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Long after Bishamon's Hafuri Vessel left her in the snow where he'd physically and emotionally pinned her, she laid motionless, unable to do anything but stare wide-eyed and unseeing.

"Gods and humans can never be together. Any amount of affection you get from him going forward will never be enough for you again."

He had cursed her with his own sorrowful, centuries-old realization, threatened her with never coming near Yato again, and then just abandoned her slipped soul to the white icy powder under her back. She hadn't even been able to refute Kazuma's words.

And now that she'd had reality forced into the forefront of her mind's eye, she considered it detachedly.

She'd already known some time ago that she'd fallen for the God of Calamity, but had been trying desperately not to admit it aloud. But those times were over, and it was no use denying them, when a bystander pointed them out, plain as day.

Iki Hiyori was in love with the Yato-gami.

The tears trailed down from the corners of her eyes like a sieve, dripping into her snow-wet dark hair. She didn't even have the will to pick herself up off of the freezing ground; she simply covered her eyes with her arms and let herself cry.

She didn't even realize how long she'd been laying there, until she vaguely felt the cold seep into her ethereal coat and skirt. It took most of her will to sit up then and the rest to stand, her bloodshot eyes dry from the biting wind that had been blowing across her & drying them out.

She inhaled shakily, held her breath for a beat, exhaled, and started her slow trek through the ankle-deep snow back towards the bench she'd left her body seated on. Her mind was blissfully blank, figuratively and physically numb, automatically walking.

Finding her body, she slipped back into it, stood up to stretch her stiff limbs and sneezed from the magnified chill she felt. Turning, she continued her walk back to the station to catch the last Shinkansen back home from Hokkaido. Seated on the train with a hot tea she didn't remember buying, she rested her forehead on the window, the scenery flying past her unseeing eyes.

What do I do now?

Hiyori was good at keeping a secret. This much she knew. After all, how long had she known about God's Greatest Secret, and mentioned nothing about it around any of their shinki, Yukine especially. He was like a little brother to her, or rather she imagined what having a little brother would be like. Absently, she smiled at that stray thought. Her smile vanished just as quickly as it came.

Thinking about Yukine meant thinking of Yato.

She shook her head and took a sip from her cooling tea, and stared at her own reflection in the window. Puffiness under her eyes and wind-chapped cheeks, damp hair and clothing, pale complexion even for her… She was a mess even in her body. Somewhere along the dazed walk, she had begun to cry without even noticing it. Yato would scold her when he-

No. I can't think about him right now. I can keep this a secret. It's fine!

She put her now-uninteresting drink cup on the windowsill and slapped her cheeks a few times, startling the passenger next to and across from her. She had to snap out of it.

She checked the time on her phone and sighed. As fast as the bullet train was, she still had three hours until it arrived in Tokyo. She stretched slightly, then shuddered in her clothing. Wrapping her arms around her to hold in as much warmth as she could, she closed her sore eyes and rested her head back against the window once more.

Hiyori stirred from her rest when she heard the announcement that they were arriving in Tokyo, and stood slowly from her seat, her neck and shoulders sore from the unnatural position she'd fallen asleep in.

Fifteen minutes later saw her exiting the station and she started the final leg of her trip home. Her mind had been playing silly dreams in her sleep; she reflected on some of the dream snippets she still recalled. All of which involved a stray God with mesmerizing blue eyes and ridiculous fashion sense.

Her mind had retreated into those dreams so far, that she hadn't noticed her feet had already carried her home. She also hadn't noticed the shadow that sat perched on the wall surrounding the property, until it grabbed her by the shoulder & held two fingers like a blade to the back of her neck.

"Yaboku really has you twisted, Hiyori-chan."

Her reflexive reaction was to vacate her soul from her body and take a huge leap away from him, leaving it to slump to the ground as Fujisaki let go of it.

"Good, just what I wanted, lucky me!"

Hiyori felt the hairs on the nape of her hanyou form raise before she even heard the low growling from behind her. She turned to regard four masked ookami-ayakashi stalking up to her from behind, and she chanced a look back at the man.

Who was no longer there.

"This is gonna hurt you more than me, trust me," were the only words of warning before her vision turned stark white and she screamed in horror.

The agony was nothing compared to how it felt that one and only time Yato had yanked her by her Cord, to keep her from being swallowed up. Fujisaki had the end of her Cord firmly in his vice-like grip, and was winding it around his forearm brutally, until he came to the small of her back where it connected. And then he twisted it further, stopping just this side of breaking it clean off.

When her mind could no longer process the level of pain her soul was in, it shut down and she fell limp against him again. Fujisaki instantly uncoiled her Cord from his arm, catching her around her midsection. He placed her on the back of one of the ookami.

"Take her, I'll be along in a minute."

"takE hEr," it managed in it's screeching, multi-octave voice, and they all turned to run off to parts unknown, with the girl on it's back, blight seeping into her cheek that rested on its' shoulder blades.

Fujisaki stooped to pick up Hiyori's discarded body in a bridal carry and lept soundlessly into the tree by her bedroom window. Fortunately her window was unlatched, and he stole into her room, deposited her body gently onto the bed and stood back to regard her.

Truly, he had felt a microscopic something for this mortal, just for a moment. Before he had realized to the extent that her grasp had a hold over Yaboku. He sneered at her soulless body and exited the room the way he came, departing in the direction his masked ones had headed.

Hiyori's phone was left in the courtyard, forgotten, under the tree.