"Goodnight, Raiha-kun," she replied, smiling at the handsome ninja before her. No, he wasn't just any ninja, he was her personal ninja. Her "prince" of sorts, as he would always refer to himself. "I had a great time. Thanks." Their gazes locked, and under the light of the brilliant full moon, she could see the stars twinkling in his green eyes. She closed her own eyes when she saw his face come closer, feeling his breath on her cheek. She parted her lips slightly to meet his...
"It's about time you showed up! Is this the proper time for a young lady to come home?" came a sneering voice from behind.
Immediately recognizing the bearer of the voice, Fuuko threw her loaded handbag with incredible precision to the speaker, knocking Recca from his seat on the porch and landing on the newly planted gardenias below. He quickly evaded the thick-soled sandal that followed.
"Gosh Fuuko, you're losing your touch." teased Recca, as he got on his feet and dusted his pants. He picked up the left shoe, scrutinizing it and waving it in the air. "Oi! How pretty!" he smiled widely, "And since when did you learn to wear something like this, ne?"
"Give me that!" Fuuko snatched back the shoe, seething with rage. She replaced it on her foot. "since when did you learn to sneak up on people like that? I never did that to you and Yanagi."
A wider smile appeared on Recca's face, "That's because my hime and I never kiss in public, he he he he." Recca dashed for his life as his childhood friend chased him all over the courtyard.
"Wai! It's Domon's birthday???? I almost forgot!" Fuuko said later as the three of them sat at the living room of Fuuko's house.
"Two days to be exact," Recca said, holding an ice pack to the gigantic lump on his forehead. He didn't realize Fuuko's sandal packed a wallop. "I almost forgot too if he didn't keep dragging me to the Computer Shop to drool over that Playstation he wants his mother to get him."
"Why don't you throw him a surprise party?" Raiha suggested. "Decorate somebody's house, ask Kagero-sama to bake a cake, and I can help blow the balloons." he smiled.
"I was thinking the same thing." Recca said. "Domon's never had a surprise party for him. Though I don't think my mom can bake a cake. Ovens weren't invented yet during her time." he laughed, ducking from a frying pan that came flying at him from out of nowhere.
"I can ask my mother to make a cake." Fuuko said, "Why don't you take care of the other food like ice cream and stuff?"
"I want to decorate! I want to decorate!" Ganko interrupted as she popped out of her hiding place behind Raiha's chair. She blushed as she realized she had disclosed herself. "Can I help?" she asked innocently, flashing that *all-too-adorable-please-let-me-join-or-I'll-throw-a-tantrum-smile*. ^_^
"Ofcourse you can." Fuuko paused to ruffle Ganko's hair. "You and Koganei can decorate." she winked as Ganko blushed again, causing everyone to laugh.
"Gee, Ganko. I didn't know you had a crush on Koganei." Recca was red with laughter. "Aoiiiii!" he squealed as Ganko stepped on his foot.
"No I most certainly do not!" she whined, stomping on Recca's foot.
Fuuko and Raiha (sweatdrop) merely watched as the two rolled into a ball of fight.
Two days later, Team Hokage was seen busy decorating the dining room of Recca's house . They had drawn straws the previous day to see whosehouse they were going to use for the party. The shortest straw had been drawn by Tokiya.
"No way." he said nonchalantly, throwing the straw away and staging a walkout. He was immediately stopped in his tracks when Recca pulled the tip of his ponytail.
"DON'T YOU TOUCH MY HAIIIIRRR!" Tokiya screamed at the top of his lungs.
"Ittaaaiiii!" Recca (turns into chibi Recca) rolled over when Tokiya smacked him. He was on the verge of giving the flame caster a taste of his ensui when Yanagi stepped in between them.
Yanagi (sweatdrops, trying to smile) said "Can't we all just get along?"
"Only for you Hime." Tokiya said, tossing his lustrous silvery mane and fixing it while Yanagi tries desperately to hold Recca back from lunging at the ensui master.
"Fair is fair, Mikagami-nii-chan," Kaoru reasoned. "You did get the shortest straw."
"NO!" he protested, "My house is too sacred a ground to hold parties for gorillas! I do not want my peaceful abode distrubed."
"Tokiya!!!!" Fuuko argued, "It's only for this one time. Besides, it's Domon's birthday."
