DOW 12

Sunday, August 29th, 2010 11:14 pm
uakari: (Pouty Kamui)
[personal profile] uakari
Title: Days of Our Wings, Chapitre 12: Proof That the World is, In Fact, A Celebrity Skinned Vampire Sent to Drain Teen-Spirit Scented Basket Cases Who are Stuck Like Flies in the Vaseline
Rating: T
Disclaimer: not mine
Summary: Fay angsts.  Kurogane ninjas.  Syaoran goes shopping.



Chapitre 12: Proof That the World Is, In Fact, A Celebrity Skinned Vampire Sent to Drain Teen-Spirit-Scented Basket Cases Who are Stuck Like Flies in the Vaseline.


The Crackiest Bunch of Crack That Ever Cracked Itself Open Across My Keyboard

I have the strangest feeling I am going to be cosmically punished for this chapter…

Subaru woke with a backache. He also woke with a headache, but that much he had anticipated. The backache was unexpected, however, and he snarled in disgust at small plastic something poking into his shoulder. Where in the hell had he fallen asleep, exactly?

Ah, yes. He stared at the slumping mattress above him. He was in Kamui's bunk, having abandoned his own the night before after a long argument concerning exactly how a being with no cellular metabolism to speak of could be giving off as much body heat as his twin was had devolved into a (very brotherly) wrestling match, complete with snarling, hissing, and a few well-placed kicks to the groin.

Not that he particularly enjoyed sleeping in his own bed if it meant Kamui would be wrapped around him like an angsty, drooling electric blanket in the middle of summer anyway.

He shuffled himself agonizingly around on the mattress, trying to locate whatever plastic abomination was currently gnawing its way into his arm pit. He groaned as his fingers locked around a plastic SephirothTM figurine, which he silently chucked at the wall. So it was back to this again, was it?

He groaned and kicked his feet over the edge of the bed. If Kamui had managed to find the abominable plastic god of death hidden beneath the floorboards, it probably meant that the rest of the house had been torn apart to find the remainder of the collection (which was actually hidden out in the tool shed… not that Subaru was going to volunteer this little bit of information…). He stormed out onto the landing, contemplating how many personal days he was going to have to take from work to fix this mess…

To his great surprise, the house was remarkably clean and nailed together. He breathed a sigh of relief as he tiptoed down the staircase, stopping only to pick up a stray piece of lingerie that had been carelessly flung over the banister – definitely not his, he didn't own anything this skimpy – and noted with slightly maniacal glee that everything else seemed to be in its proper place. He whistled to himself as he slingshotted the offensive bit of clothing to rest on the kitchen counter. With a little bit of luck, he might actually be spared a few moments of peace and quiet before the rest of the house woke up…

He continued his quiet trek into the kitchen and grabbed a bag of AB negative from the refrigerator. It was rare that the hospital had enough in stock for him to be able "borrow" some for personal libation, and he wanted to savor it – drinking from a fine crystal glass was only appropriate in this instance. None of this curly-straw nonsense…

Holy shit. Subaru was vaguely aware of his jaw dropping as his eyes settled on the cluttered sink. He hadn't been aware that they owned that many curly straws, nor had he even considered the possibility one vampire could chew through that many in the course during a single late-night drinking binge.

Idiot had probably been mixing blood types again, too.

Subaru quickly decided that it really wasn't his fault if the antibodies were all interacting in comically fatal ways in his brother's stomach and poured his AB negative into a wine glass. Someone was going to have to maintain some sense of decorum around here and, since Kamui was likely to be doubled over the toilet for most of the morning, it was going to have to be him. Not that it wasn't, normally. It was lucky for the both of them that he was sensible and reliable enough to convince the humans they lived amongst that they were ordinary, well-adjusted individuals, free of any strange eating habits or ungual abnormalities. He shuddered to think what would happen if Kamui lived on his own…one wrong move and someone was likely to find themself reeling from a punch to the groin. Or a titty-twister, though Kamui (mercifully) seemed to be growing out of that phase lately. Yes, it was a damned good job he was capable and sane (okay, scratch that last, but he was better off than Kamui, anyway) and pretty and jesustapdancingchrist where was that high-pitched keening coming from?

