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FFVII, KHII, KHR, KKM, TotA, xxxHOLiC. Ficlets/Drabbles, OTP.

I fail at titles. That said--

Written for techiegoat:

FFVII - ZackxCloud - touching

Pre-game, post-Nibelheim. A slight slaughtering of canon. They're friends, right? Platonic love, yo.

Turning Sun-Blind

He hasn't touched Cloud for a long time. He's not really sure how long-- Days, months-- He prays to God it hasn't been years, because everything's been dragging on for so long, Hojo and mako and needles sliding under his skin. And he really doesn't want to think it's been years, because if it has--

But it's easier to just reach in and grab Cloud, his fingers sliding over Cloud's skin. Cloud falls out of tube, heavy and limp in Zack's arms, and Zack tries to hold on as he stumbles back, slipping in the mako on the floor. They end up in a heap, Zack curling his arms around Cloud's head, and he just lies there for a few minutes, breathing, and feeling Cloud breathe on top of him.

Cloud's breathing is slow. In, beat beat, out, beat beat beat, in, beat beat, out, beat beat beat. It feels good, to feel Cloud, feel Cloud's slow heartbeat and slower breathing, but good doesn't mean shit down here, and maybe it won't mean shit anywhere, with ShinRa turned crazy and Hojo turned god-like, but it might mean more in Midgar. For a while, at least.

x

Everything in Zack's body hurts, deep down into the bones. He feels like he's bruised all over, beaten black and blue for as long he's been Hojo's pet, and each day, it feels worse, rather than better. The sunlight burns his eyes, reflecting off the snow, and he has to close his eyes, count to five before he opens them again. It still burns, probably more this time, but he just squints his eyes closed, and starts walking.

Cloud's hanging off his back, his thin arms, still green-stained, looped around Zack's neck. Every few yards Zack has to grab at Cloud, hike him up higher, and Cloud whimpers against Zack's neck each time. It's the most Zack's gotten out of Cloud, but Zack's a beaten man now, and he'll take anything he can get.

x

Some of Hojo's pets catch up to them before they reach the ocean. Zack throws himself underneath a river-side ledge, dragging Cloud after him. Cloud's feet tangle, tripping him, and Zack swears as he pulls Cloud up, further underneath the ledge. He wraps his arms around Cloud, presses his face against Cloud's shoulder, and prays.

"Don't scream, don't scream," he mouths against the cloth over Cloud's shoulder. "Don't scream."

He can hear the dogs running a hundred yards away, then fifty. Cloud's chest rises, falls, and rises again, stops.

"Don't scream," Zack says desperately, and the dogs are running on, and Cloud's mouth is open, and silent.

When the dogs are a couple miles away, and Zack can barely hear them, he laughs. Cloud's chest shakes beneath his arms, and Zack tightens them, holds Cloud tighter, and laughs until his face is wet.

He feels like he's going crazy.

x

By the time they get to the other continent, summer's half-over. The half-year of running hasn't been kind, and Zack feels tired, hurts more than ever. He walks slower now, Cloud's arm slung over his shoulder, and Cloud stumbles along beside him, eyes half-open and dull.

Cloud's hair is long and tangled, matted in clumps, and when they're clear of the coast, Zack drags Cloud to a stream, seats him on a rock.

"Hold still," he says, and he pulls Cloud's hair straight, hacks at it with his bootknife. The hair falls in chunks, dragged away by the stream's current. By the end, Zack's going slowly, carefully, trying to trim the ends as evenly as he can. Hairs, baby-soft and thin, float down, tickling Zack's hands, Cloud's ears and neck. Cloud's eyes are half-closed, and his mouth is moving, like he's trying to remember how to smile.

"Better?" Zack asks, and he brushes his thumb over Cloud's mouth, trying to catch the stray hairs. Cloud makes a sound, and Zack rubs his thumb at the corner of Cloud's mouth. "You wanna smile?"

He kisses Cloud, then goes and dunks his head in the stream, then hacks at his hair until his ears and neck are nicked and bleeding, and he can think straight again.

x

He pulls Cloud up onto the bed of the truck, and when they're both seated, Cloud propped up against the back of the cab, Zack hits the side of the cab. The driver takes off, truck kicking up dust from the road, and Zack leans back, looking up at the sky. It's hot, the sun burning his eyes, but the sky is a bright blue, like Cloud's eyes used to be.

The road's long and bumpy, like country roads back home, and Zack closes his eyes, feels himself drifting. It's nice like this, feels like half a decade ago, when they were bumping along road after road, Cloud trying to sleep off the trip and Zack playing cards with anyone who didn't care about cheating.

He squints up at the sky, just a sliver of blue in his eyes, and dreams about everything, Sephiroth and Aerith, his mom and dad. He feels like he's half-asleep, and he lets his head loll to the side, the sliver of blue turning to a sliver of blond. He reaches out, and Cloud's hair is soft in his hand, tickles his wrist when he scruffles at Cloud's hair.

Cloud's eyes are still dull, almost gray, but they look a little more blue, and Zack doesn't know if he's dreaming, or if he's sun-blind, but things are getting better, the further down the bumpy road the truck sputters. He scruffles at Cloud's hair harder, then turns Cloud's head towards him, tilts Cloud's chin so Cloud's looking at him.