"Over my dead body!" he said finally. He glared at Recca who was struggling to release himself from Yanagi and Kagero's hold. "This wasn't my stupid idea."
"Alright! Alright! We'll do it at our house!" Kagero said exasperatedly, "Everyone just shut up already!"
Fuuko and Kagero were in charge of the food. Ganko, Koganei (much to Ganko's delight, of course ^_~) and Kondo took charge of the decorations. Yanagi was given the task of fixing the presents and party stuff while Recca was assigned to keep Domon away until they were well and ready.
"No fair. How come I get to blow all the balloons?" Tokiya complained as he took a cyanotic-inducing deep breath to blow what seemed to be the nth balloon.
"That's because you're full of hot air, Mikagami-nii-chan." teased Kaoru. Tokiya annoyingly kicked the ladder where Koganei was standing, sending the anki master flying and falling with the flaglets and ruffles on Raiha who was carrying the punch bowl.
CRAAAAASSHH! The red-colored fruit punch went splashing unto Kaoru, Raiha and Tokiya (who set about cursing as the juice stained his new Christian Dior jacket).
"Raiha-sama, are you alright?" Kaoru approached the purple-haired ninja who had a lump protruding on his forehead.
"I"ll be alright, Koganei." he replied dazedly. "Hey, you haven't introduced me to your twin brother here."
"BAAAKAAAA!!!" Fuuko screamed as she saw the disaster. The flaglets and "Happy Birthday Domon" banner were drowning in the fruit punch amidst burst balloons. "Hurry up and clean up that mess. They'll be here any minute!"
"Whatever you say, Fuuko-san!" Raiha said cheerfully, miraculously regaining his composure. He and Kaoru took some mops and wiped the floor clean. Fuuko set about finishing the balloons Tokiya had walked out on and Ganko hurriedly scribbled a new banner reading, "HAPPIE BIRDDAY, DOMON, NII-CHAN ^_^!"
"Kagero-sama, we don't have any drinks." Fuuko reported to the older woman at the kitchen. "Mikagami knocked Kaoru into Raiha spilling all the punch and breaking the punch bowl."
"Whaaat?" Kagero called out loudly as she emerged from a pile of thick smoke coming from the oven. She was all smudged with charcoal covering her face as she carried a platter of blackened gingerbread cookies. "I think I got the settings wrong. Did your mother say bake for 50 minutes?"
"That's FIFTEEN minutes." Fuuko stared at the burned pastry, mortified. She picked up a piece and bit into it, almost breaking her teeth. "Owww! This thing could knock even Gashakura unconscious."
"We're out of punch?" Yanagi echoed as she emerged from the back door, carrying Domon's presents. "Allow me to make some." she volunteered.
Recca's hime proceeded to look for a container as the two women arranged the finger foods. She could find no other punch bowl and settled for a spherical glass container she found beneath the sink.
"Hand me the fruit juice, Kondo." she requested Ganko's talking stuffed fox who stood near the cupboard.
"What fruit juice?" asked the sly fox.
"The strawberry one...the red powder in the plastic container." Yanagi answered.
Kondo handed Yanagi an unlabelled bottle of powdered chili. "Here you go."
"Then give me some wine cooler." said Yanagi as she unsuspectingly mixed the powder into some water.
"Wine, you say?" Kondo dove into the cupboard and retrieved an open bottle of Absolut Vodka which he poured graciously into the mixture when Yanagi's back was turned.
"And finally some fruit bits." concluded Recca's hime as she added chopped lemons, apples and pineapple bits, pouring them in the bowl.
"Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!" Kondo sang merrily as he took some avocados, bananas and grapefruit and dumped them in the punch.
Yanagi was about to taste the punch of doom when Fuuko's call saved her. "Yanagi-chan! Come help me over here!"
Kondo took the liberty of tasting the killer punch. He sipped but one spoonful and turned red, his ears smoking. He twirled around once before falling unconscious on the kitchen sink.
"They're here! They're here!" Koganei screamed merrily. He dashed into the kitchen to fetch the punch of death and brought it to the festivity table.
