It was a goal Watanuki had been working towards ever since he could tie his own shoes. It was the main reason he had started working at Yuuko's shop. Over the years, his priorities might have changed a bit, but that didn't mean he had completely forgotten about his need to be normal.

Watanuki was tired of the supernatural.

He had had as much of the supernatural as he could take. He enjoyed helping others and felt that that could be his life calling. His ability to see ghosts did not feel like such a curse when he could use it to aid the people that came to the shop. But Watanuki was not confusd. He knew what he wanted, and more than anything, Watanuki wanted a normal life. He wanted friends; he wanted to study for school; he wanted to experience all the ups and downs of his teenage years without the ups and downs of ghost attacks.

He wanted a normal life. But more than anything, he wanted a normal romance.

Watanuki stared at Doumeki as the archer picked up a stack of books and walked to the other side of his grandfather's storage room.

Where the hell had he gone wrong?

Now going out with Doumeki in itself wasn't terribly normal-they were both guys, and they had an abnormal propensity to get on each other's nerves. However, it was still a relationship between two people who felt attracted to each other and were trying to make it work. That sounded pretty normal to him. Where it veered completely off course for Watanuki was the fact that kissing Doumeki was dangerous to him-to other people, to their surroundings-you name it.

They could blow up the planet with one kiss for all he knew, and that was scary. So scary that it was the reason why Watanuki was seated against the far wall-far, far away from Doumeki. He had resigned himself to the fact that they might not be able to get any closer than this; that kissing and hugging and being all lovey-dovey was not in Watanuki's romantic forecast.

Watanuki wanted to tell himself that it wasn't all that important. Being all lovey-dovey was stupid anyway, and who would want to swoon over a dumbass like Doumeki.

Except that he wanted to swoon over dumbass Doumeki. He wanted to throw himself into his arms and kiss his stupid face and act like a love-sick moron.

Watanuki was naturally an affectionate person. It was in his nature to swoon and gush and do multiple back flips for his beloved. He would even go so far as to say it was in his genetic make-up. So it shouldn't have been all that surprising that after he'd gotten over the initial shock of liking Doumeki, his inner romantic was dying to be let out.

Doumeki might be an ass, but he was his ass now, and for Watanuki that meant treating the archer like a princess. That meant roses, tiny heart-shaped cakes, long-winded love poetry, hand holding, and kisses. Lots and lots of kisses. But Watanuki had no idea how the latter half of his list was going to happen when they couldn't even touch each other without Doumeki blowing something up in the process. It was really kind of depressing.

Sure, Yuuko-san had given Doumeki seals, but who knew how safe those things were. Since they'd left Yuuko's, Watanuki was too freaked out to even touch the archer and Doumeki looked similarly on edge in his company.

Watanuki had thought it would be a good idea to go to Doumeki's storage shed and do research, but if he'd known it was going to be this uncomfortable, he would have just gone home.

"I must have done something horrible in a past life," Watanuki cried in his hands, not even trying to lower his voice.

"Here," Doumeki said, dropping a huge book at his feet. "I think this one talks about spiritual compatibility. Maybe this can tell us something." The archer turned to go back to his intimidating pile of books on the other side of the room, but Watanuki grabbed Doumeki by the wrist, stopping him.

Realizing what he had done, Watanuki let go of Doumeki just as quickly as he had latched on. He put his hands in his lap and sighed.

Doumeki crouched in front of him. "What?"

"Why're you ignoring me?" Watanuki asked. "I hate this too, but we can't let it defeat us."

"I'm not ignoring you," Doumeki said, and Watanuki knew enough about the archer to believe him. Doumeki was a very straight-forward person, and if he said he wasn't doing something, he meant it.

"Then what is it?"

Doumeki rubbed at his forearm where one of the seals had been placed. "I feel strange whenever I look at you…though I've always felt strange whenever I look at you. I think it's because your strangeness starts leaking onto other people after a while."

"Strange how?" Watanuki asked, ignoring Doumeki's attempts to rile him up (the annoying bastard). "You mean restless? Like you want to take off the seals?"

Doumeki nodded. "Though it's more than that. They warm up when I look at you. It's uncomfortable."

Doumeki was sweating a bit.

"Do you want to take them off?" Watanuki found himself asking before he could stop himself. It was obvious that they couldn't take them off, but it didn't stop Watanuki from wanting them off nonetheless.

"They're bothering you?" Doumeki asked, still watching him carefully.

"Only a little." Watanuki fiddled with his hands. "I mean, I feel different around you. Not that different, but enough to where I can notice it." He touched Doumeki's forearm, closing his fingers around it gently. "We could peel off one or two of the seals. It shouldn't do anything, and Yuuko-san never said we couldn't."

"Do you really want to do that?" Doumeki asked, and took his hand. "You of all people should know that Yuuko-san never shows her clients the entire picture."

