A xXxholic fic.
One of those fics that seemed to write itself. This started out as something totally different and just changed on me as I wrote it.
I've still got to write that original idea...
Title: A Day With Watanuki
Chapter: One shot
Comments: AU. Sort of.
Summary: Yuuko has a lot of customers. But today it's just Watanuki. Doumeki/Watanuki in lots of different ways :)
AN: Based on the premise that 1) the shop is connected to many different worlds and 2) there are different Watanukis in each of them.
A Day With Watanuki
"Hey! Yuuko!" Her visitor didn't wait for a reply but slid the door open and tramped into her store. Heavy boots made clumping sounds on the wooden floor as he made his way into the house.
Yuuko sighed and set aside the sake she had been drinking. Maybe she could hide it behind that vase if she hurried?
Too late. Even as Maru and Moro moved to open it, the door was wrenched open.
The girls squealed in delight and hugged the slender figure that stood revealed. "Watanuki is back! Watanuki is back!"
The young man chuckled and mussed their hair with his hands. "Missed me did you?"
The soulless girls hugged him tighter and squealed as he dragged them across the room. When he finally stopped in front of Yuuko, they let go and mirrored him, two little figures with arms crossed over their chests.
Yuuko tried not to glance at the glass she had edged behind a cushion. "You're late. You were meant to come yesterday."
"Too bad. You knew it would take a while to get it. I said at least a week." He reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a small orb. He held it up for her inspection. Red and blue smoke coiled in opposite sides of the small sphere. Every so often they would reach out and accidentally touch, only to retreat back swiftly to their respective sides.
Face serious, Yuuko held out a hand to accept the object. Watanuki placed it carefully in her palm. She examined the orb closely for a moment before handing it over to Moro. "The price is acceptable."
Watanuki barely paused in taking off his jacket. "It damn well better be. I spend the last five days hunting down that bugger. You wouldn't believe the food I had to eat! It didn't help that bloody Doumeki was practically attached at the hip the whole time."
As he spoke he examined his now-exposed left upper arm. A spiral of thorns were inked in black around his shoulder and upper arm. The pattern ended abruptly halfway down the bicep. But that soon changed. The pattern suddenly writhed and stretched like it was alive and just waking. The unfinished end twitched and suddenly extended. Within moments the pattern had settled and the inked thorns had moved another inch down Watanuki's arm.
The young man grunted in something that resembled satisfaction and put his jacket back on. "That should keep the buggers away for a little longer. There's nothing worse than being a magnet for bloody vampires. They're almost as bad as Doumeki."
"Where is Doumeki?"
"Waiting outside, the idiot. He seems to think I can't take care of myself." He huffed without heat. "As if I'm going to get pounced on here."
Yuuko's eyelids lowered halfway, making her eyes shuttered and mysterious. "You never know, a handsome man like yourself is always a valuable commodity."
Watanuki rolled his eyes. "Not you, too. I get enough of that from the possessive lug loitering outside."
He suddenly reached forward and snagged the badly hidden glass of sake. Yuuko was left clawing air with desperate hands.
"You really shouldn't drink, Yuuko. It's bad for you." And so saying he threw his head back and swallowed the glass' contents.
Yuuko's eyes narrowed. "Watanuki." It was a low growl.
Watanuki ignored the dangerous sound and turned to leave. "Be good." He told the little soulless girls as he left.
"Be good! Be good!
Yuuko shook a fist at his back. "You owe me a bottle of sake!"
A hand lifted in a relaxed wave. "Later. I have to go before Doumeki starts destroying things."
"Stupid Doumeki!" Something crashed.
Yuuko winced at the sound and gulped the rest of her sake down before it could get confiscated.
"I don't believe the nerve of that bastard!" The door was yanked open. Moro and Maru hadn't even bothered to open the door. They stayed near Yuuko as if that could protect them.
A red-faced youth stood panting in the doorway, his hands gripping the arrow in his hands so tightly, it was a wonder its shaft had not snapped under the force. He wore a traditional archer's outfit and had a bow slung over his shoulder.
Yuuko allowed herself to look irritatingly at ease as she eyed the sudden apparition. "Ah, so you got it Watanuki-kun."
Watanuki stalked into the room. "Oh yes, I got it!" He waved the offending arrow in the air between them. "The bastard shot it at me! I don't care that he knew I could deflect it! The bastard SHOT! ME!"
Maru and Moro threw themselves over the cabinet in the corner that shuddered and threatened to move.
"I don't think you get shot unless the arrow actually hits you, Watanuki-kun." The words only seemed to infuriate the boy more. She eyed the two soulless girls who were now straining to hold the cabinet on the ground. "Please show some more restraint, Watanuki-kun. You're going to break something."
The youth stopped in midwave. With a visible effort, he forced himself to calm down. The cabinet settled down and the two girls gingerly released their hold.
