Hooray, the third fruit of the Seven Deadly Sins challenge is up at last! Praise the author's inane brain!

Or...if you've been gathered in in an act of total shock and are NOT one of the people worshipping the ground I walk on, welcome, and yes, you did indeed read correctly, this is an Ama-InuXKasei fic. (smirk)

Actually, there's no need to be so alarmed. If you don't know me, I'm not a graphic person, (at least not for pairings. I'm more of an innuendo person.) and on the bright side, the fic features all of Kaoru's soldiers, so even if you aren't fond of Ama-Inu and Kasei, there's almost certain to be someone you can deal with in here.

Seven Deadly Sins is a series of one-shots split up between myself and KasumiSora (AKA: the matriarch of the fandom who is awesome on a stick), none of the fics of which have any relation to the others, so there's no advance reading you might need. (Aren't we just so considerate?)

A bonus for your choosing THIS lovely fic is that there are no spoilers, except maybe the fact that bad guys exist. (and you get that even in the end of book one, so I don't see a problem.) This fic is entirely seperate from the canon Juvenile Orion series, and supposedly takes place before Kaoru even knows Mana exists, so you can show your love for the bad guys when they're not being bad without fear for your eyes. The pairing is a crack-pairing. There's no evidence to its existance in the books whatsoever (at least none that I've seen). But who knows, you might end up liking the fic, anyway. (smile) If you're worried, a full list of warnings is below. From there you can probably decide if you can cope with your average dose of "neurofeces."

That said, I wish you the best, and encourage you to check out the works of my partner in crime if you leave with an appetite. (Note also, for those of you who like to diet your daily intake of words that KasumiSora-sama tends to be far more concise than I am.)

Also, for those of you unaware of my ongoing challenge and/or the list on my bio, feel free to deposit with me any perverse or outlandish pairings that might strike you. I collect them (still), and am still working on compiling my list on my bio with some fresher additions the next time I'm able. (There haven't been updates for a very long time, but that doesn't mean I'm not collecting them still!)

--Neufe (note: Pronounced "Noof" I will not respond to "Noofy"...or at least I'll pretend not to. (cough))

Original concept: 5-5-07

Draft 1: 5-21-07

Draft 2 (sent to KS-sama): 5-22-07

Final Draft (including opening and closing notes, and spellchecking): 7-17-07

And now...I have to warn you, all, because it's what I do. (Yes that's right. I just sit there and worry about the preservation of mental chastity--kind of late and semi-counter productive, eh?)

Warnings: language (Note: probably one of the first times I've used swearing outside of character voice too, that's new. But also, the language in this stresses to the maximum of the rating. Just to warn you.), Mizunagi's cigarette use (Though it's mostly IC for him, so that probably doesn't count as bad), flippant booze and poisoning mentions (So you kill yourself faster and worry less about cirrhosis!), flippant murder mentions as well (well, it's the Aquarian Age, what do you expect?), Philosophical discussions (Of multiple viewpoints, incidentally. That's right, you'll be labeled intolerant if you don't explicitly support teh feces in her multiple conflicting written views. (snicker) Sheesh. You're taking me seriously? It's just character views. I'm not trying to convert you or anything, calm down.(laughs harder)), Omnivority to the extreme (You can tell me it's disgusting later on in a review if you'd like. (grin)), Kasei trying to be angst-on-a-stick (mostly rambling about his past while Lafayel scornfully tries to steal the spotlight.) crack (but you knew that already), and innuendoes up the wazoo all through the thing if you have a dirty enough mind to look...(I seriously think I've outdone myself this time. (cracks up--literally and metaphorically))

This fic is proof you should not read copious amounts of Peacekeeper Kurogane, Kaori Yuki works involving necrophiliac princes, or really develop too much of a liking for Category:Freaks--another work of the illustrious Sakurako Gokurakuin-sama, featuring Nanami Asagi, who looks suspiciously like Lafayel.

Once I figure out how all these things somehow factor in to the fic, I'll be sure to tell you all.

(Coincidentally, I am boycotting the disclaimer statement by instead making random suggestions, quotes, and/or space-wasters at fic openings. (winks at Desert.Illusion))

"Where's my flan?" -Nanami Asagi

-o-O-o-O-o-

glut·ton·y n

excessive eating: the act or practice of eating and drinking to excess. To be voracious. To be a gourmand.

vo·ra·ciousadj

1. very hungry: desiring or consuming food in great quantities

2. especially eager: unusually eager or enthusiastic about an activity

gour·mandn

food lover: somebody who loves food and often eats excessively or greedily

[15th century. From French , "glutton," of uncertain origin.

-o-O-o-

Life was the thrill of battle, and the snap of bones in sharp teeth, the hunger dulling as he packed in enough flesh and blood to make his stomach ache, then the different hunger that went along slicing claws through warm, sticky, vulnerable stomachs to deny others that same pleasure--those were the two joys of a demon: destruction and self empowerment. And to Ama-Inu, it was the height of fun and life, both, not to mention it made life simpler.

Simple enough at least. Insofar as it didn't mean you had to deal in consequences, or have any real reason to speak up except to say "this sucks", "I'm hungry", or "I get to kill this one."

...Unfortunately, things were only simpler so long as others didn't disrupt the easy pattern of consumption and damage...

"You're going to make yourself sick."

Ama-Inu looked up. By the flatness of the voice, he knew it to be Kasei. Kasei had barely spoken two words to him before though, so he could hardly think why the swordsman might break his habits now. Not to mention neither of them were exactly social.

God, he hated when people butted in...

The demon eyed him warily. He might have looked it, but he wasn't stupid. Kasei was a stray like him, from birth as far as he knew, raised by himself on the streets. He looked rather on the skinny side for a capable hunter. (Or perhaps he simply didn't have the demon's metabolism or talent for omnivority.) Ama-Inu decided the best thing to do might be to offer the half-mangled joint of meat he'd stolen, guessing that might be his reason to pick a fight, just as a stray animal would. Kasei's unseen nosed wrinkled. "No thank you."

Ama-Inu shrugged, now slightly mystified. "Suit yourself." He tore again at the meat, the contents of the refrigerator spread out at his feet in a spray of destroyed, mangled containers, splattered condiments, like trophies from some other war. Kasei prodded a desiccated wasabi container with a toe. "You really are an animal..." He murmured. Ama-Inu blinked, surprised. The human was trying to provoke him into a fight? Why? Neither of them had done anything except tolerate the other's existence before...They'd carefully toed one another's territories with unspoken understanding while the others had trampled around not seeing what the fuss was, blind little fools in their tame, naive existence.