Watanuki pulled his hand away. "What the hell's that supposed to mean? You don't think Yuuko-san would warn us properly."

"It's the client's responsibility to restrain himself from dangerous behavior," Doumeki said, "not hers."

Watanuki bristled. "What's wrong with you? You sound like you don't trust her."

"The only way her clients learn is when she doesn't hold their hand. I think what Yuuko-san does is in the best interests of the people who come to her shop."

Watanuki gave Doumeki a wary look. "Even though you say that, you don't sound like you entirely trust her…"

Doumeki looked him directly in the eyes. "That's because I don't. You're attached to her more than anyone else, and that means that any decision she makes will affect your life in ways that no one can predict…that I can't predict." Doumeki stood up and walked back to his books. "I think Yuuko-san is a good person, but I don't necessarily have to trust her with you."

Watanuki unlocked his front door and left it open so Doumeki could follow him inside his apartment.

To say that today had been a tense day was an understatement. After Doumeki had dropped that figurative bomb on him, the archer had gone back to research mode without another word, leaving Watanuki to stare into space and wonder why he'd never picked up on these feelings Doumeki had for Yuuko-san.

Doumeki was always so hard to figure out. The expression he wore outside (or lack thereof) always concealed the archer's thoughts. Watanuki didn't think Doumeki did it on purpose, but the archer certainly didn't care to share his feelings when he didn't have to. Watanuki thought that Doumeki might want to work on that. The bespectacled boy also recognized that he would have to work on being able to spot when something was bothering Doumeki, because the archer certainly wasn't going to come out and say anything.

"I'm helping myself to your fridge," Doumeki said as he walked past him and entered his kitchen.

"Of course you are," Watanuki replied, and dropped his satchel on the floor. He had no idea how Doumeki could still eat after the late dinner they'd had. Then again, he'd been so preoccupied with marveling over the wonders of Doumeki's brain that he'd forgotten about the wonders of his stomach.

"Why do you have so many leftovers?" Doumeki asked as he wandered over with a bowl of cold shrimp.

"That's because I stopped cooking for myself and started factoring you in," Watanuki said, plopping down on his carpet.

Doumeki sat down in front of him. "Can you factor in some kebabs next time?"

Watanuki narrowed his eyes at Doumeki. "I'm starting to think you're only going out with me for the food."

"I didn't need to go out with you to get you to make me food," Doumeki said, and emptied the bowl of shrimp in his mouth.

Watanuki closed his eyes and the mother of all veins popped out on his forehead. "I know you're only being factual, but it still pisses me off when you put it like that. Can't you learn how to talk to people?"


"Stop talking about kebabs and listen to me," Watanuki hissed, grabbing Doumeki by the front of his shirt. He instantly deflated as he realized he was getting nowhere with this and let Doumeki go with a wave of the hand. "Nevermind," he said, and crawled over to the chester drawers in the corner of his room. "I'm too tired to get into anything with you tonight, so when you're done eating, let yourself out."

There was a pause on Doumeki's end before the archer said in his most even tone, "I thought I was staying over."

Watanuki turned around to face Doumeki. "You thought what now?"

"You're defenseless, right?"

Watanuki closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. "And again, when you put it like that, it just pisses me off."

"Why don't you want me to stay?" Doumeki asked, as if it weren't obvious.

"Are you stupid? We can't just spend the night together." Watanuki lowered his voice to a whisper, "things could happen…"

Doumeki raised an eyebrow at him. "Don't jump me in my sleep and that won't be a problem."

"Who would want to jump you?"

Doumeki took his finger out of his ear. "It's not like anything can happen if we don't want it to."

"I-I guess," Watanuki agreed. He then shook his head and pushed Doumeki in the shoulder. "Yes it can. Shut up and get out of here."

"Why are you so anxious for me to leave?" Doumeki asked, watching him closely, golden eyes boring into his face. "Do you not want me to see what will happen tonight?"

Watanuki grabbed a clean t-shirt and sweats from the bottom of his chester drawers. He stomped over to his bathroom and slid the door shut behind him, calling out at the same time: "You'd better be gone by the time I finish here."

No response of consent followed, but Watanuki didn't care. He turned on the shower and stepped under it, letting the water run over his heated face and neck.

Doumeki could piss him off so badly sometimes, mostly because he was right about a lot of things.

It was true Watanuki didn't want Doumeki to stay over because he was worried something might happen between them, but he also didn't want Doumeki to be there when the attacks started. Doumeki had undoubtedly picked up on that and was now stubbornly refusing to leave. Watanuki recognized that his ordering Doumeki to get out of his apartment was not the best way to handle the situation. As a couple he should try to depend on Doumeki more, but Watanuki still had a problem with letting other people in, especially when it meant showing them his vulnerable side.

