Sakuya purses her lips. This is quite the dilemma.

Reimu's party (more like the more rambunctious residents of Gensokyo just simultaneously decided to hijack the Hakurei shrine for their drunken festivities) is in full swing by now, meaning the majority of the revelers were smashed or getting there. That's not to say there weren't any responsible adults around. Some chose to sit aside from the party and just talk. Or read in Lady Patchouli's case. Or eat. Or- other things that involve the mouth.

How uncouth.

That being said, her lady is on the other side of the rather cramped room (how did they manage to get this many people in here in the first place?) and caught up in a contest of sorts with the younger Komeiji. That would be fine. If there wasn't a mass of bodies, limbs, broken dishes, squished food, and overturned bottles of alcohol separating them.

Well, as long as her lady looks like she's having fun. Sakuya doesn't need to bother her by being there all the time.

As long as that Komeiji doesn't try anything strange. She'd make sure to sink in a few knives before the satori could even ruffle a few frills.

"Oh shit!"

Someone bumps into her.

It's one of the newcomers from the latest incident, the ghost from the Palanquin Ship. She's holding several bottles of foul-smelling, wanna-be sake.

Sakuya wipes at some of the alcohol that managed to slosh over her arm as the captain laments at having spilled a larger portion of it on herself.

"Goddamit! Shit! What a f-"


"We get it, you damn idiot! Ju- hey where the hell do you think you're going with my donation box!"

"-king waste! Aw shit, I really wanted to drink this."

Oh great. She's drenched in the smell now. Sakuya wrinkles her nose. "That stuff is vile."

The captain stops her moaning to shrug, dropping the empty bottles without a care.

"Hey don't knock it til you've tried it."


The captain takes a better look at her. "Aren't you that one freaky maid from the Red Manor or something?"

Ignoring a few words in that question. "Scarlet Devil Mansion, yes. Izayoi Sakuya."

"Captain Murasa."

One proud individual. Piloting the Palanquin Ship is worthy of the title of captain, she supposes. But she frowns a little, the captain has bad taste in sake.

"Hey hey aren't you that old lady from Makai?"

"Ah well I-"

"Lyrica, don't be rude. She's not old. She's ancient."

"Um, actually-"

"Ooh. So you're an ancient lady from Makai, right?"

The captain suddenly reels and almost catches Sakuya in the nose when she swings her arm up to point threateningly at the poltergeists.

"Hey you little shits! Lay of Hijiri!"

"Murasa, it's fi-"

"Ooooh and what're you gonna do about it, Minamitsu?"

Amusing shade of red the captain is turning.

"Ye~eah, Mina-Mina, what're you gonna do about it?"

"Look how red she is, Merlin. Awww, is wittle Minamitsu embawassed?"

Sakuya quickly places a hand on the captain's shoulder and pulls her back. Even then, she almost had to use her other hand to restrain the beyond irritated captain.

"It would be a bad idea to destroy them in such a cramped setting."

"It's the freaky maid, Lyrica!"

"They're friends?"

"Duh, it makes sense, Lyrica. Since they're both overprotective little, lovesick puppies following their masters around."

"You're right, Merlin!"

Sakuya calmly takes a deep breath, releasing the seething captain. "That's why we'll take them outside."

Murasa grins wickedly, cracking her neck at an angle that almost makes Sakuya wince. Almost. "You got a point, maid. More room outside to beat them into a little shit-stain in the dirt."

Lunasa gives an embarrassed apology, "I'm very sorry. My sisters are a little- immature."

Murasa snorts, "A little?"

"We'll be leaving now. Erm, thanks for not being too rough on them."

Sakuya graciously replies, "You're most welcome."

"L-Lunasa, I think there's still a knife stuck in my leg somewhere!"

"Crazy! Freaks! Rabid dogs!"

Lunasa winces. "Then, if you'll excuse us. I hope you have a pleasant rest of the evening."

The maid and the captain watch as the three poltergeists disappear into the night sky.

Murasa lets out a breath of air and leans against the doorway. "Well that was fun."

"More of an annoyance really."

"Man, you always this uptight? And after that move you pulled off with the knives I thought you'd be more fun."

"Me, uptight? I don't think you know me all that well, Minamitsu."

"I'm gonna warn you 'cause now we both know what the other can do, but don't call me that."

"I apologize. Is there a reason you don't like your name?"

Murasa frowns. "I used to hate it 'cause it reminded me of some shit from the past. But now, well-" Is she blushing? "Anyway, I got over it, but I still prefer Murasa, alright?" Then she mumbles, "Only one person still calls me Minamitsu anyway."