"We're friends, right?" Zack asks, 'cause he needs to know there's something in there to be friends with, that he's not just floating along in some insane dream of his, that he's not still in the mako tube, drowning in green. "We're friends?"






Kyou Kara Maoh - ConradxYuuri - playing video games

Conrad's playing that game. Yeah, that one. Conrad/Yuuri if you squint. Conrad/Yuuri if you don't squint.

That One

Yuuri looked up when Conrad came into the room, head ducked, staring at something in his hands intently. The fact that Conrad, who never seemed anything other than calm, cool, and collected, would be staring at something that intently certainly-- piqued Yuuri's interest. And the chance to escape the mountain of paperwork he still had to wade through.

"Ah, Conrad," Yuuri called, sitting up higher so he could get a better look over the papers, "what're you doing?"

Conrad looked up, then smiled at Yuuri, holding up the object of interest.

"A-- DS?"

"Your brother gave it to me," Conrad said, moving closer to the desk, and turning his attention back to the game.

"Oh." Yuuri looked at the paperwork, then cast around madly for another topic. Anything. "What're you playing, then?"

Conrad frowned at that, looked up for a moment before he tapped at the DS's lower screen. "I'm not sure. Your brother gave this to me, too. He said something about finding witches."

"Finding...witches?" Something in Yuuri's mind was clicking, but he wasn't sure what. It was right on the tip of his tongue--

"Ah!" Conrad said proudly, "got one!"

"AH!" Yuuri shouted, "that game!"

The next few moments were a blur, with Yuuri leaping over his desk as he shouted, "you can't play that!" and Conrad laughing as he held the DS up well above Yuuri's head. Yuuri jumped for the DS a few times, then, desperately, tackles Conrad, knocking the DS away, leaving the system to spin across the floor.

And then the next moment was a blur, too, with Conrad and Yuuri grappling for-- something. Yuuri was sure he was trying to get to the DS before Conrad, but that didn't explain why his hands, his traitorous hands, were fisted in Conrad's shirt.

"What," Yuuri asked weakly, when Conrad's hands were pulling open Yuuri's shirt, "are you doing?"

"Checking to see if you're a witch," Conrad said distractedly, looking so-- intent.

"Oh," Yuuri said. And then, much later, after many more blurs, "Oh."






Kingdom Hearts - RikuxSora/RoxasxAxel - metaphorical 4-square

It's metaphorical four-square. Sora is King, Roxas plays Consort, Axel is Knight, and Riku is Jack, nothing left to burn. Some knowledge of four-square is helpful, I suppose.

and he is so much nothing

Sora is King, floating in some dreamless sleep. He's fragile, wrapped in catsbreath and moonlight, frozen to crystal. His eyelids are parchment, and his breath is mist, the world turned blue. He sleeps, caught before dreams, and waits for his breath to stop and his eyes to open.

Roxas kneels to his right, waiting to stand. Roxas is Consort, impatient and frightened, a flutter of butterfly wings in his eyelashes and fingertips, in his chest where there is no heart. He bows his head, spreads his hands upon the ground, and waits for the King to fall, so he can finally stand.

The whisp of a Knight is Axel, pacing as he fades away. His boots snap fire at each step, and the ground cracks beneath him, splintering away. He flickers, grows dark then bright, and shakes hair like blood, flecks through the air. He is rage, and loyalty so strong it's turned poison, and for him, the world will burn red.

Riku plays Jack, so much nothing. He's small and empty in his square, trapped by rules a sleeping King dreamt. He never burns, for there's nothing left to burn, and his hair is ash on the wind. He breathes in sighs, lost in the air, and clads himself in armor of crystal, moonlight and catsbreath set into silver.






Written for hello_scorpling:

xxxHOLiC - Kimihiro/Himawari - Tea

Ahahaha, this is actually Shizuka/Kimihiro/Himawari (my OT3 whut). They're happy, and the sun is shining.

Like This

It ends like this: Shizuka is pushing Himawari's bike across the street, the loose gears clicking as the tires spin. He's saying something to Kimihiro, and Kimihiro's trying to catch up, pulling Himawari with him. Her scarf is snapping in the wind, bright greens and yellows that are bleached in the sunlight. Her hand is slim in his, and he pulls it up close to his chest, holds on tight.

"I said," Shizuka says, "her bike-chain needs fixing. If you aren't going to fix it, then just let me--"

It doesn't sound like anything, really. Maybe like sunlight, but there's no sound for that. It's bright, and clear, and when Kimihiro looks up, it burns his eyes, snaps against his skin like Himawari's scarf.

"You," Himawari says with a laugh when he kisses the palm of her hand, feeling young and foolish, his mouth against her skin. The bike's gears click, and Shizuka says, "I'll fix it, then," and Kimihiro has to laugh, has to tilt his head back and look at the sky and laugh.

In between, it's like this: Himawari sleeps the longest, blankets pulled high, only a wash of hair falling over the pillow. Shizuka wakes up first, when there's the first hint of light, and he always stumbles out the door, mumbling about taking a run and finding the paper and picking up milk on the way home. Kimihiro wakes up in between them, when the sun's just warming the edge of the bed, and Himawari's making the sleepy sighs of the dozing.

He makes breakfast in the kitchen, always something fast and easy, that doesn't stain too easily. And when Shizuka gets back, wide-awake and smelling like cold air, Kimihiro lets him crowd into the kitchen, pressing Kimihiro against the counter. And together, they balance the plates into the bedroom, and they eat on the bed, on top of an old bedsheet, the window open to the morning.

