a reimu/tenshi oneshot
Tenshi sat on a keystone, gazing out into the endless sunny plains. She grabbed one of the peaches beside her and bit into it violently. Without that perpetually drunk oni around Tenshi had nothing to do except to go back to living an endless, boring existence which was made even worse now that she knew what excitement truly tasted like.
It tastes not unlike a peach, Tenshi mused as she chewed. Juicy and full of flavor. She especially loved the peaches that were picked a tad bit too early, as they had a new flavor – a sour tang that in itself was sweet.
The blue-haired girl frowned as she bit into the peach again, the unexpected bitterness of the skin shocking her slightly. It reminded her of the bitter taste of defeat that she had suffered at the hands of first the disaster-solving specialist and then the gap youkai. Tenshi spat the mouthful out as if it was poison and cautiously bit again, relaxing at the sweet and sour taste of the fruit. She rested on her back, looking up at the clear blue sky.
Boredom fully resounded through her bones.
Ugh, if only she were down there among the mortals. Why anybody would want to remain drinking and partying their days away she would never understand. Even the tiny horned demon had left this heaven.
Tenshi thought back to her confrontation with the shrine maiden and frowned. Before their battle – and her first defeat – the shrine maiden expressed jealousy over the easy life of those who resided in Bhava-agra. She would never understand the person known as Hakurei Reimu, the person who over and over again craved nothing but peace and tea inside that shabby shrine.
Tenshi had attempted to, of course, while her servants were busy rebuilding the Hakurei Shrine so that she could also inhabit it. Her tries yielded nothing but frustration. Where was that miko with hard, fierce eyes, who declared so passionately her resolve?
"I don't care if you're a celestial or a lunatic or what. I'm here for only one thing! I will defeat those who cause trouble!"
Tenshi felt a shiver run through her body; to see such passion and to have it directed at her, no less, was definitely exciting. But after Reimu defeated her, the indignant incident-resolver reverted back to a calm, casual shrine maiden. Tenshi knew that the passionate side of Reimu was still there; she had seen the many heated interactions Reimu had with that accursed gap youkai, Suika, and the blonde witch. The celestial knew she wanted to be included in the very small group who never seemed to run out of fervor.
"All I can do is try again, right?" Tenshi said into the air, sitting up. "It's not like there's anything better to do…" She finished her peach and threw it somewhere into the grassy plains, licking the juice off of her fingers.
The sound of swishing paused, only to begin once again. "Hmph. I didn't expect you of all people to come again."
"I just… wanted to visit," Tenshi said awkwardly.
"You have visited. Now leave," came the curt reply. The broom failed to pause again.
Tenshi shifted the wicker basket she was holding uncomfortably. She wasn't about to lower herself to an unenlightened mortal's level and apologize – would Reimu just look at her? – but there might not be another way to get the shrine maiden to talk with her…
… Which was why the celestial decided to humor the advice that her mother once gave her when Tenshi was still known as Chiko, child of the earth: the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. She raised her hand, holding up the noticeably full basket of delectable fruit. "I brought food."
Reimu raised an eyebrow. She turned to face the celestial. "Well then. Can't let that go to waste."
Tenshi closed her eyes as servants removed her robes and replaced them with sleep wear, ignoring the familiar feel of silk sliding on skin. She had been visiting at the shrine for a few weeks, and each visit – along with a basket of fruit – seemed to produce a happier Reimu. Process was quite slow, though, and Tenshi had finally found use for the patience that the oarfish had drilled her since her childhood.
"Don't you have anything other than tea?"
"I don't keep alcohol in the shrine anymore, if that's what you're asking. Anyways, haven't you ever heard that if a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty?"
When Tenshi returned from the shrine that day, she had ordered her servants to prepare her a cup of tea for every meal from then on. It didn't seem to have taken effect yet, if indeed it had any, but the girl hoped that it would help her understand the puzzling shrine maiden a bit more.
"What exactly is the job of a shrine maiden? Just to drink tea on the veranda and broom the shrine grounds?"
"Yeah, pretty much. But it's more difficult and tiring than it sounds, you know. Visitors always bring trouble – and messes. Speaking of which, I should get back to sweeping."
"And ignore your visitor? H-hey, come back here!"
"Why don't you join me then? Surely if Suika can, you can do it too."
Irritated yet amused at the miko's cheek, Tenshi had refused to budge from her seat on the veranda and had watched Reimu clear the shrine grounds for the rest of that afternoon.