He just couldn't do it. Even though he knew it was stupid to not ask for help, he just couldn't do it.

Watanuki switched off the shower and dressed for bed. He wasn't going to get any sleep tonight, but tomorrow was Saturday, so maybe he could sleep in a little. He'd go to Yuuko's at nine and talk to her about the seals—get this whole mess cleared up. He doubted Yuuko-san would purposefully withhold important information. Doumeki just didn't know the woman like he did, and the fact that Yuuko-san was always ripping Doumeki off of family heirlooms didn't help, he was sure.

Watanuki slid the door open and stepped out of his bathroom. Tonight he had been pretty unfair to Doumeki, even though the archer was only trying to help. Maybe he'd bake him a cake as an apology. The archer was pretty fond of chocolate. A chocolate strawberry cake. He didn't have any strawberries though. He'd have to wake up earlier than nine and go to the supermarket. But tomorrow they were having a sale on oranges. Maybe he should—

Watanuki stopped mid-thought as he found his futon rolled out with a suspicious looking lump under the covers. Watanuki kicked at the lump, hoping—praying it was a ghost.

"I'm trying to sleep," Doumeki said, his voice muffled by the covers over his head.

Watanuki was about to apologize, but then he remembered that Doumeki was in his apartment, sleeping in his bed, and telling him in so many words not to bother him while he did so.

Watanuki pulled his covers off Doumeki in one yank. "Who the hell gave you permission to use my futon?"

Doumeki turned his head. "You said at the shop you wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight. I thought you wouldn't be using your futon."

Watanuki stared at Doumeki in outright disbelief. "That doesn't mean I'm not going to try to get in some sleep, you freak of nature!"

Doumeki rolled over on his side, tucking Watanuki's pillow under his neck. "I'm not stopping you."

"Yes, you are." Watanuki hunkered down behind Doumeki. "I can't sleep in the same futon with you. My god, not even married couples do that."

"Can you keep it down?" Doumeki asked. "The neighbors are trying to sleep."

"Who the hell says that to the person whose bed they're sleeping in!" Watanuki shouted, not giving a crap about the neighbors.

"Are you using this?" Doumeki asked, pulling at the sheets.

Watanuki pulled back with equal if greater force.

"My futon is too small for two people. Get out."

"It's small if you flail around a lot," Doumeki said, covering himself properly and nestling down in his stolen spot. "Well, good night."

"Don't frickin' tell me 'good night' when you're not staying over."

"Snore," Doumeki said, like that could fool anyone into thinking he was asleep.

"Doumeki, I'm serious." Watanuki leaned over the other boy, giving him a pleading look, but Doumeki only continued to close his eyes in pretend sleep. Seeing that he was getting nowhere, Watanuki plopped down beside Doumeki and then unsympathetically kicked him in the back of the leg.

He was seriously rethinking the whole lovey-dovey vision he had for this relationship.

"Don't cling to me if you get scared tonight," Watanuki grumbled.


Watanuki felt like strangling Doumeki with the sheets, but if he killed Doumeki now, that would throw off his whole schedule for tomorrow. No, he would wait until after he finished baking Doumeki that apology cake. Then he would strangle him.

And with that thought in mind, Watanuki dropped off to sleep with hopes that the morning would come quickly.

It didn't come as quickly as Watanuki had hoped it would. He woke up at around two in the morning. A shifting noise had startled him awake, and Watanuki knew instinctively that it hadn't come from Doumeki's side of the bed.

In the quiet darkness of his bedroom, Watanuki could hear the archer's breathing. He hadn't realized how exhausted Doumeki would be, but the other boy had literally expended so much energy during the tournament that it was surprising he hadn't just passed out on the spot. Plus the fact that he knew Doumeki wasn't sleeping all that great these past few days and now this business with the seals… they were undoubtedly messing with his chi flow and throwing him off balance. That had to do something to a person, even if that person was Doumeki.

He had really wanted to spare Doumeki from what was going to happen tonight. But more than that, he didn't want Doumeki to see what was going to happen to him.

It was normal for a person to not want others to see him at his weakest. One of the reasons why he hadn't been able to get along with Doumeki was that the archer saw him at his weakest on a regular basis. That had made him uncomfortable around Doumeki, embarrassed even, and he lashed out. It still bothered him tremendously. He was coping better with it, but Watanuki still hated to show other people his weak side.

Watanuki took a deep breath and opened his eyes. The room was dark, but there were human shaped shadows darker than the night around them. They were all crowded around his futon. Watanuki was not surprised at how many had come tonight. It had been a while since he'd had one of these night attacks. They had learned to stay away since he'd met Doumeki, but without the archer's intimidating spirit in the way, they were out in full force and ready to make a meal out of Watanuki.

Many of the spirits in this room, he was sure, had died here at this apartment complex and had gone without burial. But a lot more had come from places far away, drawn to the smell of his blood.

