AN: Well, I promised my pal Kyte-chan a fic for her birthday, and I try to deliver, so here it is. A new fic, nice and full of wonderful ExT goodiness! That was what she wanted, and luckily, I'd been entertaining the idea for this for a while, so I figured what the hell.
Happy birthday, KyteAura! This one's for you! I don't own Cardcaptor Sakura or any of the characters I use…except the ones I make up. Those are mine! ALL MINE!
Sitting on My Shoulder
Hiiragizawa Eriol was not naturally the kind of person who would space out. He was well-known for being mature, studious, patient, helpful, courteous…an all-around nice guy. His peers adored him, his teachers enjoyed him, his guardians entertained him, and Li Syaoran wanted to do many unkind, painful things to his person. Preferably with a hammer.
Oh well, couldn't please everybody all the time.
But anyway, not many things could distract Eriol from whatever task lay before him. He was usually good about tuning out unwanted outside noise and whatnot. Unfortunately, this current distraction was something he never wanted to tune out.
Said distraction sat in the desk in front of him, so she couldn't see him staring at the back of her head. So he did—he stared at her hair with pure rapture, as though it held the very meaning of life. And for him, it did. He could have cheerfully made a life study out of Daidouji Tomoyo, the object of his affections and his obsessions. Like the lovesick moose he was (and he was one, without a doubt), he watched her every chance he got. And he never got tired of staring at her hair. It was simply another part of her, another aspect of a beauty that was both visible and internal.
Plus, her hair was so shiny…
Unbeknownst to Eriol, he, too, was being watched—by someone sitting on a tree branch, just outside the classroom window. The watcher was…well, it looked like Eriol, except for the pointed red tail protruding from his backside, the twin red horns on his head, and the pitchfork sitting next to him; he was wearing a neat black suit (complete with bowtie) and a deep frown. It was none other than Eriol's own personal shoulder-devil…Devil-Eriol.
And he was watching his charge with a deep, brooding stare.
And Devil-Eriol found himself going splat against the nearest window, courtesy of his friend and rival, Angel-Eriol—the little white-suit-clad, halo-ed, harp-carrying figure that usually stood on Eriol's right shoulder and told him that no, he couldn't start Syaoran on fire.
"Sorry!" Angel-Eriol chirped, waving cheerily. His snowy-white wings fluttered behind him.
Devil-Eriol got up, growling angrily, and floated back over to take his seat on the branch. "Whaddya want? Can't you see I'm busy trying to make his head explode?"
"I will admit that there's a problem," Angel agreed, nodding fervently. "He's walking around in a total daze, and I think it has something to do with that girl." One divine hand pointed at the girl in the desk beside Eriol's—a dark-haired beauty of a young woman, who seemed intent on whatever she was reading. Next to her, Eriol seemed intent on studying her every movement.
"I know!" Devil folded his arms and pouted. "He won't listen to anything I say anymore! We used to have so much fun together, tormenting Syaoran, plotting new things for Sakura-san back in the day when the Cards were being changed, watching Ruby Moon stuff Spinel full of sugar…now, I'm lucky if he even notices I'm there!" This last was said in more of a wail than anything else.
"Well, he's not listening to me, either," Angel-Eriol assented; he was fluttering his wings and hovering over the tree branch, to give himself a better view of their human. "He isn't paying attention when I try to get him to help other people—and people have been asking for his help, but he's not hearing anything anyone says to him. Unless it's her, of course. When she talks, he hangs on every word like a fanatic would hang on a sermon."
Devil-Eriol hissed at the mention of the word 'sermon,' but then returned his gaze to his human charge and cracked his knuckles. "Maybe we should do something about it…"
Tomoyo shifted the tiniest bit in her seat. She could feel eyes on the back of her head, and as the only person sitting behind her, Eriol seemed the most likely candidate—actually, he really was the only candidate. Maybe he was actually watching her!
She quickly ruled that idea out. He sat behind her; he had to look at her to see to the front of the room. He wasn't just looking at her because he could, or even because he wanted to. It was all because he had to. Damn logic was so disappointing.
She wished she could watch him sometime, the way she wished he was watching her right now. Unfortunately, she sat in front of him, so such a thing was quite impossible. If she had tried to turn around and watch him, it would have been blatantly obvious, the entire class would have noticed, and she probably would have gotten in trouble with the teacher for not paying attention.
