He never believed in fortune-tellers until he'd met the old woman that used to tell Yuuko's fortunes. So far she'd been completely right about everything, all the more reason to believe in a set future. Not a set future, but a predictable one.

Your parents have passed safely into the afterlife. It was a relief to know that, because they risked their lives to keep him alive. He never once felt worthy of their sacrifice.

Walking home with his shoulder bag slung over his left and several grocery bags in the other; not that heavy but enough to cause discomfort. There were high brick walls to each side of the road with a thin sidewalk, that no one ever used instead they walked in the streets. It reminded Watanuki of the first day he met Yuuko, except hopefully no spirit-monster was following behind him. To that thought he fought the urge to glance over his shoulder. It must have been laughable for anyone that happened to see him walking home, especially if he was being followed by something that was attracted to his blood. He'd grit his teeth at first, saying through closed lips, "Go away."

Then eventually it would turn into a louder, ordering tone, "Get the hell away from me!"

Finally what started out as a steady-paced, walk home would turn into a run away from something only he could see.

Some of the people at school, even some teachers, whispered as he passed by. He knew what they thought of him, Watanuki Kimihiro the crazy boy that lives all alone. Only recently he found out that his reputation at school wasn't completely negative. Himawari-chan was friendly to him in a sincere way. At least it seemed sincere, she wasn't patronizing him when she asked about the spirits. And after the Hundred Ghost's reading at the temple she definitely believed that spirits existed.

He loved her, even if she treated him just as a friend.

"Wish that fortune-teller told me about Himawari-chan." He grumbled kicking a piece of brick that had fallen onto the street, "She ended up telling me more about Doumeki than anyone else from school."

You'll find yourselves thrown together more and more in the future. At the time he didn't know what friend he was being 'thrown together' with and he would have least suspected it was Doumeki. Doumeki was definitely not a friend, a rival yes, but never a friend.

Staying close to Shizuka Doumeki was worse than being cursed, but Yuko told him it was the way to keep the spirits away. "He's such a brain-dead jerk! Always trying to steal Himawari-chan away from me, and ruin my reputation."

That's not exactly true. He stopped in the road, glancing to his feet as he nearly felt shamed for saying what he had about Doumeki. Nearly. He was sure that it might not all be true, but he knew Domeki was out against him for something. Whether or not Himawari-chan was his goal or not Doumeki was always 'one-upping' Watanuki at everything.

Still he was supposed to stay near the annoying jerk until he paid off his debt to Yuko and got his wish granted. Having to fix Doumeki lunch, even take orders from him (though he refused to acknowledge that he listened when the jerk requested anything out of him).

He started to walk again, quickening his pace as he looked up to the sky, "Almost dark, they come out more often at night."

The bigger ones at least make an appearance at night, like the incident at the school with the Angel-san. Not only was that spirit enormous but it was deceiving. It took Shizuka to make him wake up to the fact that the three frightened teenagers on the roof were already dead, and no one but he could see it. All the time when he thought Angel-san was just some childish game and he kept telling them to stop playing the game and let go.

Angel-san said that we can't go! It said, "If the hands separate, you'll be cursed." They told him, tears in their eyes and panic in their voices. But they didn't realize they were already dead... that the negative sentiments of the entire school was packed into one Angel-san game.

If Doumeki wasn't there he would have died. He admitted to himself the truth about the incident: Doumeki saved his life. More than once he'd been saved by his rival, but what on earth for was the mystery. He even made himself available to go on missions that Yuuko assigned to Watanuki.

Of course Doumeki would bitch to no end about having to do some things, 'So you came crying to me? Like Nobita-kun?'

"I don't cry!" Watanuki was protesting to the doorstep of his apartment building, shifting his grip on the bags in his hands as he opened the door and enter with little luck. Grumbling darkly he finally set the bags aside and maneuvered to where he could open the door (holding it open with his foot as he grabbed his groceries). "I have all rights to spit in his bento box after I make it!"

Once he finally made it into his apartment he put the grocery to the side of the door, taking off his shoes on the azure tiled flooring. Saying with discomfort, even though he knew it was the same way everyday, "Hello, nobody."

Maybe I won't spit on his bento... because that would make me into a bad cook. Father told me to take great care in all that I cook, because its a wonderful gift I should cherish. It was the only positive 'gift' he was granted.

That's just an excuse not to spit on his food, the real reason you still won't admit. He told himself as he turned back to grab the bags of groceries as he started for his kitchen. You don't mind having Domeki around, just like you don't mind being around Yuko, Maru, Moro and (of course) Himawari-chan. You don't think Doumeki deserves it because he's saved your life...

"Oh, please." Watanuki laughed underneath his breath, "I don't think Yuko would have slipped me alcohol in my tea, so why am I thinking like I'm drunk? How ridiculous, me giving that jerk pity."

But look with Doumeki around you aren't so lonely, right? Plus you don't see spirits, and if you do he can banish them... It's all 'thanks' to Yuko that he's around anyhow.

When the last of his groceries was in its proper place he neatly folded the bags and sat them on the counter. Kimihiro sighed putting a hand through his dark hair, biting his lip, "What stupid thoughts, what I need is to bathe and maybe to drink some of that Eki-kyabe in the morning because I think she did slip me something."

Watanuki wouldn't admit something like that, refused. The only one he would grace with his honesty was Himawari. She was the only person that could make him truly happy, even though Yuuko and Doumeki could take away his visions. But real friends didn't have to do anything for you to want them to be around, and Himawari didn't have to do anything for him to be happy near her... but neither does Doumeki.

"He's not my friend." But he is... Why does he do those things for you? Saves your life, takes pain for you... he's bleed twice for you, lost his soul once and he's gone out of his way for you. He's your friend, even if you don't consider him one--

"I'm thinking crazy again! I must have got some of that dust from Yuko's house in my nose. It's affecting my thinking!" He laughed brushing his shoulders as if he could shake the insightful voice out of his mind.

And I'll spit on the outside of his bento, so I don't have to ruin my food and I can still take pride in it. He thought with a malicious smile, rubbing his hands together thoughtfully. I hope 'Doumeki-san' enjoys his meal.

Author's note: I hope that wasn't too bad for my first try at a XXXHOLiC fic. I struggled with several ideas before I wrote this one anyhow. Reviews are apprieciated, but even if you don't review I hope you liked this fic! Thanks for readin'!