PART TWO

When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Author's Note: Yaoi with a bit of a lemon twist.

"Why are you so nervous?" asked Shaka as he watched the Lumerian walk from the steps of the Pope toward the hallway of Athena.

Mu felt his breath quicken and nervousness set in. "Old fears renewed at her doorstep, my friend." His actions toward Poseidon were rude, undiplomatic, and uncalled for during a mission of peace. Even the foot soldiers showed more discretion in their actions, and they were usually the unruly bunch. Now that they had returned back to Sanctuary, perhaps he will receive his punishment?

To his surprise, Athena, still in her business suit that she wore while on the plane, was standing there smiling with hands in front of her with Shaka at her side. Mu quickly knelt before her until she reached out a hand for him.

"Mu," she spoke his name as she helped him up. "Shaka had told me all about Shion's promise to take you to find your homeland. Is this true?"

Mu felt his heart warming up. Athena's voice was so gentle and full of love that it was impossible to think of terrible thoughts in her presence. Perhaps it was even the rare surprise that Shaka was known to pull once every nine-planet-alignment? "He did make a promise. But, I cannot read the documents that my Master had left behind, for I do not know enough of the old language to translate them. Finding a sunken island in the depths of the sea blindly would be like searching for a piece of paper among others after they had all been reduced to ash."

Athena looked down and cupped his cheek. "What if I told you, the island has possibly surfaced?"

The Lemurian gasped. "Surfaced? How do you know?"

"I'm a Goddess. I see all," she spoke as she waved her hands in the air. Before she waved a hand for him to come inside, "even if it requires the internet to do so," she winked. She then turned her head and spotted Milo leaning forward at her desk, the image of a familiar website reflecting from his headpiece. She bit her lip and sighed. "Milo, are you working on anything important?" She asked.

Milo jerked his head and swallowed a bit, "oh, just something-downloading some information," he swallowed and tilted the laptop screen a bit further down to hide the image, "staying current on the world."

Saori gently nodded. "That's fine, finish what must be done, just as long as I do not receive any news from Tatsumi about media rumors claiming I have an insatiable appetite for The Pirate Bay."

"-Oh drat, I think I hit that one button that closes my browser," bemoaned Milo as he quickly began to silently close windows.

Mu leaned forward. "Perhaps your Browsing History contains the past data that you need."

Milo pressed another button, "Oh no, it appears I have just deleted all of that too." He nervously let out a sigh. "Oh well, feel free to do what must be done. I guess I'll just hang out outside and insure undesired company does not intrude." Milo waved his hand, readjusted his long cape and headed outside at a breakneck pace.

Shaka turned his head toward the computer. "I didn't think you would allow Saints to have such free access to luxuries, my Goddess."

Saori walked over to the front screen. "That has not changed; I prefer to think of it as a part of Milo's therapy."

"But, you told us that you gave him the duty of being your main bodyguard was to take his mind off of Camus?" spoke Shaka.

The goddess nodded. "That was the intention. For some of you, being around friends seemed to help put the past behind, for others, being alone is the right thing to do. But everyone deals with pain differently and it became more apparent that Milo wanted to be alone but at the same time, wanted to be around others but specifically someone that was like Camus." She touched the screen. "And so, the computer, more specifically, the internet is considered therapeutic since it allowed him a means to accomplish both and slowly seems to be returning to his old self, even if some of his curious searches has led to a bit of publicity problems for the Kido Foundation and several billion dollars in copyright infringement suits," she murmured the last part as she went to her email and opened one from the head of the Kido Institution's scientists.

Mu leaned down and began to read it. "These coordinates do match the general area that Master said it would be," he spoke with cautious excitement.

Athena then pointed her finger to another paragraph. "But look at the different mineral traces that are listed here. Many of them are foreign to other areas around but most were synthetically created. It is worth a try, don't you think? Would you like to go?"

Mu felt like he couldn't bring his jaw back up. It was almost unreal. "May, I go by boat?" He shifted his eyes a bit feeling a bit selfish on such generosity on his part. "I know Holy War with Hades is coming, but it would mean a lot to me. Shion and I even made a special boat, the last project we worked together on before his death."

"Travel by sea if you wish, however-, "she paused.

