Sunday, August 29th, 2010 07:33 pm
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Title: Days of Our Wings, Chapitre 4: The Power to Chafe
Rating: T
Disclaimer: not mine
Summary: Nihon provides a nice, relaxing rest for the boys with beautiful scenery and beautiful women.  Fay pries into Kurogane's past and Syaoran gets some fashion advice from Watanuki.

Chapitre 4: The Power to Chafe

Hiding beneath his pants, a certain fringe-trimmed abomination and a powerful terror. A fear no effort can extinguish.

May 5th, Kendappa 13
Age: 12
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 110
Ginryuu: 4
Miles run: 10
Sword practice: 4 hours
Enemies killed (est.): ½ (dog, but had big teeth)
Parents avenged: 0
Notes: Souma is a bitch.

"Gods, he was a boring child, wasn't he?" Fay giggled as Tomoyo translated.

"Oh, it gets much better," the princess assured him, flipping a few pages ahead in the book. "This was from when he first came here – he was under quite a bit of…well... duress. Here we go; this is where the fun starts."

January 8th, Kendappa 16
Age: 15
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175
Ginryuu: 6.5
Miles run: 15
Sword practice: 0 hours
Enemies killed (est.): 124
Parents avenged: 0
Hair: chest (1), chin (5), back (0), Ci[illegible]uu (146)
Notes: Tomoyo not impressed with slaughter of invaders. Wonder how she sleeps so well at night.

"Sounds like a particularly busy day for him."

"Not really. He mistook a traveling caravan of peasants for invaders. The 124 was including the horses and the carts," Tomoyo paused, a cat-like grin forming on her face, "We've always been of the opinion that the three days spent alone locked up in a kekkai after this little misadventure was what prompted him to start counting his body hair."

"I want to know what the illegible word is!" the magician giggled.

"So would we," Tomoyo confided, "His writing has never been easy to read. It doesn't look like the kanji for 'head' or even like it's supposed to be a running total…" she broke off suddenly and snapped the book closed. "Here he comes, pretend I'm taking your measurements."

A ripe, sweaty Kurogane burst through the doors seconds later. He eyed the duo in the corner suspiciously, eyes narrowing as he spotted a tape measure wrapping around the mage's waist.

"No cross-dressing," he grunted, setting Ginryuu in a corner and fumbling for a towel.

Fay looked confused.

Tomoyo rolled her eyes. "Transphobe."

Kurogane growled and stomped off toward the baths.

* * * * *

Syaoran watched over his shoulder nervously as the trio of girls ducked behind a corner. He wasn't entirely sure how long they'd been following him, but for the last fifteen minutes or so the giggling had been a rather obnoxious indicator.

It wasn't that he particularly minded their attention. After Fay's latest bout of AMS, he felt he could handle a trio of girls (however bouncy…er, em…bubbly) with a fair amount of ease. His primary dilemma, at the moment, was that he was utterly and hopelessly lost. He had parted ways with Kurogane after their (unduly grueling in his mind) three hour sword practice session. Overconfident in his navigation abilities after years of traveling through different worlds, he had neglected to follow the ninja back to their rooms, opting instead for a quick dip in the lake to refresh himself. Unfortunately, Shirasagi Castle was proving to be a formidable foe of long, winding hallways and abrupt dead-ends. More than anything, he wanted to ask the girls for directions, but every time he turned around they disappeared around the last corner, or into a shadowed nook in the hallway.

He quietly considered the irony of losing his guide while skinny dipping, only to have picked up a group of followers who obviously knew every dark corner of the castle but flatly refused to let him ask for directions, and seethed. He was never going to understand women.

* * * * *

A flood of lime-green, googly-eyed frogs spilled out of Mokona's mouth onto the floor of Tomoyo's sitting room.

"They're wonderful!" the princess exclaimed, clutching a plush figure dressed in a red and white striped top to her chest. "I just can't believe that you're able to find so many that match the original across all the worlds you travel to!"