There was a rustling. Ama-Inu glanced out of the corner of his eye.

Oh right, Lafayel was there too, reading a newspaper of all things in his ridiculous skimpy outfit, knees against his chest, wings flung over the back of his chair, and casually flickering every once in a while in unseen thoughts and unreadable, impulsive moods. He would certainly complicate things if a fight was going to break out...

Ama-Inu really didn't like the eraser much, call it blood loathing if you had to. It was just something about how he could ignore Ama-Inu, ignore the whole world in fact. Likely it was something of the tilt of those haughty-looking black wings, the arrogant flippancy in his dealings with all the rest of them. He didn't look as though he'd make much of a meal, ever--far too stringy and bony...and not many people could ignore a seven-foot-tall demon successfully with the same air of arrogant disdain as the tiny eraser managed to--he might have understood the unseen feral subtext Kasei and Ama-Inu were fluent in, but he basically ignored it. When you had that much power though, you didn't have to give a damn about what anyone thought their territory was. He was irritating, and solitary, and childishly moody. Ama-Inu couldn't stand him or his crow-black feathers left all over the place with their surprisingly blade-sharp edges. Lafayel treated everything like it was his territory and his right, and he was infuriatingly nosy--he butted into everything. It was one of the things Ama-Inu couldn't stand about him. Surely before too long he'd have to add his two cents worth.

Ama-Inu could also smell the smoke of Mizunagi's cigarettes nearby as well. Mizunagi was tame, though, and little enough trouble. For all his intellect, he might have known there was something going on that he couldn't see, but he still couldn't see it. He was cautious with them, friendly enough to blandly, brazenly tease anyone and anything when he got bored enough, but not foolish enough to cause real trouble. He had the sort of ease with others that only came from living in safety all one's life, and being smart enough to still figure out that there was smoke in the air before the house burned down, never mind why or how the tinder had been set. Likely he wouldn't get involved at all if a brawl broke out in the kitchen, and would just keep on smoking from wherever he was hiding... Just because you were smart, didn't mean you automatically assimilated. Ama-Inu and Kasei both treated him with vague curiosity. Sometimes he did the damndest crazy things with the easiest blindness... They both found him odd, but non-threatening, even amusing on occasion. Mizunagi was tolerable.

Ama-Inu grunted into his meat, turning his eyes back to Kasei warily. Was he being tested? That wasn't fair. He'd certainly been there longer than Lafayel had been. If anything the slender angel should have been the brunt of Kasei's fight-picking. That in and of itself was a slur--Kasei probably thought he could beat him, then. Ama-Inu felt dimly irritated about all of that, but his master was keeping a tight rein on him--she obviously didn't want him involved... and as much as Ama-Inu loved fighting, he had to agree. It might not be the best idea to cross Kasei if he was in a bad mood--the too of them were far too equal on the fighting ground to escape without some form of nasty injury deciding the fight for them... If Kasei didn't care about that, and Ama-Inu did, he'd be forced to back down, and he hated that.

"Hey...you listening to me?" Kasei asked, visible eyes narrowing as he prodded the demon's shoulder with a toe...hard.

Ama-Inu glowered, fangs tearing his meat a little harder than was necessary, fighting the urge to tear the Arayashiki in half like the joint of meat.

"F'ya don't want somma this, then leave me alone." Ama-Inu growled finally. Kasei was a picture of aloofness. He wasn't impressed. Ama-Inu scowled back at him. "I'm hungry." He added with an edge of threat.

Kasei looked at him a long moment. "Ever eat garbage?"

Ama-Inu stared at him. "Wassat gotta do with anythin'?" He grumbled around his food. Frequently, yes. Shouldn't the Arayashiki know that? He was a demon. He was omnivorous to an extreme. He'd eat anything that remained immobile long enough--that was a demon's way. It was easier that way. Besides, he liked things half-rotten--it gave them flavor.

"Have you ever been so hungry you ate mud just to fill your stomach?" Kasei asked, in that flat, calm voice of his. Ama-Inu narrowed his eyes. What was he getting at? Was he insulting him? "Nuh-uh. Why'sit matter? Have you?" He asked back. Kasei nodded once. "Ever had to sell yourself just to get a meal a vulture wouldn't pick at?" Ama-Inu blinked, hesitating now. Kasei didn't wait for an answer. "Have you ever considered eating your own limbs?" Ama-Inu wrinkled his nose. Even he wasn't that omnivorous. "Have you ever killed a man who violated you just to steal his dinner?" Kasei continued. Ama-Inu was looking down nervously now, about ready to leave the room--he wasn't used to verbal attacks. Kasei could far outstrip him there. Maybe Mizunagi could match Kasei in words, or even best him, but Ama-Inu wasn't that human. Kasei was attacking him somehow...and he was losing.

He hated when things got complicated...and he hated losing...

A derisive snort echoed from the other side of the room.

"Why mention it? Does it make you any stronger if you've been violated by a man? Does it make you any better if you've been hungry?" Lafayel drawled. Kasei was quiet. Ama-Inu could feel the balance shift. Lafayel raised his inhumanly pale eyes to Kasei brazenly. "Stop looking for pity or remorse. You're alive, aren't you? You humans always think dragging up your past gives you a purpose or it'll make others feel sorry for you. If you can't decide what to do about it, and insist on bringing it up, then what's the point in bitching about it to us?" Kasei turned his head away. "Hunger." He said finally. Ama-Inu stared a moment. "Huh?" He ventured. He was tired of not following the undercurrent--if even Lafayel could outstrip him here, he would be humiliated beyond belief if he didn't do anything about it--Lafayel wasn't human either, after all.

Kasei lowered eyes to him. "After all that...you find out that hunger isn't as bad as you think...there are worse things than hunger..." He explained in his toneless, flat voice. Ama-Inu chewed, studying Kasei thoughtfully. Perhaps he wasn't attacking him at all...perhaps it was his mood... Ama-Inu peered at him. The Arayashiki did look a little pale... "Well...I was gonna say if you were that hungry you shoulda' found me. I would've gotten you some food. Y' didn' hafta do all that crap." Ama-Inu grumbled, shifting. Kasei studied him for a long moment, features unreadable. "You didn't know me. And I'm not a Darklore." Kasei said quietly, his eyes narrowed. "You would have sooner killed me." Ama-Inu shrugged. "S'alright. I'd hunt for things I liked...people who needed it... 'N I'm better food than Lafayel if you beat me. M' not some stringy crow." Lafayel's head jerked up and he glared at the Darklore. Ama-Inu sniggered, giving another satisfied noise as he tore more meat away from the bone with his teeth, chewing thoughtfully and waving around the thing a little as he spoke. "If y' gave me a good fight...I'd have fed you. I was bored more'n anything else. I wouldn've cared. 'N even if you beat me, 's not so bad. It'd make you stronger." He shrugged.

