his waist. The two painted blue stripes on each side of his cheek. Unemotional look. Yeah, he looked the usual – only his eyes were closed, this time. Probably asleep.

He ignored her and continued to relax.

She looked at him from above, even though she was only lying on her stomach on the grass one level up from him. A gentle hand lifted up and brushed some strands of red hair from his face. He could feel her hair on his face; was she leaning that close to him? Probably was, he could hear her loud and clear, feel her breath – "Hey Nataku…" Another prod.

Yet again, he opted to ignore her. Sooner or later, she'd get bored by the fact that he wasn't talking back but dozing under the sun on the meadow and run off, going to bother Raishinshi or Taikoubou for all he cared. He didn't really want her to be beside him all the time; but he was glad she was here for him. However right now, he was sure he wanted to be alone. Anyway, both of them had their own different lives.

At the start, she had been worried that Nataku and her wouldn't go on well. She thought she was too girly for him, clumsy and not too smart either. She believed he was rather violent and cold towards others. But after a few 'conversations' and interaction, she had thought her theory was wrong, Nataku could be a very approachable person if known how to handle properly. Just make a few twists and turns in the nook and cranny of the machinery that gets on your nerves, no matter how stubborn the cogs seem, and eventually, the cogs will move along smoothly in the way you had wanted it to go; you'll get the hang of it. Yet… why was she comparing Nataku to a device? Hmm, they did seem to be alike in a way...

"Hey Nataku…"

Okay, it wasn't working. She wasn't going to leave him alone. This time, she prodded at his nose gently – so Nataku momentarily opened one lazy eye and glared at her beadily. "…. What?" He muttered quietly.

She smiled at him. Even though she was not one of the immortals, it had managed to make him feel warm all inside – something he usually didn't get unless he was with her; he wondered, how could he let such a delicate mortal get to him like that? She took her hand off his forehead and brushed a strand of hair that was dangling in front of his face, back behind her ear. "Sorry, did I wake you?"

Gingerly, he shook his head.

"Well, um… okay… I was going to ask… what you wanted for dinner tonight…" She asked, her tone lowering to match the level of his. Whenever she spoke to him, she always used a very soft tone, unlike when she had to handle Raishinshi or Taikoubou; she had to be loud and persistent to shake them off.

He closed his eye again. She woke him up just for that? Shifting a little, Nataku got up from his spot and sat up, stretching a little. She noticed and rolled away from him, then sat up beside him, smoothing down her dress, picking several pieces of grass from her hair. She watched him steadily. Nataku stared back for a while. She blinked at him; wondering inside if she had something funny on her face. He'd been doing that a lot lately. Just what was on his mind? Well, in his mind, he felt like he wanted to protect her. Because she was a girl, and a very young girl, not to mention a rather mischievous and energetic one, and that she was quite cute in all her facial expressions and actions, like right now – she was attempting to make a daisy chain with blunt fingernails – she needed someone watching over her. Sometimes she could be very annoying in some ways, but still – she was a girl. And this type of girl cried a lot.

One time, Raishinshi let out her pet lovebirds from their cage by accident. When she realised that her cage was rather empty of two inhabitants, she went off her head, and begged for another pair. When she wasn't allowed; she frowned, stomped up to her room and slammed the door shut; angry with Raishinshi, angry at her sensei. She spent days moping and mourning, she lost her appetite, and wouldn't come out from her room. Nataku spotted the two lovebirds high up in a branch in the forest he had been currently resting in for that day. With ease, and help from his Fuukarin, he managed to retrieve the birds.

"… Give these to her." Nataku gestured to the two birds in his palms. Raishinshi blinked at him.

"Why don't you?" The dark-skinned man said. "You found 'em."

"…If you don't, she'll hate you forever."

He had been wrong about her before; she wasn't the kind of people to hold grudges or actually hate people. In a few minutes, Raishinshi was forgiven, even before he gave her back to birds. She couldn't stay angry forever. Nataku couldn't stay angry at her if she annoyed him, which was very rare, plus, she wasn't strong – often described by the people around her as being weak, fragile, rather dependent, harmless, and good-natured – Nataku didn't want to harm her. He stared at the clear blue sky above them. "...You know I don't eat."

She stopped working on her daisy chain (which wasn't really working out anyway), put her hands on her chin, over her knees and sighed a bit, closed her eyes, then opened them again. She had once joked to him, complaining that she didn't have anything proper to eat in the house, so she asked him to bring back a carcass of a demon for dinner. What amazed her was that he really did; he came back, just one hour before dinner approximately, covered in blood. There was a boar demon slung over his shoulder. He had dropped the body into the kitchen, and as she stared at the bloody corpse on her kitchen floor with widened eyes, he passed her and said: "…There, you won't go hungry this evening."

Heck, she realised, if Nataku was going to be serious towards and around her, she ought to be serious towards and around him too. Unlike Taikoubou, he pissed Nataku off so much; he practically has a place on Nataku's death list to meet the kenkouken. So when another day, he had said to her: "I like you in a way." She understood.

"Nataku?" She had replied.

"… What?" He said blankly.

"Tell me… what you want to eat everyday. I'll make it for you."

The wind blew a petal off from one of the daisies in her chain – of course, that came from the daisy she was holding onto tightly, trying to pierce a hole into. Frustrated, she sighed and picked another daisy up. "Yeah, but, I know – still, I hate seeing you watching me eat at the dinner table, while you don't eat anything. It's quite unnerving."

Nataku looked away from the daisy chain that was lying placidly in her hands, and grunted out. "…. I don't care."

She smiled – starting to fiddle around with one end of his scarf. That was his honest opinion – if it was something she liked about him, it was the fact that Nataku was honest – sure, he wasn't open and expressive, but how expressive did she want him to be? He was also rather unpredictable and undecipherable. His facial expression – unreadable. Such a mysterious guy. She sighed and shrugged inwardly to herself, there were so many words to describe him starting with 'un'.

"Could you at least mention something?" She pouted at him – he liked how she done that. She didn't mean to, of course. No matter what facial expression she wore, it made her look more bright than usual. That also made him feel warm inside; it felt good for his soul, as his mother once said: "These things and experiences in life don't happen very often. Perhaps only once in a lifetime, too." His mother was wrong about this: he always felt like this when he was near her, let alone even looking at her. He liked it, and wanted to keep it this way. Maybe that was why he had 'confessed'. Either than that, he was pleased he had. He found himself in her company for more than he actually wanted, even.

Nataku looked at the sky again. "… Mantau buns…"

She blinked and gawped at him for a bit. He didn't return her gaze. "I never knew you liked those."

He was silent.

She rolled away from him on the grass patch, and stood up, smoothing down her dress again and hair. "Okay… I'll go make them. Here, a little something for your time to be with me on this lovely day, from me to you." The daisy chain was put idly yet carefully over Nataku's spiky hair. "Aww, you look so sweet." She cooed at him.

He glared at her through half lidded eyes.

Giggling to herself, she put her hands on her hips and shielded her eyes from the sun that was now high in the sky. Then she pointed downhill, where the house was. "Heehee, to the kitchen, away!"

She was gone. Nataku was left in peace – he just randomly picked some sort of food, wanting her to go away for a while and leave him alone, but now, he realised, he was missing her presence already. He remembered about the lovebird incident – it was known, when the other goes away, the one left behind will miss its partner terribly. Some will even die if they don't return. He looked at her retreating back, pondering for a brief moment or two, and found himself following her silently back down to the house.

The End!