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Gods and Men

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Daichi didn’t live a very exciting life now that the old gods were no longer prayed to regularly. He watched humanity flourish then wilt, like the inhale and exhale of the Earth. At the moment, humanity was in a moment of pause, neither inhaling nor exhaling, and so Daichi merely observed.

A sound to his left drew his attention, and he looked up in time to see Keiji make his way through the opening in the maze that surrounded the scrying pool. The man was unfairly pretty, cloaked in deep purple robes with bands of gold around his ankles. Flowers seemed to sprout along the ground behind him as he walked, only fading from sight when he was several feet away from them.

“Daichi,” Keiji greeted softly, moving to sit on the edge of the pool. Blue eyes moved from one image to the next in the water, a small, amused smile on his face.

“Keiji. What brings you?”

“It would appear that Shouyou has disappeared.”

“Again?” Daichi sighed heavily, wiping a hand down his face.

The gods didn’t often deign to walk among mortals, as the journey to and from was tiring, but the youngest of them seemed to have endless energy and often made the trip. It was a never-ending source of frustration for those ultimately tasked with having to fetch the excitable god -- namely Daichi.

Keiji shrugged as if saying Daichi shouldn’t be surprised by the turn of events. He reached a hand down and plucked one of the golden flowers at his feet before holding it out to the god in front of him.

Daichi took the flower, and, looking unimpressed, pricked his finger on one of its thorns. He watched a drop of blood swell up from his skin then turned his hand, letting it fall into the water. Half a moment later, Shouyou could be seen riding on the shoulders of a large man with strange, almost-horned hair. The youngest god seemed to be wearing a bedsheet wrapped around his body and held in place with a knot and… a tie? Daichi frowned, leaning closer to the water.

Keiji hummed in amusement. “He’s found himself a frat party, I believe they’re called.”

“Perfect,” Daichi mumbled. He controlled the view on the pool, trying to observe what everyone was wearing. From what he could tell, the dress code was either a derivative of a Greco-roman toga or western cinema’s depiction of what warriors from those armies wore. “You know,” he started. “This sort of environment would be much better suited for Yuuji.”

“Possibly, but then neither would come home. And I would like to meet who has been so hospitable to our little sun.” Keiji’s tone was as level and calm as always, but his eyes were sharp, focused on the man carrying Shouyou on his shoulders. His expression betrayed no thoughts.

“So much for being a pure god.” Daichi shook his head, standing up from the edge of the pool.

“Flowers will grow at my feet whether I’ve had a dick in me or not, Daichi. Purity has very little to do with sexual exploits, you know that.”

The shorter god waved a hand slightly, rebuking the comment with a disinterested sigh. Pretty faces meant little around their lot, and even less when among mortals.

Keiji’s robes shortened to mid-thigh and shifted to only cover one shoulder, leaving half of his chest exposed, and his bare feet became covered by almost-golden canvas shoes. He waited, looking at Daichi expectantly. At least, Daichi assumed it was an expectant look. Keiji’s face never really changed.

Daichi looked back towards the pool, Shouyou still visible on the man’s shoulders. With Keiji joining him, it wouldn’t be as draining to make the trip to retrieve Shouyou, but that didn’t mean it would be easy to convince either of them to return. Squaring his shoulders, his own russet orange and black robes traded out for a deep red cape pinned with a crow medallion, and a similar leather pteruges to the one Shouyou’s companion wore. He frowned down at himself and crossed his arms.

“Don’t be such a prude, Daichi. Worse comes to worst, just flex and flaunt your thighs a bit more and we’ll be fine.”

The smile that Keiji aimed his way was teasing but approving, so Daichi didn’t bother responding. They would pass as mortals for the duration of their stay, and that’s all that mattered to him. He motioned Keiji over to one of the openings in the maze wall and, when the other god was at his side, they stepped through.

The air crackled around them, and there was a pop that made Daichi’s ears ache briefly. When he opened his eyes, he saw they were to the side of the building that was holding the party. The music was loud and the only thing he could smell other than cheap body sprays was alcohol.

“I am way too old for this,” he mumbled with a sigh and made his way through the crowd of hardly-clothed partiers, heading in the direction he felt Shouyou’s presence. He knew Keiji followed close behind him.

“Daichi!” Shouyou waved when he realized he wasn’t alone. He reached down to pat the man’s chest so the other knew to let him down, before hurrying to meet Daichi at the edge of the deck. “You made it!” Shouyou grinned, practically vibrating.

“No, you made it. I’m just here to bring you home.”

“Aw, does he actually have to leave so soon?” The man next to Shouyou pouted, leaning his forearms against the deck railing and looking down to Daichi. When his golden eyes landed on Keiji, they widened and a blush started spreading across his cheeks. He leaned down to Shouyou, saying something in too low a voice for either Daichi or Keiji to make out.

