The name was silly -- one of those quaint Indian things, Camp Pokyafingainit -- but the facilities were seriously top-notch. It wasn't really a camp at all, but an exclusive health spa, catering to that most pathetic of creatures, the burned-out bishounen.
They came in droves, those poor bishounen did -- the maligned and unloved, the humiliated and scorned, the abused, the Mary-Sued, the bastardized and lobotomized and feminized and most definitely the over-sexed -- to recover their health and their spirits among serene surroundings of utmost luxury.
The feline nature of bishounen is a well-known fact. By day they were content to lounge and be pampered; nights were reserved for more active, social pleasures, such as the impromptu party which had gathered itself in a private forest glade.
"Somebody brought marshmallows, didn't they?" Duo babbled, bouncing around the glade's edge in search of firewood. "I really like marshmallows. They're soft and white and fluffy, and, un, SUGAR! I like sugar! If I had a bag of marshmallows, I couldn't wait to toast them. I'd... EAT THE WHOLE BAG RIGHT NOW! NOW! SUGAR! And if I had TWO bags of marshmallows... I'D EAT BOTH BAGS AND THEN GET SICK, AND THEN-"
Worried glances were exchanged among the other bishounen present.
"Right, whose turn is it?" Kurama asked.
"Mine, but I'm a little busy," Aya said, his arms full of wood as he headed for the fire pit Sanzo and Nuriko were constructing. "Someone else want to do it?"
"I will." Saionji extracted himself from the blanket he'd been sharing with Sanosuke and Ranmaru, and stalked over to the blithering Duo. A wicked little smirk curled the edge of his lips as he raised back a hand, and swung.
Only to have the slap halted short by Riki's hand, gripping his wrist.
"I don't think so. You're supposed to be giving that up, remember?"
For a tense moment dark eyes held violet. Then Saionji sighed, shuddering, and pulled a hand through his hair. "Um, yeah. That was a close call. Thanks."
"Hey, that's what we're here for -- to help each other," Riki smiled, as he casually leaned over and slugged Duo across the face.
The stream of babble spewing from Duo's mouth choked off into hiccups. He bit his lower lip to keep it from trembling as he rubbed a hand against his stinging cheek. "Hey! It was supposed to be Aya's turn!" he complained.
Riki shrugged. "So? Aya's busy. You needed it, didn't you?"
"Yeah, but..." Duo scuffed a toe in the dirt. "You hit harder than Aya."
"Everybody hits harder than Aya," Yuki drawled, tipping the precariously balanced ash from the end of his cigarette. "Except for James. But don't tell him I said that. I don't want to get my ass kicked."
"Tell who what?" Aya asked, brushing bark from his shirt as he wandered over. "And where IS James?"
"He was supposed to be fetching cocoa, but he's been gone a long time." Ranmaru's brow knit prettily in worry. "Perhaps we should- No, wait..."
He cocked his head, listening.
*Something* was floundering through the woods, but it sounded more like a herd of drunken elephants than one slim bishounen. A plaintive wail put an end to speculation, though. "Wa~ah! Somebody help me~e! My arms are full and a nasty tree has grabbed me in its branches! I think it's trying to molest me! WAH!"
"Tell who what?" Aya insisted.
Yuki grinned. "Tell you that it's still your turn. Go on -- rescue the boy!" He herded the protesting red-head toward the source of the wail.
"Oh fellas..." Sanzo called, motioning to his and Nuriko's creation. "Fire's ready. Get your blankets and gather round, for an evening of dark suspense and delicious chills. While we're waiting on the stragglers, we can decide who goes first, eh?"
~~~~~on to the first campfire tale!