Returning to the land of the present, the eldest daughter of the Hinanai frowned and sent away her helpers with a wave of her hand. As they filed out of the room, closing the large, rich, wooden door behind them, the celestial blew out the candles – her servants had changed the scents from peaches to tea and cherry blossoms - in the room. She then allowed herself to smile and snuggled underneath the light covers of her luxurious bed, the stunning image of a dark-haired figure garbed in red and white in the midst of falling leaves her last thought as she eased into a pleasant sleep.
The young celestial grasped the rope between her hands and rung the shrine's bell, making sure to balance the well-worn basket of fruit on her arms. After multiple tugs and no shrine maiden, the celestial was beginning to feel that something was off. A current of – something – was running through the air; she was no Nagae, by any chance, but it felt quite urgent. She sat on the veranda and, on a whim, peered curiously into the donation box beside her. Tenshi winced and withdrew her head; no wonder the air felt so stressful. A loud crash and the tinkling of broken glass suddenly disturbed the grounds of the shrine. A flock of birds took flight, their obnoxious cawing made ominous.
The celestial jumped and quickly grabbed her sword. She noticed that the noises came from the living quarters, so she ran through the grounds. Seeing an open door, Tenshi cautiously went in and was instantly met with a floor full of glass, puddles of alcohol, and a long string of curses that would make Murasa Minamitsu blush. "… Reimu? Is everything alright?"
" – cking – huh? Who's there?" Reimu stomped angrily into the room carrying a few plates, her shirt torn and stained. "Of course I'm not alright; I don't know why you decided to spring this on me at the last – oh. It's the little angel." Reimu's frightening face calmed down visibly.
Tenshi could feel her face heating up and tried to ignore the miko's nickname of her. She still couldn't tell whether Reimu had sarcastic intent or was actually becoming fond of her - and she was actually a celestial, not an angel - but even if Tenshi wanted to, there was nothing that she could do to try to get the other girl to drop it, for Reimu was nothing if not set in her ways. "You seem rather… harried. Should I leave…?"
"Oh, no you don't – I need all the help I can get," Reimu snapped. Seeing Tenshi's irritation at being addressed quite rudely, the brunette ran a hand through her hair and tried to explain. "Marisa decided she wanted to have a giant party and already invited people over to the shrine – the party's today, and she just told me about two hours ago!"
Reimu threw her arms up in the air, forgetting that she was holding plates. They flew up, hit the ceiling, and crashed onto the wooden floor without breaking. As Tenshi stared at the porcelain, Reimu carried on with her tangent, seemingly oblivious to her actions. "I can't believe the nerve of that witch! And Suika's the only one who would help me, and I don't know where the Hell she is now! For all I know, she's probably in Hell! I can't cook enough food in time and I just broke some of her bottles of sake – oh, and what good alcohol that was…"
Tenshi interrupted Reimu's lament. "Well, yeah, but what if I don't want to set up the shrine?" Though she wanted to spend more time with the shrine maiden, the celestial didn't want to seem too eager.
Reimu paused in her rant to stare at Tenshi. "You will help. If you don't, I will give you a taste of my Fantasy Heaven. And you don't want that." Despite herself, the celestial felt a chill run down her spine; Tenshi had seen what that particular spell card could do during the Incident of the Imperishable Night. "Of course, when we finish you can stay; oni sake is the best sake around, you know?" Reimu added.
Tenshi pretended to contemplate it. Taking in Reimu's slightly desperate face, she smiled. "Sure, let me call my servants."
Tenshi whipped her head around and glared at the fairies that spilled alcohol all over her apron. "You -! You ignorant, unenlightened earth slime! Watch where you're going!" The winged creatures ignored her ire and giggled annoyingly, flying off into the crowd to find a new victim for their pranks.
The celestial brushed blue hair away from her eyes, huffing petulantly. Reimu was right in that the witch Kirisame gave her almost no time to prepare, and the two, along with the servants of the Hinanai, had frantically rushed to prepare everything on time. When the first wave of youkai swept into the shrine grounds, Tenshi had quickly lost sight of the shrine maiden in the frenzy of drunk, hungry earth dwellers. Aside from a couple of glares from the youkai who seemed to recognize her as the instigator of the Scarlet Weather Incident, she was mostly ignored. The Daughter of the Heavens knew that she wasn't the most patient of the Dheva, but this was almost too impossible to take. It was massively different than the parties thrown in Bhava-agra.