"Here." The arrow was thrust at Yuuko.
She took the object and placed it down at her side. Maru and Moro stayed close to the cabinet. "I'll need three more."
There was a audible grinding noise as Watanuki clenched his teeth. The cabinet rattled alarmingly. "Fine! But if he shoots another arrow at me I'm going to make sure every one of his arrows miss at the championship!"
He stomped out of the room, leaving a trail of jittering furniture in his wake.
Yuuko was beginning to think this wasn't her day. "More sake, Maru."
Maru and Moro suddenly stiffened and raced towards the entrance. Moments later a light rapping sounded at the door.
Yuuko had barely finished laying out the last of the tea set when the two girls led the gentleman into the room. He was immaculate in his pale grey suit decorated with dark blue highlights. Yuuko rose to meet him and extended her gloved hand to be held in his own and lifted to his lips.
"Lady Yuuko. You grow more lovely every time we meet."
"I could say the same, Lord Watanuki." She hid her smile at his light blush at the compliment.
"Please. Call me Kimihiro." He helped her to sit down before doing the same.
"Only if you call me, Yuuko." She set about pouring the tea.
It took a few moments of conversation before Kimihiro got to the point. "I have acquired the item you requested." He cleared his throat as if uncomfortable about recalling some unfortunate incident. "I have followed your instructions on how to handle the matter and the delivery shall be made on Wednesday."
Yuuko smiled. "Then I have no doubt that it will arrive punctually." A sudden evil urge filled her. "And how is Prince Doumeki?" Yuuko couldn't resist prodding Kimihiro. He was so strait-laced that any hint to his unusual liaison with the other man shattered his composure.
The man stiffened. He placed the tea cup he had been lifting back on the table. "The man is insufferable. For a man in his position he acts like a common knave."
Yuuko didn't fail to observe the faint hint of red that was suffusing the pale cheeks. "Ah but I have heard the two of you have been keeping close company of late." She watched for his reaction over the rim of her tea cup.
She was not disappointed. What had been a hint of red turned into a fiery blush. "It is true that we have been thrown together recently." He eyed his cup on the table. "But no doubt that is a result of our common entanglement with the supernatural." But it sounded like he was trying to convince himself of the matter.
"Oh?" She said idly. "From what I have hear, it sounds like the two of you have a deep connection. I have no doubt that the two of you will be seeing a lot more of each other in the future."
Kimihiro's smile was strained. "If you say it, Yuuko, then it must be true." He took a sip of his tea but it looked more like he was trying to hide his face in the tea cup.
Yuuko allowed herself an evil smile.
Just a little more prodding and that situation would soon resolve itself.
"I hate you." The hissed words spoke volumes of compressed fury.
Yuuko raised an eyebrow. "I simply granted your wish."
"I didn't wish for this!" A gesture to the large hand that clasped the customer's smaller one tightly in its own. Yuuko followed the gesture and met the calm golden eyes of 'this'. They didn't seem disturbed by the small man's antics.
Yuuko allowed a surprized look to cross her face. "I don't see what's wrong."
"What's NOT wrong with this?!" The arm not attached to 'this' waved wildly. "I have a bad enough time trying to keep him away normally. And now he's convinced that I'm some sort of soul mate! He follows me everywhere!"
He suddenly turned on the other man. "AND WILL YOU LET GO OF MY HAND YOU BASTARD?!"
The larger man seemed to consider it for a moment. "No."
"ARGH!" The smaller man clutched at his head with his free hand. The other remained in the tight grasp of his companion. All tugs to pull it free had been easily resisted.
Yuuko watched with amusement for a few moments before finally deciding to intervene. As entertaining as it was, she couldn't allow it to drag on for too long.
"Kimi-chan (1)." The nickname jolted the smaller man out to frenzy he had worked himself into. "You came to me with a wish. You said that you didn't want to be alone any more. That you wanted someone who you could share your life with."
Kimi-chan looked mortified to hear his words repeated. He gasped, mouth opening and closing.
Yuuko turned to the other man. "Shi-chan, you don't mind spending the rest of your life with Kimi-chan do you?"
"Mind?" Kimi-chan gasped in disbelief at the question. The rest of what he wanted to say seemed to deteriorate into a fit of choking.
Shi-chan ignored the sounds of imminent death at his side. "No." There was no delay for thought this time.
Yuuko turned back to the younger man who was staring at Shi-chan with disbelief and growing panic. "There, you see? Wish granted."
"Wish - gasp -granted." Kimi-chan seemed to rally at the thought. "In what possible way?!"
Shi-chan used the index finger of his free hand to plug the ear closest to his companion.
"Well I won't accept it!" The volume was rising with every word. "I'm not going to be stuck with THIS for the rest of my life! I'd rather be alone and miserable!"
Yuuko fought laughter. "I cannot unmake a wish once made." She said seriously.