Not that she was paying attention anyway. Her thoughts had drifted far, far away, into the deepest realms of La-La Land, where visions of Eriol were everywhere. Daydreams, with his face plastered all over them. Doodles of his name next to hearts on random pages of her notebooks.
She was obsessed, and not a single other soul knew it.
Meanwhile, Eriol wasn't the only one being discussed.
"I can't BELIEVE this!" a tiny, dark-haired figure sighed dramatically, looking in a mirror to check her fiery red lipstick. After all, Devil-Tomoyo was nothing if not flamboyant in a representation of her charge's oft-suppressed dark side. The two red horns sticking out of her hair were always polished to a shine, and her tail was curled neatly behind her. And that pitchfork? Absolutely ghastly as an accessory—she preferred to do without it. It clashed terribly with her black leather skirt, tight red top, and perfect crimson manicure.
"What can't you believe?" Angel-Tomoyo asked; she, too, was checking a mirror, to make sure her halo was on at juuuuuuust the right angle. And a glance at her capri pants, tank-top, and wings proved that they remained spotlessly white. "Does this have anything to do with that boy?" she went on, digging through her heavenly cosmetics bag; finally, she found her lipstick and began applying it.
After all, one wasn't a shoulder-deity to someone as fashionably-aware as Daidouji Tomoyo without an obsession for fashion and appearance. After all, they were immortals, and all immortals needed a hobby. Besides, human fashions were fun!
"She wants him. She wants him baaaaaaad," the devil-girl said in a taunting voice, setting the mirror down, and turning a red-tinted gaze on her counterpart. "And I'm pretty sure he wants her too."
"He does," a pleasant male voice interrupted. The two mini-Tomoyos both turned and watched as the two mini-Eriols landed beside them on the tree they had occupied. It seemed it was the white one—the angel—who had addressed them, for he continued, "He absolutely worships her."
"And because of it," Devil-Eriol picked up, "he won't pay anymore attention to us!"
"Tomoyo pays attention to me when it involves getting Sakura into costumes, or setting that Li kid up somehow," Devil-Tomoyo tossed her hair casually. "But lately, I can't even get her to do that. She isn't listening to anybody. Even Sakura's starting to notice that Tomoyo's out of it, and as clueless as she is, that's saying something."
"Be nice!" Angel-Tomoyo admonished before adding her bit. "So it seems we all have the same problem. Our poor human charges are hopelessly in love with each other…and they're either too afraid or too stupid to do anything about it!"
Beside her, her devilish counterpart raised an eyebrow. Maybe she was a bad influence on her…
"So maybe it's time for a little…divine intervention," Devil-Eriol suggested, a smirk of pure, unadulterated evil crossing his face. You know the smirk. The one Eriol always wears when he's about to thoroughly humiliate his darling descendant, usually in front of Sakura, who won't even notice?
"You mean we're going to set them up?" Angel-Eriol actually looked intrigued.
"Brilliant," the female devil jumped to her feet.
"This might be fun!" Angel-Tomoyo clapped her hands in delight. Then her eyes narrowed, and she leaned forward. "Let's make a plan…"
Eriol was walking home alone. Normally, he walked with his friends—Sakura, Syaoran, and Goddess…er, Tomoyo. But there was a choral competition coming up, so she had an extra practice after school, and Sakura and Syaoran had decided to go out that afternoon, so the reincarnation was alone.
Although he missed being able to stare at Tomoyo, at least alone, he could actively daydream about her without having to worry about looking stupid. Well, stupid to anyone he knew, he rethought as a woman on the sidewalk gave him a strange look.
"Psst!" a tiny voice said by his left ear. "Psst! Hey!"
He turned his head slightly to see a miniature, tux-clad version of himself sitting on his left shoulder, casually polishing the prongs of his pitchfork. "Oh, it's you. My shoulder-devil." They were old friends. "Haven't seen you for a while."
"That's because you haven't been paying attention to anyone, but that girl," Devil-Eriol pointed out, breathing on the tool in his hand, then wiping it clean with a rag. He could see his unholy reflection in it. Damn, he looked good! Satisfied, he set the pitchfork across his lap and focused all his attention on his human charge. "Tomoyo, right?"
Eriol blushed. "Yeah…her…" He sighed dreamily.
"Man, you've got it bad," the tiny devil observed, grinning. "So have you kissed her yet?"