"Good morning," Himawari says halfway through breakfast, when she's sitting up, pulling her hair out of her face. Pillow-crease lines are in her cheek, and there are sleepies in the corners of her eyes, and Shizuka wipes his mouth, then leans over to kiss her awake.

"Leave her alone," Kimihiro says, pointing his chopsticks at Shizuka threateningly. Shizuka flicks crumbs at Kimihiro, and then they're tussling, and Himawari's laughing, and there's a pillow in Kimihiro's face, and the food is scattered, but it's an old bedsheet, and the morning's bright, and their kisses taste like sunshine.

It begins like this: They meet every day to drink tea in the park. Kimihiro's still working for Yuuko, Shizuka's slowly taking over his family's shrine, and Himawari is finishing her coursework at the university. The park's not quite in the middle, but nearly, and so they meet there every day, just before three. It's too late to eat lunch, but Kimihiro still brings snacks, and sometimes Himawari brings cakes from a shop near the train station, and more often than not, Shizuka brings a blanket that they spread under a tree.

Himawari tries to sit as far in the sunlight as she can, and Shizuka tries to nap in the shade, and Kimihiro sits between them, chattering to them both, setting out snacks and tea, napkins folded like so. When there are crumbs and little else, he sits back and folds the unused napkins, making cranes and boats and tiny hats with crimped edges. Himawari prefers the boats, Shizuka swipes the hats, and Kimihiro tosses the cranes into his bag, where they're lost amongst his books and pens and scraps of shopping lists.

"Are you going to marry her?" Shizuka asks one day, when Himawari has already left, her bike clicking goodbye. Kimihiro folds a napkin, sliding his fingers to sharpen the crease, and says, "of course."

"And me?" Shizuka asks. Kimihiro folds the napkin once more, then grabs the edges, pulls. It pops into a hat, a little crooked, and Shizuka reaches out to take it.

"Maybe," Kimihiro says, and when Shizuka starts laughing, Kimihiro adds, peevishly, "probably not."

In all, it's like this: They're happy, and the sun is shining.






xxxHOLiC - Yuuko/Kimihiro - Insomnia

Platonic Yuuko/Kimihiro? She bends like a dancer, and Kimihiro can hear the wind cry.

Windbreaker

There is a wind in Yuuko's garden. It blows at night, when the shop is dark, and slips through window and door, slithering through the hallways. It scratches at the doors and calls Kimihiro's name, then curls like a sleeping thing, waiting for him to open his door.

Kimihiro lies awake at night, listening to the wind whisper Kimihiro, Kimihiro, son, our son. When the wind curls with a dry rasp, it sounds like a woman sobbing, and Kimihiro covers his ears with his hands, clenches his eyes shut, and waits for the weeping in the hallways to end.

"You haven't been sleeping," Yuuko says in the early afternoon, when Kimihiro is pulling on his apron. She reaches out, fingers nearly touching beneath his eyes, then pulls back. "There are shadows under your eyes."

"I can't sleep," Kimihiro says sharply. "The shop's too loud."

"The shop hasn't slept for a very long time," Yuuko says, and then she's leaving in a flutter of silk and laughter, calling for sake and Mokona as she flicks her fingertips in Kimihiro's direction. Kimihiro seethes as he slams the door shut, closing out Mokona's voice, and the faint wisp of wind from the garden.

x

Yuuko slides the door shut with her fingers, lace dripping from her wrists. Her face is still, lips thin, and Kimihiro sits up.

"What--" he begins to ask, but Yuuko is already running her fingertips along the seam of the door, bending like a dancer. She straightens, brushes her hair over her shoulder, and turns to Kimihiro, lips thinner.

"You should sleep," she says. Kimihiro stares at her fingers, where they rest against her hips, then says, "I can't."

She kneels next to Kimihiro's futon, lace spilling across the floor, and she smiles when he leans closer, nearly close enough to feel her heat. Her fingers hesitate near his skin, then she touches him, cool fingers light on his skin.

"The wind," Kimihiro says, "keeps me awake." Yuuko's fingers feel colder, but they're firmer against his skin, brushing up to his temples, nearly running through his hair.

"You shouldn't open the door." Yuuko's hair is slipping over her shoulder, strands brushing past Kimihiro, and he's not sure how he ends up lying with his head on her knee, her hair a curtain. He blinks, wonders why he's so tired. "The shop hasn't slept for a very long time."

Yuuko's fingers grow firmer, her voice murmuring what sounds like nonsense, and Kimihiro nearly can't hear the wind in the hallway. It feels like there's sand in his eyes, and he wants to rub at his eyes, but his hands are too heavy to move. Yuuko's hair is casting out the light, and then there's just a candle flickering, and Kimihiro can't remember lighting a candle, or seeing Yuuko light a candle.

"My mom," he tries to say, because it's very important, somehow. "The wind, it sounds like my mom."

Yuuko's fingers pause in his hair, and then she is leaning close, too close, and he has to close his eyes, hold his breath.

"Never," she says, and he doesn't understand why she sounds so sad, "open that door." Her lips are warm on his temple, but they're awkward, like Yuuko hasn't kissed someone for a very long time. "Sleep," she says again, and Kimihiro lets out his breath, curtained by her hair.






