Title: Days of Our Wings, Chapitre 7: Bizzaro World
Disclaimer: not mine, stole from Lewis Caroll this time too...
Summary: Syaoran gets abused in Wonderland...
Chapitre 7: Bizzaro World
The moment you said "Don't eat the brownie" was promptly forgotten…
Syaoran was beginning to get very tired of sitting by his companions on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice he had peeped into the book Kurogane was reading, but it had nothing but pictures and conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Syaoran "with only pictures and conversation?"
So he was considering in his own mind (as well as he could, for the day made him feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of pulling the legs off of a grasshopper would be worth the trouble of actually getting up and catching the grasshopper, when suddenly a White Rabbit-Eared Mokona with a pink jewel on its forehead ran close by him.
There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Syaoran think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the White Rabbit-eared Mokona squeal to itself "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" (when he thought it over afterwards, it occurred to him that it was very strange that the ninja wasn't following in hot pursuit, as he was usually wont to do); but when the Mokona actually SPEWED A BOX OF CHOCOLATE FROSTED POP-TARTS OUT OF ITS MOUTH, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Syaoran started to his feet, for he suddenly realized that was his box of Pop-Tarts and the little bastard had stolen it. He ran after it, and was just in time to see the little beast pop down a large Mokona-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Syaoran after it, pissed as hell that his prized snack food was disappearing just as the munchies were rearing their ugly head.
The Mokona-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped so that Syaoran slammed ass-over-teakettle into the walls as he fell.
As Syaoran fell, he passed volumes and volumes of graphic smutty novels displayed proudly on well lit shelves. Random pink objects emblazoned with Hello Kitty faces twinkled as they zoomed past his head and he wondered briefly if he had actually fallen into the White Rabbit-Eared Mokona's mouth instead of down a simple Mokona hole. He caught a small bottle as it whizzed past his ears; it was labeled "Extra-strength Pomade," and much to his chagrin he found spiky black hairs sticking up from the wax inside. Disgusted, he tossed the bottle over his shoulder, intending to put as much distance as possible between himself and the offensive object, but instead of hurdling away into the blackness, the bottle bounced once off of a large bed backed by the Feline Harbinger of Doom, and landed gracefully on a tabletop next to a jar of pickled beets.
Down, down, down. Syaoran began to fret that he had been swallowed whole by the White Rabbit-Eared Mokona and would presently be dropped into a new dimension without his comrades. He decided that this was unlikely, as he had no recollection of ever passing through this particular space before.
He hit the floor with a graceless thud and rubbed his elbow. That was going to leave a mark…
The White Rabbit-Eared Mokona turned back toward where he lay in a heap and gave a short yelp as it realized it had been followed. It looked its pursuer in the eye, stuck out its tongue, and made an impressively rude gesture for a creature with no fingers before disappearing around a corner. Syaoran leapt to his feet and started after it, only to find himself in a long, dark corridor with only a single, Mokona-sized exit.
Cursing, Syaoran kicked at the ground and was surprised when his leg connected with a small table he had not previously noticed. On its top sat a small gold key and a bottle labeled "Drink Me." He snatched the key and forced it into the miniature door, pleased when the lock clicked and he was able to pull it open. Forcing his head through, he gasped in surprise to see a legion of scantily clad women parading about and engaging in consensual activities that he had only read about in rather graphic collections of Hello Kitty Smut previously.
He ripped his head from the opening and fumbled for the bottle, which he sniffed tentatively. He wasn't fond of the idea of drinking from unlabelled bottles, but the liquid inside had the unmistakable aroma of a good single malt whiskey and he always enjoyed a nice, stiff drink after viewing that amount of cleavage. He brought the bottle to his lips and hesitated, thinking he heard Seishiro's mocking laughter ringing through his ears.
Sod that. He swigged the contents back and swallowed with a powerful gulp.
"What a curious feeling!" thought Syaoran, dropping the bottle onto the floor; "Why have my underwear ridden so far up my…"
And so it was that he realized his clothing was shrinking rapidly. The waistband of his pants tightened uncomfortably and the buttons holding the front halves of his shirt together began to pull against their eyelets and pop off haphazardly. He gripped the material of his shirt, desperately trying to wrench the confining fabric away from his chest, but his fingers had become slow and unsteady.