"No—what?" Eriol stopped walking and looked at his devil in shock. "Kissed her? Hell, I can barely talk to her like a normal human being anymore! How could I kiss her?"
"Simple," Devil-Eriol jumped off Eriol's shoulder and hovered in front of his face. "First, you pucker up, then you lay it on her, and all the while, you say a whole bunch of reeeeeally romantic crap, make a bunch of promises you don't intend to keep…you getting the idea?"
Eriol shook his head. "I don't want to treat Tomoyo like that!"
"Hmph," Devil-Eriol frowned, then shrugged. "Well, then I'm not the guy you should be talking to." In a puff of red smoke, he vanished.
Eriol blinked. Strange. It wasn't like his devilish side to give up that easily.
"So you want to get the girl?"
He knew that slightly more pleasant voice anywhere. "Hello, Angel-Me."
Angel-Eriol had appeared on his right shoulder in all his sparkly white glory. "Hello. We haven't talked much lately. How have you been?"
"Not too bad, actually. Passed that calculus test we were all so worried about," Eriol replied cheerily. His shoulder-angel was always so polite. "How're you doing?"
"Oh, I'm ready to do something unkind to my counterpart," he sighed, referring to Eriol's shoulder-devil, of course. "Like bless him, or dump holy water on him, or put a cross in his bed, or something like that."
"Hey, let's not get violent here!" Eriol held up a hand in defense of his dark side. "I thought you were supposed to be the good guy in this arrangement!"
"I am. He just bothers me," Angel said matter-of-factly. "But anyway, down to business. Tell me all about this girl you're so smitten with." By this time, Eriol had sidetracked from his walk home, and had ended up in Penguin Park, where King Penguin still stood tall and proud. Taking a cue from childhood, he sat down on one of the swings.
"How do you two know so much about me and my love life?" Eriol asked with a raised eyebrow.
"We're part of your subconscious. We know more about you than you do," Devil-Eriol popped back up; it almost seemed like he'd been waiting for a cue or something. "So come on. Spill it. Tell us all about her. Details are appreciated."
The next ten minutes, neither of them said a word. They didn't have to, because Eriol went on and on about the wonderful Daidouji Tomoyo. He must have used every synonym for 'beautiful' in existence, including radiant, picturesque, and dazzling. And he described her musical ability at length, comparing her voice to birds and musical instruments.
"So what you're saying is she sings like a tuba?" Devil-Eriol interrupted with a snort, mentally congratulating himself on such a clever little crack. Oh, he was so brilliant it was scary!
Had he been mortal, he would have been struck down immediately for such a derogatory and degrading remark towards Tomoyo. Instead, Eriol just took a deep breath—and blew, well-aimed puff of air. His devil-self was sent spinning through the air, all the way to the other side of the park, where he ended up hovering with little spirals spinning in his eyes.
"Put my earmuffs on the cookie…" he muttered dazedly as his angelic counterpart grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back over to the swing, where Eriol looked profoundly satisfied with himself.
"Anyway, forgetting the idiot's lack of judgment here," Angel-Eriol went on, "you really want to impress this girl? You really like her?"
"Actually…" Eriol paused, "…I think this is love."
Tomoyo was quite relieved when practice let out, and she could head home. They'd been working on the same songs for quite some time now, and she was quite sure she could have performed them in her sleep. But if she did that, then her dreams would be focused around the music, rather than around something a little more important at the moment.
Or rather, someone more important at the moment.
The dark-haired beauty turned her head. "Oh, hello," she greeted pleasantly.
On her shoulder, the white-clad shoulder-deity grinned congenially. "It has been a while. But I really wanted to talk to you, hon. It's about that Eriol boy." She knew she hit a nerve when a nice pink color tinted Tomoyo's cheeks. "Listen, I think he's a good guy. So as half of your conscience, it's my responsibility to tell you what I think. I think you should go for him."
Tomoyo stopped walking. "What?"
"Go for him," Angel-Tomoyo repeated, leaning her chin on her hands. "I mean, you like him, right? You should tell him how you feel. I mean, who knows? Maybe he likes you back."
Somehow, Tomoyo managed to refrain from letting out a very unladylike snort. The very idea was ridiculous, and she said so. "The very idea's ridiculous!" See, told you she said so. "I mean, really. He's a good friend, and I know he cares about me as a friend. So why ruin a good thing?"