Written for ricordi:

Katekyou Hitman Reborn! - Ryohei/Hana (TYL!) - happy (pret)ending

Hana can't have Kyoko, so she'll take Kyoko's brother. Ryouhei/Hana, unrequitted!Hana->Kyoko. She ties him to the kitchen chair, she breaks his throne and she cuts his hair.

to break his throne

She marries her best friend's brother.

She thinks it's pretty screwed up. She knows it's pretty screwed up. But she can't have Kyoko, so she'll take Ryouhei, and that way, she'll always have a little bit of Kyoko, and she'll always be close to Kyoko.

Ryouhei, twenty-three, is still stuck on his baby sister. He's happy to talk about Kyoko whenever Hana wants to, and he doesn't think anything about it when Hana suggests, hesitantly the first time, and more boldly each time, to invite Kyoko to the house, or go out to eat with Kyoko, or just stop by Kyoko's apartment to leave something for dinner.

Ryouhei's stuck enough on Kyoko that he doesn't notice that Hana's just as stuck. And if he does notice, he doesn't think anything about it.

Hana can't fuck her best friend, so she fucks her best friend's brother.

She doesn't really love him. She likes him, deep down, like she likes her friends, the people she goes to class with, the people she works with. Sometimes, when he's sleeping in their bed, she thinks she's fond of him. She kisses the scar that runs through his eyebrow, and sometimes, if he's half-awake, he'll laugh and try to grab her, drag her close and kiss her.

She doesn't love him, though, because she loves Kyoko too much to love anyone else.

But she likes Ryouhei. She wants him to be happy, too, because sometimes, when she's cooking dinner and he's standing just on the edge of the kitchen tile, halfway on the carpet, he looks at her like he knows, and those nights, he sleeps on the far side of the bed, and doesn't kiss her goodnight. And she wants him to be happy, because he, with all his blusterous words, deserves some kind of happiness.

So he sits on a stool in the kitchen, and she cuts his hair with her scissors, her fingers shaking when she combs through his hair, evens it out. She kisses his forehead when she's done, his hair sprinkled on the floor, and he grabs her waist when she tries to go for the broom. He kisses her, open-mouthed and gentle, and when she finally pulls away, flushed and feeling guilty and just wanting something more, she asks if they can go to dinner with Kyoko.

And when they walk down the street, Kyoko on Hana's left, and Ryouhei on Hana's right, Hana lets Ryouhei hold her hand.






Written for cityatsea:

Katekyou Hitman Reborn! - adult!RebornBianchi, 30mm frames

She first sees him when she's eleven years old. He wears his hat at a jaunty angle, and she crushes hard.

To Bianchi, Our Love

Her father gives her a camera for her eleventh birthday. It's an absented-minded gift, something that says I know you're there, but I don't know who you are. He has a puzzled look on his face when he sets the gift in her hands, and the handwriting that says "To Bianchi" is his right-hand man's. She kisses his cheek, tears open the paper, and says thank you, breathless and trying not to cry, because he hasn't remembered her birthday since Hayato's mother died and his world died with her.

That night, she sits on her bed and fiddles with the camera, too desperate for anything to throw it away, but too angry to use it. When she goes to bed, she shoves it to the back of her bedside drawer, and pulls the sheets over her head, until the air is stiffled and hot, and she falls asleep, eleven years old and feeling too young.

x

He comes a few months later, tall and thin and with his suit jacket unbuttoned. He's jaunty and new, and she sits at the top of the stairs, watching him. He takes up the entry hall, makes the house feel too small, and when he glances up at her, sharp eyes, she holds her breath, feels giddy and small.

"Bianchi," her father calls a few minutes later, when he's making greetings, "come say hello." She clamors down the stairs, dragging Hayato along behind her, his hand in her sweaty one, and she says hello, yanks Hayato until Hayato says hello, too.

"Hello," the man says, and he's already turning away, and Bianchi trails along behind all the men, pulling Hayato with her, because she wants to watch, wants to see.

"Reborn will be staying here for a few months," Pietro says when he spots her in an open doorway. "Don't follow him the whole time."

"I won't," Bianchi lies, and when Pietro catches her still there, she runs, leaving Hayato behind, crying in the doorway.

x

She takes the camera out a few days later, looks it over critically. It will do, she decides, and she runs down the stairs, searches until she finds Bernardino.

"Here," she says, shoving the camera into his hands. He laughs, and bends down until his head is touching hers, and he shows her how to put the film in, snapping it into place. She listens as he tells her how to be careful, don't let the sunlight hit the film. Then he shows her how to take off the lense cover, how to point and shoot.

"Bring it back," he says, "and I'll take care of your pictures." She nods as she takes the camera back, and then she runs out the door, looking for Reborn.

x

"It's not your real name, is it?" she asks. She's sitting on the edge of a fountain, her toes nearly reaching the gravel. It's hot, the summer sun too bright, and she wants to go swimming. Reborn's in the garden, though, sprawled over a bench with a newspaper in his hands, and so she's in the garden, too, sitting as close to the fountain's spray as she can.

"No," he says after a moment, and the newspaper rustles, a page slowly moving from one side to another. Bianchi fiddles with the camera in her hand, then says, "can I take your picture?"

The newspaper lowers, and his eyes look sharper than before, and she clenches her hands on her camera, curling her toes up against the fountain's marble.