Mu nodded. "I understand. I will leave it immediately and go by light speed. Personal desires are second to the safety of the Earth."

Athena giggled lightly. "Yes, that is important, although frankly I doubt Hades will attempt to strike with Poseidon's remaining forces all over the world and forcing him to fight two Gods. I was thinking that the boat that you and Shion created requires two people to steer it."

That did pose a problem. Kiki said he was still physically exhausted from going to Atlantis to give the Libra weapons to the Bronze Saints. However, Mu suspected that he was secretly addicted to some Japanese anime about a cross-dressed girl and doesn't want to leave the orphanage in Japan. Besides, with Holy War coming, he had begun to question whether the two last Lemurians should be on the same craft.

"May I come along?" Mu turned his head to him with a bit of a twinkle in his eyes. Shaka smiled lightly for a moment. "I am not Lemurian, but I would like to take Shion's place in honoring his promise."

Later on, Shaka, dressed in his robes, continued to rereading a list of how to control his side of the runes on the boat. It was powered by strong bursts of cosmos making it more efficient than using the wind to sail while the magic autocorrects the boat should the waves push it from its direction. It seemed simple but the trick was to empower the right rune with the same amount of cosmos to prevent an imbalance of cosmos with one side running out of cosmos while the other kept going. Personally, he would rather just teleport to the coordinates, but Mu wants to take the journey as his ancestors had. But there are just so many dangers like storms and capsizing. He sighed as he placed the manual on his lap. "Should I tell him that I can't swim?" he thought just as Mu appeared right behind him.

Shaka turned from his thoughts and instead smiled politely. "How was Japan?" He asked as he watched Mu jump into the water to double check the runes, watching his purple hair weave back and forth with the waves.

"It was nice. Kiki seemed to be enjoying being around children his age. He wanted to come too, but I told him after I check things out." Mu spoke as he climbed into the boat, wringing his hair to the side.

Shaka knew that would be the hardest part. "He'll understand when he's older." He spoke as he checked their food supply and looked at a set of Lemurian water cups.

Mu, passive of his drenched appearance, turned to the horizon. "Ready?"

Shaka took a deep breath. He'd never operated a television set, much less an enchanted boat. Fearful of messing up and causing the boat to spin nonsensically, but confident that he had reviewed the papers enough he gave a quick nod. He nervously went to his side of the boat, listening to the direction Mu wanted to go and how much cosmos to apply before touching his side at the same time. The boat lurched forward, a bit before the Loose Wood design of the Lemurian craft kicked in, causing the back to sway back and forth like a fish tail.

Once the runes were filled with cosmos, the two Saints pulled away and sat on the side edges of the boat. Mu leaned back; resting his forearms on the side edge, taking great pride that his crack at the boat's schematics were a success. He can't imagine how embarrassing it would be if the boat blew up, although with his skill level back then, he suspects that his Master probably tweaked a board here and there. He turned to see how Shaka was doing and to his surprise, not too well. "Are you alright?"

Many feared the moment he would open his eyes, and a good way to make him stay that way is to battle him in the sea. "Why is the boat rocking," he muttered as he clawed the edge.

Mu waved his hand. "What rocking? The boat adjusts both horizontally and vertically. The only rocking that occurs is whenever we move!" He said as he did a gentle bounce to demonstrate only for Shaka to shriek.

"Do Lemurian boats capsize?" he muttered as his face paled a bit.

Mu shifted his eyes. "No," he spouted, surprised to see his friend relax, even more in the fact that he actually managed to get away with lying with the man closest to God. Guilt crept in, as he began to realize that Shaka was taking the sea like a cat to a bathtub. "The boat works fairly well. I guess we can go ahead and turn around and teleport to the coordinates."

Shaka tried to stiffen his heavy breathing. "I haven't been to sea in a long time." He spoke. The last time he was, the boat was bigger and he was granted the great fortune of not having a window view as well as passing out for the majority of his voyage. "I can handle it," he blurted. The journey to the continent meant a lot to Mu and he will not be the one to stand in the way of such a dream. Besides, if he can handle death, he can handle water. He turned away from the pulsing of the boat's bottom and turned to the horizon where the endless sea seemed a bit more stable. He eased his grip on the sides, feeling his finger muscles ache from pressing them hard. He took a few more breaths. "This isn't so bad." He spoke as his feet rocked his body a bit.