"Man, you're gonna die an old maid if you keep this up!" a biting voice interrupted, and Tomoyo sighed good-naturedly as her devil-self appeared in front of her. "You know what I think you should do?"
"I said, kiss him."
"I heard you. I meant that more as a 'what the hell are you smoking?' kind of 'what.'"
"Ah, my mistake."
"It's okay. Now explain yourself."
Devil-Tomoyo crossed one leg over the other and smirked. "Nothing says 'I want you bad and I want you now' like a display of girl power. So go get him. Show him how much you want him. After all, if you don't snare him, somebody else will."
That made her heart stop. She knew that many other girls harbored crushes on the beautiful, bespectacled blue-haired boy. She had seen them lurking around, watching him like a hawk might watch its prey. And on Valentine's Day…oh, good Lord. If he'd really eaten all of that candy, he wouldn't have fit into his school uniform anymore. Either that, or he would have had one hell of a stomachache.
Could one of them possibly have his attention?
"I could ask him if there's anybody he's interested in," she mused out loud. "I mean, that's taking the initiative, right? And it's fairly nonchalant. And we're friends. It's a normal question for friends to ask each other, right?" The two mini-Tomoyos nodded. "Okay then, I'll ask him tomorrow, and I'll go from there. And if he does like me, that's a great opportunity for him to tell me."
With a new spring in her step, Tomoyo all but bounced the rest of the way home.
Floating a few inches over her head, Angel-Tomoyo leaned over to her counterpart, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Devil, hon, why do I have the really bad feeling that we just made things worse?"
Devil-Tomoyo grinned. "Probably because we did."
The next day at lunch presented the perfect opportunity. Sakura and Syaoran had opted to disappear off on their own for the meal, and Tomoyo had no doubts whatsoever that Eriol would have a few subtle innuendos planned out with which to tease his darling descendant. You know, subtle like, "Did you use a condom?" That sort of thing.
So it was just Eriol and Tomoyo sharing the shade of a tree.
They chatted about this and that, and some of that, and maybe a little bit of that as well. Finally, when the conversation dropped off a little, Tomoyo gathered her courage, took a deep breath, and took the plunge—figuratively speaking. "Have you noticed all those girls watching you all the time?"
The look on his face gave the answer away before he said a single word. "Now I know how Spinel feels when Ruby Moon's trying to pull a prank or stuff him full of sugar or something. They lurk around, just waiting for the opportune moment to strike…but you don't know what the opportune moment is!"
Tomoyo laughed at the thought, and took a moment to pity the poor Sun Guardian. Then she gathered a few more shreds of her nerve and asked the real question. The dangerous question. "So has anyone caught your eye?" She actually managed to sound relatively nonchalant.
To her surprise, he fell silent, and stared at his Bento-lunch for a while. Then he said, "Actually, someone has." He was smiling fondly as he talked of this unknown lady who had so captured his fancy. "She's amazing. I can't get her out of my head."
There was a very unpleasant crunching sound, which Tomoyo realized was her heart cracking. For a second, she desperately, desperately wanted to ask him who the lucky girl was, but her common sense stopped her before she could say a single word to that effect. It was none of her business.
"What about you?"
The question took her by surprise, and she looked blankly at him. "What?"
"I'm not the only one with a fan club around here," he teased, and she blushed. "Have any of those stalker-males managed to capture your attention?"
"Have any of those stalker-males managed to capture your attention?" Well, that was smooth.
But when she blushed a little deeper, he knew he'd hit the nail right on the head. Bingo.
"Well…actually, yes," she said softly, almost wistfully. "I haven't told him yet, though. I want to, but I think he has someone else. I mean, someone else he likes, and I just don't want to get in the way, or mess things up, or—"
"You must really like this guy," Eriol interrupted wryly, trying very hard to hide the fact that he felt like brutally murdering whoever this unknown male was. "You're babbling."
She laughed and popped a bite of rice into her mouth. "Well, you're right about one thing. I do really like him. But I don't want to screw things up for anyone…" She looked sad as she said that last.
Eriol fought down twin urges. On one hand, he wanted to demand to know the identity of this mystery man, but that really wasn't any of his business. Besides, it was probably something she didn't want him to know, or else she most likely would have just told him. She trusted him, he knew.
