|Xantipphe Takes the Driver's Seat
Author: syaoran no hime PM
Kyo has failed the last three of his three driving exams, and to make matters worse, he gets his fourth test: how to stand the attitude of his new driver, Uotani Arisa. ^^Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 11 - Words: 25,033 - Reviews: 196 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 05-22-04 - Published: 05-14-03 - id: 1345211
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Boy, was I ever surprised when I saw the reviews on the 10th chapter. Folks, this fic still has two chapters to go! It's just that…well, I was overwhelmed by projects in school. Anyway, here you go, the LOOOONG delayed chapter of the fic.
(A/N again: The original chapter was ruined by my ever reliable diskette, and this was the only thing I managed to recover -.-. I would just have to make up for it in the final chapter out soon. ;;)
Uo was brushing her hair that morning when she caught a glimpse of her calendar. She went to it and flipped through the pages.
Two months and a half. She didn't even notice that she had been working as a driver that long already.
In her calendar, the day of Kyo's exam was marked—just four days from now.
Three months. They had been together for three whole months. Uo smiled sadly. Who would have known that two people like them can actually co-exist without much violence when both their tempers were as volatile as that potassium permanganate compound back in her high school chemistry days—the one she forgot to put inside a dark, amber bottle to protect from sunlight.
But here they are, happy with their three-month-old driver-Boss relationship, often livened up by their debates on various issues (fortunately, not centering on gender differences anymore) and their usual light-hearted insults to each other.
And tonight was her last day on the job. The next three days would be spent with Kyo studying under a professional driver instructor, just so he would finally get the elusive driver's license.
And tonight too, she would be with Kyo for one last time—she would be his date for Tohru's twenty-first birthday ball.
As she fastened a silver-plated chain around her neck—part of the party dress ensemble Kyo sent her this morning— she remembered what happened in the mall while they were both shopping for her outfit…
"Ohayou, Sir, Miss!" The manager of the boutique where Kyo once bought her some clothes previously waved at them cheerfully. "May I help you?"
"The best that your store has to offer," said Kyo, giving the woman the legendary authoritative Sohma look. Of course, it went without saying that this affected the manager. Immediately, salesladies flocked around her, reminiscent of one scene of Pretty Woman.
"Hell, Kyo!!! Can't I pick my own clothes?" she managed to shout at him amidst the fussing salesclerks.
He smirked. "Want me to answer that?"
The manager, who was standing behind her, beamed. "Sir Sohma, you have such a lively girlfriend!"
She choked. Kyo grinned.
"You flatter her too much," he said. "She might believe that she really is a descendant of Eve, and my girlfriend at that."
"Asshole," she hissed. "And you, Ma'am, flatter him too much by referring to him as my boyfriend."
The woman blinked, then laughed uncomfortably. "A-And very straight to the point too."
"Exactly," agreed her snickering boss. The woman, on the other hand, still couldn't understand what this foulmouthed blond girl doing in a boutique being shopped for expensive clothes if she wasn't the Sohma's special woman.
Finally, after an hour of arguing with the know-it-all salesladies of the boutique, she finally settled on the black satin gown with the longest hem and sleeves. No way would she show off any skin with those plunging necklines, backless clothes, or indecently-lengthened skirts!
Kyo gaped at her. "Morticia Addams?"
"Take it or leave it, Sohma," she snarled.
He grinned. "Hey, I have an idea!" Without further elaborations, he paid for her clothes and pulled her out of the store, leaving once more the entire staff of the boutique happy with the Sohma Bank check. To her surprise, he pulled her into a vintage clothes store.
Her eyes widened when she saw him pick out a pinstriped rose-colored suit and red necktie from the rack. "Oh no, Boss, you're not thinking what I'm thinking…"
He winked. "Querida…" he said in his best Spanish accent.
She rolled her eyes. "Princey will kill us. He SPECIFICALLY told us that the dress code is formal—"
"Hah! He won't dictate things for us this time!" He went to the moustache section as she helplessly rolled her eyes heavenwards. Sometimes, Kyo's maturity boggles her psychiatrist side of thinking. Perhaps, it would remain forever a mystery to mere mortals like her.
She turned to him expectantly.
"Be ready at seven sharp. I'll fetch you," he instructed.