"Well, Keroppi is a very popular character," Fay explained, dusting off a plastic hat emblazoned with the character. "And Sanrio MegaCorp has a very aggressive marketing campaign, isn't that right Kuro-pii?"

"Don't call me like a frog," the ninja insisted, shifting uncomfortably against the wall. His distrust of Sanrio characters had been growing exponentially since the incident in Clow Country.

Tomoyo ignored him. "And what is this one?" she asked excitedly, pointing at the wad of plastic in the magician's hand.

"It's a shower cap!" he paused, noting her confused look. "That's like a bath where water is pumped out of a pipe onto your head. But don't worry…!" he added, seeing her horrified expression. "It works just as well as a rain hat!"

"Oh! Wonderful! And what's this one?"

"That's a spork, which I hope you'll let me use at dinner, since Kuro-sama gets mad at me if I stab food with chopsticks…"

"And this?"

"That's a, um, back-massager. Here are the batteries!"

Kurogane rolled his eyes and stomped out of the room.

* * * * *

Fay began to worry when Syaoran didn't show up for dinner. Kurogane, however, insisted that he was just tired from training and to let him rest.

"No one else needs to see you eating off that…thing," he growled, eyeing the green-spotted eating utensil the magician was currently using to skewer dumplings at an alarming rate.

"Ifs oo ard oo ak wif da finchy fings."


"Nevertheless," the magician continued, swallowing several mouthfuls of gyoza at once, "We should probably take him someth…"

He was cut off by a loud shriek from the hallway. Tomoyo gestured and several guards shuffled out the door. One returned momentarily, whispering something in her ear.

"They haven't found anything," she reported. "They'll continue to look, but there wasn't any evidence of foul play, so there's probably nothing to worry about."

Kurogane smirked. "Probably just your sister groping in the dark for-"

The hot, sticky rice sliding down his face shifted his train of thought from its track. The melted extra-strength pomade trailing down in pursuit managed to derail it completely.

"Has anyone ever told you that you have the table-manners of a gorilla?"

* * * * *

Syaoran locked the door behind him. He wasn't sure whether his sudden memory of the palace's hallways was an autonomic fight-or-flight response or merely the result of the majority of his blood supply suddenly retreating from his lower regions, but he was very sure that he never, ever wanted to see that…"cupping"…motion made by another human's hands so long as he lived.


He needed Mokona.

* * * * *

"Ooh! Here's another one!"

"Pluck it."

"Aw, but it's so cute and manly!"

"Seriously, pluck it."

"I'd rather name it. I think this one will be 'Fred.'"

"Well, 'Fred' needs to join his deceased brother 'Jorge.' Gimme that tweezers."


* * * * *

Blank Date

Age: Old enough to know better.
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 275
Ginryuu: 9
Miles run: 10
Sword practice: 3 hours
Enemies killed (est.): 2 (planned assassination)
Parents avenged: 2
Hair: chest (0), chin (0), back (0 – RIP Fred)
Notes: Fuck you two. I'm in the closet.

"And here I thought you outgrew that space long ago." Tomoyo scoffed as the ninja gracelessly forced his way out of the wardrobe and fell face-first onto the floor.

"Oh…Kuro-tan!" Fay patted his head. "Are you okay?"

"I am now," Kurogane declared, snatching the book from the mage's hands. "It's a fitness journal, how interesting could it be that you didn't ask to read it?"

"Apparently interesting enough that you burst out of the closet to keep us from reading it."

"You didn't ask.

"Can I read it?"


* * * * *

Syaoran was feeling better than he had in ages. His arms and legs moved with a balletic elegance completely unlike the quick jabs and darts he usually favored. He blocked Kurogane's swings with effortless grace.