On the other hand, though, he wanted to just blurt out the truth: that she, Daidouji Tomoyo, was in fact the one who had caught and kept his attention, along with his heart. But if she liked someone else…oh, that would just make a big mess of things. He didn't want her to worry about him.
And the rest of the meal went by in relative quiet as each tried to puzzle out what to do next.
"This is terrible!" Devil-Eriol howled, watching from the tree Eriol and Tomoyo were sitting under. "They just made things worse! How could they possibly screw that up?"
"Told you so," Angel-Tomoyo sighed unhappily.
"How classic is it, though," Angel-Eriol observed. "The misunderstanding. They're talking about each other, but neither is bright enough to realize it, and so they withdraw. It's almost amusing."
"No 'almost' about it. It is amusing!" Devil-Tomoyo giggled. But she sobered almost immediately and asked, "But how do we fix it now?"
Silence met her query. Finally, Angel-Eriol heaved a heavy sigh. "I guess it's back to square one."
"I don't want to talk about it, okay?" Tomoyo half-growled at the little white-winged being perched on the edge of her vanity table. Her shoulder-angel had been trying to talk to her about Eriol, but Tomoyo just didn't want any of it.
"But you're upset, which means something went terribly wrong," the angel protested. "And as representatives of your inner conflict, subconscious, etc., it's our duty to help you whenever we can. Right?" That last was called over her shoulder to where her devilish counterpart was admiring her reflection in the mirror.
"Yeah, whatever you say," Devil-Tomoyo said flatly. Angel-Tomoyo started to mutter something then that sounded suspiciously like, 'Damn angelic oaths…cause no harm…' followed by a string of what sounded suspiciously like obscenities.
"But anyway," the devil suddenly whirled around, "did he say who this girl was?"
Tomoyo looked taken aback, while her angel face-faulted. "No, he didn't. I didn't ask."
"Why didn't you ask?" Devil-Tomoyo persisted.
"Because it's none of my business."
"Do you think there's a chance it could be you?"
"What? No!" Tomoyo shook her head. "How could it be? I mean, if it was me, and he wanted to tell me, he had the perfect opportunity. And he didn't take it. So no, I don't think there's even a chance."
"But Tomoyo," her angel pointed out logically, "if you were waiting for an opportune moment, that was it. And you didn't take it either. You could have told him."
"But he likes someone else. End of story."
Devil and angel face-palmed. Humans were so dense.
"But I'll ask him."
"What?" both mini-deities asked.
"I'll ask him who she is. If he tells me, that's fine. If he doesn't want to, I won't push it," Tomoyo resolved. "Then at least I'll know who I'm losing him to—no. I don't want to lose." She paused. "I think I love him, and I'm not letting go."
"Leave me alone."
"I said leave me alone."
"So what? I'm a big boy, I can do what I want."
Devil-Eriol put one hand on his forehead. I think I'm getting a migraine… "So you're just going to give up? You're gonna let her just walk away, not do anything about it?"
"Well, what else can I do?" Eriol asked, not looking up from his textbook. The book was there more as a convenient excuse, though, as he wasn't really doing homework; he had been staring at that same page for a good twenty minutes now. "As you can see, I'm trying to study."
"Eriol, what's on that page?" Angel-Eriol asked. "What does it say?" Silence. "See? You're avoiding the questions. So talk to us, ne? Now, what can you do about the lovely Daidouji-san?"
"I know what you can do," the devil's eyes sparkled with an unholy glee.
"Steal her away."
"Seriously," Devil-Eriol plowed ahead. "Find out who this guy is, and steal her away from him."
"I hate to break it to you, but she's not actually going with anybody, so I can't actually steal her away from anyone," Eriol pointed out with unfailing logic.
"So snap her up before someone else does!" Angel-Eriol said joyously.
"You could always try kidnapping," Devil added, and the argument began.
"I'm sure that would work wonders."
"Stockholm Syndrome, baby!"
"…you're an idiot."
While Devil-Eriol moped, Angel-Eriol patted his human on the shoulder. "Ask her who he is. Find out why she likes him. And tell her how you feel, too. She won't know unless you say something."
"And then kiss her," Devil chirped.
Apparently fed up, Angel-Eriol grabbed his harp and proceeded to give his counterpart a royal beating over the head with it. While the devil was all right in the end, the poor harp did not survive the vicious onslaught.
"I'll ask her."
