Title: Miscellaneous Episodes on a River
Characters/Pairings: Wu, various SW / Various! 8D
Summary: The generals of Wu thought that, after the defeat of Orochi, everything would go back to normal. They were wrong.
A/N: For Jen: ILU, HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAAY~
An Ode to Jenizaki
As my RP-partner, my 'holy shit it's 6AM! Again!' friend, and all that other shit…
You're amazing, your Sun Ce and Zhao Yun are awesome and I wish I wrote you a Gan Ning that did you justice.
I'm just glad we're not planning any pregnancies this time around, Gan Ning's pirate ship full of kids and Zhao Yun's bastard spawn is enough for me!
Thanks for being amazing. Let's kill a bunch more robots (and roaches) in the future, okay?
Episode 1: In which Sun Ce is used to the single life, and Zhou Yu ships an OT3.
Da Qiao looked up from her novel—and sighed. Sun Ce, looking mussed and tired, had stumbled in, eating a piece of fruit and glancing around curiously. His eyes lit up when he saw her, and he padded over, settling into the arm chair next to her. "'ey, Da~" he greeted cheerfully, and then yawned, "geez, I'm tired."
"That's what you get for staying up all night," answered Da Qiao severely, her attention on her novel again.
Sun Ce finished his apple and dropped the core into his lap, reaching for the book on top of the pile between them. He flipped through it disinterestedly. "I was out with the boys and got distracted, is all," he assured her, "it's not like I go out that much, anyway!" He tossed the book back onto the pile, and sighed when the whole thing fell over. He rose to pick them up, meeting her eye over the top of her book and smiling sheepishly.
"Ce, you disappeared for hours," answered Da Qiao, putting a bookmark at her page and shutting the book to meet his eye, "you can't just do that, it worries me!"
He pouted. "One night of revelry doesn't mean I've been kidnapped, Da," he replied.
"…this is the fourth time this week!"
"…what, really?" he answered, counting back the days on his fingers, "…oh, you're right. Sorry, dear! I'll be home tonight!" He smiled winningly.
She laughed easily, tapping him gently on the head with her book, then put it aside and leaned over him, her fingers stroking over his hair. "You better, or you'll wish that we were still fighting Orochi!"
"Yes, of course," he answered, leaning up and kissing her swiftly.
"Come on, Tong, we're within sight distance of camp!" whined Xiao Qiao, tugging on his arm and pointing out at the clear Wu standards in the horizon. Ling Tong grumbled.
"We've been in sight distance for the past three hours," he pointed out, "we're not getting there today, give it up, let's just make camp for now!"
"Who goes there?" came a woman's voice, from their right, within the shade of the trees they'd been following for the past two days.
They both sprang to ready immediately, Xiao Qiao's fans snapping open and Ling Tong raising his nunchaku to his shoulder and peering at the forest.
"Ling Tong and Xiao Qiao, of Wu," called Ling Tong, "yourself?"
"Ginchiyo Tachibana, of the Tachibana clan," was the reply, and a woman clad head-to-toe in purple and brandishing a vicious-looking sword rode into view on a horse, "are you lost? The Wu camp is most quickly reached by river travel, you know."
"And if I had a boat, we'd be there already," answered Ling Tong, "but no, Xiao just had to take the 'pretty horses, Tong, we can't just leave them here, Nobunaga doesn't like them!' and then you just had to go and get them stolen! Geez…"
Xiao Qiao rolled her eyes. "You're alive, aren't you, Tongy? Besides, how else were we going to go sightseeing? You promised me we'd go after Orochi was defeated, didn't you?"
Ling Tong sighed heavily; Ginchiyo smirked. "Nobunaga, eh?" she asked, "and you said you were soldiers of Wu?"
"He's a strong guy, and the last thing we wanted was to fight under that nasty snake," answered Xiao Qiao, "so we joined up with Nobunaga!"
"As good a reason as any," admitted Ginchiyo, "would you like an escort back to camp?"
"Please," answered Ling Tong, "the sooner I get to sleep in an actual bed, the better!"
Xiao Qiao holstered her fans, and bounded over. "Can I ride with you?" she asked, tugging on Ginchiyo's leg, "I'm tired!"
Ignoring Ling Tong's grumbles of 'oh, you're tired? Who's carrying the packs, huh?', Ginchiyo offered her hand silently. "Come on," she said, pulling the other woman onto her steed. She glanced at Ling Tong. "You going to be able to keep up?" she asked Ling Tong.
Ling Tong scowled. "I'll be fine," he answered, stretching languidly.
