Summary: Sengoku enters Sakuno's chambers to place a bunch of spy eyes in it. She awakens (and despite being distracted by him) manages to get him to make a deal with her. If she can hit him, he'll remove the eyes. Sakuno administers the blow, Sengoku keeps his word, and the log ends.
Sun filtered into a room of the Hyotei castle to reveal a still, undisturbed picture; that of a small, sleeping Sakuno, burrowed under her covers so that only her upper face was exposed to the air, her hands curled beside her and her skin, beneath the covers, bare--because, of course, she'd just gone from being a rabbit back to normal again, and it had been the only thing she could do when she went to sleep the night before to cover herself in the covers completely so that she wouldn't be too awkward when she woke up. She looked a little anxious, but mostly sleepy, and it was evident that she wasn't waking up on her own any time soon.
The door to her room clicked open and Sengoku poked his head in, looking every which way before he entered. He pulled behind him a little red wagon full of green glass eyeballs with tiny black fluttery wings. The wings were limp at the moment and the eyes were dull, but once activated, they would poke themselves everywhere and spy out everything.
Ever so pleased with their creation, Sengoku beamed at the world in general and moved into the suite proper, stashing the little creations everywhere he could think of before he moved onto the bedroom, where he came upon Sakuno. Peering at her curiously, he gave the blanket she was beneath a poke.
Sakuno only reacted with a small shift away from his hand and a small twitch of discomfort on her face; she did not wake up.
Sengoku merrily stuck a spy eye under the blanket.
That made her flinch--the eye was freezing cold, and when it rolled against her skin Sakuno shivered. Still half-asleep, she tried to brush it off her.
Sengoku turned his concentration on the spy eye and his medallion glimmered greenly in the morning light as it flutttered to life against Sakuno's skin and started rustling about beneath the blanket.
It only took a few seconds for a small, muffled shriek to shoot out from the blankets and for Sakuno to scramble to a panicked sitting position, her blankets pooling around her waist.
Sengoku and the wayward green spy both peer at her in boggling admiration for her lithe feminine figure. Sengoku whistles and claps.
"W--what--" As soon as she came face with the day, and she didn't feel some . . . some bat thing right next to her under the blankets . . . Sakuno faded off into silence and was quickly overwhelmed by a dizzy feeling as she tried to figure out what was happening. She got a blurred picture of orange hair.
". . . Sengoku . . . san?" As the syllables formed and she got a little more awake, confusion was replaced with wary uneasiness.
Probably because Sengoku was quite blatantly tracing his eyes down the curves of Sakuno's bare skin, as though he was tracing fingers down them instead. The spy eye fluttered by his head, it's gaze a mimic's of Sengoku's.
Sakuno's eyes gradually widened. Quickly, startled, she looked down at herself, and when she did, she blushed a vivid, horrified crimson; with a squeak, she dropped back onto the bed and yanked the covers up over her as best she could.
Sengoku laughed and the spy eye zipped off with a sudden score of it's other brethren, hiding themselves conveniently into nooks for future spying.
"I . . . I . . ." Uwaaah . . . . "W--what are you . . . why are you here?" she stammered, distressed.
"Oh, you know," he waves a hand randomly, "Just visiting."
"Visiting?" But he . . . he just saw . . . she just . . .
"Just innocently visiting the innocent maiden. No ulterior motives. Nope. Nuh-uh." Sengoku is about as obvious as a glass panel.
"You--just . . ." Sengoku's words, however, slowly alert her away from what just happened and to another, more alarming issue.
"You're . . . you're here to do something . . .?" And--suddenly, her eyes rivet themselves to his shoulder; wasn't there--wasn't there just . . . something there? Something hovering . . .
A spy eye peeks out at her from behind a clock and waves a little snitch-like black wing at her before hiding again.
Sengoku continues to pretend innocence, "Me? Why would I do anything ... except maybe lick that pretty white skin of yours."
Sakuno stares in alarm at the black . . . wing . . . what?--before she's immediately distracted by Sengoku's comment, and she goes even redder--if that's possible--pulling the blanket up over her head altogether.