The struggle between devil and angel froze; the broken, battered harp was still poised for another strike. "What?" they both asked in unison.
"I'll ask her who it is," he clarified. "I'm not saying it'll do any good, but…" His eyes shifted. "I love her. And I won't let her go without a fight." Surprisingly, neither deity said anything to that.
It was two days later that she finally worked up the nerve, which was actually better than some people were doing. Her knight in shining armor was still having problems getting it together. But finally, she gathered her shreds of courage and took the initiative.
The melodious voice of his personal goddess could have gotten his attention from anywhere. He snapped to the most rigid of attention, but he managed a relatively nonchalant response. "Wha…? Okay, he'd been dozing at his desk, due to a lack of sleep over thoughts of a certain dark-haired beauty.
Normally, she would have giggled at his lack of alertness, but something was different today. She looked nervous, fidgety, and was sort of hopping from foot to foot. He'd never seen her that antsy before. "Um, I have a favor to ask you."
"Sure," Eriol replied. Anything for you, my angel. Anything. Name it, and it's yours.
"Would you be able to hang around after school for a few minutes?" she asked; her hands toyed nervously with the hem of her school skirt. "Meet me on the roof? I need to talk to you. It won't take long."
Oddly enough, that had sort of been his plan—he was going to ask her almost the exact same thing. The roof was a safe place to talk. Not many people went up there after school, so chances were that they would be safe from prying eyes.
"Of course," he replied, flashing a million-watt smile. And Tomoyo suddenly had to fight to keep her knees from turning into jelly and melting into a puddle on the floor. "Actually, I have something I wanted to ask you as well."
She grinned. "Great. So…talk then, I guess?"
Since when were things this awkward between them?
But there was no more time to discuss or wonder, because the teacher came in, and class began. But Eriol once again found his tired eyes straying away from the blackboard to the long, dark tresses hanging on his desk from the person in front of him.
He sighed, and gave up the struggle for independent thought. Her hair was still so shiny…
The day moved by in a heartbeat, yet still seemed to take all of eternity.
Lunchtime in particular was delightful. The tension in the air was so thick that even the normally-oblivious Sakura asked if something was wrong. Both Eriol and Tomoyo were going over what they were going to say in their heads, while still wondering what the other wanted.
But finally, the end of the day rolled around, and class was dismissed for the day. Students flooded from the building, though a few stragglers hung behind, chatting with friends and whatnot.
Eriol hung around his shoe-locker for a minute, letting the crowds disperse a little before he would head up to the roof. The fewer people around, the better, or so he figured.
"So are you gonna kiss her?" his devil-self popped up on his shoulder, jeering.
"Shut up," Eriol responded in a whisper, closing his locker. He hoped nobody noticed him seemingly having a conversation with himself. "I don't know what she wants to talk to me about."
"She likes you," an unfamiliar female voice popped up. To his surprise, a mini-Tomoyo popped up on his shoulder, right beside his devil. It wasn't difficult to tell that this was Tomoyo's own shoulder-devil, given the horns, tail, and smirk. "You should kiss her. She won't argue, I promise you."
Eriol didn't quite know what to say to that. Even Tomoyo's subconscious was taunting him now? Finally, he just gave up trying to figure it out, and headed to the roof for the meeting that awaited him there. He wouldn't keep his angel waiting.
But when he got there, Tomoyo was already talking to someone: two small white figures. She didn't seem to notice that he'd arrived. At a loss for what else to do, Eriol stood in the doorway and just listened to what she was saying.
Tomoyo paced uneasily. Maybe he'd decided not to come, or he didn't want to talk to her, or he had forgotten her, or he didn't care…okay, time to calm down. She was just getting herself worked up over what could potentially be nothing. He probably just got held up somewhere. Nothing major.
"Relax," her angel popped up. "You'll be fine." A pause as Tomoyo considered this; then the angel asked, "Are you gonna kiss him?"
"No!" Tomoyo protested in a whisper. "I can't do that!"
"You should!" a miniature, white-clad Eriol joined the conversation.
Tomoyo stared at him for a minute, then shook her head. "Great. Now his subconscious is making fun of me, too? Thanks a lot." She put her face in her hands. "I don't think I can do this. I want to tell him the truth, but…what if he rejects me? I don't want to screw up our friendship."