Mu, admiring his bravery, moved over to Shaka's side and placed an arm around him. "It's actually quite pleasant. Master says the tail of the boat tends to attract fish. It will be quite a show."

Shaka, feeling the warmth of Mu's wet arm, relaxed a bit. He stared at the water behind them and spotted a large finned fish leap out for a moment. "This is nice." He admitted as more fish started to appear. Mu did say that the boat had no chance of flipping, what is there to worry about.

Mu pointed behind. "Master said that when the continent of Mu sunk, the brave Merlion, half fish, half lion creatures received a vision from Athena and led many survivors here to Greece. The Chief Merlion even allowed a Lemurian to saddle it's back, a great honor only given to the finest of Lemurian!" he spoke as he waved his hands.

"What happened to the Merlion?" asked Shaka as he began to recoup from the fear that he experienced earlier.

Mu shook his head. "The Chief Merlion learned that there was an attack on his pack around South East Asia. He told the Lemurian that rode him that although he sides with Athena, he must protect his people. He gathered all of his Merlionesses and swam to present day Singapore where these brave heraldic sea-lions fought bravely, but were sadly defeated. The Chief Merlion, gravely wounded, swam to his wife and perished by her fallen body. Now, Singapore gives them the greatest honor any creature can be bestowed, forever immortalized as statues and T-Shirts in tourist shops." Mu touched his heart with a single tear in his eye at the beautiful tribute, "bless them."

Shaka gave an honest smile. Unlike many of his friends, the tale that Mu told was actually one of the more normal ones he's heard. It was wonderful to hear his friend regain his proud quirky nature so quickly from starting the trip. "What other stories has Shion told you about the Merlion?"

Mu nodded. "Well, the people from Singapore believe the original name Singapora is Malay Palembang for "lion city". Unfortunately, Master says this is terrible mistake. Singapora was a legendary battle cry from the Chief Merlion meaning 'Eat them!' in Merlionese." Mu let out a laugh. "Master loves telling this to the Singapore trainees. They all think he's lying, not realizing how dead serious he was." Mu looked over the side and could see the runes losing their glow. "Time to recharge the Runes."

Shaka, feeling the infectious lighthearted Lemurian spirit, gave a quick salute and charged his rune at Mu's command.

The boat moved at great speeds, causing strange stares and gasps from viewers, especially when they accidently crossed paths with a yacht race and passed several millionaires with ease. The two took it in humble stride.

Shaka himself reached a point where he casually dipped his Lemurian cup into the sea water. He pulled the strainer inside, instantly filtering the water and purifying it so much that it contained absolutely zero impurities and was perfectly drinkable. He took a large sip when he noticed a dolphin swimming beside the boat. For a moment, the Indian leaned on the side watching the graceful creature next to them. "Mu, there's a dolphin over here. Come see!" he said as he waved him over.

Mu's eyes widened, "a dolphin?" He gasped as the creature suddenly rose up laughing. "Shaka, be careful he is Poseidon sympathizer!"

The dolphin cackled, crying for revenge in his dolphin squeaks for the death of Mermaid Thetis, who had promised him much tuna after conquering the world. He used his nose to strike a Rune, causing the boat to spin and flip the two out Saints out. The dolphin spied the bag of sandwiches floating and snatched it evilly, before swimming away, pleased to have carried out his terroristic attack.

Mu quickly swam to the surface, coughing a bit from some water he swallowed. "Damn you!" he shouted with a shaking fist. The Lemurian looked around as dreadful silence surrounded him. "Shaka?" He looked down as he could see the Indian frantically trying to get back to the surface, only to further sink underwater. Mu quickly sucked a large breath before he dove back down. His feet kick as fast they could until he caught up. His eyes widened as Shaka looked like he couldn't hold his breath anymore. He quickly pressed his lips against his, sending precious oxygen to him. He attempted to pull Shaka back up, but his robes were only tangling the two up. Mu grabbed the front of Shaka's cloths and tore them off, discarding the scraps to the seas while pulling him up.

