Bishamon was sitting on her favorite chair in her bedroom which was on the top floor and could only be entered through her private rooms.
She sighed as she looked down through the window at her shinki going around the garden, enjoying the sun. Nana, her newest was among them. She could see that Aiha and some other girls were talking with her. She was still recovering after their war against the Heaven.
Actually, everyone was recovering. The Binbougami and her shinki, small Ebisu and Kunimi, Yukine and Yatogami. They were all staying in her mansion for a few days, helping around since she was in no shape to be there for her shinki.
Tenjin was taking care of the ayakashi in the near shore for her. Even Takemikazuchi was helping as he was slowly accepted in their small group as an ally. He was doing night patrols for her and he sometimes visited her mansion. He had started to grow some awe in him for Yato in a strange way. It was as if he was trying to gain Yato's respect of all. Not that she thought lowly of him.
Despite her hatred in the past, she actually liked him when she thought about it.
Actually it had never been him whom she had hated. It had been only her own self and her weakness since the very beginning.
She had been angry with herself for she had not been strong enough to keep her precious children safe. She had been saved by him that day. She had known it even then but she had been so desperate for a resolve to keep moving on that she had chosen to tell herself that she had hated him then.
Then she had learned that Kazuma was involved in that. She hadn't even managed to be angry, only sad as the solid proof of him being her saver had surfaced before her, shattering her resolve which had been the sole lifeline she had held onto for the past few centuries.
She had fought him in a last effort to light a flame of hate in herself which she had been fine pretending that it existed when he was far away and she had known for certain that never would she need it to finish him as he was high up and far stronger.
He had been kind once again, sparing her as she had been on the verge of being swallowed by the monster she had created with her own hands for the second time.
She had been tired after he had saved her again. Tired of the game of chase, tired of the pride which she had hidden the weak girl in her behind, tired of the pretence of hate, tired of being alone...
So she had admitted that the only kind of hate she had felt was directed at none other than herself. She had admitted that he had never done anything bad to her. Only saving her many times, helping her, leaving her alive and even playing the role of the villain in the seldom times they had met just to keep her away from the self hate that would chew on her soul as she claimed that she would kill him for revenge, stubborn as a child.
Inwardly, she had always known. Always known the truth but forced herself to deny it. She had always yearned to let it all out. To cry her heart out and apologize, to beg him to forgive her, to accept that she had been weak and instead of trying to be strong for once and facing it, she had chosen to be weak again and blame him.
She had wanted to just admit it. But she had told herself that she wouldn't. She couldn't because she would collapse. She would be nothing without the goal to drive her. She wouldn't be able to live if she had accepted that the one to blame was and had always been her.
So she couldn't. But after that dark day the cruel history repeated itself, she had. And never had she felt lighter, better...
Maybe it had been the second chance the fate gave her to save her from the dark path she walked, when he had saved her for the second time.
She had just accepted everything and suddenly, it was easy to breathe. It was a brighter and a better world around her.
She had started to feel a little guilty after that. Because he had nothing to do with the ruthless, cruel god of calamity she had pictured him as in her mind.
The way he behaved, like an innocent child and a caring parent both at once, the way he talked, with a kind voice full of joy when he was happy and with a firm voice which shook her from head to toe whenever he was serious about something, the way he walked, gently stepping around as if he didn't want to hurt the ground so different from the marching the god of calamity in her mind made, the way he looked, with his round face and royal purple-black hair and those captivating blue eyes which would look at her as if piercing her body to see her soul.
She would often find herself unable to look away. She would say something and start a fight just to come fist to fist and get closer to him, just to see him more closely and look at him a little longer.
She hadn't known what got in her at first. But she had slowly understood after spending so much time around his overly cheerful demanour, bright eyes, chirping laughter, goofy smiles then his determination, kindness, faith in others, devotion and pretty much his everything.
Fortunately she hadn't been that foolish as to not realise what the lump in her throat whenever she tried to talk to him and the strange leaps her heart made whenever she looked at him meant.