He kicked the cabinet in front of him open and stared at his brother. "What are you doing to the cat?" he demanded after a moment.

Kamui squinted back at his twin. "I'm trying to explain that it's imperative that I act like a complete jackass to distance myself from her and spare her from the inevitable heartbreak that comes of associating with me, but…"


"But…she just doesn't seem to want to communicate."

"So you've been talking non-stop at her in order to distance yourself."




"Get the fuck out of the cupboard."

Kamui grumbled to himself, but obliged. Hokuto followed quickly after, jumping into the safety of Subaru's arms and bristling in fear as Kamui struggled to his feet. Subaru sighed and ran his fingers through the long black feline fur. He frowned. "Why is she dressed as a gun…?"

Kamui growled. "Because someone took all of her CrowTM costumes away."

Subaru shrugged and began peeling the black cardboard and electric tape off of the poor cat. "You know she gets sick when she licks off all of the makeup." He turned back to Kamui, "You know, the garden could use some tending."

Kamui considered this and sighed resignedly. "I suppose…" He knew when his brother was trying to get rid of him. His eyes trailed toward the discarded clothing resting at the edge of the counter. "Nice banana hammock, Buu-Buu. Isn't it a bit big for you, though?"

"Out! NOW!" Subaru grimaced as he peeled the final bits of Hokuto's costume away. Who the hell was "Chekhov," anyway? And, seriously, who puts a nametag on a cat? He scowled as he tossed the last of it into the trash bin and watched in mild disgust as Kamui skewered a chipmunk on his way to the rose bushes. It seemed he was going to have to take a personal day after all…

* * * * *

Kurogane slunk.

In the past six hours, he had been summarily dumped on 18 separate occasions, propositioned for sex on at least 20, and received no fewer than 185 bodily threats. Of these threats, 95 had been aimed directly at his manhood, another 60 had implied emasculation in a more subtle manner, 25 had revolved around taking rusty a scissors to his hair, and 5 had involved the forceful violation of his umbilicus…

Which was unaccountably disturbing, as he clearly had an outie.

In the end, he'd had to give up on sharing the bed with the wizard and opted to sleep in the closet. This had worked well until his arm had fallen asleep and he attempted to shift, knocking over several storage shelves in the process.

Really, no one could be expected to sleep with that many Candy Land pieces creeping up their… You know what? Never mind.

Now he was relying on stealth.

He crept past the door to Syaoran's room, ducked, rolled, and folded himself under the sofa in mere seconds.

He sniffed the air. This seemed like a safe enough place for some sleep.

* * * * *

Syaoran wondered if he should say something to Kurogane. The ninja's timing seemed…off and, more worryingly, he hadn't actually seemed to notice Syaoran lying on the sofa he had just hurled himself under.

He supposed it was lack of sleep; he himself was currently suffering from the same affliction after being treated to the sounds of slurs, threats, and pleas for mercy through the wall until the wee hours of the morning for the past week. He wondered how concerned he should be. He didn't actually think Fay would make good on any of this barely coherent threats – he had never actually hurt Kurogane before (ok, fine, he had never hurt him intentionally…or at least never more than once on the same day…) – but that didn't mean Kurogane wasn't well on his way to becoming a one-man train wreck piled off its tracks by a steam load of verbal abuse and too little rest. He made a mental note to keep him away from any sharp objects. And probably blunt ones, for that matter. At least until he'd gotten some sleep.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for the snoring to commence.

Subaru cleared his throat, somewhat disturbed by that little…display. Syaoran tried to smile reassuringly; it was largely a wasted effort, however, as the ninja chose that particular moment to release a loud whimper in his sleep. He giggled nervously instead.

"I don't suppose I could bribe you to head into town and pick up our paychecks and a new bag of curly straws, could I? I'd go myself, but…" he motioned to the window where Kamui was clearly visible; apparently in the middle of a losing argument with a peony bush.

"Um, sure," Syaoran said, his eyes widening as the peony suddenly burst into confetti. Kamui looked up, unaware he'd had an audience until this point, and narrowed his eyes. "Yes, I would love to go into town for you."

"Thanks so much. I'll go find the car keys. Kamui has something he wanted delivered as well; can you go ask him what it was?"