He reached back to steady himself against the small table as the cuffs of his trousers unraveled and slid higher and higher up his thighs. Fumbling, he grasped a small box he had not noticed before and shakily lifted it to read the label. "Smoke me," the package insisted.
Desperate for relief from the tightening ligature of his collar (and deciding that a cigarette was probably in order after that little eyeful anyway…), Syaoran obliged the label and lit up one of the black-papered cigarettes. Drawing breath heavily against the tight wrapping of his shirt around his chest, he succeeded in dragging a fair amount of smoke into his lungs. He exhaled, the spent smoke stinging his eyes as it danced about his face and higher and higher into the air above him.
He was ready to take another pull when he realized the ceiling of the room also seemed to be escaping higher and higher above his head. He blinked, looking around him carefully as he finally managed to unfasten the buttons of his collar and draw in an unrestrained breath. The door, which had previously only been large enough for him to fit his head through now loomed like a stately entrance before him; promises of unrestrained bosoms and loose morals lurking just on the other side. He fidgeted with his ill-fitting clothing for a moment; though it had stopped shrinking, he was only too well aware that the cuffs of his trousers were now situated just below his glutes and that the tank-top below his burst-open button-up was exposing rather more of his abdomen than he would generally like. Miraculously, his green-striped gym socks were still held in place just below his knees by their unaltered elastic.
He considered panicking, but, remembering the state of dress he had witnessed just beyond the door, decided that it was best not to waste the effort and ran straight for the handle.
He was surprised and dismayed when only seconds later he was swept away in a flood of what smelt of and tasted to be a nice single malt whiskey. This appeared to be flowing freely from the bottle he had dropped not moments earlier (he had no idea what kind of construction the container must have for such a large amount of whiskey to be pouring forth from it, but he was unable to dwell on this question for long as the stinging liquor filled his nostrils). Gasping for air, he broke through the surface and searched for something – anything – that he might grab a hold of as he floated. As he searched, he heard something splashing about in the pool a little way off, and swam nearer to make out what it was.
Surprised as he had been to be swept away in a rush of alcohol, he was even more surprised to encounter a carefully paddling Kamui darting back and forth amongst the waves.
"Hello!" he called, waving his arms about, "Kamui! Do you know a way out of here?" Kamui looked back, an expression of angsty confusion carefully fitted upon his face, but did not reply.
"Perhaps he doesn't understand English," Syaoran thought to himself, eyeing the inexplicable purple beret balancing on top of Kamui's head and the black and white striped sleeves of the other's fitted shirt. "I daresay this is a French Kamui – I'd always wondered what one might look like. I might have guessed he would favor the part of a walking stereotype…" He began again, this time out loud in the only bit of French his fumbling tongue could conjure , "Pardonne moi, voulez-vouz couchet avec Seishiro, c'est soir?"
Kamui gave a sudden leap out of the water and seemed to shake with a suspicious mixture of angst and rage.
"Ah! I'm sorry," Syaoran recovered, "I'm so sorry! I seem to have forgotten that you don't like Seishiro!"
"Fuckin' Seishiro…" Kamui replied coolly, glowering at the dog-paddling figure in front of him. "Come, let's get to the shore, and then I'll tell you my history, and you'll understand why it is that I hate Seishiro."
"Yeah, pretty sure I've heard that story already…" Syaoran began, but was quickly silenced as the large number of other Tokyo residents that had fallen into the pool began to thrash about in the whiskey, splashing the liquor up his nose and into his eyes. Sighing, he resigned himself to rehear the familiar angsty story and led the way paddling to the shore.
A wet, sopping party was quickly assembled on the bank – a dazed-looking Arashi combed knots from her long hair while Sorata flopped along beneath her skirt with a maniacal grin on his face, Yuuto carefully straightened the pink feather boa around his neck and readjusted the leopard-print belted fedora perched on his head, Nataku wept noisily and called for his daddy, and Fuuma moved cantankerously about the group, alternately licking drops of whiskey from their faces and shoving his hand through their chests.
The immediate concern, of course, was how to get dry. The group was not quick to agree on any particular method, and only after Fuuma had declared himself the only one present capable of granting all their wishes (only to be beaten back with slurs and also with fists) did Kamui step forward to proclaim himself an authority.