A particularly loud burst of laughter caught her attention, and Tenshi finally saw the object of her peaked interest sitting with five other people. Her dark red eyes hardened as she saw identified the three sitting closest to Reimu: the barely-ruffled, elegant border youkai, the little drunk oni, and the messy blonde witch. Along with them were a tiny vampire in hysterics and that one ditzy ghost reaching for a plate of celestial peaches, an intimidating pile of peach pits beside her. Tenshi approached them and heard the group laugh rambunctiously again as the Hakurei maiden hung her head. Her ears caught the highly amused words of the drunk witch.
" – sho then, Flandre shaysu me, 'With whooo?' Aaaand I go, 'Yeah, yeah! I know a shrine maiden I'll introdush ya to!'" She fell backwards and spilled her drink in the eldest Yakumo's face, causing the older woman to sputter and the pink-haired ghost to giggle madly.
The blue-haired vampire spoke up, gasping for air. "Yes, and – ahaha - I remember Flandre always bugging Sakuya and I after that; Sakuya to sew her a white dress – would you believe it - and I for visiting Reimu here!" She surprisingly slapped the miko on the back.
"'N you, Remilia! Ugh, I go to your mansion's basement 'cause you said if I talked sense into your shis – sister, you would stop bugging me at my shrine, and the first thing she does is tackle me to the ground and wouldn't let me up!" The mildly intoxicated miko groaned loudly and gulped down the contents of a large, red bowl.
"It's been waaaaay too long since we've had a good party, Ray-moo!" Suika crowed as she collapsed into the aforementioned miko's lap, nuzzling her legs. "See how fun this is? Ehehe!"
"My shrine's income will suffer horribly from this youkai gathering, just you watch." Despite her scathing words, Reimu grinned and let the horned girl rest on her. She instead snatched what Tenshi recognized as Suika's everlasting gourd of alcohol, much to the oni's protests, and took an enormous swig. As she lowered the gourd she saw an unreadable celestial and grinned. "Ah, looks like my little angel has arrived!" She raised a hand and beckoned Tenshi over.
"'Little angel', hm?" Yukari looked up at her and locked eyes with the blue-haired girl. After a tense moment which felt like hours, the blonde smiled slyly and drew Reimu into her arms, hugging the miko from behind. "Oh no, you're not going to take my Reimu away from me, are you?"
"Oh, go away, Yukari," Reimu replied. The border maiden tried to sit up straight and used Marisa's shoulder as a support. The witch had a questionable look on her face as she stared at Tenshi, and asked rather harshly, "Huh? Whaddya doin' here?"
"I helped Reimu with the party that you hosted at her shrine," Tenshi snapped back. "You could've at least assisted with the preparations!"
Marisa stood up and snarled, "At least I didn't wreck the shrine myself!"
Reimu grabbed the suddenly-sober girl's elbow. "Hey, hey, it's fine, y'know. It's all good that it got rebuilt again, what with the ritual of the Shikinen Sengu and all – and you finally had a reason to clean your place, right?"
Marisa looked back at the miko and nodded. "Aight, aight. But make sure y'don't destroy my house, y'got that, celestial?" Without commenting further on the subject Marisa flopped down and stretched. "Yo, where's the rest of the booze?" She swiped at Reimu and the miko held the gourd away, sticking her tongue out at the witch.
Tenshi pursed her lips as she sat beside Reimu. "I already placed a key stone here at the shrine; no more earthquakes should appear as long as it isn't touched." Surely if the victim of her incident forgave her, this witch should too.
"My my my… I wonder what she offered you for you to favor her so, Reimu," said the vampire, smirking knowingly. Reimu sprayed alcohol at her and reddened along with the celestial. Marisa cackled.
"Ooh, I know! It was obviously food, wasn't it, Reimu?" Yuyuko chirped. As the shrine maiden made no moves to deny it, the group guffawed. Tenshi thought they sounded similar to uncivilized earth-dwellers – apes, were they called?
"I'm going to regret all of these festivities in the morning and curse all of you," muttered Reimu. "Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, though. Here," the shrine maiden drank long from the gourd and handed it to Tenshi. "Best alcohol known to Gensokyo, little angel." Reimu looked at her expectantly.
Tenshi raised the gourd, and never once breaking eye contact with the miko, drank straight from the spot where Reimu's lips had touched. The liquid rushed down her throat, burning the flesh delightedly and leaving her slightly dazed. As she detached her mouth from the gourd, she raised it challengingly to the shrine maiden, licking her lips of any spare drops. Before Reimu could take back the gourd, a pale hand darted between them and snatched it.
