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Strangely, writing the follow-up report was Bishamon’s favorite part about patrol. Not because of the actual paperwork or anything, but because of the time she got to spend with her closest friend and exemplar.

It was an unofficial tradition they started centuries ago that just sort of stuck. He would pick up take out from the near shore, she would pick out a bottle of wine, and the two of them would sprawl out on the couch in her room all evening to discuss the day’s patrol and anything else that came to mind.

Having time alone together reminded her of the old days, preceding the Ha clan, when he was her lone regalia. Sure, she wasn’t in the best emotional state at the time, but there was something so honest and genuine about their bond that seemed to get lost in the whirlwind of responsibilities they acquired.  So, once, every few weeks, they were able to break down the barrier their statuses created to revel in each other’s presence.

Tonight was different.

Kazuma had been recovering from his near fatal wound for the past month, making this his first patrol since Kugaha’s betrayal. It went swimmingly enough, there were no major phantoms, only a handful of simple battles. In fact, they were actually able clear the entire region in only an hour.

But despite their harmonious performance, Bishamon worried that he wouldn’t show up. That a line had been crossed when she accidentally attacked him in her corrupt state resulting in his lost trust.

Even though she knew she was just being paranoid, that fear didn’t stop her from hesitating for a moment when grabbing a bottle of wine and two glasses from the kitchen before retiring for the evening. What she wasn’t expecting was for Kazuma to already be in her room when she got back.

“You’re here early.” She said in genuine shock, gently shutting the door behind her.

Kazuma looked up from the file in his hands and graced her with a small smile. He had already made himself comfortable on the couch: tie undone, sleeves rolled up, barefoot and sitting cross-legged.

“There wasn’t a lot of prep work due to the little phantom activity on today’s patrol.” He gestured to the sandwich platters and soup bowls on the coffee table. “Not to mention how much time I saved by foregoing take out.”

“Did you make this?”  She wondered in delight, plopping down on the couch next to him and setting the bottle and glasses next to the food.

“It’s nothing special, Veena. Just sandwiches and canned soup.” Though he casually dismissed her subtle praise, she could see a slight blush creep across his cheeks even in the golden glow of lamp light, making her smile.

“Regardless, it looks delicious. Thank you.”

As Bishamon uncorked the wine and poured them each a drink, Kazuma prattled on about the day’s patrol while scribbling furiously on a notepad; making sure to give thorough detail of each phantom’s demeanor and location. The war god chimed in from time to time to comment on her experience and to correct him on a few minor details.

“In regards to masked ones,” he read the final lines of the report aloud for her approval, “we had no encounters in the Northwest region but will continue to monitor their presence on future patrols both there and at other locations.”

“Sounds valid.” She nodded, polishing off her glass before pouring another as Kazuma tossed the report and his pen on the table. “More wine?”

“Please.” He sighed, leaning his head back to rest on the couch with his eyes closed and fingers gently massaging his temples.

“Are you feeling alright?” Her voice tinged with concern as she handed him his glass before scooting closer to him and kicking her feet up to rest on the coffee table.

“Yes, I’m fine. I just forgot how draining patrol days are, even when phantom loads are light.” He admitted before casually taking a sip, keenly noticing the way her eyes flickered with doubt.

“If you’re still not feeling up to it, please do not hesitate to stay back and—”

“Veena,” he cut her off, voice quiet but full of mirth and amusement, “I’m fine. Please, don’t worry about me.” And even though he meant it, Kazuma couldn’t squelch the small amount of joy her concern brought him. “In fact, I actually had a lot of fun today.”

She smiled slightly and her eyes softened in agreement. Today, had been fun.

After eradicating all phantoms in the region at record speed, Bishamon decided to reward her team by letting them explore local areas of the near shore. Excited, they all unanimously decided to visit the ocean since they had never gone before.

