"There now, steady
love, so few come and don't go
Will you won't you, be the one I always know" -The Fray's Look After You
Look After You, Chapter Two
Regardless of how he fell asleep the previous night, Watanuki woke up, startled out of a deep sleep by his boss, his back pulled flush against Doumeki's chest with an arm strung loosely across him. Instantly his face turned tomato red and he wriggled to get free.
But it didn't feel all that bad... He thought, and shoved that thought roughly away.
"Heh, what do we have here?" Yuuko's voice, edged suggestively, smirked at the two boys.
"What does that mean?" Watanuki shouted at her, anger flaring up in him. He flailed slightly, hindered by his wrappings. At his side, Doumeki pushed the pillow around his ears, groaning.
"I'm glad to see both of you are feeling better." Yuuko continued smoothly. "It's been almost a week, after all. Watanuki, are you up to making breakfast today? Oh, and you should cook for Doumeki-kun too. Hmm. Maybe dinner on top of your bentous will be enough to pay him back."
"WHAT!" Watanuki yelled.
"Hm." Doumeki added in thoughtfully, sitting up and rubbing his eyes.
"Don't you start!" Watanuki threatened menacingly, but something was different. It was without the heat, missing the sting he usually tried to fuse into his insults. Doumeki yawned and blinked sleepily.
"Well, it's the least you can do, Watanuki. Oh, and give Doumeki-kun a tour of the shop while you're here. It might be the only time he'll be able to see it." Hopefully, she added in her mind. Because if Doumeki couldn't find a way on his own, that meant Watanuki was in deep trouble.
She left in a stream of brightly-patterned kimono and butterfly hair ornaments, the scent of her perfume lingering lightly.
Watanuki turned to his bedmate, still fuming, but his face softened instead of hardened once he saw the bandages winding around Doumeki's body. Suddenly, everything grew quiet, and he shivered.
"What?" Doumeki said, and the silence broke.
"A-are you well enough to stand?" Watanuki asked him. Damn it, why was he stuttering? Slowly, he slid out of the elaborate bed and turned to him.
"Ah," He replied, and Watanuki didn't flinch when he grasped his hands to get pulled up, grunting.
"Does it hurt really bad?" Watanuki asked quietly.
"Yes, but...Syaoran-kun paid for some of it."
"I'll live." Doumeki replied. He had to hoist one of his arms around Watanuki's shoulders for support as they moved through the house.
"You're heavy!" Watanuki grumbled as they stumbled along, tightening his arm gingerly around the archer's back, getting only a hiss of pain and another vague noise in response.
As they moved through the many rooms of the shop, Doumeki's face came alive with interest, more than Watanuki had ever seen. It wasn't much of a difference, just a little more light shining in his eyes. But Watanuki could see it, could read it in his movements.
The archer pointed out the various artifacts of Yuuko's house, objects that had powerful history and meaning, things that Watanuki had noticed but never wondered about. With Doumeki's words, he began to see them in a whole new light, gifted with the background knowledge that changed the image of things. They came across Maru and Moro on their way to the storage room, the girls dancing around the two happily.
He smiled at them, always fond of the two girls. He didn't notice the other boy's face watching him with the same intense interest that he had paid to the artifacts. "This is Doumeki. Doumeki, these two are Maru and Moro, and they live in the shop."
Doumeki's face had a hint of a smile at the two's cheerful exclamations. "Thank you for helping Watanuki that one time."
He remembered seeing the faint blurs past the fence of Yuuko's lot, and the faint sounds of their voices as they tossed Watanuki to him, to safety.
They calmed down for a moment, gazed at him with an abrupt, unsettling quiet.
"We are the ones…"
"..who should thank you."
Their eyes, hollow with the lack of their childish glee, scrutinized the taller boy piercingly.
Watanuki flushed and nodded at them, hurriedly helping Doumeki move into the treasure room. He didn't like remembering that time, the pain and the tension that came with his rival's decision, the feeling of teetering on the edge of two very different paths as he had to decide how to treat Doumeki.
Obviously, they spent a considerable amount of time in that room, Doumeki staring at various fascinating items and Watanuki mumbling about the absurd amount of dust that somehow accumulated on said items, brushing his hand over them with distaste. Then Doumeki was forced back onto the bed while Watanuki started breakfast, pulling out pots and pans.
Yuuko floated around him, giggling as she spoke. "Well, aren't you glad Doumeki-kun was able to see the shop?"
"Hmph." Watanuki responded uncommittedly.
"Aw, why's Watanuki being so mean this morning?" She teased with mock-hurt in her voice. "Ne?"
"Ne!" The black Mokona sing-songed back to her, popping out from somewhere underneath her hair. "Oh, Watanuki's looking much better this morning."
Yuuko lowered her voice to a conspiratorial whisper, cupping her hand in front of her cheek. "Maybe it's because he had such a good sleep."
"With Doumeki-kun?" Mokona whispered back, unable to cut out the glee in its voice.
Watanuki's back trembled with forthcoming rage. "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!" He shouted, taking a spatula and shooing them out. Yuuko and Mokona squealed and danced out, magically avoiding the lashes of Watanuki's waving spatula. He could hear them giggling down the hall and he muttered darkly to himself, slamming a pot on the stove.
After he finished breakfast, he headed wearily back to the bedroom where he'd been harbored for the past week to wake up his fellow invalid. His eyes widened slightly at the sight of Doumeki sleeping on his stomach, the sheet covering only up to his waist, snoring peacefully into Watanuki's pillow. He must have rolled onto the other side of the bed during his rest.
"Hey." Watanuki whispered softly as he kneeled beside the bed. "Breakfast is ready." Doumeki didn't respond, he just reached around the pillow with his arms and drew it closer to him, smushing his face deeper into it and sighing.
"Hey!" Watanuki repeated, a little louder, getting only a snore for an answer. 'Who would think that he'd be so hard to get up, doing all those chores at the temple?' He thought to himself, not admitting that he was amused.
Instead, on impulse, he ran his hand lightly over the bandaged, muscular back, smiling when Doumeki twitched in his sleep. Finally the archer opened his eyes, mumbling sleepily, and rolled up to face his friend.
"C'mon, the food's done." Watanuki said, reaching out his arms to Doumeki in order to hoist him up. Together, they hobbled off to the dining room, where the smaller boy settled his rival before scurrying off to the kitchen to get the plates.
"Yuuko-san! Breakfast is ready!" He called up the hallway, where Yuuko appeared dramatically out of the shadows of that particular pathway, as though she formed out of thin air, and regally swept past the kitchen door to the table, Mokona on her shoulder.
"Good morning, Doumeki-kun." She greeted cheerfully, sitting down onto her elaborately embroidered cushion with the remaining yards of her clothing draped behind her like a train.
"Morning." He replied, golden eyes regarding her with only a touch of suspicion. She smiled.
"I take it that you'll return home soon. Has anyone been worried about you?" She asked.
Doumeki shook his head. "My mom's gone on business trips more often than not. I only see her every other weekend or so; She'll probably be home tomorrow. I'm the one who takes care of the temple, so I'll work on cleaning the grounds up today."
"I'll send Watanuki to go with you to help. Then in return, can I ask you a favor?"
"Yes." He replied.
"See to it that Watanuki returns home safely for me." She told him, and he got the feeling that it wasn't a request but a command.
"Good." She said, cocking her head to the side and smiling mysteriously as Watanuki brought out bowls from the kitchen.