The only thing she hadn't known when she had found herself falling was when it had all started.
Maybe it was on that first day when he had come to her rescue, so mighty and strong, just before she had shook her head and told herself that the only thing she would let herself feel for him would be sole hate.
Or maybe later, when she had seen him pretending to be the god of calamity she had convinced herself that he was just for her sake.
"I finally found you Yatogami! I will kill you and take my revenge!"
"Haha... You will never do that little girl! I will kill your shinki again!"
'Liar. You did that to help me. You are trying to help me by giving me the bad guy I need to hate...'
She hadn't been able to stop those feelings nor had she wanted to. She had been already in too deep when he had disappeared and Yukine had come looking for him.
She hadn't hesitated for the slightest of seconds when she had went in Yomi no Kuni just to save him as he had saved her many times.
When she had found herself above the ground in the blink of an eye and without him, when she had realised that the human girl couldn't call him back out, her chest had started to feel tight with rising fear as she struggled to breathe as if silently choking on her own breath.
Then she had done it. Hiyori Ikı had saved him. As she watched him stumble and fall in her arms, so different from himself, so pitiful, she had wanted to scream and cry as if feeling his pain in her own muscles and bones. She had been jealous for the first time then. She had wished that she could switch places with the human girl and hold him in her arms.
"He could stay in my house until he gets well."
Everyone had agreed almost too easily even Yukine. On the first night they had stayed in her mansion, she had been unable to sleep sitting in front of a window and staring distantly at the full moon which always reminded her of him. In the end she had silently went out of her room and crept into his just a few hours before sunrise and watched him sleep.
He had bandages all over him and for a moment she feared that he would never open his bright blue eyes again as she gazed at him. Never had she wanted to see a color that badly before.
"What's the Pscho doing here!?"
Never had she been that glad to hear that nickname before. He had looked lifeless for days not waking up not even moving around in his seemingly endless sleep. She had had many nightmares of him dying losing the count of the times she woke up trembling in cold sweat.
When they had told her that he had woken up, she had stood up from her office chair so fast to run that it had nearly got knocked over. She had run not giving a damn about the stares of Kazuma and her other shinki and only managing to slow down to a rushed walk in the hall before his door.
After he had left, she had gone to his room only to find it all tidied and cleand up with no trace of his sweet scent lingering.
Then she had got Iki Hiyori's invitation for a picnic under Suzuha's tree.
The girl had had her sit next to him. Then the two of them had got so drunk that she had started to tell everything in hear heart to him and cry.
When he had kissed her, she had been both schocked and a little hopeful at the same time. Her heart had fluttered and she had turned to a complete crimson when she had already been carrying a blush because of the alcohol. That was why she had been genuinely angry at him when he had laughed at her.
Even if she was a goddess, her heart had been as weak as every other girl's was for him and he had laughed at that. But still, even if it was indirect, that kiss was both a pleasent and embrassing memory. Esspecially when the Binbougami had sent her the pictures she had taken.
She had been thankful that he couldn't remember though as she could easily imagine how awkward it would get between them.
She was fine with their small fights and friendship. She knew there could never be more between them because she could never tell him and he wouldn't look at her when there was Iki Hiyori anyway. She knew she wouldn't stand a chance against a beautiful, sweet girl who knew how to love unlike herself. And it was appearant that she made him happy. Bishamon wouldn't dare disturb his happiness even if it meant staying silent and watching him from afar forever.
She reached for the glass of rose wine on the coffe table and took a sip.
Yukine, the twins and other kids were playing with Kuraha. Daikoku was was also playing with some of the smaller kids, seeming a little too happy as they called him 'Dada' not managing to pronounce his name. The Binbougami was watching him with a smile and Kunimi was chasing the little Ebisu who had some chocolate on his face and was rushing near Yukine and other kids to play with Kuraha too. Kazuma and Iki Hiyori were chatting about something on the garden chairs. And everyone was doing their own thing all around the garden.