The two broke the surface, gasping for the precious air. Shaka coughed violently, wheezing as he clutched to the side of the boat, his hair strands matting his face. "I never thought to check the karma of that dolphin. The weight of its sins were truly great, I never felt anything like it, except in Ikki."

"The dolphins were used as Poseidon's spies during the first Holy War. They used their tricks to amuse us, without us realizing they were gathering enemy intelligence of the layout of our island, even going to great lengths to falsify the neutrality we had with both Athena and Poseidon. We despise dolphins. The fact that it had created the great insult of stealing sandwiches furthers my hatred of them." Mu narrowed his eyebrows. Humans praised their intelligence not realizing that the dolphins had been long in collaboration with the God of the Sea to quicken the complete annihilation of the human race. Mu watched as Shaka clutched the boat desperately.

Putting his bitterness aside, Mu swam to the other side and helped return the boat back to its normal position, helping the exhausted Buddhist inside it's now soaked bottom. He patted Shaka's back as he coughed violently from taking so much water. Mu touched the boat and lowered his head. "Shaka, let's go back. We still have our cups but we don't have any food and I don't want to get you hurt because of my childish dreams."

Shaka shook his head as he weakly pulled himself up halfway. He placed a hand on Mu's and looked up. "Your people never gave up in their journey to reach Athena. We won't either. To suffer is to live, we have to keep going. Unless you wish-" He smiled, "-to allow the dolphin terrorists to win?" Shaka chuckled a bit, his reasoning now forever infected by his journey with the Lemurian.

Mu shook his head nobly. "No. I feel shame knowing that the dolphin is probably using our peanut butter infused sandwiches as trophies for its accomplishment. You are right; to turn back now would be foolish." He smiled back. "Thank you. Your words are always kind and greatly appreciated."

Shaka weakly looked at the top of the boat. "Should we restart the runes?"

"Not yet. That cursed dolphin has offset them." Mu leaned over to where the dolphin struck and touched all of them at once. "There, it will take an hour to get them calibrated back. Besides, you should rest a bit. You must be tired."

Shaka closed his eyes. "Not tired, but a little chilly." The night sea air had already felt cool, but now that he and his white pants were soaking wet, it felt like the first night he left Indian and experienced his first winter Athenian night.

Mu felt the same way, as he rubbed his wet arms. He reached for his tunic and sash and pulled them off, hanging them on the side of the boat.

Shaka laid there as he felt a warm strong chest behind him and a set of arms wrap around him. Shaka's hands reached over and grabbed Mu's as he felt the Lemurian's breath tickle the back of his neck.

"Are you still cold?" Mu asked as his arms rubbed the front of Shaka's skin, massaging the front with his hands and nuzzling his back.

Shaka felt a smile slip a bit. He closed his mind as nervousness seized his tongue. He then felt a slight bump behind him, causing his cheeks to warm up enough. "My pants are freezing," he spoke, summoning his courage to brave the response.

Mu raised his head, his lips brushing against the back of Shaka's neck. "Yes, that is a problem. Logically, we should take them off and hang them to dry." Mu spoke as pulled back a bit.

Shaka laid there with his back still turned, listening to the wet cloth streaking against Mu's skin before finally being slapped on the side.

"Oh that's much better." Mu spoke as he brushed the water from his skin. "Come on, the longer the colder."

Shaka touched his heart as it began to beat faster. "I-" Undressing in front of each other was quite common in their Greek lifestyles, but they were always in the large bath houses, not a tiny boat. "-I can try." He reached down and began to pull them down, the water that had soaked and stuck to his skin made the simple task much more difficult as he barely got his trousers halfway down, with part of his foreskin revealing itself in the moonlight.

"Do you need help, Shaka?"

The Buddhist held the seams of his pants. He looked down feeling a sense of drunkenness that no liquor could replicate. "Yes," he muttered as Mu came over to him and moved him on his back.

Mu looked down. "Oh yes, these do look tight."

Shaka gazed as Mu suddenly brought his face close to crotch before reaching down inside his pants.

Mu wiggled his hand a bit before pulling out Shaka's member out the rest of the way. "There we go, don't want that to get rubbed the wrong way. I did that once the last time I went diving and spent the rest of the week with my voice at an octave higher than normal. I was mortified for life. The seagulls haven't stopped making fun of me ever since."