"If you want," he says after a long silence, and Bianchi fumbles with her camera before she can lift it, holding it steady just long enough to snap a picture.

She doesn't wait to say thank you, running as soon as the camera's shutters click. She tosses the camera onto her bed, and pulls over her damp shirt and trousers, and pulls on her swimsuit to go swimming. It's too hot, and her hands are sweaty.

x

"This it?" Bernardino asks, and Bianchi nods, hopping up to sit on the table. It's an old office, down the hallway from her father's, and Bernardino's pulled the drapes closed, spun a new light-bulb into the socket overhead. Bianchi had written dark room on a piece of paper, and Bernardino had taped it on the door, and now it's just the two of them, Bernardino whistling through his teeth as he shuffles from one end of the long table to the other, moving long pieces of film.

"Look," he says after a while, and she leans over, watches as Reborn's face slowly fills the tub. His face looks wavy, like seaweed in the ocean, and Bianchi stares, and watches, as one picture, and another, and another, are hung up, all of Reborn, standing and sitting and turning away, in the garden and the hallway and on the long gravel road leading up to the house, sharp eyes and thin mouth.

"Bianchi," Bernardino says, and Bianchi throws herself from the table. There's a crash, the sound of water splashing over the floor, and Bernardino's cursing as she throws the door open, running down the hallway to the staircase.

x

"Say goodbye, Bianchi," her father says. Hayato's already standing by his side, and Bianchi slowly shuffles forward, gives a sullen goodbye as she stares at the tile beneath Reborn's feet.

"Your daughter," Reborn says, and when Bianchi looks up, his eyes are sharp, "will be very pretty when she grows up, won't she?"

"She takes after her mother," her father says, and his hand is heavy and warm on her shoulder, and she lets herself lean closer, looking back at the tile underfoot.

Reborn leaves with his suit jacket carried under an arm, his hands in his pockets, his elbows turned out. His steps are jaunty, like the tilt of his head, and Bianchi throws herself into a chair on the other side of her father's desk, the skirt of her sundress pale against the black leather.

"It's for the best, Bianchi," her father says, but his eyes are already turned down to the papers, like he's forgotten she's there. She sits in the chair, leather hot and sticky on her legs, and when he leaves the office, she jumps up and follows him, grabbing his hand. His hand is sweaty in hers, and his grip is loose, and she holds on tighter and tighter until he stops, and looks down at her, and grips back.






And something from Tales of the Abyss -

Luke comes home when he's eleven, cradled in his father's arms, and his eyes are a brighter green than Guy remembers. Pre-game. Woo.

Summer Green

It's sunny the day Luke comes home. Guy's heard the maids whispering in the hallways, about Luke being found in the old summer house, wrapped up in a dusty sheet. Guy waits behind the maids, head shorter and standing on his tiptoes to see, and he watches the Duke carry in his son.

The Madame fon Fabre is pale and thin, but she bustles by the Duke's side, her hands fluttering near Luke's face. Her steps are quick and nervous, and she looks over the maids, catches Guy's eye. "Guy," she says, "Guy, come here."

He follows them to Luke's room, still musty and dark. The maids threw open the windows the day before, when a messenger came running into the manor, and the sunlight streams in weak. Guy stands out of the way, and watches as the Madame fon Fabre pulls at pillows and blankets, wraps her son like he's an infant still. When Guy edges a little closer, leans so he can see over the Madame's shoulders, Luke is looking up at the ceiling with bright, blank eyes. He looks all manners of empty, like the summer house's windows when the family left years ago, and Guy wonders how much of Luke was left behind.

"You'll be his friend, won't you?" the Madame asks, and she catches Guy's hand, presses it tight between her own. "For my son, won't you?"

x

Luke is helpless; he's limp, limbs arranged by the Madame, washed by Guy. When Guy washes Luke's face, Luke opens his mouth, croons like a toddler.

When the Madame combs Luke's hair, first with a fine-toothed comb, then her fingers, Guy listens to Luke laugh, delighted. Luke laughs more and more as the days go by, and he reaches out, holds onto the Madame's skirts and Guy's sleeves.

"Such a good boy," the Madame says, lifting Luke's head. Guy lifts Luke's body, and together they set Luke up, leaning against the headboard of the bed like an oversized doll. A maid is standing with a bowl in her hands, and the Madame feeds Luke as Luke grabs at the sheets, eyes blinking too quickly.

"He's getting stronger," Guy says, because something needs to be said to make the Madame's smile grow.

Luke screams when he doesn't have what he wants, when he's hungry or tired or upset, or hurting somewhere no one can find. He throws out his arms and legs, long for a child, and knocks away the lamps and baubles he had been so proud of years before. At night, when the Madame is sleeping fitfully in the chair, her hands twisting in the apron borrowed from a maid, Guy reads to Luke, squinting in the light from the far lamp. He reads until his eyes burn, and when he can't see the words, he talks to Luke, tells him stories of all kinds. Luke looks at him with green, green eyes, brighter than Guy remembers, and when Guy moves, bumping Luke, Luke screams the manor awake.

x

"No," is the first word Luke learns. Guy's not sure who Luke learned it from, because Guy's never heard anyone say "no" in Luke's room before. But Luke says it, over and over, with obvious glee and satisfaction.

"No," Luke says when the maids wrestle him for a bath, and "no," when Guy is trying to feed him. No to the books read too many times, and no to the doctors who poke and prod Luke with needles and knives. "No."