With the sun shining bright and only a soft breeze in the air, they couldn’t have picked a better day.  Akiha and Aiha had wandered along the shoreline, collecting beautiful shells for the other regalia. Kazuma, Karuha, Yugiha, and Kinuha built a massive sand castle that was promptly demolished by Kazuha and Kuraha. All the while, Bishamon simply relaxed against some large, warm rocks near the water and basked in the relaxing sounds of waves crashing and her regalia’s laughter.

“I cannot believe Kuraha.” Kazuma chuckled, the memory causing her to groan in annoyance.

“Maybe leaving him in his lion form was foolish in hindsight. But honestly, how did he even get that sandy?”

“Well he did run right into our sand castle and, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I saw him rolling around in it.”

Not only was Kuraha sandy, but wet sand matted his fur into clumps and he had sticks and seaweed tangled in his mane which left him looking beyond dirty and unkempt.

“But did you see his face when we tried to wash him in the ocean?” Kazuma asked, not even trying to suppress his laughter. “I know he hates it when we treat him like a cat, but the resemblance is uncanny.”

Bishamon laughed as well because he was right, Kuraha had acted just like a cat who hated getting a bath, pouting and desperately trying to get away.

“And when he thought his tail was a shark-” Kazuma trailed off with laugher that was so carefree, it filled her with warmth.

“Kazuma,” she chuckled before resting her head on his shoulder. “I haven’t seen you this elated in centuries. It’s pleases me to see such joy.” It was true that her regalia’s happiness gave her strength, but seeing him overjoyed warmed her heart in its own special way.

“My joy stems from seeing you so happy and strong, Veena.” He replied, letting his head gently rest upon hers. “Also, after all these years of keeping my betrayal a secret and watching as Yato took the fall for it, I feel as though some weight has been lifted off my chest.” He admitted, guiltily.

“Don’t call it that.” She chastised him. “You didn’t betray me. You did what you could to save me, what I lacked the strength to do myself.” She felt him let out a deep breath and relax into her more.

“Regardless, it’s nice to see everyone working together to put this travesty behind us.”

“It’s amazing, actually.” She admitted, taking another sip of wine. “This is quite possibly the strongest I’ve ever felt. Everyone has been so selfless and to see that level of compassion,” she shook her head, deeply touched. “Since the incident, I have enjoyed the time spent with everyone greatly, and cherish getting to know them all better through the exchange diary.” She felt a smile tugging at her lips. “Did you know that some of the regalia are working on scripting and directing a musical?”

“No, I did not.” He sighed in amusement.

“Things have gotten interesting around here lately, in a good way.” She paused. “But as great as everything has been, none of it seemed to matter until you recovered.” She admitted, glad that he couldn’t see her face. “I’ve missed you greatly.”

A comfortable silence filled the room as she basked in the presence of her lead.

“I’m sure Kuraha did an excellent job filling my shoes during my absence.” His voice was warm and genuine, but it filled her stomach with ice. Is that what he thought she meant? That she missed his work ethic and service?      

“Kazuma.” She abruptly lifted her head to look him square in the eye in desperation. “After all this time, please don’t tell me that you solely think of yourself as my exemplar.” She pleaded, eyes begging for him to understand.


She rarely let her guard down around anyone, so for him to see her now, so defenseless with her emotions on display like an open book, he couldn’t stop his heart from fluttering in excitement.

Kazuma had been devout since the time she first called his name and in love with her for about as long, but hadn’t actually realized it for years. Spending the better part of their time together focusing on work and doing everything he could to make her a happy and successful god, he desperately tried to ignore his crush and eventual love knowing full well that his feelings could never be returned.

But it made no difference, his love was there, lingering in everything he did for her despite his best intentions.    

And Bishamon was aware of his feelings, had known for a long time, and for a while she brushed it off as merely fleeting infatuation. It wasn’t lost on her that she was a fairly attractive god, she had even garnered the attention of regalia and other gods alike throughout her lifetime. But as years passed, as his devotion grew and their bond strengthened, it was clear that his feelings ran deeper than just lust and superficial attraction.

