And To The Victor, The Bills

By aishuu


The tower withstood the sudden impact, although for a moment it threatened to collapse under the force of the blow. Ijyuin Akira, with a display of remarkable dexterity, managed to catch hold of the papers before they could go spilling off Imonoyama Nokoru's overflowing desk.

Nokoru braced his hands on his chair, waiting for the incoming Suoh-driven storm to subside. He tried to look innocent, but Suoh had long since learned to ignore the famous Imonoyama puppy eyes. The fact that Suoh was angry enough to pound the desk warned that charisma wasn't going to save Nokoru this time.

"It's been a decade since the Final Battle, and you still haven't finished approving the requisition forms and repair bills?" Suoh asked.

"There was a lot of damage," Nokoru said, knowing the excuse was accurate. Not only had most of Tokyo's major landmarks fallen during the fight, but CLAMP Campus itself had sustained a serious blow to its infrastructure. They'd had to close school for a term while crews worked frantically on restoring the grounds.

"A lot of damage which has been taken care of," Suoh said. "And the contractors are starting to threaten lawsuits unless they receive reimbursement."

Nokoru squirmed in his seat, feeling more like a five-year-old than a man of thirty-five. "None of them would actually sue us," he said. "They know the money's there."

Suoh heaved a long-suffering sigh, and Nokoru almost felt bad about neglecting his responsibilities. But he'd been working, too, on projects with the Technology Club, and Black Magic Club, and Archeology Club, and Chef's Club, and Art Club, and... well, he'd been busy, especially after the Host Club had designated him as its faculty advisor. There were so many young ladies who needed his help that he hardly had enough time in the day to attend to everything. So what if a little paperwork fell through the cracks?

"Nokoru-sama," Suoh said flatly, and Nokoru knew he'd pushed Suoh too far on this issue. Suoh never called him anything but "kaichou" except when he was really, really pissed off. "There are times when I forget to recognize how utterly thick you are about the real world. Unlike the Imonoyama Clan, most people have to work for a living. When they're not paid – promptly – they may suffer hardships. Many of these people have families, which include plenty of young ladies."

Ouch, that was a really low blow, Nokoru thought. Suoh would have to sound all reasonable about the problem. The idea that any young lady was suffering from his dereliction of duty was worse punishment than a screaming fit à la Suoh.

The expression on Suoh's face indicated he'd won, like a cat who had just secured a full bowl of cream for himself. Wordlessly he handed over a gold-plated pen, which Nokoru took with a disgruntled scowl. "I'll be right here until you finish," Suoh said.

"It's not nice to gloat, Suoh," Nokoru grumbled, before turning to the stack of papers. "Just sign these, right?"

"Read and sign those ones to start. I'll call the tractor-trailer and let them know we're ready for them."

Nokoru felt his face blanch as his head grew light. "Tractor-trailer?" he echoed.

"The first of three. It's the biggest paperwork back up I've seen since the Mushroom Incident of 1995," Akira said helpfully.

Nokoru, who still had more nightmares about that incident than the whole End of the World debacle, started to shake. At that moment, he almost wished the Dragons of Earth had won.