Ginchiyo took off; Ling Tong squawked, before jogging after them.
The last thing Zhou Yu expected when he went to the training yard for a spar with Lu Meng ('Gotta keep your sword as ready as your mind, Zhou Yu!') was the sight of Ginchiyo Tachibana riding back into camp followed by a surly Ling Tong laden down with a pair of packs—and his wife, chatting amiably with Ginchiyo. Zhou Yu pushed Lu Meng's glaive out of his way and lifted his hand for pause. "Xiao!" he yelled.
Xiao Qiao looked up from where she had been informing an amused Ginshiyo Tachibana of the way she'd been making Sakon Shima's life hell (by accident, of course) and brightened obnoxiously.
"Zhouie!" she shrieked, leaping off of the horse and jumping the training area fence to leap on him. Zhou Yu, startled, caught her, laughing, and squeezed her close. (His ears were used to the high decibel levels by now).
"Xiao, where have you been?" he asked, cupping her face.
"Helping Nobunaga!" she chirped, "Tongy and Xunnie and me~ Xunnie stayed behind to catch a ship here, but Tongy and I were impatient so we decided to leave on foot because Nobunaga told me he didn't like my horse and I couldn't just leave him there so we took them only then they got stolen because Tongy got a little sick and was throwing up and I kinda fell asleep and when I woke up the horses were gone but I chased them but they didn't give them back even though I yelled at them but I really tried, honest!"
Lu Meng's head was spinning from trying to understand that whole explosion of excited babble; Zhou Yu simply nodded amiably. "I see, I'm sorry about your horse, dear. We'll see about finding you a new one—did you like Ginchiyo's, at least? That animal hates me, he tried to eat my hair."
"He's a sweetie," answered Xiao Qiao, "he just doesn't like boys! …except Tong, he gets along with Tongy!"
Lu Meng tried, really, to keep back the answer to that one. "...don't see the difference between Tong and a girl, myself~"
Ling Tong groaned loudly. "Now I remember why I liked the daimyo better. Ma Chao and Nobunaga don't make fun of people!" he grumbled, dropping the packs and settling heavily on the floor. Ginchiyo's horse nuzzled his head; he batted it away, annoyed, and, after Ginchiyo glared at him, petted him, sighing.
"Is that Tong?" called Sun Shang Xiang, leading her oldest brother to the training field. She grinned, jogging over.
"Hey," he said, standing up, "save me from these jerks? Even Xiao is making fun of me!"
"Well, then, can't miss out on the fun," answered Sun Shang Xiang, amused, "you've only gotten more pathetic with time, Tongy-poo?"
Ling Tong groaned incoherently; Sun Ce laughed, leaning on his sister's shoulder. "All right," he said, "quit makin' of the poor idiot, we've got a score to settle, here~"
Ling Tong made a face at him. "I only see one idiot around here, and it's not me," he answered, "he wears red and has long hair."
"Don't make fun of Zhouie!"
"…and ridiculous facial hair!"
"Oi, Tooooong," whined Sun Ce, "for that, you'll fight me after I tear up my baby sister~"
"Fat chance, Ce!"
Ginchiyo was using the free time she'd gained by returning to camp early to write a letter to Mitsunari from inside a small library on a middling floor that faced a view of the river; she was also eating a pastry, careful to keep the crumbs out of her ink.
"Ginchiiiiiii~" called Xiao Qiao, leaping on the older woman. Ginchiyo sputtered for a moment, shoving the ink away from Xiao Qiao's flailing before giving into the younger woman's attempts to hug her, and patted her back awkwardly.
Zhou Yu, amused, slid in next to them. Well, this was interesting~
"Xiao, don't kill her," he said, tugging her ponytail gently.
"I'm not killing anybody, Zhouie," she answered, leaning back contentedly.
"I'm fine," commented Ginchiyo over Xiao Qiao's head, meeting his eye, before lifting her brush and continuing her letter.
"Whatcha writing?" asked Xiao Qiao curiously, leaning over to stare at the page in front of Ginchiyo. She made a face. "That's not Chinese!" she accused.
"No, it's not," agreed Ginchiyo, "it's Japanese, silly girl."
"It's weird," answered Xiao Qiao, "it's always weird! Nobunaga wrote letters to Sakon all the time and wouldn't tell me what they meant, that meanie!"
Zhou Yu chuckled, as Ginchiyo tried to fight a quirking of her lips; she'd never heard anyone describe Nobunaga Oda as a 'meanie', before.