Luke gets increasingly difficult, fighting harder and harder when he doesn't get his way. He screams at Guy, and the maids, and even the Madame, and there are no more lamps in the room. The Madame grows tired and sharp, and leaves more of Luke's caring to Guy. The maids grow bitter and scared, and wait in the hallway, watching Guy come and go. Guy grows angry, and frustrated, and wants to sit outside with Pere, and not stay in here, by the bedside of the Duke's only son.

"No," Luke says when Guy's trying to lift him for a bath. Guy grits his teeth, pulls harder, and rocks back on his heels when Luke shoves at him. "No."

They tussle, Guy trying to get Luke up without breaking Luke's arms, and Luke feeling no such qualms. When Luke's fingernails, untrimmed since Luke's newest word, scratch Guy's face, Guy snaps, furious, "Fine. Fine."

He comes back to Luke's room after the servants' dinner, when the sky is dark and the manor is quieting down. Luke's room is dark, and the light from the hallway cuts into the shadows sharply, creating a clean box on the floor, coming in from the door. Luke's halfway in the box of light, limbs tangled and face tear-streaked, red and angry.

"Luke," Guy says, and Luke turns his face away, arms lying limp on the floor. "Luke--"

"No," Luke says, and Guy grabs Luke's arms, pulls Luke up onto Luke's useless legs.

The next morning, when the Madame is combing Luke's hair, Luke is staring at Guy, and not laughing.

x

When Guy tries to teach Luke to walk, Luke screams until the Madame comes running, her skirts flooding the doorway. She coos at Luke, cradles his face in her hands, and lets him hide behind her skirts, staring at Guy with furious, untrusting eyes. Still, every morning Guy grabs Luke's hands, pulls Luke up and off the bed, and holds Luke steady on his feet as Luke tries to bite Guy.

"Don't," is the new word, said nearly every time Guy reaches out to touch Luke. "Don't, don't, don't," and Guy pulls Luke forward a step, then two. "Don't."

"Don't," the Madame says, "give up on him. Please."

She's still sleeping in the chair when Luke has nightmares, her eyes red from too little sleep and too much crying. She confides in Guy during the late nights and early mornings, when Luke's sleeping fitfully in the bed.

"Don't give up," she says. "I couldn't do this without--"

So in the mornings, after the Madame has been taken away by the maids and doctors, Guy grabs Luke's hands, grits his teeth, and pulls Luke's weight, until he's carrying Luke. And Luke bites and screams and says, "Don't," and learns to walk little by little.

x

Luke's third word is "mother," and the Madame cries into his hair, her hands petting his cheeks.

"Luke," she cries, "Luke," and Luke holds onto her tightly, his arms, long for only eleven years old, wrapped around her waist.

His fourth word is "stop," and his fifth is "voices." He doesn't scream as much, but he cries while he's sleeping, teeth grinding together. The Madame rests her fingertips against Luke's temples, kissing him when he cries louder, and Guy stands back while the doctors try medicine after medicine.

Luke's words come faster and faster, stranger and stranger. He says words that break the Madame's smile, dark and hurt and please, and when he says, "No, no, please," the Madame holds him tighter, and Guy throws open the windows, until the room is drowning in light.

Guy drags Luke outside, Luke holding onto his hands tightly, and when they go through the door, into the sun, Luke blinks frantically.

"Mine," Luke says, and Guy points to the sun, says, "sun."

"Mine," and Guy says, "flower."

Grass and tree and water, and Luke repeats them back, shaky on his legs, pale skin burning beneath the sun.

"Again," Luke says when Guy tries to lead him back inside, "again." Guy points at the sun, the ground, the clouds that are wisping overhead. Luke follows Guy's pointing, wide-eyed and curious, and too young and stupid to be afraid again.

He learns "outside," and says it morning, evening, and night, pestering Guy until they go outside into the bright sunlight, Luke blinking and wincing and laughing, Guy cupping his hand over Luke's eyes so the green, green eyes won't be burned.

He takes Luke out at night, when the moon is full and the stars closer than ever before, and Luke turns, stumbles, falls and stares and falls and stares, stares and falls and stares and falls. "Stars," Guy says, and Luke doesn't blink, his hands digging into the grass and dirt.

"No," Luke says, and Guy holds onto Luke's hands, the smell of crushed grass strong.

"No, no, stop."

Luke doesn't like the stars, can't look away and can't blink, becomes the strange, empty little doll he was when the Duke carried him home, and so Guy drags him inside, sets him on the bed, lights all the lamps he can sneak into the room. He reads until Luke falls asleep, a down-turned mouth and flickering eyelids.

x

Luke begins to smell like grass, like sweat and dirt and the sunlight. He runs better than he walks, and he runs from Guy when Guy tries to comb his hair or wash his hands. Luke’s arms are thin, but they’re strong, and sometimes, when Guy’s standing in the courtyard, looking up at the blue sky, Luke grabs him, and wraps his arms around Guy like Guy’s the center of some universe, with Luke spinning crazy around him. Guy doesn’t want to think that he likes this, because Luke is the Duke’s son, with the same hair and the same chin. But he likes it all the same, when Luke’s laughing in that choking, breathless way babies laugh before they learn laughing too much can make them cry. And days like this, when the sky is bright and the sun brighter, Luke’s eyes look three shades too green.

