Three shots of tequila
Salt and lemon
Nobody of us wanted to go home
Three shots of tequila
Salt and lemon
I forgot the address
In the land of dreams
((Excerpt from "Three Shots of Tequila", by Kingstoni – original version in Slovenian language, "Tri prste tekile"))
Harry strongly resisted urge to twitch.
And to strangle certain nameless people who shall, in fear of retribution, named simply as the brats.
Let's see what happened.
Harry – or Hatori, while in Japan – hoped that this particular vacation would be uninterrupted by certain persons, who plagued him either through his life or that last year or…. Well, the world was certainly small, wasn't it?
The dual – haired man reserved this time to be relaxing – no Inui Juices, no Dark Lords, no wannabe – Dark Lords, no Ore – samas, no whiny redhead bitches – excuse me, witches that wanted to be Mrs. Potter and so on. Was that too much to ask for?
Obviously, it was.
"And where will you go for holidays?" The question was innocent enough for Hatori not to mind answering it. In hindsight, it would be better if he had kept his mouth shut, but oh well… What was done was done.
Harry sipped his tea. "I intend to get away from Japan from a while... and I always wanted to visit Bali." Bushy gray eyebrows arched up. "Really?" The elder Tezuka hummed thoughtfully. "I hear it's particularly rainy season there at such time." Hatori nodded at the elder's remark. "Yes, it is. However, I really need time away from all that…. "He paused.
"Yes, you do." Tezuka Kuniharu mumbled out thoughtfully as he eyes the go board. It seemed Hatori managed to get him into a pretty tight pinch.
'Now, how to solve it…'
Both of men didn't notice a shadow with slender glasses on, which sneaked off to plan how to get to Bali….
"Hey, buchou…." Ryoma trailed off. "Where will you go for holidays?"
Curious golden eyes peered up from the edge of the hat at Tezuka. Tezuka blinked. "Bali."
The group gawped. "EEHHH!"
Fuji smiled. "Bali, Tezuka? Isn't there rainy season right now?" He knew his old friend and teammate, and there was something fishy, if Tezuka, who was notorious for despising wet places, to go to a wet country for a vacation.
Yup, Tezuka's pet peeve were rainy seasons, and for a reason, too. Since he had injured his elbow, it hurt worse, when it was bad weather ahead, or when it was just a plain bad weather. Of course, Asakura – sensei managed to heal him of his… affliction, but the dislike still remained.
The Seigaku team knew, as sure as the sun would rise every day, that when the weather was bad, or was bound to be bad, they had to be especially careful around Tezuka… or else suffer punishment in the shape of increased numbers of laps around tennis courts.
Tezuka flushed. A teeny tiny amount, but… it was enough to make Fuji's eyes open a bit, just to reveal tiny shards of blue. "Asakura – sensei." It was his only word, but it explained all of it.
Fuji's eyes widened.
Yup. His friend had a really really serious crush on the green eyed man who also happened to be their ex – coach...
Not that Fuji blamed him; Hatori was most interesting person he happened to meet. Hatori was a man who wasn't impressed with wealth, which Atobe had in abundance, nor with Fuji being a bona – fide genius. Hatori was… Hatori. Snarky bastard, who didn't sugarcoat his words and had cynical view on the world… and who also didn't suffer fools or braggarts.
Even now, Fuji didn't know much about his idol, aside from that what was revealed at the end of the national tournament.
Even Inui was baffled with the lack of data on the mysterious man… and that was saying much, for Inui was reputed as the Data specialist and something of that caliber missing from all available sources seriously irked the bespectacled man, who was rightfully proud of his data – gathering skills.
All of them were gobsmacked when Ryoma opened the last Gate, but that was to be expected, as he was a prodigy, a son of famed Samurai among Sakuras, Echizen Nanjiroh himself. However they were truly stupefied, when Nanjiroh seemed to know Asakura – sensei, as if they were old friends.
… This… This was… Ten'Imuhou no Kiwami!
The spectators were speechless.
Ryoma made a complete 360 degree turn around from his previous helplessness against Yukimura to the almost overwhelming confidence.
Ryoma was… playing with Yukimura, like cat would with the hapless mouse.
The cocky brat smirked at his shaken opponent: "Are you having fun yet?" His voice rang loud and clear across the field.
The stands cheered for the rookie.