Syaoran stared out the window.

"He not going to hurt you…" Subaru sighed.

"Are you sure?" Syaoran found this hard to believe as he watched a chipmunk slide down Kamui's claw.

"Very," Subaru assured him, "He probably can't even remember your name; AMS is distinct from rage in that it only hurts the ones you love." He paused, watching his twin through the window. "And the occasional woodland critter."

Syaoran shuddered, but headed out the back door anyway.

He found Kamui in the midst of reprising his argument with the peony bush he'd shredded only moments before.

"If you'd just stop letting ants make you their home I wouldn't have to treat you this way," he murmured, stroking one of the large blossoms. "You know daddy loves you, don't you?"



"Subaru said you had something you wanted taken to the university…"

"Ah, yes," Kamui said, caressing the flower to his cheek before batting it away with a sharp slap. "We'll continue this conversation later, you little tramp," he murmured before stalking toward the opposite side of the garden. He pointed to a patch of multicolored zinnias. "Which of these looks most unhealthy to you?"

"Um," Syaoran squinted at the flowers, not really sure what he was supposed to judge them by. "I suppose…those couple there?"

"You heard him, boys," Kamui said, extracting his claws.

"What are…" Syaoran trailed off as the razor-sharp claws slashed through a group of stems.

"Here you go," Kamui thrust the bouquet at Syaoran, "Drop these by Kotori's office for me. Tell her I never want to see her again."


Kamui looked back at the patch. "Now the rest of you bastards had better put a little more effort into growing." He growled the last word so harshly Syaoran was almost certain he'd seen the remaining zinnias twitch with fear. He turned back to Syaoran, "That's all."

"Okay then." Syaoran hurried back to the house and slammed the door behind him just as Subaru was coming back down the stairs.

"Everything alright?" Subaru asked, the slight quiver of Syaoran's hands not escaping his notice. "What's he doing out there?"

"He's…" verbally abusing his garden "Fostering competition with a little pep-talk…"

"Ah. Well, they do say plants grow better if you talk to them."

Syaoran doubted this, but bit his tongue and took the keys.

"Those aren't for Kotori, are they?" Subaru asked as Syaoran headed for the garage.

"Um, yes?"

"Oh, for the love of… Just tell her they're an apology for his poorly timed leave of absence and not whatever he told you. I don't need her showing up on the doorstep in a rage again demanding to know why she's been expelled this time."

"How often does this happen?"

* * * * *

Kurogane woke with a start.

This had the unfortunate effect of introducing his forehead to the underside of the sofa, and he cursed loudly before clamping a hand over his mouth. He ducked his head out to the side, surveying the room.

A pair of unimpressed green eyes stared back. "Are you quite alright?" Subaru demanded, frowning.

"Hmph." Kurogane rolled himself out from under the sofa and looked around. "Where are they?"

"They're outside on the deck," Subaru paused, biting his lip, "Waging war."

"What?" Kurogane craned his head to see around Subaru. He was just in time to see a flaming projectile launched across the deck by a home-made trebuchet take the head of a Mr. FreezeTM figurine clean off.

Subaru sighed. "Every time…" he muttered, stomping toward the door. "Hey!" he screamed, "I told you; you're going to burn the damned house down! Keep the fire in the lawn!"

"Sorry, Buu-Buu."

Subaru stormed back to the kitchen, where Kurogane was picking through the refrigerator in hopes of finding something edible, preferably alcoholic. "How do you normally deal with – hey, wait a second," he paused, looking the ninja up and down, "Weren't you wearing something else a minute ago?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah," Kurogane said, sheepishly, "It's for, um, camouflage."

"Camouflage?" Subaru sputtered, "How the hell did you manage to change clothes between rooms without me seeing? And, oh good god, you matched the countertops!"

"That would be the point of camouflage," Kurogane grunted, slamming the refrigerator shut.

"I didn't even know they made clothes in purple and red marble…" Subaru muttered. His nose crawled up in his face in disgust as a thought occurred to him. "Is this yours?" he demanded, extracting a claw and picking up the discarded banana hammock lying on the counter with its tip.

"Oh, yeah. Thought I lost that one."

"Look, if you're going to change between rooms, could you at least not leave your…intimate apparel lying around?"