Sengoku snickers, pleased that innuendo can be depended upon to distract Sakuno.
". . . W--why do you say things like that?" Sakuno wails timidly, her voice muffled by the blanket. (a part of her hopes he won't respond, that he'll just leave if she doesn't come out . . . .)
"Because they're true?" Sengoku asks with all innocence.
"T--they're not!" she insists.
"No--" She bites her lip. "You don't . . . you don't really want to . . . anything . . . ." Whether she realizes it or not, this is a way of protecting herself--because if she starts to believe that Sengoku means what he says, she'll be even more terrified than she is already . . . .
Sengoku considered it, "I guess not ... " he's willing to amicably agree since they've moved off the subject of little green and black spies, "You're really still too young."
"So . . . why do you still say that anyway?" she asks miserably.
"Because it makes you flail?"
". . . It makes me uncomfortable," she says quietly.
"Ah sou ... and why is that, bunny-chan?"
"Because . . . uwah, I don't . . . ." I don't like you at all, but--of course she can't ever say that--under the sheets, she shifts uneasily--"I . . . don't know when you're serious, or when you're not serious, or, um, or when you're going to get mad or anything at all and . . ."
Sengoku leans over to murmur against Sakuno's ear, soft and husky, "Because you really don't like me much at all?"
Sakuno goes very sill.
. . . What can she say?
"I thought as much," he straightened and grinned down at her, "It's not like you're that much different from anyone else here."
Hesitantly, Sakuno peeked out from under the blanket.
". . . People don't, um, like you here . . .?" she asked uncertainly.
"But . . ." She blinked. "I thought . . ." If they were all evil, she thought uneasily that they wouldn't mind one another, somehow . . . .
"You thought we were allies because they liked me? Why should they?"
"Well . . ." Sakuno bit her lip. "I mean, since you're all helping each other, I, ah, thought . . . ."
"Atobe pays me well and paid me first. That's all."
". . . Oh." She looked up at him; her face was still confused. "So . . . you don't like him, either?"
"Not particularly, but we manage well enough."
She frowned, and went silent for a few seconds.
"Um . . ." she ventured cautiously. ". . . and there isn't anything you want to be doing more than, um, working with people you don't like, just because you're, ah, getting money . . . ?"
"No? It's a job? There's food to eat and something to sleep under and others to play with?"
". . . I, um, always thought people did things because they thought they were important," she said, embarrassed.
"Oh ... " Sengoku paused, "Maybe it's that way with elves ... "
". . . I don't really know," she admitted. "Um--but that's what I've always been thinking . . . ."
He grinned, "But you're a princess. Princesses always do things that are important, neh?"
"I guess," she agreed--although, she thought that everyone was like that, and learning that Sengoku didn't seem to be at all--well . . . .
Mission accomplished and Sakuno distracted, Sengoku gives her an ironic bow and turns to haul his red wagon to the door.
Sakuno blinked at the sudden, abrupt end to the conversation. She was about to say something uncertain to his back when, in following him with her eyes, she caught another split-second glimpse of one of those tiny black wings. Her eyes widened.
"Ah--w--wait!" she stammered, remembering all too suddenly what she had been distracted from.
He pauses at the bedroom door, looking over his shoulder with ever so innocent quizicallness.
"What . . . you, um . . ." Sakuno flounders for a second, losing her confidence.
". . . Did you, ah, do anything to this room . . . ?"
Sengoku grins, "No, I haven't done anything to the room ... per se ... "
". . . What do you mean?" she asks unsurely.
"I added some stuff /to/ the room, but I didn't do anything to it."
"A--added?" Sakuno echoes. Her face grows uneasy. "What . . . what kind of . . ."
"Well, that's for me to know and you to find out, bunny-chan!"
"S--Sengoku-san!" she stammered. She almost wanted to stand up--except she still wasn't dressed, uwah . . .
"Let's just say my /eyes/ are watching you, neh?"
". . ." Sakuno swallows. "What, um, do you mean by that . . . ?"