"Hey…" Angel-Eriol tried to say something, but Tomoyo kept going. She failed to notice that the door to the roof had opened behind her, and somebody was standing there, listening to her talk to the two tiny angels floating beside her.
"I like him so much, it hurts!" her voice choked. Was she crying? "It's not fair to tell him, if there's somebody else he likes, but…goddammit, I love him! Okay? I love Eriol!" She took a deep breath. "It's not fair…" She failed to notice that the two shoulder-angels had disappeared, leaving her alone with the person in the doorway.
Eriol slowly took a step forward. She still hadn't noticed him, and she didn't until he quickly worked up his shreds of courage and touched her shoulder. But they way she jumped, one would have thought a bomb had gone off near her, rather than just a tap on her arm. She whirled, and somehow managed to put on a truly convincing smile. "Oh, Eriol. You made it. I—I was getting worried." Her knight was here. Maybe she could ask him now.
He didn't respond. He was looking at her strangely; his expression had gone totally unreadable.
"Eriol?" she asked. "Are you all ri—" She was cut off as he moved forward, grabbed her shoulders, and pushed her back against the wall, right beside the door that led back into the building. He reached out with one foot and kicked the door closed. They were alone. "Eriol, what's wrong?"
He still didn't say anything. And he continued to give her that odd look.
Tomoyo suddenly felt very nervous. "If you're not feeling well, maybe we should—"
"I said stop talking."
She gasped slightly, and fell silent.
He was still holding her arms, and he could feel her beginning to tremble a little. "Tomoyo, I heard you. Every word." Her eyes widened, and then she closed them quickly. "You love me?" She nodded, once. "But…but I thought you said you liked someone else?"
"No…" she whispered miserably. "I said the one I liked had someone else." She could almost feel the blank expression on Eriol's face. "Remember? You told me there was someone who'd caught your eye, that day at lunch."
Realization dawned. She thought he meant…he almost laughed. But she truly believed what she was saying. And he wasn't sure if mere words would be enough to convince her otherwise. But he had to convince her, he just had to! What to do, what to do…
"I think you should kiss her," his shoulder-devil's voice popped into his head.
His hands both moved of their own accord; they each touched one side of her face, and pulled her chin upwards. And he kissed her, pushing her back against the wall so she couldn't escape from him.
He could feel her shock, her disbelief, but didn't back off. Not right away, anyway.
When he finally did break away, he didn't move very far. He stayed mere inches away, and waited for her reaction. Would she be angry? He somehow doubted it, but she would definitely be shocked.
He waited for her to react. But finally, she did—just not quite in the way he had expected.
First she stared, then she smiled. And then she threw her arms around his neck, whirled so now he was the one pinned against the wall, and returned the favor. Full on, right on the lips.
Now it was his turn for shock.
And strangely enough, he liked it.
And, as always, they were being watched. Apparently, for mini-deities, nothing is sacred.
"Finally!" Devil-Eriol thrust one victorious fist into the air.
"Hmph, 'bout time," Devil-Tomoyo agreed.
Angel-Tomoyo sighed dreamily. "So romantic!"
"Are they coming up for air anytime soon?" Angel-Eriol wondered out loud, cocking his head to one side. This earned a Look from his fellow shoulder-deities, who then went back to observing the two teens, pressed against the wall. By this time, they were more a jumble of arms than anything else, and if they continued to lean at that kind of an angle, they would probably fall over.
"Heh, look at that. That's my influence, right there," Devil-Tomoyo cackled, looking at her perfect red nails. "I wonder what they'll name their first kid." She glanced up, and saw that she was being watched—Devil-Eriol was giving her one of those sidelong glances that meant he didn't want her to know he was watching.
And she realized faintly that he looked a lot like his namesake—that is, gorgeous.
Rar! Devil-Tomoyo smirked, standing up and leaning seductively against the tree trunk. After all, she wasn't Tomoyo's dark side for nothing! Hmmm…this could be a lot of fun…
"Eriol…" Tomoyo asked as he walked her home. He wasn't letting her escape: his fingers were intertwined with hers, keeping her hand a willing captive of his. "Why did you kiss me?" She blushed a little at the wonderful memory.
He tugged gently on her hand to pull her a little closer and grinned sheepishly. Remembering the little voice that had jumped into his head at that fateful moment, he told her the honest, if unbelievable truth. "The Devil made me do it."
AN: Happy birthday, Kyte-chan! Hope you liked your present!