And I suppose you want them to do it beneath the fireworks as a symbolic banging. Come on, do all my side-stories have to involve naked people going at it? I'm not Patchwork you know.
No offence to Patchwork.
One gap youkai-evasion later and we're in the food court, which has a number of stands that cater to anything and everything a human or youkai might want to eat. Well, almost everything seeing as there's no human flesh, cooked, raw, or still breathing to be had. Of course, I'm not in the mood to eat anyone so I start pointing out stands that happen to be selling food the both of us like. Merlin then drags me over to a stand run by a pair of people I thought would be sampling food rather than selling it. The all too familiar scent of cherry petals and the long line meant it could only belong to a certain duo from Hakugyokuro.
"Thank you, come again!" The ghost princess Yuyuko Saigyouji hands out a pair of delicious looking shiskabobs on a plate to a captivated young man who looks perfectly prepared to make a repeat visit before the night is out. Of course, it can't have anything to do with her cheery disposition or the moderately revealing outfit she's wearing. "Ah! More customers! Youmu~ Two more please!"
"Lady Yuyuko, you can't have sold everything I've just made can you?" Youmu turns her head to look at what must have been a warming platter only for her to widen her eyes in shock. "You ate ALL of them?!"
"I couldn't help it!" Yuyuko adopted a cute whine as she recoils from her servant's outburst. "Youmu's cooking is so delicious I couldn't let it get cold!" Oh, now
I get it.
"All part of the routine, eh?" I can't help but think that either Yuyuko planned this or she's thought it up on the spot. Regardless, it's an act and she knows I just called her out on it.
"Is it that obvious?" Yuyuko starts munching another freshly made shiskabob once an irate Youmu turns around to prepare more. "Telling the truth and using some charm to make the sale is perfectly acceptable though, don't you think? People get to sample Youmu's cooking and we make some extra money off it so we can do more." She does hand us each a plate with a couple shiskabobs each, and waved my money away when I pulled it out to pay. "Making such close friends pay when they've done nothing but good things for me is rather self-centered, take these as a token of my appreciation."
"It would mean more if you actually made them." Youmu casts something akin to a death glare at Yuyuko for her antics.
"So meaaaaaan!" Yuyuko once again recoils at her servant's comment, but doesn't quite make it believable enough for it to go unnoticed by either Merlin or myself.
"Ouch." Merlin takes a bite out of her kabob anyways as we watch their antics just a bit longer. At least until the line behind us starts to grow again, at which point we vacate the area before someone got violent. Sure I could kick the crap out of anyone who tries it, but this is a night to relax and have fun. "What do you think?"
"About the food? It's a skill level that surpasses mine by a long shot. Quite good." It was a question with two meanings, so I just answered one because I'm being a bit lazy about it.
"That, and the festival as a whole." Merlin looked to the sky for a moment before looking at me again. "Everything's so lively, the atmosphere is just right, and the fireworks will start soon." She falls silent for a moment to give me time to answer, but cuts in just as I'm about to speak. "Think we could find a nice quiet place to watch just a little before they start? It's hard to cuddle when there's a crowd around you."
"Like I'd refuse you. Of course." I then take another bite to give myself time to rethink my answer to the first question. "The fesival is wonderful. Aside from my friends inviting me along to holiday events I never experienced anything like this. Or rather, anything quite like this."
"I'm glad." Merlin gives a full smile before finishing off her last kabob and placing both the used sticks and the plate in the nearest trash can. "At first I was a little worried about how you'd react, but I'm happy you're enjoying this as much as I am."
"And I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world." We both look at the large clock tower that Yukari gapped in to let people tell time. "About fourty-five minutes until the fireworks start."
Yuyuko never comes out as a ditz when I write her...