“His eyes,” the Madame says, “are brighter than before.” Her eyes are the dull green of the late summer grass, and Luke is spread out on the grass, and the Madame has knelt beside him, her skirts spread wide. She touches his face, smiles when Luke turns his face in towards her hand. “They’re clear, like when he was a baby.”

And that’s it, that’s what Guy hasn’t been able to fix in his head. Luke’s bright, spinning around Guy and the Madame like they’re the centers of his world, and the feeling is delirious, makes Guy feel deliciously drunk, like he’s teetering on the edge of some kind of infinity. He kneels on the other side of Luke, lies his hands on the prickles of grass, and when Luke turns toward him, he says, “Master Luke.”

“Again,” Luke says, when Guy’s pulled him to his feet, and they’re spinning, and falling, and spinning again. The Madame is laughing, her skirts spread across the ground like an island of gray in a sea of green, and the sky above is a blue that bleeds through the world. It’s a rush of sound and color in Guy’s eyes and ears, and Luke is saying, “again, Guy,” and they’re laughing like children who don’t know laughing turns to crying.

It’s a beautiful world the summer Luke comes home, laughing with his green, green eyes.






And something from the KHR kinkmeme. Obviously not worksafe.

Dino/Hibari, with Romario somewhere near. TYL. Payback after the Cavallone Don pays the bail for his detained old student.

and the turns wide

“Portugal,” Cavallone is saying in disbelief as Kyouya climbs into the car, throwing himself back onto a seat. He reaches for a seatbelt, clicks it in, and turns to the window, looking at the mostly empty street.

“There was a box,” he says, and Cavallone climbs in beside him. Romario shuts the car door behind Cavallone, and the car suddenly feels crowded, like there’s not enough air. Kyouya reaches for the window’s switch and starts to roll down the window when Cavallone grabs his hand, stopping him.

Portugal, Kyouya,” Cavallone says sharply. “You don’t even know Portuguese. I don’t even know Portuguese. Do you know how lucky you are that Romario was with me?”

“It wasn’t a problem.”

“It wasn’t--” Cavallone lets go of Kyouya’s hand abruptly, pulling back with a curse. “You idiot-- Here, take your things.”

Kyouya takes the bag, opens it to pull out his wallet, then dig through for his keys and cellphone, the scraps of paper that had been in his pockets when the police had grabbed his arms, twisted his wrists behind his back. He looks at a crumpled candy wrapper, then tosses it back into the bag as he begins to say, “I don’t--”

Don’t,” Cavallone snaps, “talk to me.” He’s leaning back in his seat, looking out his window, and Kyouya looks at him for a long time, watches the faint rise and fall of Cavallone’s shoulders, the tense line of Cavallone’s throat.

They’re already out of the town by the time Kyouya moves, unbuckling his seatbelt decisively. Cavallone turns at the sound, blinks in the darkness, and Kyouya slides off the seat, knees hitting the floor of the car.

“What are you doing?” Cavallone asks, and the anger’s already drained out of his voice, leaving behind exhaustion and age and something that sounds like fear. Kyouya leans across the floor of the car, props himself against the seat, and pulls Cavallone’s legs apart, his hands spanning the width of Cavallone’s knees. “Kyouya,” Cavallone says, not a question, and Kyouya rests his head against the inside of Cavallone’s thigh, lifts a hand to press it against the low of Cavallone’s stomach.

“It wasn’t a problem,” Kyouya says, and he pulls his hand down lower, snags Cavallone’s belt. It takes a moment of fumbling to get it undone, silver of the buckle flashing in the headlights of a passing car, and Cavallone’s breath is shaky.

“Kyouya, this isn’t,” he starts to say, and Kyouya pulls at Cavallone’s trousers’ button, drags the zipper down. He leans closer, mouth nearly brushing Cavallone’s underwear, and Cavallone’s breath breaks in a moan.

“It’s not a problem,” Kyouya says again, lips pressing against the weight of Cavallone’s cock as he speaks, and one of Cavallone’s hands is gripping Kyouya’s shoulder, the other gripping the edge of the car seat.

“Romario.” Cavallone says it like a plea, but the car is smooth on the road, and Cavallone’s cock is already half-hard against Kyouya’s mouth. Kyouya runs a finger along the band of Cavallone’s underwear, and says, “I don’t think he cares.”

Kyouya catches his thumbs in the waistband of Cavallone’s underwear, then pulls it down, just enough to trap it under the head of Cavallone’s cock. Cavallone’s breath is nearly a whine, and Kyouya turns his face to the inside of Cavallone’s thigh, presses his mouth against the skin, then bites, smiling when Cavallone gasps, fingers gripping Kyouya’s shoulder all the tighter. Kyouya pulls himself further across the car, deeper between Cavallone’s legs, and presses his mouth against the base of Cavallone’s cock, tongue pressed flat against the cotton of Cavallone’s underwear. He tries to dig himself closer, nosing further between Cavallone’s legs, clenching his fingers in the material bunched on Cavallone’s thighs.