The two had been sparing for nearly two hours under the blistering summer sun, though neither of them seemed put-off by the heat. The ninja was impressed with his acolyte's renewed enthusiasm and had thrown himself fully into the match. Syaoran was feeling confident that today would finally be the day he would deliver a smack-down unto his master. Not even the giggling trio of girls he knew were lurking in the shadows of the courtyard were going to distract him from this goal.

Unfortunately for Syaoran, this intense focus was broken by the appearance of Fay and Tomoyo who proceeded to read - at full volume - from a leather-bound book. Kurogane's face flushed several shades of red as Tomoyo's voice recounted a birthday party and the disruption of a rather intimate moment between the empress and her devoted guard by a drunken, and desperately naïve ninja-in-training. Syaoran watched as the ninja in question's neck inflated in perfect time with the grinding of his teeth as the words "cavorting," "heaving," and "cleavage" were repeated.

"What the hell are you two doing?" the ninja finally snapped at the pair.

"Well, you said we couldn't read yours, so I decided we could read mine," Tomoyo said simply, smiling innocently. "I have nothing to hide in my diary."

"It's not a diary, it's a fitness journal! And I don't see what the two of you are so intent on finding in there anyway!"

"Well, you know…" the mage smiled, "I wanted to know what Kuro-rin was like when he was little!"


Syaoran grimaced. His relationship with the concept of "invaded privacy" was far more intimate than that of his traveling companions. Being the keeper of both his own and his father/clone's memories had provided him with some…interesting recollections. Most people never had to witness the horror of their own birth (at least not from that angle), though he was quick to admit that the memory of having sex with his own mother was currently battling (quite ferociously) to claim the title of "Most Disturbing Thought EVER." The fact that Sakura shared many of these same memories hadn't actually occurred to him for some months; when it had, he hadn't been sure whether to worry more about the inevitable embarrassing memories of his childhood she was bound to have, or the fact that he and his father/clone obviously shared many of the same sexual proclivities.

That Sakura was identical to his mother was a whole other mess of psychological issues that he had no interest in addressing.

Kurogane, oblivious to Syaoran's inner-monologue, shifted his attention back to their match. If he couldn't shut the princess up, then he would have to be satisfied with ignoring her. He shrugged his arms out of his sleeves, suddenly very aware of the heat, and reset his stance.

Syaoran followed suit, his top falling to hang around his waist, and they were back to business.

Tomoyo smiled. It was so like Kurogane to just shrug off her teasing. She considered continuing, but the fun had already been had. She closed the book and noticed something strange about Syaoran's clothing as she turned back to Fay.

"What is he wearing under his hakama?"

Fay squinted. He wasn't completely sure, but it looked like a denim waistband peaking up over the material. He frowned; he wasn't really in the mood to deal with someone else's psychosis.

"I can't tell," he lied, "Probably just something he picked up in a previous world."

* * * * *

"Drop your pants."

"Um, Fay, we're friends and all, but I don't really like you that way."

The magician rolled his eyes and yanked the cloth away from the young man. "What the hell are those?"

"They're cut-offs."

"I can see they're cut-offs. What I want to know is when exactly you decided to become a never-nude."

"A never-what?" Syaoran stared blankly.

Fay sighed. This was apparently more complicated than he had prepared for. "Why are you wearing them?"

"Because I was stalked by some really scary girls, and I thought the button and zipper might confuse them if they ever decided to do more than follow and make obscene gestures."

Fay had to chuckle. The kid was inventive; he certainly had to give him that. But he was also incredibly naive when it came to dealing with the opposite sex. "You just need to learn to talk to them, and then they won't seem so terrifying."

"I don't know…"

"Trust me. We'll practice later."

"Ok…" Syaoran was silent as he absorbed the full impact of what the magician had just said. "Wait…so does this mean that Watanuki…?"

"Is a never-nude. Yes."

"Is that exactly what it sounds like?"

"Pretty much."

"Damn, I thought he just liked cut-offs."