“Oh, him? That’s my, uh, cousin, Keiji. Yeah.” Shouyou nodded and Daichi resisted the urge to plant his face in his hand so soon upon arriving. “Keiji, come meet Bokuto! Daichi, you too!”

Keiji stepped around Daichi, not needing to be asked twice, and climbed the few steps leading up to the deck. If the flowers planted around the base of the structure came back to life, nobody noticed or said anything. There was a small smile on Keiji’s face when he joined Shouyou and Bokuto, the latter of which was running a hand through his black and silver hair nervously.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Bokuto,” Keiji greeted with a small bow.

“Pleasure’s all mine!” Bokuto’s face was red as a tomato with Keiji standing in front of him.

Keiji’s eyes found Daichi’s and his smile quirked crookedly for all of a second before he turned back to Bokuto and set a hand on his elbow. “Why don’t you show me where the drinks are?” he asked, leading the other back into the house, his hand never leaving Bokuto’s arm.

“That could have gone worse,” Shouyou commented distractedly, watching the two disappear into the house.

“It’s going to be impossible to get him home.”

“Probably.” Shouyou beamed up at Daichi, lacking any concern for the other god. “Bokuto is really nice, so we have nothing to worry about, though.”

Shaking his head, Daichi sighed and put his hands on his hips. He and Shouyou both looked over when there was a loud clatter of something hitting the ground and a hissed curse.

A tall man with unruly black hair was standing by the door, staring in dismay at a baking sheet of cookies that had scattered on the deck. He wore a red bedsheet, slung low around his hips and draped over his shoulder carelessly, and a pair of oven mitts that looked like black cats. When a hand reached out from underneath a table to grab one of the cookies, the man scowled and swatted at it with one of his mitts.

“Kuroo, you actually made cookies!” Shouyou was instantly at the man’s side, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

“And for their short lifespan, they were perfect,” Kuroo sighed heavily. He crouched down to scoop up the crumbled remains, piling them back on the baking sheet. Daichi and Shouyou both crouched down to help pick up what they could reach. “Hot damn.”

Daichi frowned at the mumbled words and looked over, catching Kuroo staring at his thighs.

“Oh, I think I see Kenma!” With a shit-eating grin, Shouyou was gone.

Daichi hung his head with a weary sigh before helping Kuroo to pick up the remaining mess. He stood wiping his hands off on the panels of leather at his hips. “So why were you making cookies?” he ventured to ask, looking to the -- damn it, taller -- man when he also stood.

“Honestly? Shrimpy said he wanted some. We didn’t have any. Seemed like a good idea at the time,” Kuroo said with a shrug then frowned at the baking sheet. “You know what? Fuck it.” He slid the tray over onto one of the tables outside and almost immediately hands were on the pile. “Buncha animals. All of you.”

Daichi chuckled. He looked around for Shouyou, frowning slightly when he didn’t immediately see the shock of bright orange hair anywhere. Kuroo patted Daichi’s shoulder with an oven mitt before motioning him to follow. Seeing no real reason not to, he did.

He didn’t think it possible, but there were more people inside than out. If the inside of the house had any sort of particular style to it, Daichi wouldn’t have been able to pick it out from underneath the cast-aside sheets, plastic shields, and coloured streamers. It appeared anything remotely breakable had been tucked away, as he saw nails exposed where pictures had hung and dustless circles on shelves.

Kuroo shook off the oven mitts and put his hands on his hips, fingers quickly shifting so that he could readjust his attempted toga when it started slipping. “I’m guessing since Shouyou ran off, you’ll be sticking around for a while. Want a drink? I don’t think I caught your name, either. I’m Kuroo.”

Daichi turned from his assessment of the building and looked towards Kuroo. He seemed trustworthy enough, despite the smirk he kept flashing in Daichi’s direction. And if Daichi was being honest with himself, he wasn’t quite ready to rid himself of the man’s company. Briefly, he wondered if he should have Shimizu check him over for senility upon their return.

“Daichi, and sure. To the drink. You’re probably right about Shouyou,” Daichi said, punctuated by a sigh. “And Keiji, wherever he went off to.”

“I think I saw them…” Kuroo trailed off, eyes scanning what of the main floor he could see. He snapped his fingers and pointed to the wall by the stairs where a couch had been pushed. Keiji was in Bokuto’s lap, saying something to a thoroughly debauched-looking Bokuto that had him staring up at Keiji in wonder. “Over there. Sure hope Bo remembered to change his sheets.”

Daichi snorted in amusement before shaking his head. “This is going to be a long night.”

“Yup. So about that drink,” Kuroo segued, a hand on Daichi’s shoulder turning him towards the liquor bottles that crowded one of the kitchen counters. If the contact of his hand on Daichi’s shoulder tingled just as much for him as it did for Daichi, he gave no indication.