"Lady Ginchiyo, are you done composing that letter to your boyfriend?" asked Sakon, leaning into the room and raising an eyebrow, "Gan Ning's ship has arrived and he'll be making a run past Mitsunari's camp on his way back to Nobunaga."
Ginchiyo colored, her jaw setting, and answered, "my relationship with my lord is entirely professional, Sakon," in a firm voice, blowing on the ink still drying her name in the corner and folding the paper with the ease of practice. Xiao Qiao snatched it, crawling over Ginchiyo and skipping to Sakon.
"It's mean of you ignore me, Sakon!" she accused, handing him the letter and pouting.
Sakon rolled his eyes, used to her by now, and hit her in the forehead with the folded paper. "Sorry for not finding you during your surprise homecoming, brat. I'm remembering why I don't miss Nobunaga, all of a sudden," he said, ignoring Zhou Yu pointedly.
Zhou Yu leaned closer to Ginchiyo. "The first thing he told me was that she was still looking for me," he said, in a conspiratorial voice. Ginchiyo smirked.
Xiao Qiao didn't see any of this; she grinned winningly at Sakon. "I missed you, too, Sakkie~"
Ginchiyo choked on the last bite of her pastry; she glared at the back of Xiao Qiao's head, coughing, as Zhou Yu hit her back to help her out. Sakon glared at them both, before he tossed his head. "Leavin' now," he said, "don't have too much fun without me."
"Bye bye, Sakkie~" called Xiao Qiao, waving and skipping back to the bench, leaping into Zhou Yu's lap and grinning at Ginchiyo.
"Had to get back at him for making fun of me for all that time," she said simply, "I've been married to Zhouie for a long time, I know when those meanie strategist types are calling me names!"
Ginchiyo nodded seriously. Zhou Yu tried to shove mental images of two naked women in his bed when he retired that evening from his mind, firmly.
"So, Tong, meet any girls while you were off traveling the land and serving random samurai lords?" asked Sun Shang Xiang, smirking.
Ling Tong rolled his eyes. "Yes, for your information, I did," he replied, "and maybe I'll meet a girl here, too, I mean, we didn't have any for the longest time~"
Sun Shang Xiang huffed, crossing her arms under her breasts pointedly (and almost elbowing Ranmaru, her reluctant companion for the afternoon, in the face).
Ling Tong smirked at Ina, pushing his bangs out of his face. "Hey there," he greeted, "Ling Tong."
Ina eyed him coldly. "I have a higher calling in this world—one that does not include involvement with generals of Wu."
Ling Tong sighed. "So pretty, but so cold…" He turned his attention to Ranmaru. "Perhaps this young lady is a bit more receptive to the wonder of Ling Tong~?"
"…I'm a man," replied Ranmaru, blinking.
Ling Tong colored. "…oh," he answered, "…Ling Tong. You're…?"
"Ranmaru, a vassal of my lord Nobunaga Oda," replied Ranmaru, "a pleasure to meet you."
Sun Shang Xinag was trying (and failing) to hide her giggles behind her hand; Ling Tong glared at her, and the two began an impromptu staring contest—until someone knocked Ling Tong halfway over.
"Tong, you fled without a word," purred Okuni, shoving her boobs against his arm, "without even a goodbye!"
"Wh-what are you doing here?" demanded Ling Tong, "weren't you chasing that boy-toy of yours, or something?"
"I am chasing my boy-toy," replied Okuni, "oh, hello, I'm Okuni, Ling Tong's my boyfriend~"
Sun Shang Xiang growled. "Tong," she said, "what the hell is this?"
"I told you there were girls with the daimyo," answered Ling Tong, sniffing haughtily.
"She's like that with everyone, actually," reported Lu Xun drawing all of their attention immediately, "and Tong, she was the only girl with the daimyo, don't exaggerate!"
"I'm seeing another girl right here," answered Ling Tong shortly.
"Tong, no need to make fun of yourself, I can do it for ya~" called Gan Ning, booting the other man in the ass and joining them, "Xun, I'm never sailing you anywhere again, stowaways—even pretty ones—aren't welcome on my ship!"
Okuni batted her eyelashes at Gan Ning; Lu Xun scowled. "It isn't my fault she hid in my cabin!" he answered, "next time, do a more thorough check before you set sail!"
"Yeah, yeah, shaddap," answered Gan Ning, "so, Tong, how long you been making out with pretty girls? Bet you were glad I wasn't around, I mean, I got plenty of action, but you're Tong, you're basically the definition of 'no action'…"
"You can stop any time you like," cut in Ling Tong, scowling, as Okuni giggled. He rolled his eyes; Okuni was pretty, but she flirted with everything that moved (including, disturbingly, Xiao Qiao, Ma Chao, and Cao Ren, to no success) and she had the whole Keiji Maeda thing going on. Why had she followed him, of all people?
