Disclaimer: DOI. (don't own it.)

Vignette in which Everyone Involved is Irredeemably Inebriated, and Yuuko stubbornly ignores Some Things.

Rated 'A' for Alcohol. And Awesome. And Apeshit.

'tis evermore the prologue to sleep

Keroberos is bubbling an obnoxious cadence of snore-mumbling in Yuuko's lap, his wide mouth lolling open unabashedly in the throes of an obviously deep alcohol and sweetie-induced stupor. Some few feet away, Soel and Larg are trumpeting a round-robin snore symphony of their own, the both of them draped haphazardly over her last bottle of sake, which is only able to support their round bodies by anchoring itself firmly against the far leg of her divan.

Clow is watching her from the table at the center of her parlour, where she regularly conducts business with the desperate or wishful denizens of manifold realities. His sapphire-black eyes are (as ever) bright and full of mirth, and amiably quiet with the weight of the ubiquitous mysteries he keeps hidden, even from her. But there is something else there, as well, lurking just beyond the familiar façade –something that, with less immortal cynicism, she might name fondness, or even, with a greater sense of adventure and a slighter care for her own well-being, a soft, abiding sort of—but that isn't –and cannot be—what she is seeing, she decides, the path of her thoughts turning swiftly away from putting a name to the ideal, lest it somehow become real.

She tells herself that she's bleary with fatigue and inebriation, that the bluish haze of the opium is obscuring true sight, that Clow, too, is fighting sleep and that the ghost of emotion she espies there is just that –a harmless, unwitting specter.

Yuuko is the nexus of time and space, the liaison between the corporeal and the ethereal, the balance of a universe determined to fall into chaos. She will live forever.

And someday (she suspects of his own volition), Clow will die.

She cannot afford to invest in anything so fleeting and nebulous as that fairytale emotion, and she refuses to allow him to lure her so unguardedly over its –imaginary—threshold. She is smarter than that. And by far cleverer at avoiding the issue than he is at trying to make it one.

As if he can read her thoughts, Clow's eyes alight with that dangerous twinkle, and his eyes pan from her, to the sleeping lion in her lap, down to the Mokona, and at last settle once more, rather firmly, on her visage, which she has drunkenly attempted to screw up into a menacing scowl, and which, once met, only seems to amuse him.

There is something wicked in his merry intonation as he speaks,

"I always knew our children would be alcoholics."

And the sleepy smile he slants in her direction terrifies her, because even without him wishing it she realizes—

…she may have given it to him, anyway.

Also. Rum is the Devil.