Maybe that was when she had started falling for him as well.

As a god of war, emotional recognition and expression were never inherit strengths of hers. She wasn’t able to pinpoint when she became attracted to him or started seeing her exemplar in a new light. But one day as she was admiring him from afar as he joked around with some of his comrades in the courtyard, his eyes met hers and he gave her a warm smile, making her stomach churn. It was as if a thick fog cleared her mind and she was able to think clearly for the first time. She realized, in that moment, that her devotion ran just as deep as his and had for centuries.

It was slightly unsettling, jarring even, but the more she thought about it, the more obvious it had become: the way she sought physical contact with him and him alone, the frequency of their private meetings at her request, and above all else, the coining of her pet name for his use only. ‘Veena’ had always been a way for him to regard her as an equal, but it also gave him possession over her. Just as the name ‘Kazu’ gave her ownership over him, ‘Veena’ made her his. 

She loved him in ways that nearly scared her. So when she thought he had betrayed her by helping Yato, she was inconsolably heart broken, only to realize the truth and nearly loose him by her own blow. As he lay unconscious in recovery, she watched over him at his bedside and realized how even though they were technically immortal, their lives were still not guaranteed and each day together was a blessing.

Sitting there now and staring into his viridian eyes, she knew that she wanted to be with him and wasn’t going to let her fear rule anymore.

Turning her body so she was fully facing him, she gently caressed his face with her hand, running her thumb over his cheek. He leaned into her touch, holding her hand to his face with his own while closing his eyes and taking a deep, cleansing breath. His warmth was so soothing and their faces, so close, coercing her to give into temptation, lean forward, and close the distance between them by placing her lips over his.

The kiss, though chaste and simple, still made her breath hitch and heart flutter. Kazuma immediately stiffened in shock and utter disbelief, hesitant to move a muscle, before squeezing her hand against his face and slowly, softly responding back. He parted his lips so they could interlock with hers and tilted his head for a better angle. The slight change caused her to let out a small, pleasured sigh that seemed to break him free from hesitation.

He moved his hands to tangle in her hair and pull her closer to him. He had wanted her for centuries and to even indulge just this once was far too tempting and overwhelming for the stricter, more rational part of him to resist.

His kisses, initially innocent and pure, were now full of desperation and need, causing a fire to ignite in her lower abdomen. Leaning into him more, she daringly nipped his bottom lip and relished the way he shuddered.

Suddenly, as if the spell over him had been broken, Kazuma's hands latched onto her shoulders, pushing her away forcefully. Opening her eyes, she looked up at him in hazy confusion, trying to catch her breath and fight off the stinging pain of rejection. 

“V-Veena, you’re drunk. This isn’t a good idea, we can’t be doing this.” His voice cracked and his eyes were bright. Though he was also panting, she couldn’t tell if it was from their kissing or panic.

“I’m hardly drunk, I’ve only had a glass and a half.” She admonished, running her thumb against his cheek bone absent-mindedly.

Despite how desperately he wanted to be with her, to love her, he knew this was for the best. Gods and regalia were on completely different levels and giving in to this moment of weakness could lead to nothing good.

“Regardless,” he failed to meet her eyes, hands still gripping her shoulders. “This is highly improper. You’re a god, Veena, something like this could end you.”

Flinching as if he had stung her, Bishamon pulled her hand away from him. Her eyes narrowed in hurt and disbelief.

“If I somehow misinterpreted our relationship and if you truly want to stop, I will. It will hurt, but we can carry on as if this never happened.” She offered with a shaking voice. “But if the only reason you are denying this is because of your skewed ideas of what is considered ‘proper’ for a god, then you have broken my heart.”

Swallowing thickly, Kazuma shook his head. His heart heavy as he desperately tried to do what was right.