"Sit down and shut the hell up," he insisted, waving his sword threateningly above his head. Once the group had complied, sitting cross-legged around him in much the same way a class of children might gather around their teacher, he began. "This is the driest thing I know. 'Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Caravaggio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-six-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Sauniere collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas."
"What is this crap?" a still-soaking Yuuto demanded.
"Shut your mouth, pimp-boy," Kaumi seethed, "As I was saying: 'As he had anticipated, a thundering iron gate fell nearby, barricading the entrance to the suite…'"
"He's just reading The DaVinci Code!" Yuuto yelled. "This isn't dry, it's just horrible writing!"
"He's right!" Fuuma shouted, stepping closer to Kamui so he was able to nuzzle his face into the other's neck. "I move that the meeting adjourn for the immediate adoption of more…energetic remedies."
"Only you could make that sound skeezey!" an agitated red-head shouted.
"Skeezey? I stole that right from Carroll! Those are pretty big words coming from someone who looks like she just woke up in a cheap motel!"
"I did just wake up in a cheap motel! At least I have the brains to get paid before licking someone!" Fire shot from the redhead's fingers and danced menacingly around Fuuma's head. Syaoran scooted backward from the group and attempted to shake the sand that had piled up in the gusset of his shorts loose.
"I propose…" Fuuma started again, glaring at the insolent redhead, "that a raging battle to bring about Armageddon is the best way to get us dry!"
"A what?" Syaoran stammered, getting quickly to his feet.
"ARMAGEDDON!" the crowd roared. Beneath his feet Syaoran felt the ground begin to quake as combat erupted around him. Brightly colored flashes of light skidded in front of his eyes and his nose was assaulted with the smells of burning flesh and tangy blood.
"Wait!" Kamui cried, shirking away from Fuuma's questing tongue. "We need prizes for the winners!"
"Oh yes! Prizes!" the group quickly agreed.
"But who'll give out the prizes, and how many of them do we need?" Yuuto asked suspiciously.
"He will," Kamui thrust his sword toward Syaoran. "And there can be only one!"
"Dude, chill," Fuuma set his hand onto Kamui's shoulder, "No one is going to pick up a 'Highlander' reference in the middle of a Wonderland knock-off."
"They will if you insist upon explaining it so deliberately," Kamui shoved the hand off and raised his sword toward Syaoran once more. "We will have….HIS PANTS!"
"His pants!" the group repeated, turning toward Syaoran with lasciviously out-stretched fingers. The boy blanched several shades of pale and gripped the waistband of his much-shrunken trousers protectively. Slowly, he began backing away from the group, uncertain of how to best address such a collection of blood-thirsty characters with designs on his shorts.
"You promised to tell me a story, Kamui," he squeaked, hoping that this might distract the overenthusiastic ringleader, "about why it is you hate Seishiro."
"Mine is a long and a sad tale," said Kamui, turning to Syaoran, the battle for Armageddon quickly forgotten.
"Um, yes, you should really let it all out…" Syaoran managed in what he hoped desperately was a soothing and encouraging sort of voice
"Once upon a time," Kamui began, gathering the other members of the crowd around himself once again, "there lived an evil veterinarian named Seishiro. In what began as a terribly misguided effort to mess with my twin brother Subaru, I encouraged flirting between them and would dress my dearest brother in the most flashy loli-boy outfits I could design. They exchanged eyeballs as a symbol of their love and made plans to run away together to Fairy Park, the one place where society could accept them. However, upon listening to the heart rending song pumped electronically out of the fairy statue, Seishiro became enraged when he learned that Subaru had conspired behind his back to write the song with the singer, Ora (who had been a client, and was most upset with Seishiro after he sacrificed her cat upon a bed of evil and lettuce) and moved to strike a fatal blow. As fate would have it, I had trailed them to deliver a hand-knit sweater for my dearest brother and interrupted them at the vital moment, insisting that Seishiro take my life instead. And then…I died."
"That doesn't make any sense Kamui."
"Yeah, Subaru's not even your brother in this canon."
"Which canon are we in?"
"It doesn't even matter which canon we're in; that story sounds like you got high and read a bunch of CLAMP manga without bothering to notice which one was which."
