Title: À Côté
Author: smithar
Rating: PG
Fandom: xxxHOLiC
Pairing: Watanuki/Domeki
Summary: It's just another day for the two boys, dealing with the aftermath of magic bookworms and vengeful spider queens. Okay, maybe not just another day.
Notes: Spoilers for volume 7. A short little thing written for laureate05 on LJ , who luuuuuurves this pairing ;)

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"I'm serious! Someone must be out to get Himawari-chan! We have to protect her."

Watanuki was walking home from school, irked that once again he was accompanied by Domeki. But Himawari was staying after school to prepare the gymnasium for the autumn play. The archery team had just won the tournament for their prefecture yesterday, so Domeki had the afternoon off. An afternoon off to pester me. Watanuki brooded.

He remembered his original train of thought and began to mutter to himself. "Of course, it would be better if I was the only one around to protect Himawari-chan and this oaf was not around to cramp my style, so she could tell me how brave and heroic I was for watching our for her, but I don't want to attract more unfriendly spirits to her, so I have no choice but to bring the jerk with me..."

"Yuuko said not to worry about Himawari. She's in no danger." Domeki interjected plainly.

Watanuki glared with his one good eye. "Just because Yuuko-san said so, doesn't mean she doesn't have some nefarious scheme in mind. You can't trust that-"

Before Watanuki could cross the street and continue his sentence, Domeki grabbed Watanuki just below the elbow and yanked him backwards, causing the shorter boy to spin around and fall against Domeki. A bus whizzed by, kicking up dust behind it. Watanuki had been right in its path. He saved me again... he thought, surprised at the fact that he hadn't seen the bus at all and a little stunned to be standing so close to Domeki.

"You should be more careful." Domeki's voice was grave. Watanuki was barely registering the harsh pressure of Domeki's hand around his arm; he was more conscious of Domeki's breath against his skin, those dark eyes piercing his own with anger. "You've lost the ability to see from that side. Acting as if everything's still the same will just get you killed."

"Let go of my arm." Watanuki said quietly, looking the other boy straight in the eye. Domeki stared at him for a moment, then let him go. Watanuki backed away slightly, willing himself to be stoic and calm.

"Even if it's been a few weeks, don't start getting used to this..." Domeki drew his finger along the bandage over Watanuki's eye, then rested his hand against Watanuki's cheek. "I'm going to fix it."

A tremor ran through Watanuki as Domeki's touched his skin, but he hid his shock. "Why do you care? I made my choice. Why won't you leave me alone?"

Domeki stared at the bandage, where his hand still rested. "Because..." He didn't say more, just stared at the bandage.

"... Because?"

Domeki blinked. "Because... then I won't get tonjiru for lunch anymore."

"You stupid jerk!" Watanuki flailed and screeched with frustration, forcing Domeki to plug his ears resignedly. "What am I, your servant?! Just for that, you're getting Yuuko's leftovers tomorrow!"

Watanuki stormed ahead of Domeki, checking the road before he stepped off the curb. He hurried forwards, ranting and raving about the insensitive jerk who followed his steps. Yelling was just so much easier than contemplating the alternative.

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