... and the reaction.

Doumeki stared.

Watanuki stared.

Doumeki stared a second longer and opened his mouth to speak.

"Don't even THINK about saying anything," Watanuki hissed "I don't want to hear it. Just... sorry, ok? For being an idiot." He stood up hurriedly, talking as he did so, trying to drown out any complaint from the taller boy who sat frozen at the edge of the counter. "I'll just get out of your house now, ok? You don't even have to ask. I'm just going, no hard feelings... I—I'll tell Yuuko-san not to call you anymore."

"Watanuki," he heard Doumeki's voice hitch slightly, but didn't turn around. Instead his eyes scanned the place where the book had been, now disappeared into thin air. Apparently it had outlived its purpose. Hell of a purpose, Watanuki thought bitterly. He fumbled with the doorknob.

"Watanuki..." Doumeki said again, and Watanuki heard a swishing sound that indicated movement. He wrenched the door open, feeling the cool air on his face.

"Watanuki, you..."

"I said, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!" Watanuki yelled, and sprinted out into the melting snow.

There were many things that could be said about Doumeki Shizuka—he was talented, handsome, silent, obstinate, oddly sentimental, deeply annoying to certain people, intelligent, and powerful. The one thing you could not call him was slow. Especially where the aforementioned certain person was concerned. And if Doumeki could outrun gravity to catch Watanuki when he fell, he could certainly outrun Watanuki himself.

The shorter boy got about as far as the large, bare sakura tree by the temple gate before Doumeki caught him.

"Let go of me, you OBSESSIVE FREAK!" Watanuki shrieked when he felt a strong hand close firmly around his wrist, hauling him abruptly to a halt. "Are you DEAF? Or do you just ENJOY tormenting me?" He wrenched his arm around, attempting to shake Doumeki loose, but the archer would have none of it.

"Oi!" he said angrily, clapping a hand over Watanuki's mouth and pinning him hard against the trunk of the nearby tree. "Would you shut up for a minute?" Watanuki glared at him in silence. Doumeki cautiously removed his hand.

Watanuki looked at the ground. "Don't," he said quietly.

"Don't what?"

"Don't tell me how... weird I am."

Doumeki's hand dropped to his side. "Why would I say that?"

"Don't try to make me feel better, either!" Watanuki snapped.

Doumeki sighed. He was terrible with words. Always had been. It seemed the only thing he was good at these days was annoying the one person he didn't want to annoy. He stared at the other boy, the tousled hair and flushed cheeks, smooth skin and defiant blue eyes, daring Doumeki to say it—to say he was repulsive, revolting. As if that would ever be true. And so in lieu of explaining himself, Doumeki simply placed one of his hands on either of Watanuki's slender forearms, pressed him against the tree, and kissed him gently.

Watanuki squeaked.

Doumeki heard him but didn't stop, just slid his hands up to either side of Watanuki's face to keep him from moving, threading fingers through his soft black hair. Watanuki shivered as the back of his head bumped against the frosty bark, uncertain of what to do or say beyond squeaking loudly again as Doumeki's tongue ghosted across his teeth. The archer's eyes were closed, his movements soft and careful in a way that would have thrilled Yuuko had she been there to see it. Watanuki cursed his shaky legs and wondered for the third time just where Doumeki had learned to do—ohthat with his tongue. It wasn't—ah—fair at all...

At long last Doumeki pulled back, drawing a stuttering breath of the cool winter air.

"Get it now?" he asked, almost deadpan through his heavy breathing and the faint blush on his cheeks. Watanuki blinked as though waking up from a dream. It seemed that his brain had relinquished muscular control over the majority of his body, which struck him as a slightly strange side effect of being kissed by one's arch rival. He gripped the trunk of the tree behind him for support.

"Not really," Watanuki said honestly, "But I think that's not something you should do again,"

"Oh? Why not?"

"Because I ... won't be able to get up if you do, I think," he stuttered weakly. Doumeki grinned.

"I could carry you," he suggested.

"That's what you ALWAYS say!" flailed Watanuki, as Doumeki threaded his under the other boy's shirt at the waist and pulled him closer. Watanuki yelped.


Across the street, the dimensional witch watched them with a wicked smile. Hitsuzen had done its work, with just a little help from her. It was only a few white lies, and for a good purpose; the two young men pressed against the sakura tree were surely better off thanks to her scheming. She giggled. They just needed to be shown the way.

Well, then. She reached into her bag and pulled out a small red leather book, tapping it lightly with her palm as the true title resolved upon the cover, the spell lifted from its pages. It had served its purpose well, as Yuuko expected from such a classic work. The gold lettering read "Much Ado About Nothing" and "William Shakespeare."

She thought it was rather appropriate.