Syaoran decided to stealthily hurry away from the group, which was quickly descending into chaos once again as the more glaring errors in Kamui's story began to surface. He wished he had never mentioned the name Seishiro as he began darting through the many vines and branches obscuring his path through the dense forest. "Nobody seems to like him anyway…" he said to himself in a melancholy tone. Off in the distance, he heard the group resume their battle with calls of "ARMAGEDDON!" and quickened his pace.
* * * * *
Ahead of him, Syaoran spotted the White Rabbit-Eared Mokona, trotting slowly away from him and looking most anxious as it mumbled to itself. "Sakura! Sakura! Oh my dear paws! She'll get me executed, as sure as Mokona is Mokona! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?" Syaoran was instantly suspicious that it was looking for his stolen box of Pop-Tarts, and proceeded to follow the little creature as it meandered down the path. Suddenly, the white ball of fluff spun on its heels to face him, shouting "Mekkyo!" as its eyes grew wide.
"Miyuki-chan!" it scolded, bounding toward the boy, "you've been very naughty! I told you to lay out my bed time stories so that I might reenact them with Duchess Sakura, but you've gone and lost them, and now I shall be dreadfully late!"
"I think you have me confused with someone," Syaoran sputtered as the White Rabbit-Eared Mokona jumped up on his shoulder and began tugging away the remains of his button-up shirt. "What are you doing?"
The White Rabbit-Eared Mokona leered and cackled ominously as it wrenched the shirt free and grasped onto his must-abused waistband. "Give Mokona your pants!"
"What the hell?" Syaoran screamed, knocking the Mokona away and returning to the dense forest as fast as his legs would carry him. What was so special about his pants that everyone he met here seemed insistent upon claiming them as their own?
* * * * *
After a period of wandering and weaving, Syaoran emerged in a large clearing. He shaded his eyes with his hand, convinced that the bright sun must be having a bit of fun with them, for he was certain that just a small way in front of him sat a Seishiro-pillar atop a mushroom, drawing leisurely breaths from a hookah.
Syaoran had never seen a Seishiro-pillar before, but he felt most certain that this must be the proper name for the creature before him – after all, what else might one call an animal with the face of a Seishiro and the body of a caterpillar? The Seishiro-pillar and Syaoran looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Seishiro-pillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed him in a languid, sleepy voice.
"Who are YOU?" said the Seishiro-pillar?
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Syaoran stammered "I'm Syaoran."
"But you're not Syaoran," the Seishiro-pillar said sternly, "Your correct name is Tsubasa, is it not?"
"Well, technically I am both Syaoran and Tsubasa, you see…"
"I do NOT see."
"Syaoran was my father, and I borrowed his name to travel to Clow Country, where I was captured and cloned. Then through a rather remarkable turn of events the clone Syaoran was killed, reborn as my father, and then joined with me in spirit and body…"
"I see nothing so remarkable about that series of events. I myself am my own third uncle twice removed and my sister's grandmother. Perhaps if you were to throw some Oedipus-ian mommy-issues into your story I might be more inclined to be impressed."
Syaoran turned to leave, feeling more than a small twinge of jealousy over the Seishiro-pillar's impressively lurid family tree.
"Come back!" the Seishiro-pillar called after him. "I've something important to say!"
Reluctantly, Syaoran turned back.
"Keep your eyeballs," said the Seishiro-pillar.
"Is that all?" demanded Syaoran, swallowing the urge to smash the Seishiro-pillar into gooey green Seishiro-pillar-paste that he felt slowly rising in his throat.
"You have your father/clone's memories, do you?" the Seishiro-pillar asked, taking the hookah from its lips. Syaoran nodded affirmatively. "And how are you certain of this?"
"I can recall events and lessons that I couldn't before."
"Lessons? Such as?"
"Strange poems in a foreign tongue that I am quite certain I never learned as a child as well as..."
"Whatever you want – this is Wonderland, you can't make it through without reciting some garbled poetry."
"Them's the rules, Buck-o. Repeat 'You are Drunk, Mistress Yuuko.'"
"Very well," Syaoran sighed and began:
"You are drunk, Mistress Yuuko," the young man said,
"And your words have become very slurred;
And yet you incessantly spout off advice—
Don't you think, in your state, that's absurd?