"Sure…" Kurogane was preoccupied watching the ritual sacrifice of a PoppleTM by a legion of G.I. JoesTM through the window. It was disturbingly…fluffy. "Well," he said, stuffing the undergarment under his arm, "I think it's time for me to get back to business."

"Could you help me with…" Subaru trailed off.

The ninja was nowhere to be seen.

* * * * *

"Um, excuse me. Dr. Yokoshima?" Syaoran knocked nervously, peeking his head around the open office door.

"-And if you think I'm going to roll over and die just so you can keep shoveling this cheesy nonsense down your follower's gullets then I – Syaoran! So good to see you! And I told you, please call me Kanoe."

"Oh, sorry…Kanoe," Syaoran stepped into the office, where he was met with an uncomfortable stare from a white-haired woman seated opposite of Kanoe. He looked away quickly. "I was wondering where to pick up Kamui's paycheck…?"

"Oh, of course, of course. The secretary keeps them locked in her desk – I'll take you down in a minute to get it. But, before that," she motioned to an empty seat next to the white-haired woman, "Won't you join us? This is my sister, Hinoto. I believe I mentioned her the last time we met."

"Oh, I don't want to interrupt you or anything…"

"Nonsense," Kanoe pulled the chair out for him, smiling as he sat down, "We were actually just discussing you."

"You were?"

"Yes," Hinoto answered, eyeing Syaoran closely, "I can certainly sense that sister dearest wasn't wrong about you. For once in her long, long life."

"Oh, shut up, my little baby sister. You'll have to excuse her, Syaoran. Little Miss Muffett here is still at the age where she believes in fairytales and doesn't always interact well with adults."

"No more fairytales than the half-assed "Just So" stories you and your scienterrific buddies here come up with. You're always just changing your minds! You find something new and BOOM – everything else goes out the window! Bye-bye Pluto…guess you don't get to be a planet anymore!"

"It's called being flexible, Sister," Kanoe spat, taking a seat behind her desk, "Of course, that's not something you, whose beliefs melt away with the slightest increase in temperature, would understand."

"The Great Gouda doesn't melt!" Hinoto insisted, "She just grows softer and more pliable."

"Oh, sweet Cheesus…"

"Don't take the Lord's name in vain!"

"Don't lecture me, you over-exalted phone psychic. It's amazing that a Miss CleoTM wannabe like you can hold onto as many followers as you do with the way you continually insult their intelligence."

"I insult their intelli…intelli…smartness! You're the most insulting thing…ever! You…you…over educated Betsy WetsyTM with tits for brains!"

"Always right back to the tits," Kanoe snapped, "Typical for someone afraid of her own sexuality."

"I am not afraid! The Great Gouda just wishes that we would wait to be married before we defile our bodies!"

"You've certainly got no problem defiling yours with communion wine."

"It goes very well with the Cheddar Offering!"

Both women stared angrily in silence.

"Um," Syaoran coughed, "Could I just get Kamui's paycheck…?"

"Now look here, you overstuffed mostaccioli," Kanoe continued, ignoring Syaoran completely, "There is no one more insulting than you and your little cult of Kraft worshipping, overripe Stiltonheads."

"Which is why you need the Great Gouda's help now, isn't it?" Hinoto smirked.

"I don't need your help! This will go off without a hitch whether you participate or not. I just prefer your blessing. Because I'm a lovely, caring sister to you."

"And because you can't get it up without my help."

Syaoran eyed the doorway. He wondered if either woman would notice if he made a run for it.

"Get it OUT! OUT! Sweet Gouda, your brain really is Swiss cheese if you don't know the difference between 'up' and 'out!'"

"I did say that the communion wine went very well with the Cheddar Offering…and I was really hungry!"

Syaoran sighed and looked longingly at the door. A familiar face smirked at him and motioned for him to come out. He decided to chance it.

Kanoe and Hinoto paused (half an hour later), realizing their guest had disappeared. Hinoto sighed. "Well, I suppose he's gone now, so it doesn't really matter after all."