Watanuki closed his eyes for a brief second, willing them away. Couldn't they just leave him alone? What was so special about him anyway? He sucked at a lot of things. Did they not know this about him? He was possibly the plainest person on the planet. They didn't need to go to all this trouble for someone so insignificant.

Watanuki felt a hand on his ankle and he closed his eyes tighter. Usually when the attack started, he would run out of his apartment and spend the night in a shrine. There was one such shrine two blocks away. He knew it was trespassing, and if he got caught he would be in a lot of trouble, but being mauled to death by ghosts was the other option, so he gladly took the chance.

Cold fingers crept up his leg and Watanuki kicked it off. He scrambled up from his covers, but didn't make it very far as another hand grabbed at his ankle. It dragged him from his bed and Watanuki dug his nails into the carpet, trying to find a purchase to pull himself away. More hands grabbed at him, dragging him towards his kitchen. Watanuki was about to yell, but a cold hand clamped over his mouth. One of the apparitions held down his arms and a black oozing substance dribbled onto his neck and shoulders. The ghost on top of him was pressing into his back, trying to possess him. They were all going to try and possess him, and Watanuki pounded his hand on the floor, panicked. More of the black inky substance oozed onto his neck and Watanuki gagged against the hand over his mouth.


Doumeki had scrambled up from the futon, startled and disoriented. It was because Doumeki could see out of his right eye and was currently experiencing Watanuki's terror first-hand-the strong emotions Watanuki was experiencing transferred to Doumeki via the eye and blood they shared. Watanuki had really wanted to spare him this, but it was too late now and he beat his hand harder against the floor, thrashing against the things on top of him.

Watanuki watched as Doumeki ripped off a seal from his arm. The rice paper floated to the floor followed by the other seals on Doumeki's arms and the places the archer could reach. Some of the weaker ghosts started to disintegrate, dissolving into themselves in curls of black smoke. However, the strongest one remained on top of Watanuki, having quickly come ahead of the ravenous pack earlier on. Suddenly, thick black tendrils shot out of its body and wrapped around Watanuki's arms and neck, tightening around his throat and strangling him. It turned its head towards Doumeki, jaw forming out of the black mass that was its head, and screamed, razor sharp teeth glinting in the light.

"Get the hell off," Doumeki seethed, and raised his arms in the formal kata for drawing his bow, swiftly releasing the spiritual arrow in one motion. When the arrow hit its mark, the creature's shape began to distort, swirling into a black mass that absorbed most of the energy from Doumeki's arrow, but not all of it, as was apparent when the rest of the energy punched a hole through Watanuki's living room wall.

Stumbling a little from the force of the release, Doumeki bumped into a table, the hand he used to draw his bow gripping the edge of the table to steady himself, and the piece of furniture instantly collapsed on itself, wooden splinters falling from his hand.

"S-sorry," Doumeki said, staggering away from the table. "I can't control it."

Watanuki, gripping his bruised throat, slowly pushed himself up from the floor. "Are you okay?" he coughed.

"I should be asking you that question?" Doumeki said, kneeling down in front of him. He reached out, closing both hands around Watanuki's shoulders, and the touch made Watanuki's eyes go wide. The spiritual pressure Doumeki was exerting made him feel hot, more than hot, Watanuki was suddenly aroused.

"God, just when I thought tonight couldn't get any worse," Watanuki muttered, looking away from Doumeki and squirming in his hold.

Doumeki stared at him, uncharacteristically wide-eyed for a moment, before he slowly stood up and walked towards the door. "I…need to go somewhere," Doumeki said, "but I can't leave you alone."

"I'll be fine," Watanuki replied. "Those things won't come back anytime soon." Watanuki stared at the hole in the wall of his balcony. He was lucky Doumeki's energy had dissipated towards the front of his apartment and not through one of his bedroom walls towards any of his neighbors. That would have been hard to explain, not that a hole through his balcony would be any easier.

"I need to go somewhere, but I can't leave you alone," Doumeki repeated.

Watanuki gave him an odd look. "Ok," he said slowly. "I understand, but I need to clean up. I have school in the morning and I won't have time—"

"I can't leave you alone," Doumeki repeated, and stared at him so intensely that Watanuki went absolutely silent. Watanuki could not say that this kind of stubbornness on Doumeki's part was new to him. There were those rare times when Doumeki lost his cool and acted…well- pinning him against a fence was one example. However, those rare moments of intensity from Doumeki were becoming less and less rare. The more he learned about Doumeki, the more he realized just how…emotional the other boy was. Doumeki was just terribly good at hiding it. Though looking at him now, it seemed like Doumeki no longer cared about hiding these things from him. When he felt angry, he grew angry, and when he felt over-protective, well here it was staring Watanuki right in the face.

