Disclaimer: I can't draw worth anything, so obviously I'm not part of Clamp, and that disqualifies me right there, doesn't it?

After all the reviews I got for Decisions, Decisions (I was absolutely thrilled, by the way, and now own volumes 7 & 8. Thank you so much!) I wanted to take a shot at Doumeki. Please, please tell me if it's too similar to my Watanuki perspectives.

Takes places between frames near the beginning of volume 7.


The Value of my Possessions

"Call her."

Oh, that infuriatingly passive look in your one good eye; it's no wonder you scream at me, given that blank expression. But that's simply part of my nature, and this – this is not yours.

"Call her," I repeat, barely gentler this time, still not a request. The smallest, lightest trill of fear along with the urge to brush the hair that's fallen into your eye off your forehead rises, but I repress both by digging my fingertips into the rough brick, layers of skin peeling off. I want to run my thumb over your eyelid, to paintbrush that deadened iris blue again, but I am not Yuuko, and that's not within my power to do.

Not with a thumb, anyway.

I stand in the entryway of my temple and listen as you tell Yuuko to meet me in the park as soon as she can. I find myself studying your shoes, two sizes smaller than mine and far, far better taken care of; the laces equal lengths on both sides and lined up through the holes. The only thing that gives them away is the worn, almost flat heels and minute cracks adorning the thick rubber. I wonder how long you've had them, especially with how meticulous you are – they could be years and years old.

I know how you strive for self–sufficiency.

But I hate the pride that comes with it, the pride facing me now. You return to your shoes and hardly look at me while you slip them on, passing through the trees to the arching gate in silence, the brief glance toward the tree that held the spider's nest the only thing betraying what's going on in your mind.

The park's about halfway between my temple and the school; I fall into step beside you like it was any other morning. I might've treasured the quiet if it had been, but it's sharp and stark now. So I shove my hands in my pockets as I stroll, forcing you to match my longer strides, something that must be subconscious by now. I watch you from the corner of the eye I don't want and begin to measure the things I hold valuable to Yuuko's price, gauging what might be too much or too little – but I wonder if, for this, there's a too much.

I almost lost my temper, something I haven't come close to in a long, long while. Yet for all the protesting and objections I normally hear from you, there was not a trace of fear on your pointed, determined face as I slammed my hand inches from your head. Surprise, yes, but fear? None at all. Is it because you know I'd never hurt you? Because your heart is so set that not even I could prod you out of it? Or are you so desperate to repay me for the things that come most natural that you'll face my reaction, thinking I will sit back and let it be?

You think you're playing my game, but you're not capable of that.

I don't know what you're thinking, Watanuki, but I do know one thing: despite how much you'll deny it, I know you as well as I know myself. I know why there's no regret at this, why you're putting up a selfless front. But I know your real selflessness, and this is not it.

You haven't learned a thrice–damned thing from all this, have you?

There's a reason I can't go into her shop. Hell, I can't even see it. I'm already sketching out a plan – no, two plans in my mind; one if the meeting with Yuuko goes well, one if it doesn't. It is Yuuko, after all, so every bet is off.

I skip half a step because you've fallen behind, and our stride glides back to where it should be. I'd never let you know, but you have an unconscious grace I marvel at, an intuitive litheness that disappears whenever it might be useful (or if Kunogi is around, of course). Then you become a bumbling, clumsy idiot who wouldn't know a bad decision if it smacked you across the face and chased you down the street, like you claim the spirits do.

My latent psychic power chases off the weaker ones, and my bow takes care of the rest. It's not enough for me just to provide that; not when you go and make stupid, senseless choices like this one. That's when I call on Yuuko and start to measure the value of my possessions – the things I own, and the things I am – against the quality of your life. It comes out lop–sided every time because so help me, I will not sit back and watch you self–destruct.

Yuuko says you're changing, and it doesn't take much to figure out that I'm the catalyst. I've already begun transforming; in fact, I was done by the time the Hundred Ghost Story Ceremony was finished. I accepted that purpose in stride, but this will not do. I will not be the temperamental one while you remain stoic. I want to see your heart on your sleeve, I want you protesting too much, I want to be the inscrutable one again.

I know it'll come about, Watanuki. I can assure you that you'll have your right eye back again. Because there is one thing I possess that you don't. Never underestimate the patience of Doumeki Shizuka.

You branch off and continue to school without a word. I'm waiting for Yuuko when she arrives.

I will not lose you piece by piece.