"Don't be silly," Kanoe smirked as she plucked a fallen hair from the seat Syaoran had occupied. She placed this into a glass vile and sealed it tightly. "This should be everything we need…"

"I hope you know what you're doing this time, Kanoe…"

* * * * *

Kotori laughed softly as she dug Kamui's paycheck from the depths of the abandoned desk. "They're always like that," she assured him, "Kanoe's sister is the director of the Theology department and the head priestess at the local Goudist temple. Let's just say they don't always see eye to eye."

"Thank you so much," Syaoran said as she handed him the check, "Oh, that reminds me – I have something for you in the car, from Kamui."

"Oh no…it's not his 'weakling' flowers, is it?"

"Seriously, how often does this happen?"

Kotori smiled. "More than I'd like to admit. You really just have to humor him, most of the time" she paused to make a face, "Just leave them. Kobato should be finishing up at the daycare center and she and I are going for coffee – you should join us!"

Syaoran gratefully accepted and the two made their way across the campus to the sprawling daycare center.

"Kobato!" Kotori called happily.

Kobato waved, but was unable to reply due to the grabby mess of child wrapping itself around her head. She gently pried the flailing arms and legs away from her face and set her charge on the ground, giving her a final pat on the head as she headed toward Kotori and Syaoran.

"I don't know how you do it…" Kotori chuckled as Kobato joined them.

Kobato smiled. "Lots of practice! Besides, I don't know how you put up with your undergraduates, either. I've never heard more whining from a single group in my entire life!"

Kotori laughed louder. "They really are something, aren't they? But I love them. I'm going to be so sad when this semester ends and they're not mine anymore."

"You'll probably have them again, if they make it to med school."

"True…let's just hope they've grown some backbone by then!"

"Alright," Kobato skipped ahead and turned to face the others, "Where are we headed?"

Kotori's face lit up. "Hey!" she exclaimed, "I've got a great idea! We need to celebrate!"

Syaoran was confused. "Celebrate what?"

"We just met the Bechdel quota! Twice!"

"The what?"

"Kobato and I had a conversation, and earlier Kanoe and Hinoto had a conversation…and neither of them was about a man!"

"…and that means…?"

"It means the author finally got off of her ass after eleven chapters and two omakes and wrote dialogue between women! This is a huge breakthrough!"

"Does the author hate women or something?"

"No, it's just that most of the dialogue in this fic comes from strange things her husband says and random snatches of men's conversations she picks up on the train while commuting to work. Truth be told, she's really just lazy and not all that creative…"

"I see…"

"She also enjoys meta."

"I gathered that. So, where are we going to celebrate?"

Kotori smirked. "Why, to Hot Topic, of course!"


"Yes!" Kobato clapped her hands, "For cat ears and maid outfits!"



Syaoran stared. "You're celebrating meeting a feminist quota with…moe?"

"Um, yeah."

Syaoran sighed.

"She also likes irony."


* * * * *

"My poor, darling Kotori," Kamui sobbed. "What will she do without me? The world will have grown so cold, now that I'm going away."

Fay snorted. "She'll wish she was too dead to care, if indeed she cares at all."

"Seriously," Kamui slammed his glass down onto the table, "I may be half the man I used to be, but even I know that the greatest of teachers won't hesitate to leave her there by herself, chained to fate. She needs me."

"Don't you think you're riding a bit too high on your horse there, Kamui?" Subaru asked, rolling his eyes. He'd managed to wrest the majority of the figurine collection from the angsting duo, but not without sustaining several serious injuries to his pride and relinquishing their entire supply of alcohol.

"Buu-Buu, isn't there something you could be doing inside?"

"Alcohol and angst don't mix well. I think I'll stay."

Fay scoffed. "Why can't we not be sober? In pea – SQUIRREL!"

"Yeah," Kamui agreed, slicing the unsuspecting sciurid's head cleanly away from its shoulders with a quick flick of his wrist, "There's nothing else to do. Go on – just don't take any of this," he clutched the vodka bottles protectively, "I don't want you to."

Subaru sighed and stood up from the table. This was getting old. He wondered if they were aware just how ridiculous their dialogue was becoming as he stalked into the kitchen. A nice glass of AB negative would really take the edge off of some of this…


"Sweet Baby Cheesus!" Subaru screamed as he spun around, "You have got to stop the 'stealthy ninja' shit around the house!"