Daichi didn’t recognize any of the bottles, which Kuroo must have noticed in his expression because a moment -- and more than a few bottles -- later a disposable cup was being pushed into Daichi’s hand before a matching cup found its way into Kuroo’s. When Daichi brought the cup up, he hesitated with it level with his chin. The drink smelled sweet, which probably meant that whatever Kuroo mixed would have most mortals incapacitated by the bottom of the cup. He took a tentative sip and made a face; it was sweeter than it smelled.

Kuroo grinned at Daichi crookedly, throwing an arm over his shoulder. “So are you Shrimpy’s cousin, too?” he asked, watching Daichi closely. There was a look in his eye that made Daichi think Kuroo didn’t buy the cover.

“Something like that,” Daichi hummed before his posture straightened with a frown. He nudged Kuroo’s side with an elbow before he picked his way through the straggling partiers. Since coming inside, the crowd seemed to have thinned out, most of them either going to other parts of the building or going outside. There was still no sign of Shouyou. “Keiji,” he called when nearing the couch.

The other god looked over his shoulder, almost pouting at the interruption from kissing Bokuto, who was also looking over Keiji’s shoulder with swollen lips looking like he was trying to catch his breath.

“Hey, bro, being a good host to Shrimpy’s cousin ?” Kuroo crooned, sliding back up to Daichi’s side. He grinned crookedly at the couple on the couch then snorted and looked anywhere but them. “And that’s a dick. Okay! Congratulations, but you know your room is just upstairs, right?”

“Bokuto-san?”

At Keiji’s tone, Bokuto nodded resolutely and stood, easily lifting Keiji and supporting his weight. Daichi watched them disappear upstairs, somewhat impressed by Bokuto’s strength.

“I could do that,” Kuroo sniffed before drinking his concoction.

“Kuroo, you can hardly keep your bedsheet up so forgive me for not thinking you capable of also holding up a fully grown man. Are you pouting?” Daichi chuckled.

“No.”

Daichi clicked his tongue, though his eyes were warm with amusement. He reached over and gave the tiniest of tugs to the material draped over Kuroo’s shoulder and laughed when Kuroo baulked and almost spilled the remainder of his drink trying to catch the sheet. He went back into the kitchen to top up his drink with … whatever looked right. What was it Shouyou was always saying? He would pick what his heart wanted .

“If you wanted to see me naked that badly, you could have just asked, you know.”

Daichi looked over his shoulder to Kuroo, who had managed to retain his dignity and not spill his drink while doing so. He arched a brow and made a show of looking Kuroo over. The corner of his mouth twitched, but he bit back the smile when he saw the light flush work its way onto Kuroo’s face. Instead, he shook his head.

“You’re insufferable. You know that, right?” Daichi chuckled, turning back to watch the soda he’d picked fill the plastic cup.

“Whoops, sorry, coming through!”

A streak of orange followed quickly by a tall brunette and an even taller man with silver hair, ran through the kitchen and out into the backyard, knocking into both Daichi and Kuroo. Daichi exhaled slowly through his nose before looking down to where he had spilled his drink on himself. A quick look told him that Kuroo didn’t fare much better, having opted to keep his sheet up instead of protecting his drink.

“Bathroom?” Daichi asked with a tight smile, frustrated by ‘playing mortal’ and not being able to just clean up with a thought.

Kuroo gestured towards the hall, his own smile stiff and showing just as much frustration. He led Daichi into a small bathroom across the hall from the kitchen. It was big enough for both of them to stand in but they would have to take turns at the sink.

The frosted glass walls of the standing shower looked clean enough, so Daichi unclipped the cloak around his shoulders and draped it over. When he saw that Kuroo was just standing there, looking up at the ceiling with a red face, he grabbed the small hand towel from the hanging rack and wet half of it to wipe the soda off his torso.

“Maybe I should wait outside,” Kuroo said in a rush, already making his way for the door.

Daichi arched a brow and reached over with a damp hand to catch Kuroo’s elbow. “Are you sure? Did you not spill as well? I’m almost done.” He gestured with the cloth towards himself.

Kuroo’s eyes followed the motion, taking in Daichi’s bare chest and abdomen, now wet. He swallowed thickly before looking up at the ceiling again. “No. Well, I mean, yes. But it wasn’t that bad, really. See?” He waved a hand towards the sheet covering him and, Daichi admitted, there wasn’t nearly as much spilled on him as there was on Daichi. He could easily get away with just changing how his sheet was tied and carry on with the rest of his night. Or he could keep it held up with one hand fisted at his hip, which is how it was staying up right now.

“Do you want some help retying that?”

“Uh…”

Daichi snorted slightly and did one last quick wipe of his side before tossing the cloth in the sink. He stepped over to Kuroo and tugged on a piece of the sheet again. Distantly, he marvelled at the heat radiating off of the Kuroo. “Come on, it’ll only take a second. Then you’ll have both hands for the rest of the night,” he said with a chuckle.