"Where are we going?" Watanuki asked, as he thought that placating Doumeki was in the best interests of all. There were times when Doumeki was not the most mature individual. This had the potential for turning into one of those times. And Watanuki would rather not be dragged out of his apartment, kicking and screaming, and waking the whole neighborhood because Doumeki could not take 'no' for an answer. It would most likely reflect badly on him, as he would be the one making all the noise. One of them had to be the mature adult in this situation, and looking at Doumeki as he quietly stared him down, it wasn't going to be him.

Watanuki had had a feeling that this was where Doumeki was taking him. Every time something happened Doumeki usually came here. Watanuki could tell that this place was Doumeki's sanctuary. He must have spent much of his childhood back here. So why in the world he would want to destroy this place had Watanuki scratching his head.

"I can't believe you can still keep going," Watanuki said as he watched Doumeki draw his archery bow and let an arrow fly. It disappeared in the endless cedar forest that Doumeki had been targeting for the past two hours, and off in the distance, Watanuki saw a tiny speck of light, like a firefly, flare into existence within the darkness of the immense cedar forest. It was Doumeki's arrow exploding on itself, and Watanuki could only be amazed by the distance the arrow had covered in such a short time.

They were currently in Haruka's hidden garden in the back of Doumeki's family shrine. Watanuki was seated on one of the rocks next to the pond he had fallen into a while back. They had come here so Doumeki could widdle down his spiritual energy. It appeared like the archer had too much of it and was having a hard time controlling the excess. Watanuki had remembered that Yuuko-san had said that, in essence, their proximity was feeding off each other. Watanuki's proximity to Doumeki was making his spiritual energy grow and Doumeki's proximity to him was doing the reverse—it was weakening his own energy and making it harder for the ghosts to find him. Doumeki was obviously getting the short end of the stick in this situation. At the beginning of their acquaintance their energies had had a balance, but after all the things they had been through, that balance was falling apart. Doumeki's steadily growing need to protect him was making his spiritual energy that much stronger, but also that much more unstable. Watanuki watched Doumeki fire-off another five or six arrows before he sighed deeply.

"We need to go to Yuuko-san," Watanuki said, standing up. "I know that's not what you want to hear right now, but we have no choice."

"I'll fix it," Doumeki said, still staring ahead, his bow drawn and ready to release.

"You call this fixing it," Watanuki said. "What if your parents come back here and find half their land destroyed."

"It extends for much farther than this," Doumeki said, like that made it okay. Then he added in the same irreverent tone, "it was passed down to me by my grandfather, so technically it's my land."

"God, I don't care," Watanuki said, annoyed now. "You can't even touch something without destroying it. There's something really wrong with you."

"And going to Yuuko-san would only make it worse," Doumeki said tersely. He frowned, and instead of shooting the arrow, he suddenly dropped his arms, slung his bow on his back, and walked past Watanuki. "We already went to her for help. You're doing exactly what every one of her customers do—returning to her after you've broken a contract."

Watanuki ran after Doumeki. "We didn't break anything."

"Maybe you didn't, but I did," Doumeki said, keeping his strides long and swift, and making it hard for Watanuki to keep up. "I tore off those seals after she told me not to, and I did it knowingly."

"That couldn't be helped," Watanuki said.

"It can always be helped," Doumeki replied, and suddenly came to a halt. Watanuki walked right into his back, stumbling a little, before Doumeki grabbed him by the arms and steadied him. Doumeki looked down at him, the frown on his face receding, before the archer slipped his arms around Watanuki's shoulders and pulled him into a hug. Watanuki had not been expecting it, but he welcomed it nonetheless, letting Doumeki's full weight sink completely into his chest and the archer's face rest in the crook of his neck. Doumeki's spiritual energy was making him feel all kinds of restless, but Watanuki could not be bothered when this embrace was the most perfect thing he had ever felt in his life.

All the fight in Watanuki melted away under the sweetness of Doumeki's arms.

"That's not fair," Watanuki said, his voice muffled by Doumeki's shoulder.

"I'll fix it," Doumeki muttered, his voice muffled by Watanuki's neck. "I can't go back to Yuuko-san, but I won't stop you if you want to go to her."

"I'll stay," Watanuki said, letting Doumeki hug him tighter. "I was just worried…"

Doumeki drew back and held his gaze for a moment before he took him by the hand once again and led him back the way they came. Watanuki had followed Doumeki out of his apartment in the thin material of his pajamas, so he was grateful for the warmth of the house as he entered Doumeki's bedroom through the outside screen doors.

"You can go back to sleep if you want," Doumeki said as he set his shoes and Watanuki's slippers on the wooden terrace outside his room. "We still have two hours until we have to wake up for school."

"I guess," Watanuki said, as he laid down on Doumeki's futon. He watched Doumeki walk towards his bedroom door and pushed himself up from the mattress. "Aren't you going to try and get some sleep too?"