"You are rather devoted to Hijiri Byakuren, aren't you?"

"What? No shit. Of course I'm devoted to Hijiri. Anybody would be after what she's done for them."

"I take it you only let her call you by your first name?"

Murasa glares and Sakuya chuckles.

"How cute."

"Hey don't you start like those brats." Murasa pulls her hat down low to hide her face. "And what about you? I saw you guys when you first showed up. She gives a grin that Sakuya is sure isn't entirely polite. "So what's going on between you and that little vampire?"

Reactions reversed. Sakuya looks away and answers coolly, "That is between Milady and I."

"Oooh 'milady,' is it? What, do you guys have some kind of role-playing thing going on?"

Sakuya turns slowly to face the captain, eyes solid and frozen.

"You take that back, Kanako!"

"Face it, Suwaka, I've won. What are you going to do now?"

"I-I'm going to burst into tears!"

"N-no, dammit don't! Damn you, Suwako!"

Murasa quickly holds up her hands. "Woah, relax. Sorry, didn't know that was a touchy subject for you, Izayoi."

A beat of uncomfortable, awkward silence.

"Still, must be someone pretty amazing if she could get you to respect her so much."

She's small. Sometimes when she sleeps, she curls up into a tiny ball, her wings flattened against her back, none of the charismatic pride she upholds in front of others. Quick to lose her cool at times. Not a morning person. Picky when it comes to her meals. She's good at probing thoughts and touching upon feelings of others while keeping her own a mystery. There were facets to her existence. Some many sides to partake and sample. A dark bottle that opens up to sweetness and charm.

"Yes." Sakuya smiles.

Murasa sees and allows a small grin of her own. "Hijiri saved me. Tossed me a lifeline when I was drowning in my inability to accept death. Now, me being here has a meaning."

It's the same. They're the same.

"That there is meaning to my existence. I'm not something just tossed away and forgotten. Knowing that I'm needed, in any way, is a wonderful feeling."

"Even if that sounds a little gushy for me, I hear ya, Izayoi."

Someone whose life wouldn't be quite the same if they were to ever leave. Someone who felt they mattered. That they were worth being mattered.


Even if she was on the other side of Gensokyo, Sakuya wouldn't miss that call.

"Excuse me, milady is calling."

"Later, Izayoi."

As she prepares to join her lady, Hijiri Byakuren offers a polite smile in greeting when they pass each other in the hallway. One she feels compelled to return.

"There you are, Murasa."

"Oh hey, Hijri. Something the matter? Shou drunk?"

"Ah n-no. I just wanted to see what you were up to."

"Nothing much. By the way, sorry about earlier. I didn't mean to start a brawl right there, but. Y'know."

"Would it be wrong of me to say that I was a little happy that Murasa defended me, even if I'm not so partial to her methods?"

"W-well, they were starting to piss me off. Hijiri isn't an old lady."


"Hijiri is a refined lady. Like Bordeaux. Patiently ripened and full of sweetness. Or something."


Sakuya decides she's eavesdropped enough and continues on to her lady.

Maybe the captain did have some good taste.

Her lady is still with the younger Komeiji and Sakuya wonders why she was called over. Upon arriving, her lady gives her a small smile and indicates to sit next to her.

While the satori is prattling on about cute little puppies following her everywhere, Remilia leans in and whispers in Sakuya's ear, "You and your new friend seemed to be having fun."

"Oh yes. I discovered we have many things in common."

"Have you now?"

"Yes, it seems we're both rather smitten with fine, aged wine."

"No fair, Murasa, monopolizing all of sister's time!"

"Goddamn, Ichirin, can you try and not co-"

"My name is Hong Meiling!"

"-block me all the time? Shit, you're so goddamn clingy! What're you, a goddamn little kid? You've got Unzan! Go ask for huggies from Unzan. Go on, go. Dismissed."

Remilia skepticism shows. "Really."

"Of course."

And because Murasa's argument with her friend had somehow turned into an all-out brawl involving the other half of the room, and because Komeiji is watching the ruckus with incredible interest, Sakuya leans in to brush a few errant strands of hair away from Remilia's eyes.

"Very smitten."

Remilia almost looks taken aback. Almost. Then she wrinkles her nose. "Did one of the fairies urinate on you?"

"No, as you can see I'm not sparkling."

"Ah that acid those unrefined fools are passing around then."

"Yes, milady."

Fairy piss sparkles. D:

Wow I'm really churning them out. XD

Scientific procrastination is artistic inspiration. Or something.

Bordeaux is a fancy wine from France that I googled up just to have something to compare Hijiri to. XP