No Such Thing

 

Prologue

 

"I like it."

"You would."

The brown-haired immortal flashed a grin at his pale-skinned counterpart. "Are you implying that I have poor taste? Because if you are, you're also insulting her Lovelyness's choice of locations."

The blond smirked. "And who's going to tell her?" He cut a striking pose just by sitting there, his dark green clothing contrasting perfectly with the grass on their small hill. "You? I don't think so. And are either of you two feeling mutinous?" That question was directed toward the third and fourth members of their odd little group.

"Ah, who cares?" The third figure - an immortal with even darker skin than the brown-haired - tucked his hands behind his head, resting against the slope of the hill with his eyes on the small town it overlooked. "Who made her queen, anyway?"

Another blond, this one younger and with slightly darker skin than the first, spread his wings - thin, typically pretty appendages - and lifted himself from his seat on the hilltop, hovering. "Weren't we there when that happened?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at his friend.

"Yeah, well I can't remember."

The pale-skinned blond snorted. "You can't even remember yesterday."

"I can too!" The dark-skinned boy sat up, brown eyes narrowing. "Yesterday was when we moved!"

The immortal with the careless mop of brown stuck atop his head snickered, teasingly ruffling his companion's red-brown hair. "That was today, stupid," he pointed out, resting his chin on his hand. He was lying on his stomach, wings laid back comfortably as his eyes fixed thoughtfully on the town. There was a bit of a forest between the base of the hill and the buildings, but the view hadn't been blocked too badly.

The older blond cast a suspicious look at him as the offended boy straightened his hair, grumbling. "I know that look. What are you plotting?"

"Nothing yet." A slow grin spread on the first boy's face, eyes almost half-lidded as he regarded his target further. "But I'm sure something will come up."

"We're not supposed to interfere with the mortals," the younger-looking blond pointed out. "Mimi's orders. Remember?"

"She gave us special permission." The brown-haired boy waved a dismissive hand.

"She did?" The dark-skinned immortal turned to stare at him incredulously. "When did she do that? I don't remember…"

His friend gave him a grin in response. "Some time later tonight."

"I knew it." The older blond gave him a wry look. "You're always up to something. And what's your fascination with mortals, anyway? Can't we get into enough trouble bothering our own kind?"

"I like mortals." The dark-skinned boy grinned, spreading out his wings as he rolled completely over onto his stomach. "I don't know why - they're just… fun."

The younger blond settled near him, cross-legged. "Are we going tomorrow?"

The brown-haired immortal rolled over lazily, and offered them all a grin. "Why not?"

The sun set slowly behind the peaceful-looking town, the citizens of which had no idea what had just arrived to descend upon it when the first traces of morning lit the sky again.

~~~~~~

Sora drifted to a halt just outside what mortals called a "fairy mound" - the entrance to what would be their home for the next six months. She left her wings spread, but continued on foot. There was no wind that night, though the air was crisp and cool.

A good night for a plot.

The immortal who served as the Queen's peacekeeper and preventer of general misdeeds wore a simple dress of gold and green, the skirt short though not cut in a style mortals would find common. She did not intend to be seen just yet.

Tomorrow, I think.

"Taking a look around?" The voice was a quiet one - but its tone suggested that the speaker suspected more than his question implied.

Sora smiled without surprise, turning to face the icy-eyed blond. "It's been a while since we were here." That answer was good enough. "What are you doing out, Yamato? Taichi and the others are still at the banquet hall."

He ignored the question. "What are you up to?"

She raised an eyebrow. "Couldn't I ask the same of you? You four are the ones who've been giving me headaches for the past hundred or so years."

"Maybe it's time to back out now while you still have your dignity." Yamato smirked a little. "You haven't managed to stop us yet - it's not like you'll do any better this time."

Sora turned her face up to look at the sky, still smiling. "I don't suppose you'd care to make a small wager on that, would you?"

He gave her a suspicious look. "You've got something in mind this time, don't you?"

"That's true," she admitted, shrugging a little. "Does that make you a little less certain of your chances?"

Yamato was not as impulsive as Taichi, but he didn't take taunts well. "What sort of wager are we talking about?"

That was much better. Sora looked back down at him, keeping her smile from showing any triumph. "I have someone in mind for you, actually - a certain someone I don't believe you would ever give a chance under ordinary circumstances. But he's taken enough with you, and I think you'd thank me later."

"You're trying to set me up." He raised an eyebrow. "How about if I win?"

"You'll receive the same courtesy, of course."

Yamato seemed to like that idea - if the little smirk spreading across his face were any indication. "That sounds fine with me." Then he paused. "Who has a thing for me?"

"If I win the bet," Sora answered, lifting herself up just the slightest bit with her wings, "then you'll find out."

His eyes narrowed just a bit at that - then he shrugged. "Whatever."

"Care to join me for a walk?"

"Thanks all the same - I'll pass." Yamato spread his own wings - enhancing his already considerable physical charm - and then faded from sight as he moved back through the entranceway.

Sora smiled to herself - a more secretive smile - and moved on toward the town, to meet with the people she'd set in place before they'd come.

This was certain to be an interesting contest.

 

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