Domon's eyes popped out at the marvelous sight. The small Hanabishi dining room was decorated with multicolored balloons of different sizes (the smaller ones courtesy of Fuuko who ran out of breath trying to inflate them. It's been said that Mikagami blew bigger balloons because he had more air reserve in his head), colorful flags and ribbons. Other than the mispelled chicken-scratch banner Ganko had made, there wasn't a trace of anything that had gone wrong.
Domon's eyes flooded with tears as his fellow Hokage ninjas sang an off-key "Happy Birthday" (Mikagami was actually only lipsinging but Domon was too happy to notice ^_^).
"Oh, you didn't have to." he cried as Fuuko approached him carrying the strawberry shortcake her mother baked for the birthday celebrant.
"You ain't seen nothing yet," Recca said as he wrote hiragana in the air, "Nadare!" he called upon his flame dragon as small balls of fire lit all 16 candles one by one in an amusing display with the Hokage team clapping merrily.
"I'm so touched," Domon sobbed, "Prrrrrrrt!" he paused to wipe the tears and the stuff that fell from his nose, "I've never had a surprise birthday party before. Thank you so much." he motioned to hug Fuuko who quickly ducked, leaving Recca to suffocate in Domon's airtight embrace.
"Gasp, gasp, gasp," Recca turned blue, "Aren't you going to blow the candles and make a (gasp) wish?"
"Oh, I almost forgot." Domon released Recca who fell flat and chocking on the floor. He turned to the cake. He huffed, he puffed and he...
"Ne! Domon nii- chan!" Kaoru interrupted causing Domon to hold his breath, "There are only 16 candles on the cake. Aren't you turning 17?"
"Oh, that's right." Domon choked on unreleased air, "We need one more candle."
"Here you go!" Kondo, tipsy and speaking slurrily, appeared from behind Yanagi and handed ot a small brown candle he pulled out of Shigeo's pocket.
"Why thankyou, Kondo." Fuuko took the candle and placed it at the center of the cake, lighting it.
"Let's all sing Happy Birthday again." Yanagi suggested.
"Happy Birthday to You...Happy Birthday to You...."
Domon closed his eyes, imagining the birthday kiss he was going to get from his beloved Fuuko-chan and wishing they would spend the night of his birthday together.
"Happy Birthday...Happy Birthday...."
Shigeo, getting a better look at the brown candle (as it was lighted) screamed with his eyes popping ot of their sockets, "Ayyyiiii! That's not a candle, that's one of my firecrackers!!!!!"
"Recccaaaa! Do something!" Yanagi cried.
Recca quickly pulled the candle off the cake and ran to the nearby punch bowl to put it out.
Team Hokage stood there, frozen in time and space and covered with soot and debris. Fuuko was left holding the remnants of Domon's birthday cake while the celebrant was open mouthed, Whether it was in happiness or shock, no one could really tell.
"Happy Birthday, to you......" came a small voice, ending the birthday song. Ganko emerged from a pile of charred decorations and hugged one of Domon's enourmous legs. "Happy Birthday, Domon nii-chaaaan!" she cried merrily.
While everyone remained motionless, Recca still holding the fuse he had innocently tried to put out in a fishbowl full of Absolut Vodka and chili powder.
"Recca I hate to say this....but that was sooooo bakaaaaaa...." Shigeo spoke at last.
"Aaaah, shut up Dad...." blurted the flame caster.
"Anyone want to order Pizza Hut?" Mikagami suggested finally, picking up the phone that was amazingly in one piece.
Two hours later, Team Hokage (now clean and spotless), feasted on two family size Meatlovers pizza Mikagami called for (of course he only ate the salad because the meat was bad for his flawless complexion). They sat around the table amidst the debris of Domon's surprise birthday party. They were chatting merrily having ice cream for dessert (which thankfully was in the freezer when the explosion occured) while Domon opened his presents.
"Here, open this first." Recca shoved a present into his best friend's hands, "It's from hime and me."
"Uhurm," Kagero cleared her throat," From the four of us, actually."
"Wow!" the celebrant pulled out a number of Playstation CDs. "My favorites! Final Fantasy VII! Rurouni Kenshin!" he hugged Recca for the nth time, choking the life of the flame caster.
"And what's this?" he spotted a simply wrapped rectangular box which, despite its miniscule size, was particularly heavy, "It doesn't have a sender card."