Kimi-chan gaped. "You mean I'm-"
"Congratulations. In the eyes of the universe, you're pretty much married."
It took quite a bit to make Kimi-chan quiet down after that. In the end Shi-chan had to intervene.
By the time he was finished Kimi-chan was out of breath and more amenable to the situation.
The next arrival took Yuuko by surprize. It didn't happen very often but occasionally even the dimensional witch was caught off guard.
She turned to see Doumeki. He was simply standing there on the grass besides the porch when he hadn't been a moment before. Not only that, it wasn't a Doumeki she had seen before. This man looked to be in his mid twenties and seemed too thin for his heavily muscled frame. He looked haggard and his clothes were torn. Dried blood showed through the rough bandages on his left arm.
She was looking for a bow and it took her a moment to realize that he wore a sword at his side.
But what really grabbed her attention was limp form that he held in his arms. The blue robes were unfamiliar but the pale skin and shock of black hair were not.
Fierce gold eyes met her own. "He said you'd be able to help us."
"There will be a price." And a large one if her instincts did not betray her.
"I'll pay it." No hesitation, just strong determination.
Her instincts were right. It was more than an hour later when her latest guests departed. After they left Yuuko helped herself to a bottle.
Sometimes she really hated Hitsuzen.
"And he just keeps staring at me with these creepy yellow eyes."
Yuuko was wondering if there was something wrong with the shop. She had been getting Watanukis all day. No other visitors or customers. Just Watanukis.
And in one way or another they were all entangled with their own Doumekis. Yuuko wondered if the universe was trying to make a point.
"You could always ask him to leave."
The current Watanuki drew back in surprize. "I couldn't do that, he's a paying customer!" His voice lowered to a resentful mutter. "Even if he does keep trying to grab my arse."
His voice grew firmer, with more conviction. "I just wish he'd be nicer to me."
Yuuko blinked. Well, this was a change.
"What doesn't he just talk to me instead of trying to grab me all the time? And when he does talk it's like he can't string more than two words together. And then it's when he's giving an order. I swear the man has a bottomless pit for a stomach."
Yuuko cut through the babble that was starting to sound eerily familiar. For some reason, despite the words, it was reminding her of the way her own Watanuki prattled on about Himawari-chan. She was getting the idea that maybe those physical advances weren't as unwelcome as this Watanuki claimed. She resisted a sudden urge to giggle.
That second bottle might have been a bit too much, it seemed.
"So you wish that he'd be nicer to you?"
A bright smile that made Yuuko blink again. "Yes."
Yuuko made a mental note to visit the restaurant in the near future. This was going to get interesting.
The last customer of the day trotted around the side of the store and found Yuuko sitting on the porch.
She raised an eyebrow when she saw her visitor. "What have you there?"
The cage made of two hands opened slowly, finger by finger. Finally a butterfly was revealed. Its wings were tattered and they opened and shut slowly. It made no attempt to take advantage of its sudden freedom.
"You want to help it, right?"
"I can help it but you'll have to give me something in exchange."
Dark blue eyes lowered in thought. Finally one hand disappeared into a pocket. Moments later a badly chipped marble was being offered. Despite the damage, a vivid thread of gold was visible in its depths.
Yuuko hesitated to take the much-loved object. "You're sure?"
A firm nod.
Yuuko took the marble in one hand and held reached out the other. It came to rest over the small hand still cupping the damaged butterfly. When she lifted her hand again, the butterfly was whole once more. It moved its wings once, as if testing their strength, then launched itself into the air.
The child watched the butterfly silently as it wove its way into the air and fluttered over the fence.
"Is Doumeki here?"
Dark blue eyes met hers for an instant before moving to look back at the entrance of the shop.
"You'd better get back before he gets lonely, then."
A nod. The little boy retreated, moving faster and faster to return to his friend.
Yuuko stayed sitting on the porch for a long time after he had gone. Marble still held loosely in one hand.
"Yuuko-san?" Watanuki slipped off his shoes and was greeted gleefully by Maru and Moro who rushed up to him with his apron.
"Watanuki, you are a complex being."
Watanuki looked up to see Yuuko standing behind the two soulless girls.
She smiled. "Did you have a good day?"
"It was alright." He answered warily. He had a growing suspicion that she had been drinking heavily while he had been at school.
"Oh good. Then you won't mind making buridaikon and getting me several bottles of sake."
"What am I, your slave?! You're only getting one bottle! Do you want to ruin your liver?"
Yuuko grinned at the familiar complaint. Really she didn't know how she managed some days. One Watanuki was enough.
1) Yes I’m aware I’m using -chan instead of –kun. It is intentional.
AN: This piece inspired several more, including the longest fic that I've finished yet (Masqued Intentions). And I wrote it in one night.
And no, I don't sleep at night. I type.