When Kuroo nodded mutely, Daichi pulled the sheet from around him. Trying not to follow the lines of Kuroo’s lean torso to the waistband of his boxer-briefs, Daichi shook out the sheet before folding the top third of it down and wrapping it around Kuroo’s hips once then crossing it up to tie in a knot at his shoulder. He gave the ends of the knot a tug to make sure it stuck before patting Kuroo’s shoulders.

“See? Easy.” Daichi looked up to Kuroo, his next words dying under the weight of Kuroo’s gaze.

Kuroo’s amber eyes were focused on his, unwavering. The heat behind them took Daichi’s breath away, surprised at the change from the adorable dork just moments ago. Daichi’s hands stilled on Kuroo’s shoulders, his thumbs caressing against the smooth skin without thought. He almost held his breath when Kuroo leaned down to close the distance between them. Daichi didn’t realize he was tilting his head up to meet Kuroo until he felt Kuroo’s breath ghosting over his lips.

“Daichi!” Shouyou whined on the other side of the door, banging on it with his hands. Joining in with him were two other voices calling for Kuroo.

Kuroo jumped back in surprise, hitting his hip on the doorknob. He hissed slightly in pain and rubbed the offended spot before looking back at Daichi. “You kill yours, I kill mine. Meet back in five?” He suggested with his usual crooked smile.

Daichi laughed, and he saw Kuroo’s shoulders relax slightly before they opened the bathroom door.

Shouyou, the brunette and the inhumanly tall one all fell forward into the bathroom, managing to catch themselves before falling completely. The short god grinned up at Daichi. “When are we leaving? Keiji and Bokuto are back downstairs. Are we staying the night?” His brown ochre eyes gleamed with mischief as they darted between Daichi and Kuroo.

“No,” Daichi said firmly. He reached over and grabbed onto Shouyou’s ear, pulling him out of the bathroom and into the hall towards where he felt Keiji’s presence.

“Oho? What’s this? What were you doing, bro?” Bokuto’s voice was teasing as he looked over Keiji’s head, his arms resting easily around the god like they had fallen there a thousand times before. Keiji was leaning comfortably against the broad chest behind him, a tiny, amused smile on his face seeing Daichi dragging Shouyou into the front room.

“Shrimpy, Tweedle-Dee, and Tweedle-Dum made us spill our drinks so we were washing up, you pervy owl,” Kuroo said, rolling his eyes, though he had a fond smile on his face. The other two were nowhere to be seen, probably having made their escape before Kuroo could say or do anything.

“We didn’t mean to!” Shouyou huffed.

“Nobody believes you.” Daichi let go of his ear with a scowl before looking at Kuroo. He blinked in surprise to see the red fabric bundled in his arms, crow pin on top. He nodded in thanks, taking it from the other before looking back to Keiji and Shouyou.

Bokuto’s arms tightened around Keiji briefly, and he dropped a kiss onto the curve of the god’s neck gently before letting go. Keiji looked back to him fondly for a moment before ushering Shouyou outside, giving Daichi a pointed look.

Daichi watched Bokutou head back upstairs with a wistful sigh before looking to Kuroo questioningly.

“Don’t worry about him. Bo’s got a heart bigger than his left bicep.” Kuroo shrugged as if that answered everything. He smiled crookedly to Daichi, stepping a bit closer. “Can I get your number to keep in touch?”

Daichi frowned slightly and Kuroo seemed to hesitate, looking like he was about to take that step back. Daichi shook his head and grabbed onto the bed sheet around Kuroo to keep him close enough that he could feel his body heat. “I don’t have a phone, but if we arrange a time, I can meet you again.”

Kuroo was quick to smile, and he nodded. “This Thursday? I’m presenting my final thesis, but then I should be free for good. How does eight sound?”

“I’ll meet you here,” Daichi agreed then pulled Kuroo down to pick up where they left off. The kiss was almost too sweet, but he didn’t really care when Kuroo’s arms slid around his waist easily. Before either could lean further into the kiss, the sound of a throat being cleared pulled them apart. Daichi looked over to see Shouyou poking his head through the door with a shit-eating grin. He exhaled through his nose slowly to contain his frustration before looking up to Kuroo with an arched brow. “I kill mine. You kill yours. Meet back here Thursday at eight?”


When the three gods returned home and they were back in their usual robes, Keiji was the first to break the silence.

“I would like to go back. Soon.”

Shouyou’s eager grin flashed towards Daichi, eyebrows shooting up into his wild hair.

“I suppose I did land myself a date with a mortal,” Daichi said slowly, waving a hand dismissively. He refrained from smiling at Shouyou’s crow of joy and Keiji’s larger-than-usual smile at the unspoken invitation.