[identity profile] ginnekomiko.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] 30shards
Title:The Price of Love
Author ginnekomiko

Prompt: #18 Gift
Rating: K
Word Count: 982
Summary: Kai resolves to be the hero if Tsuki's diplomacy fails.
Note
: This was originally for[info]iy_unsung_heros so sorry if some of you see this twice. For background, The original series of fics with these guys as children is here  The list for this series is is here  For those curious about the Star Ceremony, the original fic is here.

Price of Love

Ayame wouldn’t help him convince Tsuki to talk to Kouga.

“Kouga has a point; it’s Tsu-chan’s choice. She needs to be comfortable with her own feelings before you rush into things. I know you’ve waited a long time, but just give it a little longer, okay Kai-kun?” Ayame said.

So much for that plan.

“You’re right. Forgive me, Lady Ayame.”

 “Kai-kun, could you and Shinta help Tsu-chan watch our pups? We have to do some dealings with the north Leader today and Ginta and Hakaku are going to go with us to act as mediators. She’ll be overwhelmed watching them all by herself.”

“Sure.”
*
He had not expected anything to go wrong. The cave was quiet. The elder three were entertaining themselves while the twins were asleep.
He should have figured something was off when the soft-spoken Hagi actually made the effort to speak up.

“Um, Ren… Ryo…” 

“What’s wrong, Hagi?” Ren asked.

“I hear the rustling of wings,” Hagi said. “Can someone look outside for me?”

“Don’t worry little sis, I’m sure it’s just…uh-oh,” Ryo said.

What was “uh-oh” supposed to mean?

Kai looked outside. Hagi was right. She had heard wings.

Birds of Paradise covered the sky.

“That’s… not good,” Tsuki said.

“Birds of Paradise? What do they want?” Shinta whispered.

“Nee-chama, is there going to be a war?” Ren asked.

“I sure hope not. We really don’t need one right now,” Tsuki said. “Kai-kun, keep the pups safe for me, okay?”

“But shouldn’t I go out there with you?” he asked.

“Yeah, Nee-chama, Kai should go with you! He’s a warlord, too!”

“No, Ren! Listen to me, Kai-kun; you and Shinta are the only ones I trust to keep them safe. If things go sour, do you two promise to get them away from danger?”

 “I promise.”

“Me too,” Shinta said.

Tsuki smiled. “Good. Well, here’s hoping I don’t get torn to shreds!”

He sighed. “See, when you say it like that it only makes me more worried.”

“See ya!”

He was kicked in the shins. “Ow!”

“You better save our Nee-chama, Kai!” Ren said. “Papa and Mama won’t like it if she’s in pieces when they get back!”

“And we’ll never ever forgive you if Nee-chama get’s torn up!” Ryo said.

“Don’t worry, I’m watching carefully.” He assured them.

The leader of the birds landed.

“Can you hear what they’re saying?” Ryo asked.

“Shh! I can’t be heroic if I can’t hear when to jump in and save her!”

“Oh, sorry.”

“What brings you to our territory?” Tsuki asked.

She was surprisingly confident and calm in her tone.

“Are you the female warlord?” the bird asked.

“I am, are you the Lady of the Skies?” Tsuki replied.

“So the tales were true.” The Bird’s eyes shifted to the trinket around Tsuki’s neck.  “That necklace, where did you get it?”

“This? My boyfriend made it for me a long time ago,” Tsuki said with a smile.

He could hear the surprised murmurs of the tense warriors and ladies when she said the word “boyfriend.”

His face flushed and he was trying to not have his mouth hang open from shock.

“Way to go, Aniki,” Shinta whispered.

“What is its significance of it?” the bird asked.

“It’s like a good luck charm. I didn’t understand its significance when it was given to me all those years ago. Honestly, I thought it was a victory token for making the bird that was chasing us leave us alone. I was just a pup then, but I refused to let my dear friends be killed.”

“I see. That feather around your neck, it belonged to my mate.”

Uneasy silence.

“And?” Tsuki asked.

“He died recently, you see. I have nothing to remember him by.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

To his surprise, Tsuki removed the feather necklace. “Here, it’s yours.”

“You give this to me so freely?” the bird asked.

“Yes. I may be a warlord, but I’m also a woman. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to lose a loved one like that, so I’m offering it as a condolence to you and as a token of peace.”

To his utter amazement the Bird of Paradise bowed her wings towards Tsuki.

A gesture of respect.

“Let it be known that my people shall not hunt the members of this tribe of noble wolves.”

Tsuki bowed back. “Thank you.”

With the necklace tied around her neck, the Bird of Paradise took off. The flock followed her lead.

A warrior patted her on the back. “Well done, Tsuki-chama! Very well done!”

“I hope she appreciates it,” she said. She walked back into the den. “See, no harm done!”

He pulled her into a hug. “I’m glad for that. You said ‘boyfriend’ just now, right?” he asked.

She smiled. “Yep! I said the word ‘boyfriend’ out loud! You don’t mind, right, boyfriend?”

“O-of course not.”

“Oh~ Papa’s not going to like this either!” Ren said.

“Nee-chama, why’d you give the bird-lady your necklace? You’ve had that since forever, right?” Hagi asked.

“Yes, but I didn’t want to start a needless war over a trinket, but at the same time, part of me wishes I didn’t give her the necklace.”

“Well, you’re in luck then, Nee-chama!”

“What do you mean, Ryou?” Tsuki asked.

“Kai’s got a whole stash of presents!” Ren finished.

“Huh?”

 “I’ve… made you a present for each Star Ceremony that’s passed since we met,” he said.

What?” she demanded.

“That necklace wasn’t bad craftsmanship for a ten-year-old, but I’ve really improved since then. I can make you another necklace if you want.”

Tsuki nodded.

“Kai! I want a necklace, too!” Ren said as she tugged at his tails. “Please~?”

 He grinned. “Alright Ren. Hagi, I’ll make one for you as well.”

“…Thanks. Kai, will you tell me what they all look like?” Hagi asked.

“Of course I will.”


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