She suppressed her vintage smirk. However, Kyo had read his mind already. Wryly, he commented, "OK, so I won't drive us there, but I will pay for the cab fare!"
She burst into peals of laughter. "What a real gentleman you are, Boss!"
"Well, I can't make you drive with your gown, you know," he said irritated.
This only made her laugh the more.
"Now there's a thought," he said, suddenly turning serious. "What if I fail my exam again?"
She groaned. "Boss, you had been beside me for a long time already and I'm sure that by now, you have some of the driving techniques imprinted in your mind." She scratched her chin. "Or at least enough for you to pass the exam."
He looked away, somewhat distracted. "I don't care if I pass or not…"
"What?!" she snorted. "Sohma Kyo, you told me months ago that you want to prove to Princey that you are not a liability to the family as he always make it sound, or that you aren't inferior. What's with the sudden change of mind?"
"It's not about Yuki anymore, isn't it?" she asked at last.
He blinked, then let out a forced laugh. Forced. "That's stupid! Of course it's only about that damn mouse! Could there be anything else?" His voice was terribly lacking of conviction though, but she didn't pursue the issue.
She knew better than to do that. For along the process, she might say something stupid too, like she wished he would fail the exam too, so they could spend more time together.
True to Kyo's words, warning knocks came at seven o'clock. She finished applying her raven hair color on her hair and then proceeded to open the door. In the doorway stood her long-lost husband.
"Gomez, dah-ling," she said in her best Morticia Addams accent.
"Querida!" Kyo laughed. "Hey, you look good!"
"Can't you get any more poetic than that? And don't you know other Spanish words, Boss?" she laughed back. "Anyway, you look goodly awful…er…awfully good, I mean."
"Tish, your humor's sick." He let himself into her unit. His eyes twinkled when he saw the silver chain on her necklace.
She touched it self-consciously. "I don't know why I let myself get talked into wearing this when the original costume doesn't have this—"
He leaned over and fingered it delicately. "I think it's beautiful."
"The jewelry is more beautiful than me," she kidded, in an effort to break the tension forming within her. Déjà vu filled her as she remembered that months ago, this exact thing happened. And it ended on something that started the unspoken awkwardness between them.
He looked at her quietly. "I don't think so."
And it was beginning again.
But before she would lose her composure, he stepped back, smiling. "Let's go?"
"H-Hai." He raised his fists. "Let's rock the party!"
Tohru's eyes widened when she saw the two costumed people wave at her. Yuki blinked. Hatori was scandalized. Shigure was…looking at the shapely Morticia Addams body revealed in the fitting black gown, a naughty grin of delight on his face.
"Stupid cat," muttered Yuki, rolling his eyes.
"Happy birthday, Tohru!" Uo smiled lovingly at her friend who looked more engaging in her white floral-inspired gown.
"Uo-chan! I barely recognized you! Wai, you're so pretty! But your face is too pale…"
"It's the make-up, silly onigiri." Kyo smiled at her fondly. "Happy birthday, Tohru." He handed her a medium-sized giftbox. "From me and the Yankee."
"What's this, a conjugal sort of gift-giving?" Hatori quipped in what seemed to the neko was a poor attempt at humor.
Shigure bought the seahorse' joke. "Now ain't that cute? I think I'll add that to my novel."
"What novel?" asked Uo, eyebrows furrowed.
Kyo rolled his eyes. "Knock it off, stupid dog."
"Is that the best you can do?" asked the novelist, laughing.
"Everyone, quiet down," ordered the head of the clan. "It is Honda-san's birthday, and I demand that you all display your best behavior."
"What do you think I am, a kindergarten student to remind that?" snapped Kyo.
The riceball sweatdropped. "Oh guys…"
"But alright, I'll do as you say, damn mouse." His eyes told him that this was only for Honda Tohru's birthday.
"Have a wonderful night, Tohru," said Uo as she leaned towards her friend's ears. "I have a feeling that the fairy tale will find its conclusion tonight." She eyed Sohma Yuki, who, despite his best efforts to remain calm and poised, looked every inch a nervous wreck. It was obvious that there was something in his mind, especially when he steals glances at the birthday celebrator.
Of course, the onigiri looked clueless. "I don't get it."
"You will, tonight," promised Uo smilingly.