Shaka looked down as he watched blood flow into it, causing it to stand up. "Mu…" he muttered.

The Lemurian gave a thumb up. "Yes, that's it! Keep it up; it will make it easier to remove your pants without worrying about rubbing it wrong. He looked down and patted below. "Can you tighten your scrotum? I'd hate to rub the garter against them too."

"Uh I…" Shaka muttered.

"It's very easy, just like this!" Mu placed his foot on the rim of the boat, and with a snap sucked his nuts tightly while providing a glorious third leg salute.

Shaka felt a bit giddy, "I um… got it."

Mu leaned back down to the rim of his pants and slid them off with ease. "Ah wonderful, I think you had some trouble when your this right here got bunched up," he spoke as grabbed Shaka's crotch and wiggled it like a handful of fruit.

"I guess," he spoke as Mu went behind him and lay next to him, continuing to stroke his body his body, warming it up. He could feel the full warmth of the Lemurian now, from head to head to two. He could almost fall asleep like this, but desire had begun to pump furiously in his blood. Was Mu flirting with him, or was he acting according to his strange Lemurian nature. Did he wanted to touch him, to feel his desire, or was Mu truly concerned of getting rubbed wrong by his pants? Shaka had learned to study and understand human nature, but Lemurians were a people that surprised him every time he encountered one. They were unpredictable, and fascinating. Shaka stroked Mu's arm. There was only one way to know. He turned around and gave the only thing that he knew both cultures shared in common. He touched Mu's cheek and pressed his lips against his before pulling back.

Mu tilted his head. "Oh," he muttered. "You don't need to give back the oxygen that I granted you underwater. We have plenty of it."

Shaka sighed. "Oh," he muttered a bit disappointed. Suddenly he felt Mu's hand reach out for his chin.

Mu gave a wink, "just kidding."

The Buddhist smiled, as Mu came down upon him.

Outside the boat the evil dolphin laughed manically as it raised its body in the air. It squealed in its language of how surprised it was that they lived, before threatening to finish the job. It swam close to the boat preparing to strike the rune again.

Mu's hand reached out and bopped the top of its head with the Lemurian cup, knocking it out before going back to what he was doing.

The next day, the two Saints sat in the boat, holding each other as the wooden fishtail continued to maneuver on course for their destination.

Shaka, dressed only in his pants now, felt sweat on his face as they had reached the more tropical region of the world last night. "It won't be long till we reach there. Are you excited?"

Mu, dressed only in his pants as well, nodded. "Of course, but, I'm also a little nervous."

Shaka turned his head. "What do you mean? You're almost to land of your ancestors! This is what you want! This is what Shion promised you!"

"I know, but it's just that, when-"Mu swallowed hard. "I've always believed my people would never create anything major that wouldn't last forever. When I was a child, I had dreams that my beloved Mu would be underwater and intact like Atlantis is. But when I met Poseidon, he said that he destroyed everything," Mu muttered, feeling his voice crack at the last part.

Their grand belief is to create things that would last forever including their cities and homes. Yet neither skill was useful when it came to me.

"Poseidon hated you and your people. He did it to hurt you mentally and delight in your suffering," Shaka assured him, holding his hand yet in his heart, a little doubt crept in. If there was something, wouldn't it have attracted much attention by the news and the internet? He prayed that he would be wrong.

Mu pulled away and came to the front of the boat. He sat up, holding the rails as a formation began to take shape in the horizon. But the sun had risen in their direction just above the sea and in their line of sight. Its bright light blinded them, causing the two Saints to take their arms to shelter their eyes. Shaka kept trying to see the lost continent only to keep turning back. Shadowed tall peaks from side to side, the preferred design of Lemurian architecture filled his heart with hope. Mu's hand gripped Shaka's tightly as the boat swam closer and closer.

The boat stopped with a harsh bump, indicating that they had reached their destination. Mu felt his breath quicken as he felt the cool shade of shadow strike his body. He turned his head. The great peaks were nothing but piles of old molten rock. Mu got out of the boat and looked around spotting nothing but weathered stone.