Yukimura stared at the brat.
Meanwhile, Inui speculated at the happenings…
… when he was rudely interrupted by the arrival of one messy haired, scruffy-clothed monk, who was scratching his belly.
"Oi, Granny…" The man was… unusual sight to be seen here. Tezuka barely managed not to twitch at his appearance.
Ryoga did twitch. "Old man…" He greeted him.
However, Ryuzaki – sensei smiled at the disrespectful title... "Nanjiroh… Your son has finally arrived at the same level as you…"
"Samurai Nanjiroh! Ryoma – kun is… the son of a legendary tennis player!" The Seigaku team was gobsmacked. Well, Tezuka was not, because he had known about Ryoma's father - or at least, he suspected Nanjiroh to be Ryoma's father… before Ryoma began to build his style, he was using a copy of Nanjiroh's. However… His eyebrows creased. There were some inconsistencies, when it was like something was laying underneath that renowned style… something far more powerful and dangerous.
Something like Ten'imuhou, but not quite….
Tezuka got the feeling, if this style was to be revealed, he would be annihilated. And this feeling… It scared him.
"That – That must be why… he could achieve Ten'imuhou, right?" Momo stammered out, still in awe at seeing the tennis legend.
Thin, sensuous mouth smirked.
"You are way off kid," The mouth uttered, Nanjiroh looking proud and nostalgic at the same time.
"There was no Ten'imuhou no Kiwamu to begin with…"
Well, that was a shock….
Yukimura was currently pressured into a one – sided rally with Ryoma… who was… Having fun!?
It irked Rikkaidai captain something terrible. The brat was playing with him… He knew, that the brat knew he knew and it irked him some more.
Reminiscing about the long hours of torturous rehabilitation therapy he had gone through, his ire reached it's peak.
' "Is tennis fun?" Don't give me that shit! '
He would win. He had to. For Rikkai, for his teammates, for… Hatori.
Especially for Hatori.
"Our third consecutive championship… WILL HAVE NO FLAWS!" He roared out as he returned the Samurai Drive.
The watchers were awed. "He returned Ryoma's new technique, the Samurai Drive… by hitting the both halves of the ball… at the same time!"
Sanada was gripping the rails almost to the point of crushing them. To see Yukimura in such a pinch, when he had done everything to secure the win… he deserved to win the most of them….
"Yukimura! You can win this!" He roared out, his heart thudding in his ribcage madly, like some kind of a caged beast. Oh, how he longed to be able to help Seiichi right now….
And then, the ball was on Ryoma's side, and as if in a slow motion… Ryoma hit both of the halves, and Sanada shuddered at the determination on those golden, now emerald – flecked eyes.
"I'll see this point to the end…!" It was the last hit, for Seigaku, for his teammates, for being a pillar of Seigaku, for his father, for opponents, for Ryoga and…. for Hatori."
With a blazing determination, he swung his racket and hit the halves.
The stunned silence was cut with the disbelieving voice of announcer.
/"Game set won by Echizen Ryoma, 6 – 4!"/
And the crowd roared.
Fuji smiled as he watched his teammates glomped Ryoma Echizen; their new pillar of Seigaku.
And then, he turned his head to Tezuka. "It looks like we made it… as a Japan's number one."
Tezuka's gaze was far away. "…Yeah."
Fuji's smile widened into a tad bit sadistic one. "I guess this is the kind of thing to finally make you smile." And he snickered as Tezuka minutely widened his eyes, before hurriedly fixing his face in a scowl, as he coughed.
"Don't tell anyone that you saw anything, Fuji. " A faint blush on his cheeks. Fuji smirked, as he eyed Inui.
Inui's smirk couldn't be seen because of the bandages, but the small camcorder in his hands was telling enough.
The monumental moment, of Tezuka smiling was irrevocably caught on the videotape for the later generations and for …/shudder/ blackmail.
Eyes glinting behind the eyeglasses, Inui smirked wider. "So naïve, Tezuka…" He muttered lowly.
Asakura – sensei would have a heyday with that tape, he just knew it…
Nanjiroh's face was proudly smirking at his son, when he was thrown into the air by his enthusiastic teammates.
He blinked as he scanned through the masses. "And where is your oh – so revered coach, Granny?"
Ryuzaki – sensei blinked. "He said he had to take care of something important… they had called him into the hospital." She smiled a secretive smirk.