Kasei looked at him a long moment. He looked startled even, suspicion in his dark eyes. Ama-Inu was proud of himself. He wasn't good with words and he'd backed his challenger into a corner somehow...He'd beaten both Lafayel and Kasei.

There was a soft laugh. Mizunagi turned in the doorway, cold black eyes glittering in dark amusement. "Careful Kasei, I think the demon likes you." Ama-Inu snarled at Mizunagi "Shut your face, you pervert psychic!" hurling the empty wasabi container with a blood-slick hand. It shattered upon impact with the lintel, sending shards of glass flying. Lafayel bared his teeth, head turning fast enough to make his pale hair snap with the motion. His wings were twitching, glass sparkling like stars in the glossy black. Kasei watched silently, noting the tension in the eraser's body as his wings shook off the glass with a quick sweep, and a pebbling, occasionally tinkling sound, pale eyes not leaving Ama-Inu throughout the motion. Had Kaoru not been controlling them, Ama-Inu likely would have bought himself a massive fight right there--one he wouldn't have won.

Mizunagi laughed, ever oblivious and safe beyond the limits of the room. "Look Kasei, if you're that hungry why don't you say so to Kuga? He'll whip up some vegan for you." Ama-Inu snorted. "You're a vegetarian?" He asked Kasei with an air of disgust, slightly distracted from Lafayel. Lafayel's wings lowered slightly, lips thin, and expression sour. He contented himself with one final glare, returning to his newspaper. Kasei glanced at Lafayel, noting where Ama-Inu's eyes were, then spoke when the demon looked back at him. "I prefer simple foods. I'm not a vegan, though. Or even a vegetarian." He replied. Ama-Inu grunted, shifting. He opened the refrigerator with a grimy foot. he rummaged around in the crisper, then tossed an apple at Kasei. Kasei caught it and looked down at it. He glanced at Ama-Inu, almost curiously. "You're too skinny." The demon growled, half to himself, ripping back into the meat he'd put in his lap. Humans could be strangely picky and self-damaging for the oddest things...He couldn't see what the problem was with vegetarians--why waste that much time avoiding what was put there for you to eat? What a wasteful way to live...only the decadent could afford to be so picky, not to mention it made everything so damn fussy...He couldn't see the point. He ate everything, and he wasn't fat or flaccid or weak--he was strong. Strong enough, at any rate. Vegetarians were idiots.

Kasei spun the fruit in his fingers thoughtfully, quiet for a long moment, his features unreadable behind the mask, eyes transfixed on the fruit. He was tempted. Fruit was a rare treat for a stray. "It needs to be washed." Kasei said finally.

"Wash it yourself." Lafayel grumbled from the table, not looking up from his almost comically engrossed reading of the paper. "Yeah really, if you let all that crap happen to you, it's probably because you're letting yourself be helpless." Mizunagi added, not turning from leaning outside the room. "Even I'm not that concerned about my health..." Lafayel sourly glared at the door, his tone frosty. "Obviously. You're sucking that poison into your lungs still." Mizunagi snorted. "Better than what Kasei's sucking..."

Ama-Inu shrugged when Kasei looked down on him questioningly. "I think I'll choose to ignore that." Kasei said lightly. Lafayel scowled into his paper. "Then don't verbally acknowledge it if you're busy ignoring it." He retorted snappishly. Kasei raised an eyebrow, turning his head from Lafayel--who ignored him--back to Ama-Inu. Ama-Inu snickered at his expression, gnawing at the bone of his meat to extract the marrow, cracking the thing with his teeth. He sucked out the soft material, spitting out a chunk of splintered bone. "S'just a little wax." He muttered with a shrug. "Wax catches dirt." Kasei replied quietly. "S'insulting." Ama-Inu muttered with another shrug turning back down to shuffling through his food, sucking on his bone as he rummaged with both gore-splattered hands.

Kasei raised the eyebrow higher. "I wasn't implying it was dirt from you. I meant dirt in general." Mizunagi gave a sigh from the doorway. "If you're such a germ-a-phobe, it's no wonder you didn't get to eat." Kasei ignored him. "Wasn' talking 'bout th- dirt when I said 's insul-ging." Ama-Inu grumbled semi-incoherently around the bone, finally spitting it into his lap so he could talk more easily. "Was really talkin' about the blood..." He gestured vaguely to the apple with a gore-spattered finger, putting the bone back in his mouth with a meaningful look, probing the fractured end with his tongue for more soft marrow. Kasei glanced down at the apple and adjusted his grip gingerly, eyebrows twisting queasily. "The...blood...?" he repeated faintly.

Mizunagi laughed from the door at Kasei's look of masked disgust. Ama-Inu put down the bone, scowling. "Look. When y'kill something, it's an insult to wash. You eat their blood to get their strength. It goes on into you...makes y'stronger... 'F ya wash it, it means you're insulting it--like it's not good enough for you or might make y'weaker." Ama-Inu noticed all eyes were on him and he shrugged. "This is a demonic custom?" Kasei questioned quietly, finally turning to look at him again. Lafayel wrinkled his nose, one wing giving a twitch as he turned the page. "Disgusting." He muttered flippantly. They both ignored the eraser. Ama-Inu shrugged, cracking through the rest of the bone with a triumphant noise, slurping out the rest of the marrow with a similar noise of satisfaction.

Kasei stared at the apple for a long time. "Nice try...I don't believe in souls." He said finally, setting the fruit rather carefully on the counter. Ama-Inu furrowed his eyebrows. "Hey! I didn't say it was their soul. I said it was their strength!" Kasei looked back at him quizzically. Lafayel snorted, cutting off whatever Kasei might have replied. "What kind of human doesn't believe in the soul?" Kasei turned to Lafayel, probably frowning at best beneath his mask, there was a hint of irritation and a more extreme flatness to his voice now. "The kind of human that doesn't have one. Maybe you have one-" Lafayel scowled. "Damn straight I have a soul. I know that. Without a soul you're nothing more than a lump of meat."

