Title: Days of Our Wings, Chapitre 1: The Begining of the Guilt
Disclaimer: not mine
Summary: Syaoran broke the bed again...
Early morning light spilled through the open windows, soaking the remnants of the chilly night air with its warmth. Syaoran rolled onto his side, pulling the sheet more snugly around his shoulders and tactfully ignoring the horribly cliche opening sentence. He noted sleepily that he was alone in the bed, and happily redoubled his efforts to take up as much of the mattress as his lanky frame would allow. He exhaled de into the pillow and allowed his eyes to flutter open briefly, slowly adjusting to the new light.
Confused, he lazily rubbed a fist against his eyelid and refocused.
The cold eyes of the beast glared back - calculating, hard, unmoving.
With a snap of his hand, the sheet split around his body. Darting between the falling scraps, he rolled onto the balls of his feet. A quick burst of flame from his hand and his sword was drawn, a bitter battle cry on his lips. A loud CRACK proclaimed his victory as the head of the beast split in two.
Syaoran stepped back to survey the carnage, not daring to move his sword from an offensive position.
Sakura was going to kill him.
* * * * *
While most people regard Sanrio’s feline spokesmodel fondly as a token of all things cute and girly, few recognize the sinister plot behind the aggressive, multidimensional marketing of the character. Originally conceived by Ikuko Shimizu as a cutesy graphic for a coin purse, Hello Kitty likenesses had been spread across time and space by the evil Sanrio MegaCorp in a terribly misguided effort to transmute the brains of girls ages 6-18 into something resembling molten marshmallow and thereby take over the world. When this plot inevitably failed, they had settled for ensuring Syaoran never got laid again.
At least, this is the belief he clung desperately to. In reality, he suspected this outcome had more to do with his blond traveling companion’s attraction to all things cat-like (doubly so if they also sparkled) and their inability to carry more than the bare necessities with them between worlds. Souvenirs were sent to Watankuni, then spit back out by Mokona when the travelers briefly returned “home.” Syaoran gritted his teeth as he eyed the crystal sun-catcher that had spawned the ungodly collection glistening innocently in the window. Sakura had been so pleased with the gift that the group had proceeded to purchase every pink, mouthlessly-smirking, cat-marked bit of paraphernalia they encountered. A shadow and a doubt had begun growing in Syaoran’s mind during the procurement of the Hello Kitty portable body-fat meter as to whether these purchases were getting out of hand. The handcuffs had intrigued him, though this effect was somewhat diminished by the two pairs of white plush paws they currently held together. The pink and white assault rifle currently holding up the bedside table was completely unnecessary in his mind. But it was the headboard that he was never going to forgive Fay for.
Years of inter-dimensional traveling with no female companionship to speak of had taken its toll on the young man’s libido. Those occasional nights spent in Clow Country, which should have been spent indulging in every conceivable sin of the flesh, became complicated by the slow smothering of any confidence the youth once possessed beneath the heaving pile of Sakura’s ever-growing Yaoi manga collection (he also suspected Fay’s interference in this, but had never been able to catch the mage actually buying the damned things). The addition of two great, cold eyes staring back at him from the pink headboard did not improve his performance, as Sakura had informed him (quite coldly) that “I can’t with the cat watching” was only a valid excuse in the presence of an actual, living, breathing cat.
* * * * *
Red eyes surveyed the scene from a spit in the door curtain. They noted with some amusement that the young man in front of him still slept with his fuzzy Batsumaru slippers tucked under his pillow, but it was really the immaculate tighty whities that completed the Portrait of the Young Man Posturing Victoriously Over the Vanquished Pink Headboard. Against his better judgment, he snickered. This was out of character, so he quickly transformed the snicker into a growl and threw back the curtains.
Syaoran slumped into the mattress as Kurogane entered the room. The ninja had been woken out of a dead sleep by the noise; this much was obvious to the youth as he noted the frilly blue bathrobe barely covering the ninja’s torso and the spectacular state of his hair. He sighed.
“I think this one might cost you,” Kurogane grunted, eyeing up the splintered pink wood and the indisputable look of agony ensconced in the cat’s shattered face. “Technique’s not bad for being half awake though,” he murmured, running his hand along crack. Syaoran curled into the fetal position and murmured something about “inevitability.”
