Smiles of a Summer Night
By Maria Szabo
settings and characters of X belong to CLAMP, their publishers and their
respective distributers. This is a work
of fanfiction, no profit is being made and copyright infringement is not
intended. The title "Smiles of a Summer
Night" is a tribute to the 1956 film by Ingmar Bergman and no infringement of
his rights or those of his distributors is intended either. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter
are from Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" and are used only because I
love the musical so much. Please don't
Perpetual anticipation is good for the soul
But it's bad for the heart.
He awoke with a start and at once realized he was
dreaming. The dreamscape spread before
him like an endless plain of onyx, polished into a mirror-like sheen. He was able to clearly see his reflection –
as he looked down at his feet, an angelic-faced boy with sorrowful eyes gazed
back at him in concern.
He looked up
suddenly at the sound of the soft voice and saw the dreamseer of the Dragons of
the Earth standing before him, frail as ever, his kimono wrapped tightly around
his too-slender frame.
"Kakyou. What do you want?"
"I have to show
you something," he said, softly. He
beckoned with one thin hand. Like
Hinoto and Kanoe, it was difficult to determine his age. Although his eyes were as tired as those of
a very old man, he seemed much younger than the other dreamseers. "The Dragons of Heaven…the Dragons of
The boy watched
as the dragons poured from the floor and began to circle. They looked much the same as they always
did. The Dragons of Heaven were white
and brilliant, whilst the Dragons of Earth were dark and dangerous.
"So? I don't understand. I've seen the dragons before."
"As have I."
Agreed his reflection in a voice not his own.
"What is your point, Kakyou?"
Kamui looked down
in shock and this time saw not his reflection but the cold face of Fuuma
briefly in the eyes of the dreamseer, but was quickly suppressed. He merely pointed towards the dragons. "Watch them…"
The city of Tokyo
became visible, as if a fog had lifted.
The dragons of heaven and earth converged and began to battle. It was a horrifying, yet somehow magnificent
sight. Kamui drew closer to see if he
could pick out whatever detail it was that Kaykou was concerned about. Fuuma, still mirrored below him, followed
like a shadow sewn to his feet.
It really wasn't
much different from the other visions he had seen. The dragons postured threateningly towards each other, sometimes
daring a feint towards the other side.
A few of the black ones went off on their own and thundered through the
city, leaving destruction in their wake.
"I still don't
get it…" Kamui began, then stopped. One
of the dark dragons had twined its neck about that of one of the light
dragons. The dark dragon grasped the
other one with it's claws and… "No!
Don't! You'll kill…"
minute." Fuuma's voice held a note of
surprise. "It's not killing the other
Kamui stared and
turned very red. "Are they…?" he
couldn't say it. "They aren't…"
They were. Passionately.
really get a room." Fuuma came out of
his shadow and twined his arms around Kamui.
He could feel the older boy's hot breath on his neck. "Or should I say 'We'?"
"It's not you."
Whispered Kakyou. He pointed towards
the Tower. Kamui saw himself and Fuuma
circling each other, with great swords in hand.
Fuuma lifted his
mouth off of Kamui's neck and stared at the Dreamseer. "Then who?"
and gazed off towards the distance.
"The future is
determined." Hissed Fuuma, releasing Kamui.
He was visibly disturbed. "You
know that, dreamseer."
stirred in his pale eyes. He looked
directly at Kamui then glanced away towards the dreamscape. "Is it?"
Kamui awoke with
a start and the harsh light of morning told him he was back to the waking
"So there we
were. The earthquake had knocked out
the lights and no one really knew what was going on…and then, I felt her hands
starting to wander…"
rolled his eyes and finished off his beer.
Nagoya-san was obviously about to veer into one of his infamous (and
highly improbable) tales of amorous escapades, no doubt peppered with exquisite
details of the anonymous Ms. "T" and her taste for the sexually bizarre. Ah, well, he thought, the card game had gone
to hell anyway.
He'd planned to
get away from the barracks tonight, but he'd been roped into the game when
Saito-san pleaded exhaustion and retreated to his bed. Kusanagi usually avoided gambling, but he
owed Yamaguchi-san a favor and so was forced to step in. At least they had some good beer…after the
week he'd had, he could use a good booze-up.