"Ama-Inu might disagree there." Mizunagi added from the doorway. "He thinks everything's meat." Ama-Inu raised his arm to throw something else with a growl of irritation. Kasei caught his wrist. His fingers didn't meet around, but it startled Ama-Inu enough that he didn't throw. "Do you?" Ama-Inu blinked. "Huh?" Kasei's dark gaze was unreadable as ever, tone almost steely. "Do you really think everything's just meat?" Ama-Inu hesitated, lowering his arm, wondering what he'd done to provoke him. "Well...uh...I get strength from everything. I don't know squat about souls or whatever, but you can get strength from anything. Humans, animals, plants...maybe even that mud you were talking about eating before. Everything just makes you stronger." He shrugged. "So long as it doesn't kill you, I mean. If it kills you, it's stronger than you. That's how I think of it. Never really thought much about souls...S'all just strength. Souls is a stupid idea 'f y'ask me...I mean, y'don't want the thing sticking around asking for its strength back after you're done with it. It's stupid."

Lafayel's wings raised angrily, and no doubt he was going to make some acidic retort, but Mizunagi interrupted him in an almost dreamy voice, half-laughing, and clearly enjoying himself from his oblivious vantage outside the room. "Good thing Kuga's not here. He'd start talking about Heaven and Hell about now." Lafayel's eyes narrowed and he snapped. "Redundant." Mizunagi turned his head to look into the room, voice mocking and derisive. "Yeah?... Maybe from your point of view, considering you're the angel here. You could solve this all actually. Any humans wandering around in Heaven?" Lafayel hissed out a breath testily, shooting Mizunagi a glare at having been interrupted all the longer from his reading the paper. "I'm not from Heaven, I fell from the Fleet." Mizunagi turned a little more, face bland. "Oh? Uh oh. Maybe there's no Heaven then." Lafayel raised his head again, teeth bared, his wings flaring. "Of course there's a Heaven, but don't expect me to tell you what it looks like--I've never been there!" He snapped. Mizunagi's lips curved in a slight smile at having gotten the eraser to react. He loved incensing the angel to the point that Lafayel's feathers would all rise up in rage, ready to kill Mizunagi in an instant of black rage, but held back by their master.

Kasei was quiet as Lafayel turned back around to read the paper, wings twisting irritably, but making a point to ignore Mizunagi. Mizunagi didn't say anything, only smiling in his smug, triumphant way. "Touchy." Kasei ventured finally. He likewise sounded slightly amused. Mizunagi raised his eyebrows. "Yeah, really." Ama-Inu snickered at Lafayel's expression, the eraser glaring at him lividly for doing so, as though the whole thing was his fault.

Mizunagi could be amusing on occasion...

Mizunagi glanced at Ama-Inu in turn, slouching against the doorframe and fiddling with a cigarette. "What about you, Ama-Inu? How's Hell?" The demon raised his head from rummaging around in the open refrigerator, frowning and scratching the back of his head with a blood-streaked finger. Something was prickling back there...it was starting to bother him... "Uh...Never been in Hell." He located the beetle that was troubling him. "Aha." Mizunagi turned his head to look at Ama-Inu's noise of triumph, blinking mildly at the sight of the demon grinning at his captive, antennae flickering wildly over the blood-streaked fingers. Kasei took a step back rather quickly. "Just a roach, Kasei." Mizunagi commented blithely. Kasei stiffened and seemed to force his body to behave as though he wasn't bothered at all, shooting Mizunagi a glare for calling attention to him--that hadn't been wise at all...

Ama-Inu grinned a little wider. "Yeah. Nice big one too... Kasei?" he offered the quivering insect. Kasei twitched, voice cold as steel. "No thank you. I've had all the encounters with those that I'd like for this lifetime." Ama-Inu shrugged, staring down at the thing and sighing in some sort of bizarre contentment. "Nope... No Hell. Been in some nasty bars though." He added the last as an afterthought, putting the squirming, sharp-legged insect in his mouth. Mizunagi laughed at the crunching. Kasei looked quietly disgusted. Lafayel was more open in his disgust. "You don't know where that thing's been!" The eraser shrieked. Mizunagi shrugged. "Well so long as it doesn't kill him, I don't think he cares." Ama-Inu nodded once. "S'right. Good protein. 'S sorta sour 'n bitter 'n stuff, but still good protein." Kasei said nothing, fingers smoothing his mask over his face almost compulsively, not looking at then.

Mizunagi raised his hands, smiling bemusedly in his strange way that didn't seem to affect his eyes. "Well, there you go: the demon eats everything, and our angel and demon can't tell us any more about Heaven and Hell than we already knew...there's probably some bloody stupid metaphysical reason there, too." Kasei shrugged. Mizunagi sighed. "What about you, monk-boy? Any Nirvana? Considering your life's story, probably not."

Kasei glanced at him from behind suddenly slitted lids, not even turning his head. "Oldest misassumption in the book, assuming that just because I'm an Arayashiki, I'm a monk. I may meditate on occasion to put my thoughts in order, but it puts me no closer to finding peace than anyone else in this war. Mysticisms of all kinds are simply comfort mechanisms for old fools. To let them consume you destroys any benefit they might ever offer."

Mizunagi gave a flash of teeth in a smile, turning his head to look through the door. "Ouch." He said mildly.

Ama-Inu shrugged. "Nh. Could never get the hang of just sittin' there and waitin' for the world to do somethin' for you...makes no sense t' me." Mizunagi turned. "Heh, meditation's no replacement for a nice armful of woman when it comes to 'comfort mechanisms' if you ask me." Kasei gave him a long look. "Then I'd assume your life's become rather free of comforting as of late." He replied a little tartly. Mizunagi gave a sigh as Lafayel snorted, not looking up. "Yeah...really...do you think master'd get me a girl at least once?" Kasei's tone was drily bemused when he spoke again, relaxing once he realized that nobody was pressing his reactions to Ama-Inu's eating habits--they were being far kinder to him than they would have been to Lafayel. Lafayel was the newest addition, and he was as congenial as a cup of poison edged in razorblades--he deserved everything he got.

"I doubt she would ever be so inclined. Something tells me she'd keep the poor thing all to herself." Mizunagi frowned. "You think? Damn. And here I was hoping she was after Kuga..." Ama-Inu snickered on the floor. "You're all nuts. Nothin' beats good food. Good food and a fight after--there's nothin' better!" He gestured with a fistful of raw broccoli, grinning. "Wipe your mouth, insectivore." Lafayel interjected tartly, folding his newspaper.

"Oh really now, Lafayel. There's got to be something you like." Mizunagi said, grinning despite himself. "Something better than reading the obituaries that is." There was a nasty look in his eyes despite the smile--Mizunagi's smiles had never seemed to reach his eyes. Ever. This one wasn't any different, but had a special maliciousness to it. He also seemed to selectively ignore all Lafayel's nastiness, speaking in his lilting, sing-song manner. For all Ama-Inu knew about humans, that could have been a sign of liking, or a sign of hatred. Lafayel certainly hated him bitterly...