"When I'm sober," the witch did reply to her slave,
"I find that I care not a lick;
For the whining and pleading and wishes of men
Who couldn't locate their own dick!"
"You are drunk," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And your talk most uncommonly vile;
You extort such steep prices from all of your victims
And still you can manage a smile!"
"When I'm sober," said the witch, as she shook her dark locks,
"My smile seems that much more wicked;
For imagine the outrageous shouts, screams and terror,
If the customer saw my teeth naked?"
"You are drunk," said the youth, "And your mind has become
Something dark, sick and obvi'sly twisted;
Yet you finished the bottle, the flask and the cup—
Pray how do you stand unassisted?
"My liver," said the witch, "Is made of some stuff,
Which is clearly much sterner than yours;
Add that to the fact I'm a witch, not a lush:
This tol'rance is something my magic ensures.
"You are drunk," said the youth "And clearly unstable.
Your eyes have begun to roll back;
Shall I run to the pharmacy or should I wait
For the hang-over to make its attack?"
"I have answered three questions and granted your wish;
Now get the hell out of my sight."
"For I've had all of the hot-headed pissing and moaning
I can stomach, Watanuki, tonight!"
"That was awful from beginning to end," the Seishiro-pillar decided, resuming its hookah. "I can see why you're anxious to be rid of him."
"It's not all bad you know," Syaoran began.
"I DON'T know."
"Right. So, I'm just going to go now…"
"Wait," the Seishiro-pillar said, motioning to the boy, "I expect you're tired of everyone trying to steal your pants…"
Syaoran twitched. "Tired" was not the adjective he would have chosen, but he supposed it was close enough to the mark that he didn't bother to argue. "Rather."
The Seishiro-pillar smirked to itself. "Have some mushroom. The green will make you less; the red will make you more."
"Attractive, my dear boy."
Syaoran eyed the Seishiro-pillar suspiciously as he stuffed bits of mushroom into what remained of his pockets. He refused to ingest them in the presence of the strange creature, and so took his leave, heading away from the clearing and back into the forest. Once he had ventured a way in and was no longer able to smell the fragrant smoke of the hookah, he removed the bits of mushroom from his pockets and inspected them. He couldn't recall which color was supposed to have what effect on him, but the promise of keeping the rest of his much-abused clothing was far too tempting to resist. He bit tentatively into the red bit.
For a few seconds nothing happened. Syaoran rolled his eyes and wondered aloud how silly he must be to simply take the Seishiro-pillar's word that eating a simple mushroom would make him less attractive, when suddenly he felt a sharp pain between his shoulders and an icy draft up his stomach. "How stupid," he said to no one in particular, "I wonder if I'm having a heart attack."
He clutched at his chest (as he had so often seen done in dramatizations of heart attacks), and was quite surprised when his hand was filled with a bounty of flesh that he had not prepared for. He tilted his chin downward, reluctant to fathom what manner of creature must be clinging to him now, only to discover that his palm was currently hefting a large breast which swung delicately from his chest wall. He frowned; surely he would have remembered being in possession of such illustrious love melons…?
He was quickly detached from his wonderings by a loud shout of "TROLLOP!" as a small, pink-haired persacom landed on his head and began slapping ferociously at his face.
"I'm NOT a Trollop!" Syaoran insisted, "Leave me alone!"
"Trollop!" repeated the persacom. Then sadly, she jumped to the ground, bouncing once off of Syaoran's now heaving cleavage, and shook her head. "Sumomo is so sadly out of her element…"
"I'M Sumomo!" the persacom insisted, "And YOU are a TROLLOP! Taking your magnificent new mammaries out for a walk I suppose – just like every other stuffed ham in fish-net tights wandering around this hooter-infested hellhole!"
Syaoran gulped, impressed and frightened by the small robot's alliterative skills. "I'm sorry you're so upset, but surely there's no need to slut-shame…" he began.
"Oh, you're sorry. 'Kawaii' just doesn't cut it when you're completely surrounded by TROLLOPS flaunting their titillating tatas! All because the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation only saw fit to package poor me with pitiful pancakes!"