He looked mournfully at his empty bottle.
over. "I've got more in the room. Want to make a run?"
He nodded. Anything to escape Nagoya-san's
ramblings. He stood up and followed the
shorter man out of the common room.
"Damn, that man
has an imagination." Muttered Yamaguchi.
"As if that woman would consider doing anything with him…"
at the shorter man. "You know the
elusive Ms. "T"?"
Yamaguchi's eyes glinted, but he said nothing more about her. "What about you, Shiyuu-san? Still seeing that pretty young thing?"
He gave the
other man a Look.
"Ok, ok! Don't ask, don't tell, I know, I know." He waited while Kusanagi opened the door to
the room they shared. "Man, I never
thought that rule would be used against me!"
Kusanagi hid a
smile. Yamaguchi-san tended to juggle
several women at a time, and after a disastrous episode where he'd mistakenly
admitted to one girlfriend that Yamaguchi-san was on a skiing trip with another
girlfriend (it wasn't his fault…he'd thought it was Yamaguchi's sister Emi, not
the girlfriend Emi), "Don't ask, Don't tell" became the golden rule.
He opened the
small refrigerator and pulled out a couple of six-packs. Yamaguchi replaced those with a couple of
more he'd dug out from the closet.
Drinking was a popular pastime in the Self-Defense Force, and they had
it down to an art.
"Well, back to
the game…Nagoya-san's probably still at it." Sighed Yamaguchi as he shut the
refrigerator door. "Could you open the
window? It's stuffy in here."
It WAS hot. Autumn was just around the corner, but
they'd not yet passed the summer heat.
Kusanagi unlocked the catch at the sill and pushed open the window,
hoping some of the night's coolness would seep in.
The phone rang
suddenly. Yamaguchi almost dropped the
beer. Kusanagi rescued it with a timely
catch. The other man dashed for the
Misao-chan…she said she'd call" he sputtered, and grabbed the receiver. "Hello?"
He was silent for a minute.
"Shiyuu-san, it's for you.
Kusanagi took the
phone quickly, ignoring Yamaguchi's kissing noises. "Yeah, this is Shiyuu."
Her voice was
delicate and a little breathless. "How
forgot about Yamaguchi, the beer, the game and Nagoya-san's stupid
stories. "I'm doing ok. How are you?"
fine." she sounded a little
nervous. She cleared her throat. "Um…I was wondering…are you working
"Nah, I'm off
this Sunday. Got something in mind?"
like…no wait..um…" she was very nervous.
It was cute.
He had pity on
her. "You want to do something
festival…I thought it might be fun…"
"Are you asking
me out on a date?" he teased, gently.
She gave a little
too. "Fine. When and where?"
It was turning
out to be a beautiful day, thought Sorata Arisugawa as he stepped outside the
door of the Inomayama mansion.
Subaru-san was already waiting, taking the opportunity to indulge his
nicotine addiction. He turned to look
at him and his one good eye widened.
"Are you really
wearing THAT?" He asked in disbelief.
"What? These are my festival robes! Aren't they cool?" Sorata turned around to display his finery. Actually, they weren't any different from
his normal robes, but he always welcomed an excuse to be out of the boring
school uniform. "The women love a man
in a robe, let me tell you! Hey, you
ought to wear yours, Subaru-san!"
A cloud of smoke
drifted into his face. "I don't think
and fanned the fumes away. Subaru-san
was no fun at all. "So are you coming
to the festival, too?"
shrugged. "Kamui suggested it."
Kamui. Subaru-san was way too
melancholy for his own good, but even he needed to have fun every now and then.
Plus, Sorata thought with a grin, if Subaru-san was squiring Kamui around, he
had a better chance of getting some time alone with the lady of his heart. Provided she ever showed up…maybe he
shouldn't have made that joke about wanting to see her in a yukata…
They both turned
at the sound of the front door opening.
Kamui peeked out at them. "I
wondered where you guys were."
stubbed out his half-smoked cigarette.
"Are you ready?"
"Let's wait for
the girls…they should be coming downstairs soon."
"Kamui, are you
feeling ok?" Sorata was concerned. He looked like death warmed over.