* * * * *

Syaoran watched nervously as Fay waltzed his way up to a group of girls and began chatting away. After a moment he motioned for Syaoran to join him, happily oblivious to the look of terror on the young man's face.

Ten minutes passed, then a half hour.

Syaoran was amazed at how well this was going. Carrying on a conversation with fifteen different women at once without shrinking in fear was a feat he had never considered himself equal to. Memories of his stalkers faded slowly away, and he found that he was actually enjoying himself. Fay was right – he could fearlessly go back to his tighty whities.

It helped that Fay was carrying most of the conversation.

* * * * *

Syaoran began to worry when Fay didn't show up for dinner. Kurogane, however, was satisfied that he didn't have to endure more of the mage's teasing while he ate.

"No one will miss seeing him eat off that…thing," he growled, eyeing the green-spotted spork currently laid out at the magician's empty place-setting.

"He's really bad with chopsticks..."


"It's really not like him to miss a meal," Syaoran continued, swallowing a mouthful of gyoza, "We should probably take him someth…"

He was cut off by a loud shriek from the hallway. Tomoyo gestured and several guards shuffled out the door. One returned momentarily, whispering something in her ear.

"They haven't found anything," she reported. "They'll continue to look, but there wasn't any evidence of foul play, so there's probably nothing to worry about."

Kurogane smirked, but was careful to keep his mouth shut this time around. His supply of pomade was running dangerously low.

* * * * *

"Will you please come out from under there?"

"No. Never coming out."

Kurogane grunted and sat on the bed, wondering why the damned cat-faced monstrosity had surfaced this time. He suspected it had something to do with the wizard currently hiding underneath it.


"What?" Kurogane shifted his weight.

"I said 'that's my nose, you asshole!'"

"Well if you'd come out, your nose wouldn't get crushed."

"Never coming out," the magician repeated, breaking into heavy sobs punctuated intermittently by the words "horrifying," "obscene," and "cupping."

Kurogane gave up and crawled under the bed to join the distressed mage.

"Why the hell are you wearing cut-offs?"

This only encouraged louder sobs.

* * * * *

Syaoran was not used to acting the part of the mother. Kurogane, sore from a night spent not sleeping under the bastardized cat bed had flatly refused the task, preferring instead to go seek revenge on the idiots responsible for his sleepless night.

He placed a tray of rice and fish down next to the bed. Luckily, the magician was hungry enough from missing dinner that he crawled out from under the bed without much coaxing. Unfortunately, he had already been successfully talked out of the cut-offs, providing Syaoran with more of a view than he cared to take in. The youth quickly turned his head and tossed a robe toward his friend.

"They're terrifying!"

"I know."

"Twenty of them!"

"I kn…wait, twenty?"

"Something like that. Too many too count. Ran so fast I thought I would die."

"I see."

"…what's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing."

"We need to leave here. Today, if possible."

Syaoran agreed. He left to go find Kurogane.

* * * * *

"So what was with the ever-growing numbers for Ginryuu?" Fay asked, positioning a tent pole.

"Huh?" The ninja was confused. This new world didn't appear to have much in the way of civilization (though he did note a paved road running nearby, so it was possible that they had simply landed in a remote area), and he was more concerned with setting up camp before night fell than playing guessing games with the mage.

"In your 'fitness journal.' There was always a measurement of some sort for 'Ginryuu,' and it kept getting bigger. Tomoyo and I were confused because you never wrote any units next to it, and we were both fairly sure that swords don't grow," he looked up with a wild gleam in his eye. "So what was it?"

Kurogane chuckled, slightly embarrassed. He wordlessly pulled Ginryuu out of its sheath and carefully placed nine fingers onto the handle, leaving only a thumb extended.

Fay groaned. "Well, I suppose that also explains the illegible kanji…"

Notes: The concept of  "Never-nude" has been shamelessly stolen from Arrested Development, along with the lines "Is that exactly what it sounds like?" and "I thought he just liked cutt-offs..."

January 2013

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