"Yes, well, I'm sure that they'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes…"
Sumomo sat down and began to pout. Syaoran wanted nothing more than to leave the little doll and find his way back to the garden of bouncing delights he had spied earlier though the small door, but he found himself facing a conundrum: namely, what should be done about the two fantastically fulsome funbags that had so recently sprouted beneath his shirt? He absentmindedly fondled the larger of the two as he considered. What had the Seishiro-pillar said exactly? One would make him…
He pulled the bit of green mushroom from his pocket. Perhaps this was the color to make him less attractive, he decided. He took a deep breath, all too aware of how only a tiny taste of the red had terrorized his previously masculine physique, and licked the mushroom with the tip of his tongue. Slowly, his chest deflated to its normal girth and the boy bade a bittersweet farewell to his newly-burgeoning bazoombas. He felt his face and the rest of his body to determine what the effects of the green mushroom had been, but to his disappointment, he could find no changes. He licked the green mushroom a second time, and was quite satisfied to feel his face break out in large pustules – not dissimilar to those one might find on the back of a thirteen-year-old boy who hadn't showered for several weeks. He tossed the remainder of the mushroom bits to Sumomo and wished the persacom luck. Before he could see her inflate, he had set back off through the woods.
* * * * *
The sun was hanging just below its zenith in the sky when Syaoran chanced upon a country home. Driven by hunger and confident in his newfound unattractiveness, he stopped to knock at the door. A tall white-haired man answered momentarily, eying the boy suspiciously before saluting.
"I serve the Duchess; who is calling?"
"Um…Syaoran." He was certain that he heard screams and crashes just beyond the door. "This must be a bad time…"
"No, this is the only time," Yukito insisted lurching open the door and pulling Syaoran in by his tattered shirt-collar, "After all, I've certainly never seen you before and don't plan to again."
Syaoran was quickly shuffled into the kitchen where the Duchess sat on an overstuffed sofa, feeding a baby from a three-nippled bottle. Toward the back of the kitchen a cook was bent over a large table stacked with china, most of which appeared to have be broken.
"Oi, Sakura – you've got company," the cook shouted without turning to look. As he announced this he haphazardly tossed a plate over his shoulder which bounced once from the Duchess's head before shattering over the back of the creature next to her.
The Duchess looked up from the drinking baby and smiled sweetly. "Thank you, Touya. Hello strange man." Curled up next to her on the sofa was a lanky blonde magician adorned with fuzzy cat ears and a tail which seemed to twitch in time with the clatter of flying dishes. Across the magician's face was plastered a large, lazy smile, though it was quite obvious to Syaoran that the magician was fast asleep.
"I think you mean Duchess."
"Oh, right," Syaoran suddenly felt terribly shy and desperately hoped the blush he could feel emerging on his cheeks would be well-hidden by the impromptu acne. "Please – what is that next to you on the sofa? Why is it smiling like that even when dishes break over its head?"
"It's a Cheshire Wizard. They all smile, especially when they're being beaten. Keeps them from getting too angsty – they're completely unmanageable when they're in that state. BEAST!" The last word was directed toward the fussing infant she was attempting to feed.
Syaoran eyed the screaming child with concern. "Maybe if you weren't so rough with it…"
"Oh, sure," the Duchess groaned as she stood and carried the child over toward the cook. "Men think they know everything, don't they? Don't drag your teeth, don't let the cat watch, don't beat the baby…it just goes on and on and on…" She dumped the baby into the cook's arms, where it immediately reached up and yanked roughly on his ears. "BEAST!" She quickly grabbed the bundle back and began to swing it about roughly, singing what Syaoran supposed was a lullaby.
Speak roughly to three-headed babes,
And beat them when they seize:
Upon their suffering uncle's lobes,
And act a vicious tease.
I speak severely to my babe;
I beat it when it seizes;
For it can properly address
It's uncle when it pleases!
"Here!" the Duchess thrust the baby into Syaoran's arms. "You may feed it for awhile. I must go and prepare to play croquette with the Queen."
Syaoran prepared to argue for a moment (he had no relation to the child, and really wasn't in that good with them in the first place…), then looked down to the infant nestled in his arms and was quite distressed to see his own face looking back at him. The doppelganger baby was clearly unhappy to be removed from its mother and began to cry violently, kicking and thrusting its arms at obtuse angles. "Shh…" he soothed, running a finger along the child's nose. It stopped fussing and cooed, but the crying still continued.
