Author: buduica PM
Every week, Himawari delivers Watanuki's groceries. Spoilers through 187.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama/Angst - Himawari K. & K. Watanuki - Words: 912 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-04-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5421047
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Himawari made the delivery with religious regularity, since she was only one of three people who could always see his home. Since Watanuki was effectively imprisoned in the shop by his own stubborn refusal to let Yuuko go, someone had to do it.
She didn't mind. She owed him so much that she could make the trip a million times and still be in his debt.
The gates parted for her without any effort on her own behalf, and Maru and Moro greeted her cheerfully at the door. One of the girls divested her of her burden, before the other offered to take her to see Watanuki. Himawari stepped out of her shoes in the genkan and followed Moro into the main room where Watanuki hosted his guests.
Stepping into the room always made her stomach clench, since her first sight of him was a reminder of how much he'd changed. Gone were the days when he would eagerly fly to her side to espouse her praises; instead, he reclined on a chaise, watching as she entered.
He was, as always, dressed in lavish finery. His clothes were made of rich brocades and the finest silks, and the cut was always foreign or very traditional. She hadn't seen him wear modern clothing since Yuuko had disappeared. Today his outfit was a fine yukata of red and gold, which brought out both the pallor of his skin and his heterochromic eyes.
His smile was soft as he welcomed her, asking how she was doing.
She replied cheerfully as she knelt down on one of the pillows, preparing for a conversation. It was the same as it was every week: he would talk to her about the mundane things, about the television program he'd watched, his trials with a new recipe and ask how she was doing in her university classes. Occasionally he'd tell an amusing story about a client he'd helped, but for the most part, he was silent about the shop's business.
Few people who purchased Wishes ended up with happily-ever-afters.
Himawari spent more time listening to what was unsaid, and studying how he acted. Every now and then she would be struck by the one thing that remained unchanging, his face. Despite the years that had passed, he still looked like the schoolboy who had been her friend. Himawari, aware of the changes her own form and features had undergone, hoped that he could still see the girl he'd loved when he looked at her.
It was selfish of her, but a part of her wanted him to always feel like that about her. She didn't deserve it, not after the suffering she'd caused him, but his love was one of the few things that kept her going. She couldn't let herself give up when life became challenging, not when Watanuki believed in her.
Halfway through the discussion, Maru came out bearing a tray with tea and sakuramochi. Himawari smiled as she accepted, knowing Watanuki had prepared the treat with her in mind. The food tasted sweet on her tongue, perfect like everything he cooked. No one else in the world was able to prepare foods as lovingly as he did.
Eventually the conversation wound down, and she knew she had to leave soon if she wanted to catch her train. Before she could make her excuses, Watanuki produced next week's shopping list and a roll of money to make the purchases.
"If you have time, I would appreciate you picking these up next week," he said, offering her one of those full-hearted smiles that expressed only his pleasure.
That smile broke her heart. She covered it with a smile of her own, hoping he didn't see the tears that threatened. "Of course, Watanuki-kun," she said, taking it from him. "I'll be by the same time next week."
He rose, like the gentleman he was, and accompanied her to the door and waited while she replaced her shoes. "If this is too much to ask, please let me know. I know that you're busy at school," he said, as he said every week. He was always offering her a chance to leave him behind, and forget.
It was something she couldn't do.
"Watanuki-kun is my friend," she said firmly. "This is the price I pay for his friendship."
He smiled again, and bid her farewell. She could feel his eyes on her as she left the building behind, so she kept up her cheerful facade until she stepped onto the train. She let herself fall apart as she sank into a seat, knowing that there was nothing she could do to really help him. Covering her face, she let the tears drip down her cheeks as she grieved for Watanuki.
Doumeki had explained what had become of Yuuko, and why Watanuki had taken over the shop, but Himawari knew the truth. She had doomed Watanuki the day she had let herself think that they could be friends. Her bad luck had managed to curse him, too, forcing him into a gilded cage which he would never be freed from.
This was her fault, her fault, her fault. And Watanuki, sweet Watanuki who had dared to love her, was paying the price.