"Sorry," Kurogane peered out the window, "What are they doing?"

"Drinking. Ridiculous amounts."

"Do you really think that's a good idea?"

"No, it's most definitely not, but it's much better than them blowing up the house, don't you think?"

Kurogane considered this. He supposed it was, but…what was that in Fay's glass…? "Are you letting him drink blood?" he roared.

"No!" Subaru insisted, "He only thinks it's blood. It's just ClamatoTM."

Kurogane snorted. "He's angsty, not stupid. He can tell the difference, you know."

"I added some beef drippings," Subaru countered, "And with the amount of vodka he keeps mixing in, it would be a miracle if he could taste anything else."

"Beef drippings?"

"Yeah, I opened the packaging and let the juices drip into his cup."

"That is so horribly disgusting that I don't even know what to say to you."

"'Thank you' would be a nice start," Subaru said, filling his own glass, "I've been watching after the two of them all day you…"

The ninja had disappeared once again.

"God damn it."

He wandered back out to the deck.

Kamui cracked the cap from the third bottle. "Ahh…sweet novacaine for the soul."

Fay rattled his empty glass. "Come on, fill me up. Before I sputter out."

Subaru quickly snatched the glass away. "Gimme that. I'll make you another," he huffed, hurrying back inside.

"Take your time," Fay called after him, laying his head on the table. "Actually, hurry up. Choice is yours, but don't be late."

Kamui leaned back into his chair and sipped slowly from his glass. "Oh, sweet O positive, you do get me closer to god…though I have to admit, its flavor is even more delicate if I let it breathe for awhile." He frowned, setting his glass down and swirling its contents gently to aerate.

Fay moaned into the table, the unbearable weight of sobriety sitting heavily upon his shoulders. "Breathing…is the hardest thing to do."

"I know, I know. I've been here before," Kamui sighed, "Sometimes I give myself the creeps."

"That's because you're wallowing in your own chaotic, insecure delusions," Fay assured him.

"Mmm…" Kamui agreed. "It all keeps adding up…I think I'm cracking up."

"You're just paranoid," Subaru insisted, reappearing with a fresh cocktail.

"You're right. I lost my head again. Though, I suppose I can't ask you to cry for me."

Subaru rolled his eyes. His head wasn't the only thing Kamui seemed to have lost recently. "And how about you?" he asked, turning to Fay.

"Mmmph," he swigged his drink, "I feel stupid."

"And he's probably contagious," Kamui decided, "You should go back inside. You don't need to entertain us."

Subaru massaged the bridge of his nose. "And now we're back to this…"

"Sometimes it blows my mind…" Kamui muttered.


"How we keep getting stuck here all the time."

"Like flies in the Vaseline, we are," Fay mused.

"Oh for fuck's sake."

"What's wrong, Buu-Buu?"

"Could you two knock it off, seriously?" Subaru demanded, knocking his fists against the table.

"Knock what off, Buu-Buu? We're just talking."

"You're not 'just talking,' though," Subaru yanked at his hair. "You're having an entire conversation based off mid-nineties angst rock lyrics. It's driving me insane."


"And don't call me Buu-Buu! I don't call you Ui-Ui, do I?"

"But all of the best angst comes from mid-nineties rock, Buu-Buu! All these whiny ass titty babies screech about today is their poor iddle bwoken hearts. Back in the day we had real angst. We knew that emptiness was loneliness, loneliness was cleanliness, cleanliness was godliness, and god was empty. Just like us."

Subaru stared. "Yes, and a ton of good all of that did you. All you've got to show for yourselves is President Palin and an oil spill in the Gulf."

Kamui shrugged. "Apathy is a hell of a drug… Besides, back then we all thought the end was near. People still say we'll see Armageddon soon."

"I certainly hope we will," Fay muttered, swirling his drink around his glass. "I sure could use a vacation from this bullshit, three ring circus sideshow of freaks."

"Oh for…do you two have any idea what you sound like?"

"That reminds me," Kamui said cooly, turning toward the far edge of the property. "Hey! You damn kids! GET OFF MY LAWN!"

Fay chucked a CloudTM action figure after the scurrying neighbor children.

