The taste in the air…

reminds me of your lips.

Author's note: This story is mainly about grieving and Character Death, so be warned. It's post-canon of xxxHOLiC, so it's a Main Character Death.

DISCLAIMER: Hey. Let's make a copy-and-paste thing here. Okay, so, CLAMP and its works are not mine. They belong to, uh, CLAMP. WISH, Holic, Tokyo Babylon, X, Tsubasa, RG Veda, Kobato, Cardcaptor Sakura, Drug & Drop, Chobits, and every other story I have not mentioned here but that I might use are not mine, but CLAMP's. Also, the characters are also CLAMP's property. What I do own is this series of drabbles I've been writing from different CLAMP works, that are not really related. I have no monetary interest with any of this, of course, but, now, if you'd like to leave me comments, I'd be incredibly happy… (Sorry, sorry. Thought it was a good opening)

. . .

The smell in the air was strong, potent. Bittersweet and venomous; a smell that brought him tears to the eyes with its acridness, and nostalgia to his tongue with its sweetness. There was a touch of alcohol, the ghost of a smoke, and the imagination of a flower.

The bottle was still empty.

It was a pretty enough, normal enough, she enough bottle. It sat quiet, silent and cold on the floor, and he kept staring at her, the smell of alcohol burning in his blood. Sake.

Ironically.

This had been the last bottle he had served her, without ever imagining that the end was near. He had complained, he knew, despite the exact words escaping his mind now; he had said something about not being her servant. And she, sat with her glass raised, had only smiled, that small, omniscient smile of one who knows everything and tells nothing, a silent laugh in the air.

A silent laugh. A silence that seemed to drown him, now.

There was no life in the Shop anymore. Mokona tried; Maru and Moro tried. Neither of them were her, however, and for all that Mokona still yelled for sake, there was no smoke in the air, there were no kimonos besides his own (hers. Borrowed.), and there were no mysterious smell of flowers — of death — mingling in the air with the alcohol, because the bottle is empty, and there is no voice here yelling, "Watanuki! Sake!"

Because her lips would never smile that smile anymore, bitter with alcohol and sweet with words beyond imagination, dry with the smoke that made magic happen.

Because the bottle was empty, but it wasn't the bottle he saw, but her eyes, always a different color, staring at nothing and everything, always so distant, and always so… Yuuko's.