Lafayel eyed him coldly as he stood, wings folding sharply at his shoulders, still flicking once to dislodge any lingering glass. "Whatever I like doesn't matter. All I do now is follow master's orders anyway." Mizunagi laughed. "Oh really, there's no need to sulk about it." Lafayel made to leave. "Come on...there's got to be something in that bundle of meanness that is partial to a little comfort somewhere." Lafayel didn't meet his eyes, Mizunagi blocking the doorway deliberately, lounging against a lintel. "Come on Lafayel, is it really that hard to be social? A little friendly response is all I'd like. What's your poison? Men? Women? Absinthe?" Neither Kasei nor Ama-Inu moved, though they did glance at one another to see if the other understood this. Ama-Inu wasn't prone to much reflecting, but he thought it was interesting that already he and Kasei functioned easily as a pack. They could move as one, anticipate as one, largely the same things were mystifying to them... Likely they were both a good deal more casual in their approach to factional unity than say, Kuga with his ex-priest background, or Mizunagi with his strong ties to the E.G.O. Lafayel was different perhaps, but he was solitary. Either the erasers were that way normally, or just he was, but he didn't seem to function well in anything... So it was just Ama-Inu and Kasei...

Mizunagi's teasing was dangerous--or it might have been, depending on their unseen leader's mood. She might very easily allow Lafayel to vent his temper on this one occasion, holding off just enough so Mizunagi wasn't killed, or, parent-like, she could take pleasure in Lafayel's impotent rage, disciplining him, honing him into the pack, teaching him her laws and her rules--the latter was more likely. Both Mizunagi and Lafayel were foolish there, though--too solitary and independent to realize their own dangers...

Mizunagi raised the eraser's chin. "Hey, come on." Kasei and Ama-Inu both tensed inadvertently, expecting some sort of response--that was one thing they BOTH knew not to do: touch Lafayel.

Lafayel suddenly raised his eyes sharply, slapping away his hand sharply, and all of them knew Lafayel's hands were hard. Mizunagi shook his hand out once as thought o put feeling back in it. "Ouch." he said mildly. Lafayel's expression darkened in anger. "My comfort is my freedom." he snapped. "And as of yet, that no longer exists. Now move. You're in the way." Mizunagi stepped aside wordlessly in mock-politeness as the eraser stormed out, feathers raised in rage.

"Hmm...Got to get him started on smoking...or porn...something normal." Mizunagi murmured lightly as soon as Lafayel was no longer in range of sight or sound. Ama-Inu shrugged. "Erasers are weird. Think they've gotta set 'f wings and it makes them better'n everyone else." He growled, glowering over a stalk of celery. His heart wasn't in the words, really. Mizunagi was expecting someone to agree with him. Ama-Inu didn't add the words 'and you're weird too, you moron.' on the end, though he would have liked to. Kasei was still wordlessly eying the fruit in his hands--probably thinking the exact same thing. Both of them had relaxed only slightly. They both knew the limits for taunting Lafayel. One day, Kaoru would grow tired of savoring his inner rage, and would let him go... Ama-Inu knew the feeling well, and she indulged him enough as of late...

Ama-Inu returned to gnawing his bone, listening carefully to the silence, rummaging in the crisper for vegetables that hadn't gone limp with age.

Kasei suddenly lowered his mask, taking a bite from the apple with a quick, tearing motion, and an audible, loud, snapping crunch. Ama-Inu looked up, surprised, then grinned toothily, crunching a carrot himself. He could tell even by Kasei's eating habits alone how much they were kin--the sharp bite, the bare second or two to chew, and the hearty gulping swallow--eating on the run, ready to flee or fight at any second... Kasei licked his lips with a surprisingly red tongue, pausing. "Right? S'good, isn't it?" Ama-Inu prompted eagerly around his own mouthful. Kasei turned his head, finger still lowering his mask. His lips curled upwards ever so slightly. It was a little odd to see his lips move as he spoke, a little strange to see how flat his face was, how like his voice... "I've never been partial to gluttony...perhaps...I've been wrong..." He paused, eyeing the apple. "And the blood does seem to add a fresh aspect of...attractiveness...you're right."

Mizunagi eyed them both with raised eyebrows, avoiding most of the smashed glass as he entered the room fully, pulling out a fresh cigarette. "Hey...Don't you come to me when you get salmonella." He said half-heartedly. Kasei only shrugged, taking another bite. This time his chewing was slower, savoring the taste. "There's oranges too." Ama-Inu said, pointedly offering one to Mizunagi, though it was more out of politeness than anything else--it wouldn't be a treat to him... Mizunagi shrugged. "Nah. I only like fruit when the juice is on a woman's skin." Kasei tilted his head. "A different form of gluttony for you, then?" Mizunagi grinned, black eyes glittering. "Oh definitely. You wouldn't get it--you would've had to grow up in the E.G.O... You get smacked alot during PMS, but the rest of the month..." He grinned, shrugging and gesturing vaguely with his cigarette. "It has its benefits?" He suggested.

Kasei shrugged, leaning against a counter, dropping his sword behind him. Ama-Inu noticed how he was relaxing, savoring the quick, destructive bites. A rivulet of juice and saliva escaped his lips. He licked it away with a quick, gleaming tongue. "I wouldn't know." He said flatly, brushing pale hair from his eyes. Without Lafayel in the room, everything became a lot more predictable... Mizunagi's smile faded. "That so? Tough break. You don't seem the monk-type, and you were rather vehement before..." Kasei gave a flippant gesture, taking another bite of his apple. "I'm not." He replied quietly. "As you implied knowing before." Ama-Inu tossed him the orange, rummaging for his own and grinning at the challenge. (Even he understood there was a verbal spar there...) Kasei didn't even have to look to catch it. Ama-Inu knew he wouldn't--he was as aware of the space around him as the demon was...perhaps more so since he trained that sense as a swordsman. Kasei put the fruit down beside him, unhooking his mask one-handed so he could eat more easily. He let the strip of fabric drop beside his sword, then hoisted himself up on to the counter, opening the rind easily. Ama-Inu smelled the fragrant oil on the air, the ripeness of the fruit, and felt satisfied vaguely, even while he felt a little jealous--he'd given Kasei one of the better oranges. He tore open his own, greedily crushing one half to his jaws, juice filling his mouth as he pulled the insides away with a jerk of his neck, dropping the discarded rind to the ground and chewing almost obscenely, cracking the occasional, slippery seed between his teeth, unbothered by the burst of sudden bitterness to the flavor.