Nanjiroh was in full dark who was training the Seigaku team – not even his sons wanted to peep out anything relevant to him.
And Nanjiroh was… itchy to see the coach who substituted for Ryuuzaki - sensei even more. The old biddy was mean enough not to tell him anything, and those little smiles of hers got on his last nerves!
He would like the … person, or he would hate them, he just knew it.
Ryuuzaki - sensei was a sadistic bitch like that.
Hatori blinked as he heard the roar of crowd, and smiled as they announced Seigaku as winners of this little dispute.
Now, how to get in…?
Ryuuzaki noticed the dual – haired man first. "Oy, Brat! C'mere!" She hollered out, startling Nanjiroh. "Geez, Granny, you almost shattered my eardrums – " The monk complained sulkily -
And his eyes bugged out.
The approaching man smirked. "Cat got your tongue, Ero – tensai?" He teased the gaping monk gently.
"Who – wha – but – how?" Nanjiroh babbled out. "Are my eyes deceiving me?" He squinted. "I really had a little too much sake, that I did."
Hatori twitched. "Then this will remind you.." His smile became a tad bit evil. " Pink thong and tequila."
Nanjiroh blanched. "He-ey, you promised you wouldn't tell – " Hatori smiled innocently. "Did I? And how would I know that, dear Hentai Kamen?" He asked saucily, an evil undertone within a gentle voice. The listeners shuddered.
Hatori smirked cruelly, making the witnessed aware that he had some very humiliating information on Samurai Nanjiroh, and he wasn't afraid to use it, making the said Samurai pale even further, and the boys even more curious of their relationship.
"What is he talking about, Nanjiroh?" Ryuzaki asked her nervously sweating pupil suspiciously.
"E-Eh, nothing important, Granny," Nanjiroh stammered out. Hatori's smirk widened. "Then you wouldn't mind if I invite you to three or four shots of tequila, would you?" the green-eyed inquired silkily.
Nanjiroh was between rock and a hard place now. "You are mean one, Hatori – chan," he whined out, mock – pouting.
"And that's coming from the famed Samurai himself, oh joy. My days are fulfilled," Hatori drawled out.
Nanjiroh growled. "I am so happy I could provide you with some amusement, Libero," He smirked at the boys' gobsmacked faces.
Hatori winced. He just knew what was coming…
Even Tezuka was gaping unattractively, and that was saying something!
"W-What? Your coach was Libero and you didn't know it!" Yukimura sputtered in shock. Atobe was gaping like a goldfish.
No wonder Seigaku had managed to snatch the Nationals….
Hatori shook his head exasperatedly. "That's not important – "
"Not important!" Sanada thundered out. "You are the only one who ever won against the Samurai Nanjiroh, the unofficial number one, famed for being an incredible all – rounder, thus your nickname, and rumored to never been defeated in all your tennis career, and you are still saying it's not important!"
Hatori sighed, annoyed. "Yes. I didn't play you, they did," He pointed out logically. "The brats have done all the work; I just pointed them in the right way."
Yukimura growled, startling both Seigaku and his own team.
"Hatori…" He began silkily.
Green eyes looked at him warily. "Yes, Yukimura?" The Seigaku's coach asked cautiously. Besides Fuji, Yukimura was the only one sadistic enough to warrant some caution on Hatori's side, and rightfully so. "Why didn't you tell me?" Yukimura purred out, as he stalked in front of the slender man, looking eye-to eye with his prey.
"Uh, when?" Hatori asked. Inwardly, he winced. He knew exactly what the Child of Gods was asking, but he still held on hope that he would be… excused from that particular interrogation.
"You know when, Ha-To-Ri." Yukimura continued kindly. So kindly, in fact, that it set Sanada's teeth on edge. When Yukimura used THAT tone, those who knew him would run for the hills – better yet, mountains, to avoid the prodigy's ire.
Bunta whimpered quietly.
"In the hospital." Yukimura continued patiently. "We've known each other for half of year, and in that time, you never, ever mentioned to me that you played tennis, or, God forbid, that you coached Seigaku… or…. That you were Libero himself. "
If he were a lesser man, Hatori would be on his knees, begging, in front of the irate Rikkaidai Tennis Captain. But he had been intimidated by better and more dangerous that this seething pretty boy, and so, he looked into those blue-violet eyes calmly. "It was none of your business," He retorted. "I was here as an assistant, nothing more, nothing less. Besides, I never wanted to be known as Libero. Some dunderhead - "Ryuzaki glared at him – "decided to mark me with that nickname, and it stayed. " Hatori finished unrepentantly, glaring at the old woman lightly.
