Disclaimer: Characters, situations, and dialogue belong to Clamp!

Once again, just expanding on Watanuki's thoughts in one of the more dramatic moments of the series so far. Takes place around the end of volume six.

Someone please reassure me that there's more than six volumes released in America? The friend I'm borrowing them from insists he's got all the ones published in English, and I don't want to believe him.

I'm completely ensnared by the dynamic between these two, in both the romantic and non–romantic sense.


Decisions, Decisions

"No matter what the decision is, you're the one deciding it. And if you feel no regrets, then that's the end of it."

Of course, Yuuko just can't tell me it's hitsuzen. She just can't say it was something I couldn't have avoided. She needed me, Yuuko–san, she was so lonely. Something I could identify with all too well; we were kindred spirits or something, right? I would laugh at the irony in that, but I don't have the strength right now to summon it up.

"It's true for Doumeki–kun, too. He made a decision. He chose to shoot that woman. Even if it hurt you… Even if it made you hate him…"

I'm all too aware of the things you're capable of, Doumeki. It's clear in your stance, in those slotted amber eyes, in the way you cross your arms and lean back. Your infuriating way of spewing information and in the next breath saying, "I don't know." Every move you make has a purpose, as does every word that drops from your mouth.

But how could you stand there, pull the bowstring back, and let your exorcism–arrow fly? Can't you see she means no harm? That she cares for me? That all she needs is someone to talk to, to sit in the park and share a can of coffee with? How could you take that away from me, from her?

"He didn't want you to vanish forever."

"Why did you shoot her? Because she isn't human?!" I grasp my fingers around the wisp of smoke that's all that's left of her and press my forehead into my folded hands, tears slipping down and splattering against the dirty sidewalk.

"No."

How many times have I heard that word spoken by you, just like that? Always moments where I sense my whole world could pivot, shift, and I'd be forced to swallow some of the things I'm so good at denying. But you always follow up by calling me a fool or telling me I'm just a free lunch and source of entertainment. Please don't disappoint me this time, Doumeki. At least I've got a predetermined reaction for that. I'm not sure I could handle anything else.

"It's just what I chose to do."

So you clutch a ribbon in the rain for ten hours, your hands dirty and nails raw from digging. You grab the blade of a knife to protect me. You wander into other worlds with me. You catch me by the collar of my uniform as I fall out of Yuuko's wards, tucking me neatly into a futon at your temple. You carry me to the health office. You warned me.

All because you don't want me to vanish forever.

I guess it's only fair, Doumeki. You bleed for me, and I cry for you.

"You have another decision to make, Watanuki. You'll need to decide how to treat Doumeki–kun."

I can see you as you were at the night fair, wooden sandals, black and white checkered yukata, one arm slung in the space between the overlapping folds. I know you're the reason I don't spend all my time in fear anymore. I don't want to owe you, I'd never ask you to save me, and yet you're there, doing it time and time again. I guess I have to respect you for that.

And I know you'll disappear if I let you.

"How do you feel?" I swear, if Himawari–chan gets any cuter, my brain will explode.

"I'm all better! I made us lunch! Let's eat it together, okay?"

But then you come around the corner. That place between my chest and my belly seizes when I see you stick your chin out, giving me a penetrating glance as you walk past us with a proud sort of regret, something that burns and swells and makes me want to spit. Who's the fool now, Doumeki? Can't you see my stack of bento boxes is one too big for a two–person lunch?

"Wait."

I don't need to turn to see the way your posture jerks, shoulders rigid like you're expecting a blow. I put my hands on my hips, ignoring the swirl of things running through my head: Stupid, stupid Doumeki. You make me so angry. Why would you do that for me? How could you ever think I'd… hate you?

I suppress the pleading, the shame in my voice and let the words come out on sighing admittance. "You can come to lunch, too. But only as Himawari–chan's guest." I let my voice drop, let some if it seep back in, low but loud enough to carry back to you, because I know you're listening like the hawk you are. "Got it?"

I want to smile as your eyes widen in slight surprise (everything you do is slight, isn't it?) before your mouth settles into a smug line.

"Only if you brought some inari sushi."

My anger flares, but underneath is relief. Apparently, you got it, because even while I shout that I don't take orders and of course I didn't make inari sushi for you, you turn and follow us outside for lunch, plugging one ear against my arguments all the way.

I guess that spirit–woman was right, in the end. I do have people who don't want to lose me.

But most of all, I have you, Doumeki. I don't know why. It's there, it's hitsuzen, but between the two of us, I guess it's still a decision, too.