Mizunagi seated himself on the table, tossing Lafayel's newspaper aside, onto the floor, and slouching against a wall, pulling out the glass ashtray from its hiding place and tapping his ash out, the room already filling with the haze of smoke and the smell of nicotine, mingling with the dancing scent of the oranges, and the strong odors of sour spices from the fallen containers at Ama-Inu's feet.

"I guess...the world seems to simply be different kinds of hungers when it comes down to it all, huh?" Mizunagi said quietly, leaning against a wall casually, propping a foot on a chair. "Hm. Sex, drugs, food, power, peace...there are very few differences, if any, between how such things are accomplished..." Kasei replied softly, around a mouthful. "Force and resistance. Hunger and satisfaction. So it is, and always has been." He'd delicately arranged the segments of the orange beside him, and was eating the fruit segment by segment as though it were an unspeakable delicacy.

Ama-Inu watched him for a moment, wondering if the swordsman had jsut been victorious in the verbal spar. He was strangely fascinating, selecting each half-moon between thumb and forefinger, and dropping it past his lips with the care of a carrion bird looking for some choice, soft organ. It was an elaborate mockery of the delicacy of the tame ones. Ama-Inu was almost certain he was the only one who understood the dark joke. The apple lay, bitten down to the stem and most durable bits of core beside him. (Probably jsut to show he wasn't that desperate for food. Lafayel was worse. He'd have eaten the entire thing--stem, core, seeds, and all.) Kasei suddenly flicked it aside with a careless gesture, the insignificant corpse joining the carnage of Ama-Inu's feast. Ama-Inu prodded it with a toe and grinned lopsidedly to himself.

The demon was peeling away orange rind from his remaining half with his teeth. He glowered suddenly over the mangled fruit. "Tried sex once..." He grunted, deeming an opening into the conversation. Both humans turned to him in surprise. "You? Really?" Mizunagi asked with raised eyebrows. Kasei seemed to recover more easily, but didn't say anything, eyes on him as he lifted another segment to his mouth and chewed. Ama-Inu shrugged. "Kinda messy." He said flippantly. "That it is." Mizunagi said bemusedly, chuckling. Ama-Inu scratched an eyebrow, trying to remember. "Hunh...She tried to eat me afterwards. Damn spider woman..." Mizunagi laughed. "Eat you?" He questioned. "Another demon I take it?" Kasei asked nonchalantly ignoring Mizunagi. Ama-Inu shrugged. "Crazy bitch." He growled, a little irritated at even the memory. Kasei's lips quirked upwards grimly, but didn't quite form a smile. "You know some men wouldn't mind being eaten by a good enough woman..." Mizunagi said with an air of innocence.

"Pervert." Kasei murmured flatly. Mizunagi flicked his ash away. "Hey, that's enough from you, boy-toy. Don't knock it till you've tried it." Kasei ignored the comment, stacking orange rinds neatly on the counter beside his sword. "Hmm...Spiderwoman though...that sounds kinky. She got webs?" Ama-Inu shrugged. "Was pretty messy...food's better." He said around a segment of orange. Kasei was calmly peeling a second orange Ama-Inu had tossed to him while Mizunagi was busy musing, ignoring them both for all the world until he spoke again. "Most sex isn't a good replacement for a bottle of wine, I've found."

Silence reigned for a moment as both the other men stared at him, still nonchalantly peeling away, fragrant oil dancing in the air around him.

Mizunagi raised his eyebrows. "Ah? So you're a man of the vine? That's a surprise. Your faction would be scandalized." The last sentence was stated with an edge of his own illustrative scandalized approval and a laugh. Kasei shrugged. "A good wine will hide most poisons...and get you out of the more undesirable acts." He murmured, for all intents, calmly, studying his orange. "It's much harder to exhaust otherwise...and significantly harder to poison with sex alone." Mizunagi, struck without comment now, made a face as Kasei calmly ate an orange segment, licking a droplet of juice from his finger almost daintily, ignoring him. Mizunagi studied him. "You know...you have no sense of romance whatsoever. Seriously...go hook up with Lafayel or something if you want abuse that badly--he looks like a dominatrix if that's your thing. I'm not exactly going to complain if you poison him either." Kasei raised his eyes long enough to give Mizunagi a look that showed exactly what he thought of that suggestion. Ama-Inu sniggered on the floor, spewing chunks of food all over the bottles and empty containers of carnage. "He's not my type." Kasei replied tartly. "I'm rather more choosy than you are, I'm sure." Mizunagi grinned. "Oh, probably. Hmm...What's your type then? Kuga? I'd figure the religious types would get a lot of Arayashiki." Ama-Inu could only picture the ex-priest's expression at that suggestion, not to mention the ludicrisy of suggesting two men from opposite, rival factions--Kasei had that much of his original faction's doctrine in him at least. The demon snickered and Kasei shot him a look, with eyebrows raised. "Not my type either." He said dully, giving Ama-Inu a cold look. The demon for his part shrugged--that was all the apology Kasei was going to get. They weren't THAT close.

Mizunagi's face flattened suddenly as his mind trekked further down the list of Kaoru's soldiers. "Whatever it is, it'd better not be me. I'm not interested. Women only, thank you." Kasei gave him a cold smile, his voice strangely silken with amusement when he spoke again. "You make it sound as though I'd do something to you. Give me that much credit, Mizunagi." Mizunagi made a face. "Creep." Ama-Inu groaned and rolled his eyes. "Food's much better." He added in in a grumble, also anticipating the next comment on Mizunagi's list. "Yeah, forget you. You'd rather stuff your face than have a one-night's-stand." Mizunagi grumbled. Kasei gave a soft, satisfied noise. "I'm starting to agree with you." He said quietly, ignoring Mizunagi and giving Ama-Inu a smile, tilting his head back to look at him. "Consuming things...makes everything much simpler, doesn't it?" Ama-Inu wiped his mouth, frowning and finally shrugged. "I...guess. ...wouldn't really know--I've never done anythin' different."

Kasei suddenly began to laugh, putting a hand to his eyes, his opposite fist crushing an orange segment, juice dripping like blood down his fingers.

Mizunagi raised an eyebrow. "You okay there, Kasei?" Kasei sighed. "I'm wonderful...everything has become...clear..." He suddenly whirled himself off the counter, landing in a crouch and pushing his face close to Ama-Inu's. The demon froze, staring at him, a hunk of orange poised in his teeth. Kasei put sticky fingers to the demon's coarse hair, the touch gentle and strangely foreboding at the same time. "I should thank you, Ama-Inu." He whispered with a sly smile. "I understand my master better now." Ama-Inu frowned, confused. "I didn' say anything about our master!" he spluttered, chewing his orange, and looking unnerved, but having nowhere to back into. Kasei grinned at him. "Hm. No. You wouldn't. But you've brought me quite the revelation, nonetheless." Ama-Inu frowned. "Eh...welcome...I guess." he muttered grudgingly around his chunk of orange, chewing suspiciously.