Except him. Where was he anyway?
She took another sip and refilled her empty cup as she gazed down at the garden. Then she heard footsteps.
"Still sulking alone, Psycho?"
Eventhough she knew someone was coming, she still jumped when she heard his voice.
He went and flopped down on the other chair next to hers. It had to be him of all to come look for her.
"Your kids miss you, you know?"
She didn't answer, instead she finished her cup and poured another.
"They are all like 'Mama is so kind.' 'Mama is beautiful.' 'We love Mama.' 'Where did Mama go?' ' Why doesn't Mama come?'...They keep asking and asking, those smaller ones..."
"I can't be a mother for them. I can't even protect them. I try but...I just... Even Kazuma says that I can't love like a mother because I am a god of war."
She raised the cup to her lips but his larger and stronger hand held her wrist on halfway. He held her arm firmly in one hand and turned her head to look at his face by her chin with his other.
The first thing she had seen was the scary glow in his blue eyes. She hadn't seen that since the first day she had seen him.
"Now listen here woman. Forget the bullshit Kazuma says. He can't understand a god's emotions as a human. He is only trying to protect you from getting heartbroken over a naughty shinki who might say something bad to you or something in his own way. It is true that we can't love like humans but we certainly do in our own unique ways. Those kids call you their mother and they feel it because you made them feel it. You call them your children because you love them as your children. It's none of anyone's bussiness. And if you believe that you don't love your children because of what others say, then you must be even crazier than I thought."
He released her after that and she leaned back on her chair with her eyes still wide from shock.
"But the sorcerer is still outside and now the Heaven sees me as a traitor. I can't protect them from both... I...I am still afraid of losing them...Even if I...Even if I was a good mother or a real one at that, it wouldn't matter if I can't even keep them safe and happy."
She felt a tear falling down her cheek and heard him sigh. He took the bottle and took a swing.
"Look, the Heaven is corrupted. But, after being found in the wrong by their own system, they wouldn't do anything to you. Their pride just wouldn't take that."
He took another swing.
"And about the sorcerer, I too am against him. So you are not alone. I will be there. I will help you. I know it seems hard... Hell, it is hard to be a god... But - But I will-"
"That's the matter. You always help me. I can't do a thing on my own. I can't even protect my family...On top of everything I... I blamed you for all these years...yet you still help me..."
She took the bottle from him and took a swing.
"You...you are just trying to cheer me... I can never understand the love of a mother... I can never make them happy... I will never have real children and they will never have their mothers back... I can't fill that void."
She started to sob quietly.
He took the bottle back and drunk for a few seconds. Then he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. She could already see the drunk blush on his face which she was sure that she carried a matching one.
"You silly woman... You are forgiven for that enemy thing okay? And...and there are gods who consort with each other... They even get married in a holy union and have kids... You could find another god if you want to have your lover parts ripped apart for a baby that much... Of course...Of course I am only trying to cheer you up...Stop crying already..."
He took a few more sips.
"You would... You would be a good mother alright?... If you... If you had kids...You would have... like eight of them... You would fret over them... ylu would hug them and kiss them everyday... even... even in front of their friends... you would always get worried and call them several times a day and they would be like 'Mama stop!'... you wouldn't understand their modern things and they would try to explain...you would have many fights with them once they became teens but in the end of the day they would hug you and apologize and... and...they would love you more than everything...stop... stop with that love bullshit too... Gods can love."
She wouldn't expect to hear that from him at all. But she slowly calmed down as she listened to him. She even chuckled as she tried to imagine what he said.
"See? You are... you are better... I love someone too you know?... And if even I can do it, then you too can love."
"I know that you love Yukine like your own kid."
"There's him yes but it's someone else."
"As someone from family, yes."
"Binbougami and his shinki."
"They were...the first ones who treated me like a friend. I am talking about a.. a... romantic kind of love."
Romantic? For a moment she fwlt something sinking in her stomach.