"Oi, Shang Xiang~"
"Keiji!" greeted Sun Shang Xiang, whirling.
"Keiji?" gasped Okuni, detaching herself from Ling Tong, "Keiji!"
Ling Tong rolled his eyes; of course Keiji Maeda is in the camp that she'd followed him to; of course. Gan Ning laughed at him; he punched the ex-pirate in the shoulder.
"At least I'm not a messenger boy," he hissed, "I've heard all about your jobs, buddy~"
"Shaddap, Tong, at least I'm not you," answered Gan Ning cheerfully, "all right, there's Sakon, time to hit the road~"
Sakon was having a conversation with Lu Meng, in the distance. The two laughed, apparently amused by something. Between them and the pair of strategists, Keiji and Okuni were flirting. Suddenly, Keiji pulled Okuni over his shoulder, walking jauntily away as Okuni shouted about 'being let down this instant, Keiji~!' and giggled at him. Sun Shang Xiang watched them go, making a face and turning pointedly away. She frowned at Gan Ning. "You're leaving again?" she demanded, "it's like you're not even a member of Wu any more, you're in Wei so often!"
"I don't make the orders, I just kill shit," answered Gan Ning cheerfully, "and I'm the only one who's managed to figure out the sailing routes, everybody else sucks."
"You only managed to make it here because I read the map!" snapped Lu Xun, pulling said map out of his pocket and brandishing it at him,
"When'd you get so lippy, brat?" asked Gan Ning, shoving the pint-sized strategist away with a hand.
"Well, somebody had to be the snarky one, Ma Chao's nice and Ling Tong's an idiot," answered Lu Xun, waving to Ling Tong when the other man scowled at him.
"So, Shang Xiang," began Gan Ning, "why're you so annoyed Tong met some girl, huh~?"
"I'm not annoyed!" answered Sun Shang Xiang, "I'm mad he took the time to flirt with her while the rest of us were fighting for our lives!"
Gan Ning ignored Ling Tong's shouts about working for Nobunaga being quite worth their sacrifice, thanks a lot, and, smirking, leaned forward. "I bet you're jealous she's prettier," answered Gan Ning.
Sun Shang Xiang squawked, attacking him with her fists; Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and Zhou Tai approached, the young heir of Wu laughing at their ridiculous arguments.
"I see we're all back to normal," said Sun Ce cheerfully, clapping Ling Tong on the shoulder.
Ina raised an eyebrow. "This cannot be your version of 'normal', my lord, this unprofessional behavior…" she began, motioning to the full-fledged battle beginning some distance away from them between Gan Ning and Sun Shang Xiang, Gan Ning taunting Sun Shang Xiang over her lack of feminine attributes and Sun Shang Xiang calling out the measurements of Gan Ning's penis (beginning with miniscule and only getting smaller from there); then the Wu princess hauled off and punched the pirate in the face. Ina winced.
Sun Ce grinned. "Seems like a normal day, 'eh, Tong?"
Ling Tong nodded. "C'mon, Shang Xiang, take him down!" he called suddenly, when Sun Shang Xiang tackled Gan Ning and sat on him, brandishing her fist in his face and screaming about his children never having a chance to exist.
Sun Ce smirked. "Attagirl!" he shouted.
Sun Quan laughed. "He's not even in camp for fifteen minutes and things are already really noisy around here!" he commented, "oi, Shang Xiang, punch like I taught you, that wussy girl punch isn't going to do anything!"
Zhou Tai made a face that would have been amusement, had he been anyone else; Ranmaru caught his eye and quirked his lips in response. Wu was an interesting place to live, he decided, as Sun Shang Xiang beat the crap out of a helplessly laughing Gan Ning, with cheering from her brothers and Ling Tong. Lu Xun rolled his eyes, watching them, and laughed when Gan Ning responded with a tickle attack. "That's cheating!" he called, as Sun Shang Xiang giggled helplessly.
Sun Ce, calling about 'injustice', tackled Gan Ning, and then there was a whole other battle going. Ina tried not to stare, ignoring the 'hot men all over each other' radar going off in the back of her head and turning to Zhou Tai and Sun Quan (her 'hot men all over each other' radar went for an entirely different reason). Finally, she gave up, joining Sun Shang Xiang.
Ling Tong grinned. It was good to be home~