"What's the revelation, monk-boy?" Mizunagi drawled. Kasei's grin was sharp and predatory. "How we must be to her...We are things to be consumed." He turned his head back to Ama-Inu, eye's flickering. "And you...If ever I have hungers, you will understand, and you will satisfy, of that much I've become certain." Kasei said tilting his head as though studying him. Ama-Inu was about to protest that he wasn't THAT fond of Kasei, and he certainly wasn't looking to be killed and consumed withotu a fight on his part when the Arayashiki swept forward and pressed his orange-sticky mouth to Ama-Inu's, his fingers tight on a handful of Ama-Inu's matted hair. Kasei clearly wasn't bothered by the thought of fangs, the thought of Ama-Inu's choices in food, the fruit still in his mouth, OR the audience behind them, blinking over his cigarette.

Ama-Inu made a muffled noise of shock at the teeth on his lower lip and pushed Kasei away in an instant. "What the Hell?" Ama-Inu gasped, choking on a fragment of orange. "Gettoff me!" He bellowed, shovingKasei again, pushing the swordsman even further away, and scrambling back on discarded wrappers and containers to put even more distance between them. Kasei laughed. He had a strangely seductive laugh, high and oddly expressive considering how flat his voice usually was... His laugh there spoke all the more strangely--not that he was angry, or irritated in any way by Ama-Inu's shoving him away...His laugh was an expression of, strange, almost evil delight...

Ama-Inu stared, wondering if Kasei had lost his mind.

He'd never heard him laugh before...it had a wicked edge to it indeed...

Mizunagi continued on watching as though the whole thing were something only mildly interesting, smoking his cigarette and discreetly turning to tap out his ash with a faint, discreet cough. Kasei stood and smiled in an expression as unnerving and alien as that laugh. "I admire your strength." He said in a quiet, still-silken voice. "I would think you would understand." Kasei's deft fingers snatched the last orange from beside Ama-Inu and he stood, grabbing up sword and mask both as he exited the room in almost a flee, his dark eyes fixed on Ama-Inu in a still utterly unnerving smile, glass crunching once beneath his feet.

Ama-Inu gaped. "What the...Hell?" He spluttered again. This time he directed the words to Mizunagi as he finished coughing up the last of the orange he'd accidentally breathed in. Mizunagi only shrugged, shaking his head faintly. "Don't look at me. I can't tell whether you just got suckered into being boy-toy's uke or the other way around. Do me a favor and leave me out of it. I take it master must already know or she'd have stopped him, but really...not my job. Damn...just...I really don't want to know!" Mizunagi took in a shaky breath on his cigarette. He rolled his eyes once then sighed. "Does everyone always run around threatening to eat you if you're a demon?" He asked as an afterthought. He didn't look as though he really wanted an answer.

Ama-Inu stared down at the orange peel in his fingers, then scowled, tossing it aside and standing. "Screw this...there's no way in Hell he's taking my food like that!"

"Oh...I see...priorities..." Mizunagi muttered, sighing to himself and shaking his head half in resignation and half in bemusement as Ama-Inu charged from the room, bellowing after Kasei. "GET BACK HERE WITH MY DAMNED ORANGE, YOU PANSY SWORDSMAN!"

Kuga's quiet, but hurried footsteps approached down the opposite hall. He emerged just in time to hear a deafening crash from the other side of the house. 'What in the world is going on?" The priest asked distractedly, emerging with a look of the utmost alarm. Mizunagi groaned again. "Oh, it's you. Just what we need...spiritual guidance. You missed your chance, I'm afraid." Kuga gave him a long-suffering look of patience. Mizunagi shrugged, gesturing vaguely in smoky whorls of his cigarette. "What happened? Some kind of food-oriented hookup I think. Don't ask me. It was pretty weird...and even I don't think I got all the innuendoes." He replied blandly.

Kuga blinked once then shook his head faintly, glancing at the mess near the refrigerator with the horrified disbelief that is slightly numbed by rather long experience. "Do you think you could please tell Ama-Inu to keep his voice down?" Kuga asked softly, sighing resignedly. Mizunagi raised his eyebrows. "Do it yourself. I'm not going out there. You're the one with the animal-handling experience, and I'm no glutton for punishment." There was another deafening crash, and another blast of indistinct bellowing from Ama-Inu. Kuga, who had jumped at the crash had a look of mute, indignant amazement, not sure whether to direct it towards the crash and the streams of colorful swearing, or towards the decidedly unhelpful Mizunagi. Mizunagi watched him with inner amusement, waiting to see what the humorless man would do. Kuga took a practiced breath with the air of one who's spent a lifetime not swearing, crossing himself once, and he walked quietly back down the hallway, murmuring Latin under his breath. There was another deafening clang, and suddenly there was the screech of Lafayel's voice echoing the words, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU TWO?"

Mizunagi grinned to himself imagining what Kuga would have to say about what was likely to be and unusually apt choice in wordings--at least in his mind--when Kuga finally reached the scene Mizunagi wasn't sure he even wanted to imagine. "Got to hand it to that girl, she can sure pick us...There's never a dull moment, that's for sure." He crushed the cigarette into the ashtray and pulled himself up from off the table, picking his way across the carnage on the floor to look into the still-open refrigerator. He shook his head once in disapproval. "Amazing...they eat all the food, run off to eat eachother for all I know, and leave all the beer. ...bunch of weirdoes..."

He dimly wondered if this meant he'd get Kasei's room.

He'd always wanted the one closest to the fire escape...

You could never be too careful...just in case there was an off chance his master ceased to be the one consuming.

-o-O-o- Finire -o-O-o-

I really loved this work for some odd reason.

Oh yes, of course there was the small matter of it satisfying a crack-demand of sorts from my long-time buddy Fyredra, who is, as of now, the queen of crack. (and technically her leg is my fiancee if you want to get really technical about how random I can be outside of a fic. SkunkyXleg is OTP.) But that was really secondary, because I'm not particularly well motivated to do things I'm not overly interested in to begin with. Originally, I planned to take care of the demands on my brain through something else...

That obviously didn't work.

At the same time I was bemoaning the only chink in my armor so to speak--I'd just been given "gluttony" as one of my sins, and I had NO idea what to do with it. So, of course, I researched desperately, as I am prone to do, and I still had no ideas. (Or at least, I'd forgotten the ones I DID have.) I started working on Wrath and decided not to think about it.