“Kyouya,” Cavallone groans, and Kyouya’s mouthing at Cavallone’s cock through the underwear, cotton damp, then wet. Cavallone’s hand is heavy and hot on Kyouya’s shoulder, and his other hand is cupping Kyouya’s head, pulling at Kyouya’s hair. Kyouya leans up on his knees, his mouth against the head of Cavallone’s cock, and his hands grabbing at Cavallone’s trousers and underwear, pulling them further down, until Cavallone’s cock is free. Kyouya licks, then sucks, the weight of Cavallone’s cock heavy on his tongue, pressed near to his throat, and the taste of salt and pre-come and sweat deep in his mouth. He worms a hand beneath Cavallone, between Cavallone’s legs, and then he can cup Cavallone’s balls, and reach further back, until his fingers, stretched, can brush Cavallone’s ass, the rim and the edge and the delicate skin that makes Cavallone jump and gasp as Kyouya touches, gentle and with fingertips and calluses and the threat of nails.

The road is smooth, the turns wide and the car speeding quietly. Cavallone comes in Kyouya’s mouth as Kyouya swallows him down, a fingertip pressed inside Cavallone. Kyouya pulls back, swallowing, then puts his fingers in his mouth, catching the last traces of come and spit. Cavallone watches him, eyes wide and shot through with black, and when Kyouya pulls his fingers from his mouth, glistening with come and spit in the light of the passing cars, Cavallone opens his mouth, lets Kyouya push his fingers in past Cavallone’s lips. Cavallone sucks Kyouya’s fingers, tongue pressed against the base between Kyouya’s fingers, and when Kyouya’s hand is clean and wet, it’s curled around his own dick, and he’s straddling Cavallone’s legs, one of Cavallone’s hands wrapped around the nape of Kyouya’s neck, the other pressing against Kyouya’s side.

“It’s not a problem,” Kyouya says again, and the sweat between them is slick, and the car Romario drives is smooth.






And springkink! I have one challenge done. Only six more to go! I'm really excited to finish and share. :D


also, I just lost the game. D:

also, I should be shot for making titles without capital letters. oh well.

Comments

Posted by: of a truant disposition (hello_scorpling)
Posted at: June 1st, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
Suki:

♥ ♥ ♥

I've told you before how much I love the XxxHolic drabbles, but I'll say it again. They're amazing. <33

Posted by: midnightdiddle (midnightdiddle)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
flowers cherry blossoms

♥♥♥


Thank you. *flails* That makes me so happy.

Posted by: Lazuli (lazzchan)
Posted at: June 1st, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
zack

Oh man... the FFVII one... ;___;

Posted by: midnightdiddle (midnightdiddle)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2008 11:34 am (UTC)
flowers cherry blossoms

;_; Man-- I admit, I'm really looking forward to getting home to America, and playing Crisis Core. But at the same, I know it's going to kill me. D:

Posted by: Lazuli (lazzchan)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)

I weep during that game. I weep a lot and I'm playing the Japanese version.

Posted by: permanently percolating (cityatsea)
Posted at: June 1st, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
reborn; D come with me

!!! have read through all these and they are lovely! the reborn/bianchi still makes my breath catch, holy shit. *_*

ALSO WHAT OMG DINOHIBA PORN; BRAINPLODE MUCH. ♥

Posted by: midnightdiddle (midnightdiddle)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
zelda down

♥ ♥ ♥

*__* You're wonderful. And hahash;dfklj DINO/HIBARI HAS EATEN MY BRAIN, AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW, BUT I THINK I MIGHT HAVE AN OTP, A REAL ONE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE KAKASHI/IRUKA, AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.

Posted by: Revy (allodole)
Posted at: August 9th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
DinoHiba

I lovedlovedloved the ones I read, especially the one with Dino and Kyouya ♥♥ Also, drabbles like these are making me like Reborn/Bianchi, oh wao.

The first, FFVII-one was pretty and sad like the whole game is. ;_;

Posted by: anyjen (anyjen)
Posted at: September 3rd, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)

Nice xxxholic drabbles. I'm rather surprised, though, that will all the potential for angst in this series (particularly concerning Doumeki/Watanuki/Himawari) you chose to write fairly light-hearted, cute ones. Not complaining, though. I have a soft spot for fluff. :3
"Windbreaker" was awesome, too. You captured Yuuko perfectly... I loved the bit about the shop not sleeping for a long time... priceless.

Posted by: midnightdiddle (midnightdiddle)
Posted at: September 10th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
zelda navi

Ah, wow, sorry it took so long to respond, but. Goodness, thank you. All of your reviews were so nice, and wow. <3 Thank you~ I'm really glad you liked my fics and drabbles.

And I really don't even know what to say, except 'thank you'. I'm incredibly flattered, and rather incoherent, and a;dskflj <3 Thank you~

Posted by: anyjen (anyjen)
Posted at: September 10th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
bento

You're welcome. And well, better late than never. :)
And I seriously liked your fics... you made me cry like mad at times, but still. I love angst; it comes in the package. XD
And when I find a writer I like, I make sure they hear about it. :3
You see, I love angst but I'm not very good at writing it... I'm better at fluffy, humorous stuff. One day, one day I shall be able to write good angst!
Until then, I'll have to make do with making my readers' brains implode due to da fluffiness. XD
...in case you were wondering, my fics are all in my ff.net account. I still haven't figured out how to post fics in LJ. ^^U

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: midnightdiddle (midnightdiddle)
Posted at: November 3rd, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
zelda navi

!!

Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it. I'm incredibly fond of Abyss, but I never feel entirely comfortable writing in it, so I'm really, really glad that you thought it was good. ♥

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