Doumeki's hand paused on the screen door. "I need to use the bathroom," he said tersely.

Watanuki took in Doumeki's appearance, from his terrible bed-head to his tired slump, and he stood up, not feeling it right to sleep with Doumeki looking so miserable. "Are you okay? I can make you something to eat."

"I'm not hungry," Doumeki said, and Watanuki's eyes widened despite themselves.

"Now I know you're dying," Watanuki said, and put a hand on Doumeki's forehead. Doumeki felt warm, and he was sweating, but that was from his prior exertions out in the garden. Watanuki slipped his hand around to Doumeki's neck and he felt the archer shudder; one of Doumeki's fists tightened into the pants leg of his own uniform. Watanuki gave him a strange look. "What?"

"You're not helping," Doumeki said, and removed Watanuki's hand from his neck. "Go to sleep." Doumeki slid the door open brusquely, but Watanuki followed him out, concerned.

"Do you want me to draw a bath for you?" Watanuki asked. He could tell how tired Doumeki was, so he would not snap at him for his terseness, though he would sure as hell correct him on his tone later when the archer felt better.

"You're following me in?" Doumeki asked, as he stopped at the bathroom's entrance.

"Just to draw you a bath," Watanuki said, not seeing the big deal.

Doumeki looked at him for a good minute. "I'm not taking a bath."

It took a while for Watanuki to comprehend what Doumeki was planning to do. It shouldn't have, considering Watanuki had felt it pressed against his leg when they had embraced earlier; but for a second, Watanuki had forgotten who he was dealing with and how normal human responses did not come naturally to the archer.

"You don't have an ounce of shame in that big body of yours, do you?"

Doumeki ignored him, moving to open the bathroom door, but Watanuki stopped it from sliding open with his hand, using his arm to block the entrance.

"Not to spoil your fun," Watanuki said with a strained smile, "but is this really the best time to do this, especially when your body's being so unpredictable?"

Doumeki shrugged. "I've done it recently and nothing happened. It's also the fastest way to get rid of a lot of spiritual energy in a short amount of time."

Watanuki blinked at Doumeki, caught off guard. "What? When? When did you find this out?"

"Right after the tournament," Doumeki said indiffernently. "I was still hard from when we were in the storage room earlier and it wasn't going away…so I figured why not."

"What happened to the sacred art of kyoudo?" Watanuki said, his face a mixture between horror and flattery, which was a really confusing expression to wear on one's face for any period of time, he had to admit. "Haruka-san told me that kyoudo's not about shooting a bull's-eye, but about attaining the calm mental and physical state to do so."

"Grandfather never had you sprawled out in his lap before a tournament," Doumeki said simply.

Shocked that Doumeki would even say something like that, Watanuki let his arm slip from the doorway, and Doumeki used that opportunity to brush past him and enter the bathroom.

Seeing that Doumeki was very determined to do this, Watanuki took a step back from the door. If the archer was confident that nothing would happen, Watanuki would not bother him unnecessarily. Doumeki was stressed as it was and any release of any kind would do him some good. Watanuki had never given the idea much thought, but Doumeki was a young, healthy male-and young, healthy males as themselves were prone to do certain things.

Watanuki only did it once in a while -and perfunctorily at that- when he woke up aroused and did not need to be distracted from the many things he had to do that day. Watanuki liked the feeling it gave him and he recognized that it was a normal thing to do, but that also did not stop him from feeling a little ashamed over it. Watanuki did not do it all that much anyway, but as of late, he was waking up every morning feeling restless and aroused.

The old Watanuki had believed that true love and romance were separated from such impure acts—that they even corrupted them. Watanuki had felt that his love for Himawari had been pure. He was perfectly content to look at her and admire her from far away, but to touch her was completely out of the question. It was almost an insult to her.

However, his romance with Doumeki was unwinding quite differently. Once he had accepted Doumeki's feelings, it was not hard to let himself explore the relationship further. He was attracted to Doumeki, and not only because the archer was caring and intelligent, but physically as well. It had come as quite a shock. His physical attraction to Doumeki was, to say the least, intense. He wanted nothing more than to throw himself at the other boy and never let it go; and the fact that he was feeling so clingy towards his mortal nemesis made Watanuki want to gag.

Uh…if he had known how things were going to turn out between them he wouldn't have put all that time and energy into fighting his attraction for Doumeki. He could have knitted a thousand mittens, or baked a thousand cup-cakes. A lot of things could have been accomplished.

"You don't want me to do it?" Doumeki said, cutting Watanuki's thoughts short.

Watanuki met his eyes, and then feeling awkward all of a sudden—the subject matter didn't help—he lowered them. "No…I'll give you your privacy."