"I told you she’s like family, like a big sister for my kid and all. Also she's a human and far too young."
Bishamon looked at him with a puzzled expression. If it wasn't her, then who could it be? Was there anyone as close to him as she was?
"Please tell me it's not Kazuma."
He looked at her, gaping like a fish.
"No! That's... that's... where did you even get the idea!? You Pscho!"
"Then-then one of your past shinki..."
"There was one I saw as a mother figure but that's all."
Who cpuld it be?
"Don't tell me it's that Nora."
Yato sighed dropping his head.
"The past Ebisu."
"So I am either a pervert, a pedophil or gay in your eyes huh?"
Then he started to laugh.
"I don't have any other idea."
She really didn't. Thinking, she didn't even realise how they had come to that topic.
"Do I even know her?"
"You do. She is like the most beautiful woman alive. It's really hard to miss."
Whag was that uneasy feeling in her? Was that how real jealousy felt?
"She-she must be lucky if you love her that much."
He looled at her, shaking his head.
"'Course she's lucky. She is one of the Seven Lucky Gods."
Her eyes widened.
She couldn't believe it. When had he met Benzaiten? In the Kamuhakari? How-
"You silly woman..."
He leaned towards her.
"Let me correct it okay?"
He put his hand on her shoulder.
"That day...the say we had the picnic... I did it wrong... Let mw correct it."
He smiled at her.
Then his lips covered her own and her eyes widened. She didn't move for a moment, not knowing what to do. Then he pulled back.
"This was what I wanted to do that day but... I did it wrong."
She just blinked at him.
"You still don't understand?"
He kissed her again, this time pulling her closer with a hand fisted in her hair and after a second she kissed back.
"It's you. You might be a Psycho and all but...that's just how love works isn't it? It's illogical."
She bit her lip and looked down on her lap. Had she passed out while drinking? Was she having one of those dreams again?
Her feelings were unrequited. He was just... too good for her. He wouldn't love someone like her.
As if reading her thoughts he answered.
"I love you. Not anyone else. And you know what? Before this, I thought just like you. I believed that we were unable to feel love. But then, after realising I loved you, I realised that I had felt different kinds of love before. And it was all thanks to you."
She couldn't believe her ears.
"I think...I think you like me back... We spent lots of time together... And you are not as harsh on me as before... you keep eyeing me and... and... you blushed and looked away whenever I talked to you after that kiss...I pretended not to remember... I saw your wallpaper on your phone... I was...uh behind you..."
Had he really known all that time?
Suddenly she remembered the picture of him laughing which she had taken secretly. She covered her face with her hands not beingable to face him anymore.
"Soo... Do you like me like I like you?...pfhaha...Your silliness is contagious... Do you love me?"
She held hear breath and nodded.
He wrapped his arös around her.
"I have always loved you... Psycho... I thought that you loved Kazuma... I couldn't say anything... until... until recwntly I was sure... I don't know when it happened but...I don't care..."
As she buried her head in his neck and breathed in his scent mixed with alcohol, once again tears filled her eyes. She started laughing as they fell down her cheeks.
"Shhh...You...You look ugly when you cry... Don't do it..."
She laughed harder and sobbed a littke as she wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed him.
"Y-You know what? Aaahaha...I... Let’s... let's have those... eight kids together..."
She couldn't say anything as she laughed and cried at the same time. And when she finally mamaged to calm down, they just sat in silence, holding each other with Yato placing a few kisses on her hair and she, on his neck.
After a while her eyes started to close on their kwn and she leaned completely on him.
Realising she was falling asleep, he picked her up bridal style and carried her to bed.
Before he could leave, she pulled him on bed with herself.
"Stay a little longer... I can't sleep alone..."
She whispered and nuzzled against gis side as soon as he laid down with her.
He draped an arm around her and pulled her closer.
"I will stay as much as you want... I will always be here."
She smiled against his chest and listened to his breathing until it evened out.
"I love you so much..."
She whislered just before falling asleep herself.