"The credit could be given to the idiot here," Ryuzaki interrupted, sniffling haughtily, as she jabbed at Nanjiroh, who emitted a wounded yelp. "Hey! You promised me you would never peep out - !" He complained, tenderly cradling his ribs where Ryuzaki jabbed him. The old witch still had steel fingers, that she did!
Their attention was on the haphazard monk now, especially Hatori's.
"You were the bastard that came out with that dreadful thing?" Hatori asked the cringing Nanjiroh incredulously.
Ryoma watched his old man, golden eyes wide. He knew about Libero – in fact, one of his goals was, when he would win over Oyayi, that he would search for the elusive player and play a match or two with him. However, never, ever in his life, would he have thought that the famed Libero was in all actuality their substitute coach.
He and his brother grew out listening to Nanjiroh stories about opponents he played tennis with – some he lost to, and some he won against, but one centerpiece of those stories was Libero. Every time his father talked about the man, he spoke about him with admiration, frustration and mostly, respect. The man, Nanjiroh told them, was an incredible player. He could counter everything the Samurai thought out, and in process, dish out some of the moves that were truly stupefying, even for such a good player as a Nanjiroh was in his prime. In fact, the Zone was one of the things Nanjiroh saw in effect as he watched Libero play, and then, he adopted the effect in his style of playing.
However, the most frustrating was, that every time Ryoma or Ryoga asked about him, Nanjiroh spoke about him only with his nickname - Libero – and not his real name. It made them stir crazy, not knowing about their hero, and the first thing they did when they learned to use internet, was searching for the elusive man's real name. Alas, they didn't have much luck.
"Oyayi." He spoke out, as he pushed his ever-present cap deeper on his eyes.
"Yeah?" Nanjiroh eyes his youngest hopefully.
Golden eyes glinted with irritated light. "That was mean." Ryoma concluded flatly, pouting slightly. If you asked him, he was frowning. Frowning, I tell you.
Ryuzaki-sensei let out a snicker, which changed into a rip-roaring laughter. Soon, Fuji joined in the amusement, tugging the respective listeners after him.
Hatori only groaned weakly, face palming at their reaction, although he did let out a chuckle or two.
The Rikkaidai-Seigaku match at this year's Nationals went into history as the beginning of the birth of one of the strongest generations of tennis players ever known in Japan.
Unofficially, Hatori was plagued with begging tennis maniacs that wanted to play a match against him sometime – and Kawamura Sushi did a record profit, what with all those starving tennis players celebrating their matches – Seigaku went first, followed by Rikkaidai, and then all other present teams followed.
For once, they were treated with Atobe practically worshipping the uncomfortable green-eyed man, which was unusual for the stuck-up diva of Hyotei, but it did provide a good bit of amusement for the witnesses. Who knew that Atobe in puppy mode was so entertaining?
Ryoma and Ryoga swore they'd never let Atobe live it down. Inui got 'marvelous data', which he shared with Oshitari, and made everyone else wary of two data maniacs.
Nanjiroh swore he would tease Hatori about acquiring personal stalker forever – that is, until Hatori sweetly threatened him with revealing the perverted monk's sordid affair with pink thong and tequila. Nanjiroh shut up after that, but it made all the players badly curious just what kind of dirt Hatori had on Nanjiroh to be able to make him shut up like that.
Inui and Oshitari had the time of their lives, collecting the data, which made the other players give them a wide berth, as to not be dragged in their schemes.
Officially, this year Nationals were the beginning of the birth of the strongest generation of tennis players in Japan.
Unofficially, Hatori found himself being bombarded with awe, admiration and pleads for matches by various tennis players, and only his unofficial brat pack saved him from the vultures. Kawamura Sushi had been filled to the brim with tennis fanatics from various schools talking, laughing, debating and celebrating their achievements. And in the centre of all that chaos, there were Hatori and Nanjiroh, bantering and laughing, as they reminisced about old times.