Watanuki turned to go, but then stopped. He was getting a thought. A really inappropriate one. He shouldn't even be considering it. They had only started to go out, and Watanuki did not want to rush things, but that treacherous thought would not leave him alone. Watanuki had always been the type of person to take responsibility for his actions, and even though he had functioned as the indirect cause of Doumeki's current…problem, he was not one to shirk his responsibilities. It was insane how his logic worked sometimes. Honestly, he hated himself for it. It made his life a lot more complicated than it should be, but Watanuki had never been the type of person to take the easy path in life. He did not want to…do things to Doumeki and then not take responsibility for it. And Doumeki was his responsibility now, no matter how much he might deny it in his head.

"Um…" Watanuki cleared his throat, steeling himself. "Do you want…do you need some help?"

There were a few times when Watanuki saw Doumeki grow speechless, but the few times that he had seen Doumeki clam up, Watanuki could not help but take some sort of sadistic pride in watching the archer squirm in his presence. Even though he honestly did want to help Doumeki, there was still a very big part of Watanuki that wanted to torment the archer every chance he got. He really should get his head checked out, but then sanity would get in the way of him thinking up interesting ways to punish his life-long enemy.

Doumeki rubbed the back of his head, his mouth slightly opened. "Ah…" He looked down at his feet- seemed to forget what he was staring at so intently, and then slowly fixed Watanuki with a wary stare. His ears were beet red.

"We haven't… talked about this yet," Doumeki said haltingly, hunching in on himself.

It was true. The topic had never come up. They had only kissed two times, but then again, to say they had only kissed was misleading. It was more accurate to say they had made-out. Their first kiss had been tentative and gentle—or had started up that way. It hadn't taken it long to turn into something else entirely.

Their second kiss had been even more ardent, feuled by their frustrations over not being able to exactly pinpoint why they were so physically attracted to each other and what they were going to do about it.

If Watanuki were honest with himself, he'd known it was only a matter of time before… something happened between them. With the way Doumeki had been looking at him for the past few weeks, Watanuki was surprised something hadn't happened sooner.

They were obviously both hungry for it. Watanuki had not wanted to jump into anything because it was always best to take things slow, especially when they were still both in high school and did not have any experience with these things.

The more Watanuki thought about it, the more he realized they weren't ready. Their inexperience coupled with the overall uncertainty of the situation with the seals made this not the best time. That's what Watanuki wanted to say, but the utter seriousness of Doumeki's current expression and, again, the way the archer was looking at him—those dark, tawny eyes completely focused on him—made Watanuki forget every reason why this should not be.

Suddenly, Doumeki grabbed his wrists and pulled him into the bathroom. The door slid shut behind Watanuki and he found himself pressed up against an adjacent wall, Doumeki standing over him and Watanuki's arms trapped between their bodies.

"You don't have to…if you don't want to," Doumeki said, but even though the archer was giving him the chance to back out, Doumeki was still steadily pressing him harder into the wall. Watanuki was having a hard time breathing, not only because of the weight on his stomach, but because in his own strangely restrained manner, Doumeki looked extremely ready and willing for the next step in their relationship.

Watanuki stared up at Doumeki, wide-eyed.

Oh boy…

"It's okay," Watanuki said, his chest rising and falling heavily. "I…I…think this is okay."

"It might not be okay," Doumeki muttered uncertainly. The archer had taken ahold of his wrists and was slowly pinning it to his sides. "You smell like cake batter and I might end up being a little rough with you."

Watanuki went as still as a statue.

"What the hell do those two things have to do with each other? And why the hell are you holding down my arms. I-I need my hands for this," Watanuki said, a little panic creeping into his voice.

Doumeki was making him nervous. Watanuki was confident of his ability to get out of any hold—the constant ghost ambushes of his youth had given him more than enough practice—but as of the moment he was not sure if he could pull away from Doumeki.

Doumeki and he were not all that much different in weight or height, but for some reason Doumeki was a lot stronger than him. The first time they had gone on a mission together, Doumeki had practically pulled him up from the ledge of that school building one-handed while withstanding attacks from angel-san.

All that archery training had obviously done something for him, but just because Doumeki might be a tad stronger than Watanuki, did not mean that Watanuki was going to allow Doumeki to take control of the situation.

"If you use your hands, I'll definitely not be able to control myself," Doumeki said in a warning tone.

Okay, well, now he did not have to feel so helpless over this situation since Doumeki was in a state that made him also completely helpless as well. However, Doumeki's lack of control might not be a good thing.

"Okay," Watanuki said, repeating his mantra for tonight. "I-if you don't want me that for you, then how are we supposed to do this?"

In response, Doumeki moved one of his hands to Watanuki's waist. He held him in place there, pressing him even harder into the wall. His other hand grabbed the base of Watanuki's thigh and lifted it, also pinning the appendage to the wall. Before Watanuki could gather his protests—because what the hell, this was worse than using his hands—Doumeki pressed himself against the inside of Watanuki's clothed leg, moving against it.