“You know how frowned upon this is and you never know what sort of actions Heaven may take—”

“The reason it’s so frowned upon,” she furiously interjected, “is because gods can take advantage of their regalia and use them for pleasure against their will.” She paused and closed her eyes to calm herself. “And is that the case?” she asked quietly. “Do you only feel the need to comply to keep from stinging me?”

“Of course not.” He whispered. She exhaled in relief and cradled his face in her hands. 

“What this is,” she placed her hand on his chest. “And what we have isn’t like that, it’s different. It’s—” she cut herself off. “I’ve wanted this, I’ve wanted us for a long time and haven’t pursued it out of fear. But with everything that just happened.” She fisted his shirt in her hand and dropped her gaze in shame. “After almost losing you. I don’t want to fight this anymore.”

He looked at her, awestruck, and in stunned silence. This wasn’t his master seeking him out for a moment of lust-filled need, it was his Veena bearing her soul, wanting to be with him. Kazuma felt himself tear up in joy. How long had he denied himself the hope that one day, they could be together; the notion that she could ever feel anything for him?

Without speaking, without breathing, he moved to gently cradle her face in his trembling hands and pressed a single kiss to her forehead before moving down to place another on her nose and then on each cheek. Finally, leaning in with slight hesitation, he placed his lips against hers, full of everything he never knew how to articulate. A kiss that let her know the depth of how much she meant to him, how he loved and wanted her fully, how he would do absolutely anything for her.

That gesture, carrying the breadth of so many emotions, caused a single tear to cascade down her face before she was able to respond, completely overwhelmed by his sweet devotion. She reciprocated in kind, trying to let the simple joining of lips covey all of the feelings she never had the strength to admit.

Chapter Text

She reciprocated in kind, trying to let the simple joining of lips convey all of the feelings she never had the strength to admit.

Bishamon hoped her message reached him as she pushed forward and parted her lips so her tongue could run against his lower lip. Heart jolting with desire, she honestly couldn’t differentiate whether it was his pleasure coursing through her veins or her own.

Allowing her hands to tangle in his hair, she repeated the sweeping action, pleading for entry. His lips parted, allowing her tongue to mingle with his. Moaning at the sensation, she pulled him closer by his roots and deftly flicked her tongue against his with deliberation.

Kazuma could barely grasp everything that was happening for his head was clouded with love and lust, completely consumed by how wonderful her mouth was and the pleasured sounds she was making. It was like every sensation she invoked, every gasping breath and harsh caress of her tongue, was directly connected to his groin which played out like a symphony of heated desire in his lower abdomen.

And then suddenly her lips were gone, and her hands were pressing his back into the couch. Opening his eyes in confusion, Kazuma watched as his master straddled his lap and took off his glasses, haphazardly dropping them behind her, before hastily moving to kiss the column of his neck.

“V-Veena” he gasped. Breath catching in his throat as his hand flew to hold the back of her head.

“Is this alright?” she panted against his collarbone.

He nodded slightly and sighed, “Yes.”

She smiled and kissed her way back up making sure to strategically suck at the juncture where jaw met neck, swirling her tongue over his pulse and allowing her teeth to graze his skin. The tortuous act drew a needy moan of pleasure past his parted lips, hand tangling in her hair to pull her closer. He was already hard and straining against the fly of his suddenly-too-tight trousers and with every press of her tongue, the distance between her lap and his seemed greater and greater.

The god unlatched herself from his neck, not missing his whimper of disappointment, before placing a single kiss to the splotchy bruise she marked him with and moving to place her forehead against his. He was panting, but his eyes were focused on hers.

“Why won’t you touch me?” she wondered aloud causing his eyes to flicker in surprise.

“Do you want me to?” His voice, deeper and rawer than the war god had ever heard.

She shouldn’t have expected this to be easy, never should have believed that a few heated kisses could deter his severe inferiority complex and compulsive tendency to handle her with kid gloves. She knew he wanted to-- wanted her -- but was restraining himself for her sake which irked her to no end. But now she was more determined than ever to make him lose control.