This received a snort from Kurogane, who slapped his hand onto the boy’s shoulder and shook him in a manly sort of way. “I think we can fix this…”
* * * * *
Three hours, 16 rolls of duct tape, 7 bottles of nail polish, and an infinite number of prayers to any available deities later, the headboard had been reconstructed to look almost, but not quite exactly unlike the feline monstrosity that had once stood in its place. In retrospect, Kurogane had to admit that the addition of red eyes and a flaming halo had failed to imbue the bed with the “sexy” vibe he had been angling for. But then, interior design had never been his strong suit.
The men held each other’s gaze, the word “seppuku” flitting briefly between them. They had at most an hour before the princess and the mage returned from their daily foray into the market; at worst the two had already returned and were heading upstairs to be visually assaulted by the sight of their scantily clad companions draped over a sweat-stained mattress, staring slack-jawed at the Feline Harbinger of Doom.
Luck, it shortly occured to the men, was not playing for their team on this particular day. Footsteps in the hallway announced the arrival of their companions, and the two men braced themselves for the coming battle.
Fay’s head peaked into the room first, eyes growing wide at the destruction. Kurogane could have sworn he saw a faint smile tug at the corners of the mage’s mouth, but quickly wrote this off as fear-induced delirium - he had suffered the wrath of the wizard enough times to know when he had crossed the line. Only death could possibly await after this transgression...
There was a muffled commotion in the hallway followed by the sound of footsteps heading away from the room. Fay momentarily reappeared in the doorway, Mokona perched on his shoulder. Crossing his arms, the magician smirked.
“I always assumed father-son bonding time included more clothing and less nail polish.”
“I thought the addition of duct tape made up for the discrepancy quite nicely,” Kurogane countered, visibly relaxing. “What the hell are we supposed to do with this?” he groaned, getting to his feet.
“Well, I suppose we could burn it,” Fay murmured, eyes sparkling wildly, “but I also don’t put it past her to notice the pile of ashes.”
Kurogane growled and absentmindedly peeled a strip of duct tape from his abdomen. Fay only raised an eyebrow and shook his head. “Syaoran, go get washed and dressed. Kuro-tan, help me get this mess fixed.”
Kurogane weighed this proposition in his mind. It wasn’t, strictly speaking, his fault that the headboard had been split. However, he supposed the subsequent restyling of the pastel monstrosity into the carefully crafted nightmare that currently stood before them had been largely, if misguidedly, engineered by himself. “Fine,” he grunted.
“That took less time than I had imagined,” the magician confided once Syaoran had left the room.
Kurogane narrowed his eyes. “Explain,” he demanded.
“Well, the boy has to learn to stand up for himself in this relationship some time,” Fay sang as Mokona sucked the macabre bed frame into its mouth. “He can’t be happy being completely pussy-whipped like this, no matter how much the princess enjoys it.”
His brow furrowing, Kurogane spun toward Fay. “YOU bought this. YOU buy all of the unholy cat toys. YOU send out purchase-orders for the Porn-Illustrated Magazines. This is YOUR doing. They’re nearly…” he paused, counting his fingers, then running out and scanning his toes quickly. “They’re old enough to figure this out on their own, dammit!”
Fay smiled. “A mother is never finished teaching valuable life-lessons to his children.” He braced himself as a pristine version of the bastardized bed spewed out of Mokona’s mouth, shuddering to a halt in the exact space the previous bed had once occupied. “What would you prefer I do, hire a one-armed man to teach them lessons? Exactly how much is Kuro-sensei charging these days?”
Kurogane gritted his teeth and looked away. This game had grown old sometime in Rekort, but the mage seemed intent on playing it until the five of them had shriveled to corpses. He grunted, as this seemed the reply most appropriate to upholding his manly veneer.
“You could help you know. Set an example. Be a role model. And get some clothes on,” Fay scolded, “ We’re leaving as soon as Syaoran is back from the bath, and, spectacular though it may be, I’m not certain how many people you’re willing to expose to the current interaction of your loin cloth, butt cheeks, and the lace from that robe…”
And a splash page for you, because the bottle of wine egged my friend and I on...