Watanuki pushed both his hands against Doumeki's chest. "Wait a minute, you son of a—" but before he could even let lose an explicative, Doumeki had hooked his arm around his waist and kissed him hard.

"Mmph!" Watanuki hit Doumeki hard in the chest with one of his fists, which did not slow Doumeki any. While he was not at all adverse to giving Doumeki some release, Watanuki did not wish the same for himself. However, with the way Doumeki was rubbing against him, while also so close to that part of his anatomy, the archer was not giving him much of a choice.

Doumeki groaned in his ear, a sound that was one part foreign and two parts overwhelming. Watanuki felt his heart beat faster and his lower body tense. He clutched at Doumeki's upper arms, digging his fingers into muscle and bone, as Doumeki continued to tirelessly thrust against his inner leg.

Doumeki appeared close, his jaw going taut and the area around his shut eyes tensing. He slammed one of his hands against the wall beside Watanuki's head, bracing himself, and Watanuki's eyes widened as that same hand burned a hole through the wall.

There was a good chance that Doumeki was going to accidentally kill him, but despite the very real danger that Doumeki possessed to him, Watanuki could not bring himself to stop or even slow these proceedings. The expression on Doumeki's face the moment he came was well worth the trouble Watanuki had encountered some hours ago at his apartment and furthermore any problems he might encounter in the future.

Doumeki was taking in steady, deep breaths. He swallowed and Watanuki saw his adam's apple move in his throat. A thin sheen of sweat covered his forehead. His eyes looked unfocused and hazy, and his head was bent low so that Doumeki and he were practically sharing the same breath.

It was somewhat of a surprise to see Doumeki looking so affected. It shouldn't have been. Doumeki was human after-all, but seeing it was different than thinking about it.

Watanuki took a long shuddering breath as eyes the color of melted honey slowly met his own. He was still very aroused, although when he had seen Doumeki's hand go through the wall his excitement had been a bit tempered by fear and worry.

"Are you…okay?" Watanuki said, the words coming out hoarser than they should have, his throat feeling thick and dry.

"I think I got a little too excited," Doumeki said, looking at the hand through the wall, but even though Doumeki was speaking about excitement, his tone was as bland as ever. He seemed to have returned to normal. Doumeki pulled his hand out of the wall and bits of concrete and wood fell onto the floor. His palm was bruised and cut in several places.

"Is it broken?" Watanuki asked, grabbing the appendage, even though that was the last thing he should do if it was indeed broken. "Does it hurt? Tell me if it hurts!" Watanuki insisted. "I have bandages and gauze at home. Why didn't I bring it? I should have brought it with me." Watanuki inspected Doumeki's palm, touching one of the cuts gently with his fingertips. "We should disinfect it."

"It doesn't hurt," Doumeki said, letting Watanuki continue to touch his hand. "I didn't even know my hand went through the wall until I saw it."

"That's because your head is as hard as rock. It's no wonder your hide is the same," Watanuki said, letting Doumeki's hand drop and glaring at him. "That was dangerous. You could have broken your hand."

"It would have been worth it," Doumeki said, standing up straight and looking down at him.

Watanuki brushed the messy strands out of his face. "Well, whatever," he said, embarrassed. He pushed himself away from the wall. He made to move, but Doumeki was still standing in the way. "What?" he asked, his face still flushed.

"We're not done," Doumeki said, his brows slightly furrowed together, puzzled. It was not the norm as far as expressions went for Doumeki, but today Watanuki had seen more expressions from the archer than he had in the two years they had known each other.

"You burned a hole through a solid concrete wall. We're done," Watanuki said, feeling that logic would stop Doumeki cold in his tracks. He appreciated the fact that Doumeki wanted to take care of him too, but there would be a better time and place for that. Right now he felt nothing but bone-deep exhaustation. The events of the last few hours were wearing on him and he could not ignore sleep anymore.

"Okay," Doumeki said, rather docile about it. He stepped to the side so Watanuki could pass, which the boy appreciated because he could not sum up the energy to even push the archer out of the way.

Doumeki followed him silently back to the bedroom. In the futon Watanuki curled up on his side. He didn't have to look to know that he had bruises on his back from when Doumeki had been slamming him against the wall a little while ago.

Watanuki felt movement at his back as Doumeki settled beside him. The archer was still on his side of the futon for a while, as if he were thinking something over, before he sat up. He put one of his hands on the other side of Watanuki and looked down at him to gauge his response.

"Are you mad?"

"I'm always mad, especially when it comes to you."

There was a hint of a smirk on Doumeki's face, as if Watanuki's usual crankiness had put his mind at ease.

"Next time use a frickin bed instead of the wall," Watanuki grumbled, falling off to sleep, thoughts of how he was going to get revenge on Doumeki running through his head.