Leaning in she kissed him deeply before whispering in his ear.

“I want you everywhere.”

Trembling, he ached at the implication of her words and the sultry sound of her voice. Kazuma quickly shifted, so his hands were on the back of her bare upper thigh and nape of her neck. Leaning forward, he placed a trail of kisses from her collarbone to her shoulder, her pleasured gasp urging him along the path as he carefully avoided the thin strap of her silky shirt.

“Kazuma,” she growled, begging for him.

Ever obedient, the blessed vessel took a ragged breath before dragging his tongue up the side of her neck with vigor and nipping at her pulse.

Crying out in pleasure, Bishamon held his head in place and collapsed against him, letting her lap settle deliciously against his strained hardness. Kazuma dug his nails into the back of her thigh in response, his whimper against her neck more felt than heard.

The heat of him pressed against where she wanted him most made her head spin. Panting, she quickly unbuttoned his shirt as he leaned back to brush her hair away from her face. Together they clumsily pushed the fabric over his biceps and down his arms before letting the garment fall to the floor.

Sitting there with a slight blush on his face, Kazuma absent-mindedly caressed her lower back as Bishamon took in his form, lightly running her fingertips over all the hard planes and crevices. She paused when she reached the fresh scar on across his chest, dropping her head to place loving, apologetic kisses along its length.

Pulling back to look at him, faces mere centimeters apart, she looked at him with guilty, watery eyes.

"Don't." He whispered before pulling her close again and kissing her deeply, reigniting the lost heat between them.

He placed his hands on her sides where her sleep shirt failed to cover. The smoothness of her bare skin was intoxicating, and he couldn't help but run his hands mindlessly over her curves stroking up and down.

Breaking their kiss forcefully, she pulled away.

"You're such a tease." She gasped, taking his hands in hers and sliding them up under her shirt right below her breasts. Kazuma hesitated, taking a shaky breath, before carefully moving his hands to cup the underside of each in his hands.

He couldn't tell what was more erotic, the delicate and silky feeling of each one in his hands sharply contrasted by the hardness of her nipple, or the way her eyes fluttered shut and the pretty pink petals of her lips parted in an inaudible gasp, making her look every bit like the goddess she was.

Biting her lip as he squeezed her breasts experimentally, she pulled him closer so she could rest her head against his shoulder and run her hands across his back. His touch was simply intoxicating; she felt like he was awakening new purpose and life within her.

Daringly, he lightly pinched her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers, simultaneously, causing her let out a loud, wanton moan and thrust her hips deliberately against his. Kazuma hissed while lightly thrusting back-- a silent plea for her to continue.

She pulled back to look at him, her eyes half-laden with pleasure, as she thrust against him again with more force. Loving the way his jaw tightened and eyes slammed shut, she continued to ride him through their clothes slowly, enjoying the tortuous pleasure it brought to both of them.

"Please." He gasped, begging for her torture to end, for her to move at a pace they would both desperately enjoy. She simply ignored his request with an amused smirk, loving how her exemplar was coming undone.

Desperation overwhelming him, Kazuma quickly moved one of his hands to her ass to guide her thrusts as the other hand repeatedly rolled her nipple between his fingers.

"Oh god." She gasped in shock, her voice filled with pleasured gravel. The way he was moving against her rubbing perfectly against her clit. "Kazu!"

"Veena," he echoed wantonly. He didn't know how much more he could take. Her voice calling his name in need, the softness of her bare breast in his hand, the feeling of her grinding desperately against him, it was all becoming too much, and yet he still longed for more.

“Wait.” She let out breathlessly while pressing a hand against his chest causing him to halt his actions immediately. “Maybe we should move this to the bed.” Her sudden shyness caught him off guard.

“Is that what you want?”  He asked in concern as self-doubt crept in.

“I just think that if we’re going to continue, having a little more room would be beneficial.” She mumbled while placing open mouth kisses against his shoulder, causing him to swallow, hard.