I'm not sure I even pulled these off - in two cases, what was suprising was that nothing seemed to change.
Paul's was inspired by very recent manga chapters, but if you havn't already read them, it's not a spoiler.
"They call you the Witch Queen."
Ban smirks at the blond-haired boy, who's watching her so intently. "Yeah." She pulls back, readies herself for another attack; she is not dissapointed. The lightning flashes past her an inch too far away, and she ducks in. Snakebite.
It's her grandmother who's the Witch Queen, not her, but names make themselves sometimes.
They stagger apart, breathing heavily. "Who are you?" says the boy - the emperor - wonderingly. For a moment Ban is caught off guard.
"You tell me," she whispers.
The boy looks sad, and shakes his head. "I don't know yet."
Ginji usually tastes of choclate. Ban takes every opportunity to kiss her. She doesn't even have to try hard to wheedle chocolate from him. It's almost a habit, like Ban's cigarettes.
She likes chocolate, now, as much for the kisses as for the taste. She loves kissing Ban, even if he does taste of cigarettes - he gets this look in his eyes, just like Ginji gets when she eats chocolate.
"Ban-chan," she says, and his mouth quirks. "Can I get some chocolate syprup? Canicanicani?"
His eyes are bright when he gets the idea. "If you really want," he says.
Paul sighs pointedly as she collects Ban's empty cup. "You did get some asprin, right?"
"Yes." Ban watches as Paul fetches another cup. "I won't need it, though. It's just a scratch."
Paul sets the cup down with a thud. "You take care of yourself," she tells him flatly. "If you die, I'll never get your tab back, and it's a big investment by now."
"I'm not in any fucking hurry either, Paul," Ban growls. "You don't have to nag me all the time. You're not my mother."
"Yeah. I'm not your mother." Paul's expression is unreadable behind her sunglasses.
She's worked hard, and become respected in a man's profession, although respect was never what she wanted. What she wanted was the blood. The respect was incidental, although she appreciates it; it smoothes her way.
Himiko is not in this business for the blood. There's a grim determination in her eyes, and a hollow look of loss. It reminds Akabane of long ago, and the determination is familiar. Familiar, too, is the astonishment as strong men realize this woman is stronger. Akabane hides her smile.
Doctor Jackal offers Lady Poison no support. Lady Poison would never forgive her for pity.
"Dick-waving contest," Shido mutters. "I think Paul's missing the obvious."
Ban sighs and lights a cigarette. "It was just a few plates," he says mournfully. "Although he does have a point, you're not much of a girl. You don't even - " He reaches toward Shido's chest to demonstrate, but she slaps his hand away.
"Okay, I take that back. You fight like a girl." Ban sniffs.
Shido growls and stands up, and Ban does too, cracking his knuckles. "I don't know," Shido announces. "I still won, didn't I?" Ban's roar of rage is almost as beautiful as violin music.
She's always been beautiful, never more so than when she fights. Kazuki knows this, and accepts it; she does not try to use it, but it is impossible not to. Hers is a strong beauty. It is appropriate to Mugenjou. Fragile flowers would never bloom here, but she did. Warriors flock to her banner; they are all in love with her, at least a little bit.
Sometimes she wonders whether a man could have done the same, whether it was respect or a desire to protect that drew them there, but then she looks at Juubei's eyes and knows better.