"Uhurm." Tokiya cleared his throat, speaking so inaudibly hardly anyone heard him, "It's from me."
The confession brought more tears to Domon's eyes. He proceeded to entrap the Ensui master with his breath-robbing bear hug when the tip of the ensui found its way to his nose. "Don't make me use this on that pig nose of yours on your birthday." he snarled, "Now open it before I change my mind."
Domon excitedly tore the wrapper off, only to be bewildered at the spray can he found inside the box. " Errr...." he picked up the can labelled WD-40. "Anti-rust spray?"
"Something to clean that Saturn's ring of yours." Tokiya explained. "I'm sure it's pretty contaminated from hanging there all the time."
"Ehehehehe...." Domon tried to laugh. His gaze wandered over to a brightly-wrapped package next to him, "From Fuuko-chan!!!" he cried merrily, grabbing the gift and opening it hurriedly. From inside he pulled out a brown sports jacket, which, judging by its Nike slash logo, was no cheap buy.
With his eyes nearly falling out of their sockets, he looked at Fuuko who genuinely smiled warmly at him. "For me?" he inquired, his heart making somersaults in his chest.
Fuuko nodded, "I remember you said you liked it when we went window shopping the other day, so I got it for you."
"FUUKOOOO-CHAN!" tears and what-have you dripping from his nose, he lunged towards Fuuko who immediately met him with a fist square in the face.
"Don't push your luck!" she screamed, "Just because it's your birthday doesn't mean you can have everything."
"Aw, come on, Fuuko nee-chan," Kaoru teased. "Just give Domon-san a kiss on the cheek. For old times sake."
"Yeah, Fuuko." Recca chided, "Just for our good friend's birthday. A birthday kiss."
Fuuko turned purple from all the prodding her friends gave her, "All right! All right already! Just this once!"
Domon yelled his lungs out. He closed his eyes and puckered his lips, "Be ready for the kiss of a lifetime. Pucker up, my love." he told Fuuko as he proceeded to kiss her.
Fuuko felt her skin crawl and the sweat pour down her forehead as Domon's face came closer. I can't. I can't, her inner mind screamed, Oh God I just can't.
Just as Domon was about to peck her with his lips, Fuko slid out of her seat and pushed the nearest person to her left towards Domon's advancing figure, just in the path of his kiss.
"AAAARGGGGGH!" Mikagami screamed as Domon's wet mouth made contact with his porcelain cheek. (Fuuko pulled out the stunt so fast Mikagami never knew what hit him *_*). He swiftly levelled the birthday celebrant with his elbow, causing Domon to fall backward and landing on a hapless Koganei.
"ITTTTAAIIII! GET OFF ME DOMON-SAN!!!!" Kaoru squirmed helplessly as the birthday boy landed full weight on him.
"Grrrrr...." an enraged Mikagami dove on Domon and they rolled off into a ball of melee as the rest of Team Hokage watched in hopeless abandon.
A long-haired figure sat by the waterfront, his long legs dangling by the rails. He sat there waiting, admiring the setting sun's reflection on the still waters while doing so. he looks over his shoulder as a feminine figure approached him. A smile lit his features.
"So how was the party, Fuuko-san?" he asked.
Fuuko sat next to her personal ninja. "Would've been great if Recca didn't blow up the whole place," she said laughing. "He tried to put out that baby dynamite with the punch. Turns out that Kondo had poured vodka all over the drink. Needless to say he blew up everything literally."
Raiha chuckled. He put his arm around Fuuko's shoulders while she leaned her head on his. "Did he like the present?"
She nodded. "He was delirously overjoyed." She turned to face him, "Too bad you didn't join in the fun."
He shook his head, "Not on his birthday, Fuuko-san. I don't think he's going to be happy if he saw me there. You know how ....jealous he can get sometimes." A moment of silence followed which Raiha broke with a question, "Did you give him a birthday kiss?"
A mischievous look crossed Fuuko's face, "Why do you want to know?" When he didn't respond, Fuuko spoke, "You're not jealous of my best friend now, are you?"
"A little." he said. He drew her closer and smiled, "Maybe I should get a kiss in return for every one that you gave Domon-kun." he teased.
"Then you're not getting any," Fuuko laughed aloud.