"Where is that crying coming from…?" Syaoran wondered aloud. From the very corner of his peripheral vision he watched as the cook slammed his meat cleaver into the table top and grunted in disgust. Syaoran turned to inquire what the matter was, and in so doing, caught and shifted the blanket swaddling the baby so that it no longer covered its head, or, rather, heads, as two additional sets of identical amber eyes now stared back.
The cook moved swiftly to snatch the child away from Syaoran, taking with him the three-nippled bottle. "Irresponsible brat…" he murmured, exiting the kitchen.
Syaoran's knees felt as though they might give way beneath him and he collapsed onto the sofa, waking the Cheshire Wizard who yawned and stretched as he rearranged himself. The wizard grinned as he stared at Syaoran. He seemed good-natured enough, Syaoran decided, but there appeared to be something sinister lurking just beneath the smiling façade.
"Cheshire Wizard," he began slowly, "Did that baby have…?"
"It's your fault you know," the wizard said, smirking back at the boy, "You were warned, after all, about inbreeding."
"Oh yes, not long ago in a smoky bar…"
"But it's not my…you know, never mind. I think I should leave," Syaoran began to stand but the wizard nudged his fuzzy-eared head into his into his side.
"Where will you go?"
"I don't know…I'm looking for a garden…"
"There's a garden over that way," the wizard smiled and pointed over his head, "and another over that way," here his tail moved to indicate the opposite direction. "One belongs to a Plushie, and the other to a March Hare-thing. Take your pick, they're both quite pissy."
"I think I've had my share of pissy people today, thanks."
"Oh, of course. This place is filled with pissy people. I daresay you're becoming a bit pissy yourself."
"I'm not pissy!" Syaoran insisted, though in truth he was becoming rather so.
"Whatever you say, Syao-tan. Will you be playing croquet with the Queen today?"
"Well then, I shall see you there." And with that the Cheshire wizard was gone, disappeared into a ring of rune-like characters that whirled from his finger.
Syaoran supposed he should really be carrying on and began to walk toward the door. As he moved to grasp the handle, however, the wizard reappeared as suddenly as it had gone.
"One more thing."
"Your pants." And with a smooth movement the wizard had removed the tattered remains of Syaoran's shrunken trousers.
"HEY!" Syaoran squealed. "Give those back! I can't go around naked!"
"But you're not naked," the wizard said, smiling from ear to ear. "You've got quite the handsome pair of cut-offs going on there."
"What…?" The wizard was correct; Syaoran ran his fingers through the long fringe of the cut-off denim shorts that fell just onto the uppermost part of his thighs. "But the Seishiro-pillar said the green mushroom would…"
"Make you less attractive," the wizard finished. "What would that possibly have to do with your pants? And more importantly, why would you ever listen to a damned thing a Seishiro-pillar has to say?"
"But you said earlier…"
"Nuh-uh-uh," the wizard grinned as he clicked his tongue, "But this should take care of all those pesky pant-stealers."
Syaoran stared blankly at the wizard, who was carefully folding his pants into a crane.
"No one wants to steal cut-offs."
"So they weren't…?
"Well, it probably started off that way, but the author has a bit of a humorless feminist streak, and while it's occasionally funny to have you stalked by raving fangirls and your pants stolen for no particular reason, it starts to cross a line when they, you know, start to actively sexually assault you."
"But it's fine to objectify my body in a pair of Daisy Dukes and a tank top?"
"Obviously. You're a fictional character created for people's amusement – have you seen some of the outfits CLAMP has drawn me in? And there are no pictures in this story so, really, any smutty images or impure thoughts are entirely the fault of the reader."
"I hate Wonderland."
"Yes, well, perhaps you'll make smarter decisions in the future then, hmmm?" And with that the wizard disappeared once again, leaving only a darkened space where he had once stood.
Syaoran stared into the empty space for a moment, wondering whether the humor in this world would still be permitted to take the form of gratuitous boob jokes, and whether he would ever be permitted to find the garden of frolicking female frontal flesh bulbs. He supposed he had just answered his own question on both fronts…
To be continued…