Shaka could feel the sadness weighing on Mu's soul once more. "Perhaps it is the wrong island?" he spoke, trying to lift his friend's spirits up.

Mu looked down more careful at the formations. He knelt down and began to trace the outline of a large circle. He then broke a piece of it and examined the insides. "Iridium, stardust fused corbadinium β, the combination to create a proper foundation of a wealthy Lemurian home." He lowered his head as he placed it back. He walked over to a set of rocks and touched the side, running his fingers from top to bottom, stopping at a point where the rock was heavily worn down. "There was no wind or rain, the water just- rose. Many thought it was a stronger than normal high tide but it just kept- rising, never realizing that a whirlpool was forming. By the time it reached their knees, the current suddenly strengthened into those equal to whirlpool, and the indestructible architecture was reduced to nothing," he whispered the words spoken to him during his earlier trip to Poseidon.

Shaka watched Mu, fall to his knees and lower his head into his hands. The Buddhist came to his side and held his shoulders. "Mu?" he whispered as he gazed at the paleness of a face that was full of life and hope ten minutes before.

But Mu pulled his hands closer to his face. "I didn't want to believe him. But he did it. He really did it. I can even see the power of the storm he used to rip everything from its bases." The lines of where the storm struck were eerie similar to the water lines back in that flooded city. "Our great continent is no different than the deserted archipelago islands formed by magma." Mu took his fist and smashed it into the rock without cosmos, causing blood to drip freely from it. He pulled it back, comforted by the aching pain in his knuckles as tears ran down his face.

Shaka stood up. "Mu, we are here! We've found the continent." He took his hand and opened it, filling it with cosmos.

Mu watched as a bright light flashed and all before him tall colorful painted buildings, infused with light with elaborate metal statues of various animals were lined along the edges of streets. Circular Temples, much like the one he had in Tibet were at each compass direction. It was almost like he was in a dream. He walked over and touched the sides, feeling the bricks that were filled with pores that kept the perfect temperature and enhanced the durability of the building. "Buddha's Palm?" he whispered.

Shaka watched his friend move through slowly, examining the details. "Yes."

Mu smiled a bit. "You are very kind, my friend. Unfortunately," he punched through, his fist phasing through the brick. "It is only an image."

Shaka nodded. "I know, and if I intended to trick you, I would have been more discreet about it. I forged this mirage not just from the stories in your mind that you had from Shion, but from the love of your people's culture, the love that remained since we were children, when you chose to openly express your different lifestyle openly and not hide it, like I almost did with my own. Mu, the hardest part is over. You found Mu. Will you sit there and allow your sadness to swallow you up, just as Poseidon would want it, or will you rebuild?"

Mu nodded. "You're right." He spoke as he placed his hands on his hips. "Ever since Master Shion died, I just feel like that there is nothing's left. When Athena spoke that the continent of Mu returned, I thought that if me, Kiki were to perish, and at least there would be this place. Thank you, for staying by my side. I don't know how I would react if I were by myself or what a terrible role model I would be for Kiki." He looked down. "The sea turtles with sea turtle shoes were a cute touch."

Shaka tilted his head. "Sea turtle? I didn't create any sea turtles." He closed his palm, ending the image of the continent of Mu, yet leaving the turtles behind. Shaka knelt over and touched the creatures as they darted their heads back and forth.

Mu gasped as he rushed over them, "Lemurian Sea Turtles." He muttered in delight, gazing at the carved runes in their backs. "We put those there to grant the turtles a boost in their life span and the ability to communicate with them. They must be thousands of years old.

Shaka gazed at them, stunned by how large they were. If they stood up, they were at least as tall as he was. "But what are they doing here?"

Mu reached over and touched the rune, using his cosmos to speak to it and hear its thoughts. "He says that they saw the city from the water and were confused. Their teenage daughters went ahead of them to check it out, displeasing them. They came up to ground them for crawling on the surface in the daytime when they saw us."

"But why would they be confused?" asked Shaka.

Mu touched the rune again, communicating the question back to the creature. "He says, it is because the buildings he saw up here, are the same as… the ones down there in the ocean." He paused at the revelation as he questioned it some more. "He says he watched the whirlpool break off the buildings at the base as well as many of the other things and they simply were swept away and sank. He says that they buildings are a nuisance since coral is unable to attach to them and asked when we could get them out and put them back here."