"I'll be taking that now, thank you!" Yuyuko said with a suspiciously innocent expression.
Tenshi sipped her tea thoughtfully. She had come down to Earth to seek the passionate Reimu instead of the lazy one, but somehow being with the latter almost made her forget about the former. Like many of the formidable youkai around, the Hinanai was being sucked in by the serenity of the Hakurei maiden.
"This peace and quiet…" Tenshi mused, blowing gently at her teacup, "is so tranquil, it's almost boring. But it's not quite there. I wonder why."
"It's because this 'peace' is like the quiet before a giant storm," Reimu replied, peeling an apple. "Or earthquake, if you will," the miko added wryly, cutting the fruit into even slices. Tenshi reddened slightly.
"The reason there are no humans around is because this place is always flooded with youkai. They never me completely relax, with incidents or parties or whatever," Reimu continued. A comfortable silence spread as Tenshi thought about the party at the shrine. She blushed, and shook her head slightly.
"So you're expecting another incident to pop up again. Or maybe another party?" Tenshi couldn't quite contain her excitement or her smile.
"Maybe." Reimu made a small face before glancing at Tenshi. The miko smiled. "Well, probably." She took a bit of the fruit and gagged slightly. "Hmph... Bad apple." She set it aside as Tenshi teasingly glared at her. They both looked out from the veranda, a gentle breeze making millions of emerald leaves flutter in the warm air.
"You know, you should come over more often."
"Huh?" Tenshi blinked. "Why is that?" Ever since the party the young Hinanai felt especially close to Reimu. Surely the feeling was mutual?
"You're doing wonders for my reputation. I've been getting more donations from the village now that they know that a maiden of the heavens has been visiting the Hakurei shrine often," Reimu said lightly.
"Is that all I am to you? A pretty attraction for humans to gawk at?" Tenshi faked an indignant tone. Reimu kept a straight face.
"Definitely. I wouldn't mind having you for a trophy wife, little angel." The shrine maiden then yelped in pain as Tenshi slapped her arm, both laughing loudly. As Tenshi started to calm down, she sighed softly and smiled. Yes, she reflected, surely the feeling was mutual.
Tenshi gazed out into the freshly-swept courtyard, folding her hands together in her lap. She turned her head at the sound of muffled feet padding on wood. Reimu set the tray down on the veranda and sat beside her pouring liquid from a teapot into two cups. "Tea?"
The celestial blew on the surface and watched the steam rise up slowly. It was quickly becoming a habit of hers. "Why… Are you so laid-back sometimes? It puzzles me, Reimu. All your friends like Suika, or Kirisame, or the gap youkai – they all seem to be so lively and energetic. If you love peace, why are you so close to them?"
"Yukari? Energetic?" Tenshi gave the scoffing shrine maiden a warning glance. "Ahem... I love peace because my job as a Hakurei is to solve incidents and protect the whole of Gensokyo." Reimu sipped her tea. "But I think I love peace the most because… It allows me to fully enjoy the excitement when it comes.
"When you used your sword to create the Mist of Temperament, it felt exciting, wasn't it? Because you lived a life that never really changed, the disturbance you caused was extremely enjoyable, right?" Reimu asked. As Tenshi nodded, the miko continued. "But there's a border between the fun kind of excitement and complete chaos. Without peace you can't really appreciate excitement; it becomes a chaos that nobody will love. As a maiden of the borders, I have to maintain that balance." The miko smiled at Tenshi. "And I guess that's why I'm glad you're here with me, little angel – to keep me aware of this balance. It's not often that I think about this, after all."
She held the clay teapot in her hand and beckoned at Tenshi. "Here, let me refill your cup."
The celestial handed it to the miko and felt their fingers brush. Tenshi glanced away. "How did you know that my cup was empty?"
"Intuition, I guess." Reimu poured the tea gracefully and with poise. "I've always had a knack at guessing… little angel." Her voice slowed as she addressed Tenshi with a knowing smile. As she passed the cup back to the surprised celestial, their hands touching yet again, Tenshi finally felt like she could understand.
AN: The words /name "Tenshi" has many meanings, one of which includes the meaning of "angel". I know, I'm horrible. And the internet needs more reimu/tenshi. Reimu's quote about tea is an actual Japanese proverb. And... I have nothing else to say. Except I'll add another oneshot pretty soon maybe. Thanks for reading (and perhaps reviewing), and my love goes to R for editing!