He shrugged. "I didn't sleep well last night. I had the oddest dream. I think it was a warning."
actually concern in the Sumeragi's voice? Wondered Sorata.
dreamseer of the Dragons of the Earth.
But what he showed me…" he cast a glance at Sorata, then stopped.
"Aw, c'mon Kamui,
spill it. What did you see?"
mating between a Dragon of Earth and a Dragon of Heaven."
pale. The onmyouji's reaction surprised
Sorata, since he'd always considered the Sumeragi somewhat of a cold fish. What was even more interesting was Kamui's
obvious concern about the older man.
Obviously, there was some history that he, Sorata, was not privy
"So…" he began,
"…is this of significance for the end of the world?"
Kamui shook his
head. "I don't know. Kakyou seemed to think so. Fuuma seemed surprised."
"Hell, I'm not surprised."
Both Kamui and
Subaru turned to stare at him in shock.
He smiled. "I'm not surprised at all. I always said we were the pretty ones—it's
no wonder they want us!"
Subaru let out a
sigh of irritation, while Kamui picked himself off the ground from his
face-fault. "Can't you be serious for
serious. We seem to have gotten all the
pretty women on our side, plus beauties like Kamui and even you,
Subaru-san. It's probably that Fuuma
guy—it seems like every time we have to deal with him, he seems hell-bent on
seducing Kamui here."
bright red. "It's not us. In the dream, we were having some kind of
duel on Tokyo Tower."
The clatter of
geta sounded in the hallway.
"Kamui-saaaan! Hold the
dooooor!" Yuzuriha-chan's voice
sing-songed. Her little hell-hound (as
Sorata privately called him) came barreling out, tail wagging. Yuzuriha followed in short order, dressed in
a bright yellow yukata with a green vine and flower motif. She was pulling a reluctant Arashi with
her. "Don't be shy, Arashi-san!"
shrine-maiden of Ise stood in the doorway.
She also wore a yukata—a conservative blue one with a modest design of
white flowers. Her dark hair was tied
up off her neck in a traditional hairstyle, with a sprig of wisteria as it's
only ornamentation. She was a vision of
perfection…and looked like she wanted the earth to swallow her whole.
"You look so
cuuute! Don't you think so?" The younger girl gave an appealing glance to
need to be asked twice. "Nee-chan! No, it can't be…it must be an angel from the
heavens!" He tried to sneak his arm
about her shoulders. "Please allow me
to escort you to the festivities, Lady."
There is a
particularly vulnerable nerve-cluster that lies in the webbing between the
forefinger and the thumb. Arashi had
never failed to find that nerve and take full advantage of its
sensitivity. With heartless precision,
her nails pinched into his hand.
"ooooOuch!" He moved his arm very quickly. "Nee-chan!"
Subaru raised an
eyebrow, Kamui hid a smile and Yuzuriha just giggled. Meanwhile, his Belle-Dame-Sans-Merci stood expressionless.
"Are we all here,
then?" asked Kamui, changing the subject.
"Oh, he already
left." Replied Subaru-san, with a shrug of indifference. "The other two were with him."
"Then let's go!"
chirped Yuzuriha-chan. She seemed a
little more excited than normal today.
"We're ready, aren't we, Inuki?"
The inugami yipped in agreement and circled around the girl.
then!" Sorata declared. "Food and fun await! Onward!"
He turned towards Arashi, only to find that Subaru had offered his arm
to the girl.
"May I?" the
onmyouji asked her, quietly.
She took his arm
with a smile. "Thank you. I could really use an escort."
back at her, a rare smile that left Sorata thinking that what the stuck-up
Sumaragi could really use was a lightning bolt in the butt. He glared as the two walked together down
the drive, then turned to Yuzuriha-chan.
blinked. "Oh! I have to meet..someone…I'll see you later at the festival!" She then ran down the driveway after Subaru
and Arashi, her geta clacking loudly.
Sorata hung his
head down. "No luck at all today."
Kamui hid a
grin. "You have me."
"But you're not a
girl…" he reached over and mussed the boy's hair. "But what the hell…let's go find something to eat. I want to hear more about that dream."
To be continued