But back to our lovable protagonist's dilemma. Somehow, his misdirection didn't work as he had hoped it would. Yeah, he was guilty of it, too – but really, in his defense, he wanted to have a little bit of piece from all the happenings and the brats. Especially the brats.
And so, he mentioned he would spend his vacation on Bali – and in truth, he didn't lie. Not directly, in fact. What? He really did spend three days or so on Bali, before he took Portkey back to Japan, intending to spend his days of relaxation in famous hot springs.
His plan was flawless… or so it seemed.
Curse the Atobes.
It seemed that the hotel in which he rented a room, was property of Atobe family, and from then on, it just snowballed down.
One moment, he was enjoying his gourmet and looking at the beautiful sunset, and the next, he was almost choking as he was ambushed – yes, ambushed, by one Hyotei diva along with Rikkaidai duo and the Echizen brats.
The whole experience was mortifying.
He glared at the starry sky. If he were a lesser man, he would have whimpered with helplessness he was feeling right now. And the old Mad Eye would be rolling in his grave if he ever got a wind that his star pupil had been ambushed by five Muggle brats that had never been in anything more dangerous than airplane.
Hatori sighed. He was clothed in grey yukata with hotel's logo on his right breast that glittered with faint gold threads.
He sighed as he reminisced how had his entire oh-so-cleverly planned vacation gone to hell…
Hatori was enjoying the ambient – wood and stone with discreet flower arrangement that reminded him of old ages. The entire restaurant had the ancient accent added, mixed in with modern note, both complimenting each other. 'Whoever was the designer,' Hatori mused, 'they had to be a genius.'
Sighing, he picked up his cup of green tea, and inhaled the spicy aroma, when he looked at the sunset.
'Another sunset,' he mused to himself. 'Another day of freedom passing me by.' Green eyes behind slender rimless glasses looked at the darkening sky contentedly, if not a little longingly.
It would be almost a year and a half since his… departure from England. A year, since he discarded his old name, old life, old friends, and began living as himself, as Asakura Hatori.
True, learning Japanese was a bitch to get through, even if he had cheated slightly, with the help of Goblins and some language crystals. However, for what it was worth, he got his freedom from the meddlesome people that proclaimed themselves his friends.
Besides, he didn't have anything or anyone to stay in the miserable land that was rife with prejudices and old fashioned ideals and corruption. Lupin had Tonks and Teddy - they survived, Weasleys were okay, Hermione – last he heard of her she was divorcing Ron and going semi-steady with Blaise, Neville was married to Luna and expecting their first child, Draco was actively working on repairing his family's relations, the Weasley twins were busy with their business –
And him, getting his way, immersing himself in the world and its' cultures, picking up the racquet again and moving his old bones. At first, he had some trouble, what with some old wounds from the war, but he got in his rhythm fairly fast and picking up his old nickname of Libero again. Thank Merlin for obscurity charms; otherwise he would have been mobbed by multitude of players that wanted the fame of winning over Libero.
Curse Nanjiroh for inventing the dratted nickname…
Hatori sighed. It was his own fault, really. He was incredibly rounded up tennis player, and with his reflexes and stamina counting in, not to mention his war training, there was no other way, really. And he was just too proud to lose on purpose. Tennis was his guilty pleasure not many knew about. Among those were Luna – that nobody would believe her, although she played some games with him in the Room of Requirement, Neville, for same reason, minus the playing part, and surprisingly, one Slytherin. He didn't want to play the game his father had been famous in participating in – Quidditch was just too much of a hazard to play, and he would rather stay out of the limelight as much as possible. So his sport of choice became tennis, much to his satisfaction and his opponents' chagrin.
Sighing with contentment, he drank one gulp of the perfectly prepared tea –
"Did you really think you could escape Ore-Sama?" An irritatingly familiar voice sounded behind his back.
Hatori promptly choked on the mouthful.
He gulped the liquid down, sighing in annoyance. "I was on a good way to do just that," He retorted, disregarding Atobe's indignant sound. "After all, I was not aware that my vacation automatically translated into vacation with the brats."
After he got that off his chest, he breathed out calmly. "Now, if you would excuse me, I want to enjoy the sunset. So shoo." He waved them off, mindful of Atobe's incredulous face.
Apparently it was a rare sight, to see the heir of Atobe Inc. being dismissed so casually.
"You know that I could cancel your reservation here, don't you?" Atobe volleyed back casually.