Subaru buried his face in his hands. "You two need to knock this off before you drive your ninja boyfriend completely insane…"

"Pssht. Kurogane…" Fay mumbled, upper lip twitching.

Subaru's eyes grew threateningly wide. "Don't say something you're going to regret," he warned.

Fay chuckled menacingly. "I did it all for the nookie."

"Oh come ON."

"The nookie!"

Subaru decided it was time for him to go back inside. Before they told him what he could do with that cookie.


* * * * *

Syaoran smiled brightly to himself as he pulled the car into the garage. He'd forgotten how much he enjoyed the company or sane, rational people. In truth, he'd begun to consider him a bit of a misanthrope lately, so it was definitely refreshing to be reminded that he was capable of enjoying interactions with others – so long as they weren't crazy, angsting, or overly fond of jean shorts.

Also, moe was, like, the best thing ever.

He dragged several over-stuffed shopping bags out of the trunk and headed toward the house. It was quiet. Almost too quiet, he thought as he absentmindedly fondled one of the fuzzy cat ears adorning his head. He considered doing an about-face and high-tailing it back to Kotori's apartment. He wasn't below begging to spend the night camped out on her couch. He could even offer to make breakfast in the morning, and clean her toilet if he needed to…

Except that he didn't know where she lived. Sighing, he trudged into the house.

He was more than slightly surprised at the peaceful scene that greeted him. Kurogane sat watching television with Fay sprawled next to and on top of him on the sofa, his casted leg balanced up over one of the arms. Kamui reclined in an over-stuffed armchair, snoring softly and drooling freely with Mokona snuggled into the crook of his arm. No screaming. No weapons. No action figures.

Really, the most disturbing part of the entire scene was Kurogane's jumpsuit, which was for some reason matched to the sofa – right down to the obnoxious purple piping decorating the seams.

"How did you manage this?" Syaoran balked, setting down his bags.

"Shh…" Kurogane hissed, "They're sleeping." He frowned. "Why are you wearing a nurse's uniform?"

"Do you like it?" Syaoran spun around, "Kobato said it really accented my calves…"

"It's…great." Kurogane closed his eyes.

"Mokona likes it," the white ball of fluff declared, before falling back asleep.

"Thanks Mokona," Syaoran shuffled the bags across the floor toward his room, "I'll just go put the rest of this away…"

He bumped into Subaru as he opened the door. "You okay?" he asked. The vampire looked dejected as he slipped past Syaoran.

"I can't find Hokuto…" he mumbled, "I wonder where she could be…"

"Maybe she got outside?" Syaoran offered.

"I dunno… Oh, I hate to think of her all alone out there! My poor, sweet, innocent little Hokuto!" he quickly made his way to the staircase. He didn't really want his guests to see him break down.

Kurogane started as he felt Fay twitch in his lap. That felt like…a laugh… He looked down at Fay nervously. Fay grinned and lifted his eyes toward the ceiling. Kurogane followed his gaze.

There, hanging from the light fixture was his discarded banana hammock.

Complete with a messily shredded banana.

Kurogane shuddered and looked back down at the wizard. Fay, however, had drifted back to sleep.

A/N: I feel like I need to apologize for the extreme amount of domestic violence in this chapter…but I would like to point out that no one actually got hurt (well, except a couple of rodents and possibly Hokuto O_o). Just to be clear, I don't advocate threatening your partner, nor do I support anyone acting like a jealous spousal abuser toward their garden. The poor boys aren't really themselves at the moment, but they'll get better :-D

Also, here is a short list of songs whose lyrics I stole, er, borrowed for use in this chapter. This is doubtless proof that I am too old for fandom, as all of these came out between my middle and high school years…

Whatever, I'll stop when I'm 30.

The Flys – Novacaine for the Soul
Green Day – Basket Case
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Hole – Violet
Limp Bizkit - Nookie
Live – Selling the Drama
Live – I Alone
Nine Inch Nails – Closer
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana – Come as You Are
The Offspring – Gone Away
Placebo – Every You Every Me
Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings
Smashing Pumpkins – Zero
Soundgarden – Burden in My Hand
Stone Temple Pilots – Vaseline
Stone Temple Pilots – Creep
Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
Stone Sour – Bother
Tool – Sober
Tool – Aenema

January 2013

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