She bit her lip. "But--I--"
"It'll be a fun battle of the spying eyes."
". . . Spying . . . ?"
"Yanno ... spying."
"You have . . . spying . . . eyes in my room?" she said.
". . . How?"
Sengoku looked puzzled, "How else?"
"I--I don't--" Mid-sentence, Sakuno suddenly froze. ". . . Ah--" She looked up quickly, realizing, "You--you put spying . . . things in my room?"
Sengoku just grins at her. She could take that as a yes.
"I--I--Sengoku-san!" She bit her lip. "You--you can't--take them out--"
"But why would I want to do that?"
"B--because--I don't want you spying on me . . . ." she insisted helplessly.
"Alright ... how about this. I'll take them out if you come over here and thump me."
"I . . ." Sakuno was, as always, surprised by the sudden offer of compromise. ". . . Thump?"
"Sure. Come over here and hit me~"
". . . But . . ." For a second, Sakuno struggles, and she ends up asking, warily, ". . . You, um, won't get mad . . . ?"
Sengoku smirks, "You can't know that, neh? But I'll keep my word."
She spends a long, hesitating moment in thought, before she finally nods unsurely.
". . . Al--alright . . . ." Protectively grabbing the edges of her blanket and taking the care to keep it wrapped tightly around herself, she slowly nudges herself off the bed, pink-faced. She takes small, uncertain steps towards Sengoku.
Sengoku lifts an eyebrow at this timid display, "Not very threatening, are you?"
"You--you didn't say I had to be, ah, threatening," she says, startled.
"Mmm, true, true."
A little unsettled, Sakuno continues her slow trek towards Sengoku.
Sengoku lifts the other eyebrow, patiently waiting for her to even get close enough to hit him.
Most of Sakuno's attention is concentrated on not tripping over her blanket; when she finally reaches Sengoku, she looks up uncertainly at him, then slowly--almost fearfully--takes one hand off her blankets (the other swiftly moves in to grab the loose fabric before it falls) and raises it cautiously into the air. She feels . . . sort of ridiculous . . . .
Sengoku turns his cheek so she can aim for it.
. . . Can she even reach that high?, she wonders despairingly.
Making a little half-hop in the air, Sakuno swings her palm forward and lands a small slap--more like a pat, really--on the lower part of Sengoku's cheek.
Sengoku wriggles his eyebrows. "That's hardly a hit." He crouches down so Sakuno can try again, "Give it another try."
"B--but . . ." Sakuno flushes. "I, ah . . ."
Biting her lip, she brings her hand back again reluctantly, and spends a second resolving that this time she will try to hit the side of Sengoku's face as hard as she can. She takes a breath. Now, when she brings her hand out--the momentum is almost enough to make her stumble forward a step--the slap on Sengoku's cheek is noisier, and a sharp, ringing burst of pain shoots through her palm. She quickly winces and draws it back to herself with a small squeak.
Startled by the difference from one blow to the next, Sengoku actually rocks on his heels, nearly tipping over. He blinks at her, stunned by the flair of pain in his cheek, before he grins, "A bit of fire in there, after all."
"S--sorry," Sakuno apologizes immediately, her face still wrinkled in pain.
"You shouldn't be," Sengoku straightens, lifting a gloved hand to rub against his cheek, "that was brilliant."
"It . . . wasn't . . ." she disagrees uneasily.
"It was," he smiles, a twisted tilt of a smile, "Well, a deal's a deal. Come along pets~"
The medallion flashes and a whirring sound fills the room as spy eyes streak from their hiding places to land in the wagon, jostling amongst themselves for a comfortable position.
Sakuno's eyes widen as she sees how many of the things Sengoku had managed to hide in her room. As one spy eye flies past her, she squeaks and scrambles back, only to get brushed by another.
As the last one flutters into place, Sengoku gives her another ironic bow, "Till next time, princess."
"I . . . mhm . . . " In the end, Sakuno isn't sure quite what to say.
A swirl of white and the squeak of a red wagon and the door clicks shut behind him