Green eyes blinked lazily. "Yes," Hatori agreed amiably. "But then you would be deprived of my company, and you do know that I could slip your…security." His voice had a tinge of amusement in it.
"Not anymore," Atobe informed him pompously. "I've improved it since then."
Hatori paused. Green eyes looked into determined dark ones. "Do you really think I've taught you all the tricks?" He inquired mildly, making their witnesses choke at the casual way he… insinuated the word 'tricks'.
Tezuka's eyebrow twitched dangerously. That was it, he resolved. After that confusion of a discussion, he would drag Atobe out somewhere, and demand the answers. He knew that Hatori taught the diva tricks of trade in self-defense, but Hatori's words insinuated something more than teaching just those… tricks.
Yeah, Tezuka Kunimitsu was jealous. Of Atobe, of all the people.
It was just sad.
"I thought you said you would spend the vacation on Bali," He muttered out, successfully diverting Hatori's attention to himself.
Green eyes blinked. "I was there," Hatori agreed, making Atone's eyes bug out, and Fuji's slits snapped open to reveal diamond hard blue eyes.
"Right… There was no travel log at any of the airports," Fuji mocked him back, pale lips twisting in a kind – shark – like smile.
Hatori eyed him flatly. "You are already building your hacker career, I see," He muttered dryly, making the feminine teen cringe minutely at the sardonic tone.
"Besides, I do have friends that are willing to help me out with travelling incognito. I expected the potential human disturbances in my vacation, so I took liberty to avoid them. How, or when, it really isn't any of your business."
Hatori's answer left them stumped. If he really was on Bali, then it would take inhuman resources to conceal him being there, and not many people had so fast transportation as to move to and from in a snap of fingers.
Just who was Hatori to have such resources at his fingertips?
Atobe hung his head. "Forgive me for my ignorant words," He muttered, subdued. "Ore – sama just wished to spend some time with you."
Hatori sighed. Atobe was looking like a puppy that just wet the floor and was now very, very sorry for his misdeed. However, Hatori knew that Atobe would do the misdeed in a flash… or at least would again, in the near future. It was unavoidable.
'Well, there goes the rest of my vacation, 'He thought to himself, resigned. 'And it had begun so well, too.'
"Sit down, I don't bite," He muttered softly, prompting them to take the seats.
They complied immediately – even Ryoma.
They didn't want to anger their crush now, did they?
Hatori stared. And stared some more.
The brats had the nerve to invade his bedroom!
Well, it was not his bedroom – rather it was a hotel bedroom he had hired, but he was sure it was intended for only one person… not five, or, in this case, six of them.
He had just returned from his bathroom, drying his hair and a white fluffy towel around his hips, just to see the brats being curled on his tatami, snoozing away like there was no tomorrow!
Well, the sight was cute one, at least. Ryoma was snuggled in between Fuji and Atobe, while Sanada was clutching to himself one Tezuka Kunimitsu.
If he wasn't so irritated, Hatori would have to choke back a laughter at their positions. Who knew that Sanada – stern, goal-driven Sanada, the Emperor of Rikkaidai, was a snuggler?
He sighed, defeated. And then, he smirked. With a whispered mutter, barely audible to even the sharpest of ears, Hatori's smirk widened into an all-too-happy grin that would terrify Weasley twins something terrible.
It could mean only one thing.
'Blackmail, here we come.'
However, that still didn't resolve the question of where he would sleep.
Because the brats were oh so kind, Hatori now didn't have a place to sleep, except if he squeezed into the sleeping bunch on his tatami.
Sighing, he took out an additional blanket, and quietly tiptoed out to the balcony. The night was warm anyway, and he could watch the stars, something he hadn't done in quit of a time.
Looking back, he smiled once again at the cute sight, before he exited the room.
'Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have them there…' he mused, yawning softly. ' Just this once. '
In the morning, he changed his mind…
Because somehow, in the middle of the night, one bratty prince managed to get on his lap, and was now dozing serenely off, while Hatori's bladder viciously protested at the awful pressure the lithe teen's weight made on Hatori's lap.
For someone so tiny, Ryoma sure packed the weight… but as they say, big surprises often came in small packages.
Hatori fought the urge to groan, as he glared at his peacefully slumbering burden.
It would be a long, long day, he just knew it.
/To be continued/