Really it came about in one of those low-blood-pressure moments of mine where I'm sitting semi conscious for about fifteen minutes, half asleep and half awake at five-twenty in the morning, and images are flashing through my head in rapid succession, without really any story behind them, after reading some Peacekeeper Kurogane lent to me by a freshman friend.

Instantly my eyes opened, and I knew vaguely what to do. Ama-Inu and Kasei were suddenly flesh and blood again--I'd been trying to work with them as a random pairing for my other work, but suddenly my focus shifted, and they consumed my vision. I knew what to do with them, and how to use them more seriously. I worked on the thing all through chemistry class (since I bring my laptop to school for notes and sit in the back, and often take extra notes on what the teacher is saying as he says it. It was actually a rare moment of recklessness for me, especially considering I had to get a Latin class done in very short order--a class which I later would not complete in time to get my diploma when I was supposed to, though I DID end up graduating eventually, once the papers came in.)

The first draft was done in a very short time after that. I grinned to myself, and decided to send it off to KS-sama for beta-ing.

Second draft was done the next day, still ignoring the amount of work on my plate. (As I said before, I'm a bit mad in that I tend to shove things aside to work on what I'm interested in. Homework has NEVER been my strong suit for that reason, and my grades are mediocre at best.)

Second draft was some re-reading of my work and a simple spell-checking, along with a letter for KS-sama herself. I can remember doing that--typing away madly as I called up houses for my job, stopping any time I had to give a message or talk to someone, but otherwise working through. (My boss is great. Anyone else would undoubtedly fired me by now, because that's about as unprofessional as you can get, not to mention I was often late because I was biking four and a half miles from school beneath the burning Miami sun, with about thirty pounds extra weight in the basket for my backpack.) I believe this was done around the time I was staying up late hours working on Latin on the home, dial-up computer. Two hours of sleep or so per night, and I still managed to send the thing to KS-sama. (and ramble semi-coherently abotu my greatness for doing so)

I expected to be done before I ended high school.

Funny how these things turn out...

Suddenly, it's two months later, and I get around to working out last spellcheckings, and I realize some things just don't read through well at all...so I went to work again around July 17th, smoothing over words, fitting the opening line into the fic better, crossing out some parts that focused too closely on one individual or another, and adding others that gave better focus to interactions as a group...

Mizunagi's still a little troublesome. (I think I've been writing too much on him for GW) I had to look back in my books to get in touch with what might be in character for him. Then there was the matter of my auditory focuses--I like to have a character "sound" in mind when I write, so I had to make certain I wasn't relying too much on the tone he was speaking in in my mind, as opposed to what he was actually saying. So I added in parts designed to give a tone-feeling, and altered speeches even more in the hopes they'd grow closer to being something someone other than myself could really "get" or see as I did, so to speak.

In the end, on a final read-through, it all seemed to just...balance...Perhaps it's an odd piece, yes--considering it's a crack-pairing of sorts, and the only pairing piece out of my seven deadly sins works, but it still seemed to...work. It had a certain amount of canonity, and also a certain kind of roundness to it. It swore profusely, but also dealt with religious outlooks. It managed to be consistent, but also have some ironic points to it...and every single character managed to have a separate voice, and a separate depth that anyone could really draw and latch on in insofar as I could see...

I just...liked it.

I really did...

I consider it one of my best works. (Though of course, that's prone to all sorts of change on my part, and who knows what I'll like from one day to the next.)

And I hope it was enjoyed, I really do.

...um...anyway...now that I've finished ranting I thought it might be a decent idea to start review-replying for my other Deadly Sins pieces as things come out. Wrath is still on the way, and that will be my last piece for the challenge. KasumiSora-sama has been wonderfully helpful, and she deserves a bit of thanks for certain, so if you're ever bored, you can check out her pieces (they're also considerably shorter than mind if that worries you--she's always been far more concise than I am. She has a gift for simple profundity as opposed to my rampant purple-prose, and I'm certain she would desperately love some attention, because she works terribly hard on what she puts up.)

I would also like to thank everyone who's read when I nagged them, and kiss the feet of those who I didn't nag at all, but still read and reviewed. I will do so now.

Please read Wrath when it comes if you enjoyed any of these.

Reviews for Pride

MOG--Lafayel is angst/bitterness incarnate. It's part of the reason I like him so much, actually (grin) as you well know. Nobody's written anything really that closely canonic from his point of view. I found it fun to slant everything in a nasty direction. But, yes, he does act like a teenager. (snicker) Sorry it was so long, but the thing just didn't feel complete until I'd dealt with...everything. (sigh) Sorry. I should probably change the summary because otherwise I bet nobody knows what it's about. I doubt anyone would read it the way it looks now...(sighs and runs off to change it) Thanks for reading and reviewing when I nagged. You're an angel, m'dear.

Reviews for Sloth

RinsDarkMagician-- (grin) Of course I'm going to do more with the Juvenile Orion characters. I'm far too established in this fandom for my own good, after all. I couldn't dislocate myself if I tried. That said, was there anyone you had in mind? If you could cope with slow responses I might be able to do a request if you wanted to see someone in particular. (smile) Anyone you'd like? Thank you, by the way, for reviewing, It was very kind. And I'm glad you found the fic interesting.

FoolishMortal-- (laughs and falls over from the glomp) Gyah. Getting praise from the girl with the Hawthorne-knack for scenery makes my universe that much brighter. And AHA! You caught the scar subtlety well. I'm immensely pleased with myself, and with you. As for the Aquarian Age, yssh. It's not like anyone's going to call you on getting something wrong there. That's the beauty of our fandom--there are so many holes you could do just about anything you wanted. And for the sensory bit, heh, I always try to get a sense of things in all possible ways. I don't really think I've been good at expressing it in type until recently, though. Hopefully Gluttony might satisfy that a bit more. (grin) When you come back from your trip, scan in your picture of Suspenders!Tsukasa, and try to beat my miserable ass at our updating wager, that is. Take your time, m'dear. (And for your amusement, I'll have you know I was horribly tempted to have someone say "Heaven has no taste and not one single sushi restaurant!" in Gluttony, but I thought only you would get the joke, so I didn't bother. Not to mention Mizunagi would start asking about on what basis the statement was made, and Lafayel would probably get pissed...yeah...unfortunate, really.)

Final note: Any reviews from this will be replied to in Wrath.

Thank you very much for reading.

Please do review. I'd like to know what people thought about the fic--the ideas, characters, writing style, or anything. Anything good or bad at all. Anonymous reviews, and even flames are welcome, as ever.

-Neufe