Shaka watched as Mu seemingly spoke to them one last time before the sea turtles began to turn around and head back to the ocean, while the smaller females, seemed a bit more hesitant to follow after. "Mu, this is wonderful. You were right after all. Poseidon couldn't destroy them. All you have to do is get them back up here and you can rebuild the continent again."

But Mu shook his head. "No, I'm not going to rebuild it."

JAPAN

Kiki sat attentively at the lone television screen. Everyone was outside playing with the new ball and soccer nets.

It has a good odor, and it's really not that bad.

Let me see.

Kiki gasped as his heart quickened a bit. His eyes shifted a bit as he turned the volume a bit higher while crawling closer to the screen.

Hmmm Haruhi, You have some cookie crumbs on your face.

His eyes widened as the boy licked the cross-dressing girl's face before his finger began to reach toward the rewind button.

"Kiki!" cried Miho.

"Eek!" the Lemurian apprentice squeaked as he quickly took out the DVD and turned to a random TV show just as the perky Japanese girl opened the door and immediately knelt behind him. "Hey cutie, guess who has a visitor?" She said as she grabbed his ears and gave a gentle wiggle before she directed his head to the door. "Master Mu!" he cried as he carefully tossed a blanket on the DVD cover. "What are you doing here?"

Mu, dressed down in his casual tunic and sash, smiled. "Well, I'll be going somewhere far away and I wanted you to give you something." He said as he held the jar that he got from his workshop.

Kiki's eyes widened. "Wow, my own apprentice!" He said as he gazed at it, looking at the multicolored layers inside.

Mu reached over and patted his head. "That's right. Master Shion crafted it from Sugar, Spice, and everything nice, as well as fusion enhanced iridium layer protecting an ancient fertilized egg."

Kiki turned to the directions. "How to create Raki. Step One: First add two cups of water and leave in indirect sunlight for three days to allow for proper germination. Once form takes shape, place Raki next to a pigeon to allow for all the basic functions to be imitated before you begin training them yourself. Warning: Do not place apprentice near a cat for the first week to prevent laziness, bossiness and incessant meowing for food in the morning." Kiki looked up. "Thank you Master." He looked down. "But I thought you said I can't grow an apprentice until I get my Cloth?" A disturbed expression filled his face. "You're not going Holy War already, are you?"

Mu shook his head, "no, otherwise I would not be properly dressed for such a thing. Actually, I thought I would give it to you in case something," he paused, realizing that telling him that there was a good chance he would die in a war with Hades was harder than he thought, "in case something happens."

Kiki rolled his eyes. "Is that all? You worry too much."

Mu sighed. Kiki felt just as carefree as he was when he was younger. He wondered if this was the same frustration that his Master experienced with him long ago. "Maybe, but you never know. Can you promise me that you won't open that jar until you earn a Cloth."

Kiki looked down, his fingers drumming on the lid. Having a servant would be fun, but his Master wouldn't like it. "Okay, I promise. But you still have to bring me over."

Mu nodded. "Of course I will." To spend all his time now pulling the buildings from the ocean to the surface would only serve to bring back the continent of Mu in the short term, but what would happen if he were to die in a battle with Hades?

Regardless, all these years, he had thought that his Master didn't care about restoring the lost continent, but the truth was, he did. Mu was just too young and stubborn to realize that the acts of passing on techniques and the responsibilities of rebuilding to the next generation would be far more effective than wasting time treasure hunting.

The End

Author's Notes: The original challenge for this gift fic was that it was a Shaka/Mu romance with the recipient favoring either a fluff or lots of angst with a happy ending. I decided to try and combine them both and was pretty happy with the results. We were given three months for the challenge and while that may seem like a lot of time, I was making the big move from an apartment to a house (while renovating it with painting, tiling) and was in my first trimester of my pregnancy (aka the morning sickness stage).

I was really nervous on how the recipient would react to my interpretation of Mu as more of a non-human and Shaka's crack-headed defeat at the hands of a terrorist dolphin but I was happy that they enjoyed it.