Title: Days of the Week
Category: Anime/Manga » xxxHOLiC
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Published: 09-27-09, Updated: 09-27-09
Chapters: 1, Words: 5,033
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Days of the Week
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author: So, thanks again for those who reviewed my last story An Observation from your Pal Doumeki and Change. I really love reading what you guys had to say. Also, this story doesn't take place in one week. It's written in the order of a week, but the actual days jump back and forth through different times. i.e. the Monday story might take place years before the Sunday story, etc. Am I being too confusing? You'll understand once you read it. I hope.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Sunday is the day that you both share your first kiss.
It's a cold day in winter, and she's sitting in the sun room, with the soft, tick, tick, tick, of the clock thump, thump, thumping with your heart. You hate that room because it's too drafty in the winter, yet she insists on drinking her afternoon tea in there. And when you bring in her tea, you lean over her to place it on the table. It's then that you feel the tips of her sharp nails licking your side, finding your tender spots.
The normal thing for you to do would be to jump away, but you don't
What you do stare at her until her giggles slowly dissipate when she sees the look in your eyes.
And when you brush your mouth over hers, she makes a soft gasp, but her lashes softly close and she lets you warm her cool lips.
When it's over, your gaze can't meet hers, and she smiles.
"Well, that will definitely heat this room a little," she murmurs grinning, her eyes glinting like a cat's.
All you can do is swallow, nod, and scurry out of the room as you try to hide your flushed face.
It's a Monday when you realize that she's not invincible.
That Yuuko, is in fact, very much human.
She's been gone for over a week, and the night before she's supposed to return, you stop by the shop to do a little last minute cleaning.
It takes you longer than you thought because when you next look at the clock it's a little after midnight, and you're fretting because you have to get up early for school tomorrow to take a test, and just as you're packing up to go home, you hear the front door open. At first you think it's a customer, but when you peek your head in from the kitchen, you see her slowly making her way to the couch.
She isn't walking like she normally does, and when you squint your eyes, you see that there's something dark, splattered on the sleeve of her kimono.
You have to squint your eyes a little more to see that it's blood.
"Yuuko-san! What happened?"
She looks up at you tiredly as you make your presence known, and waves you off. As she does so, you can see the blood dripping onto the floor.
"Will you go to the warehouse, and get me the hardest alcohol you can find?"
"What!? You want to drink now!? You're hurt!"
"I'll be fine. Just go," her voice is firmer, and you know better than to argue when she's like this.
You run to the warehouse as quickly as you can. On your way, you realize that she probably needs it for the wound, or she'll make some kind of remedy out of it, so you whip through the warehouse door like a wildfire. It takes you a little longer to find what she wants, but when you do, you race back to the shop cradling the bottle like a rare, diamond egg.
"I've got the alcohol, Yuuko-san! I got what you asked for. . ."
You trail off when you see that the blood on the floor is gone, and that Yuuko's hand is completely clean and void of any wounds.
"Ah! You found it!" she squeals happily. "Just what I need."
"B-but-but what happened to the blood? What happened to your arm?"
"I'm fine," she says as if nothing is wrong. "I don't know what you're talking about, Watanuki."
"But I saw it – AND WHAT DID YOU NEED THE LIQUOR FOR?"
"To drink it, of course."
And she leaves you wondering if you really have lost your mind working for this woman. Just before you storm out of the shop, you catch the smallest little speck of something red on her kimono.
Tuesday is when you make your promise to her.
It's a pristine, spring afternoon as you both listen to the rain from the open window in her bedroom. The sheets and comforters have all been knocked onto the floor, and she stretches herself lazily on her side facing you, the smell of her skin mixing with the scent of the brisk, wet raindrops and newly moist earth.
You love the gentle, sweet, rainy days like this, this cleansing ritual of nature baptizing the world and making everything new again, like a rebirth. She knows that you enjoy this, and she smiles that soft, personal smile that she saves for you in these private moments. But it's that smile that you love most of all.
If she were any other girl, you probably would have married her by now. But she's an entirely different brand of woman altogether, and this. . . thing. . . .that the two of you have. It's been going on for a few years now, and you don't really know how to explain it, and you aren't sure where it's going or if it has an ending, but you know for damn sure that it's not casual, and your pretty certain that her feelings for you go beyond the master-apprentice, friend or fling relationship because friends don't look at each other the way she's looking at you right now.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" you say, and it's a statement rather than a question.
You know that she understands your true meaning. That you aren't talking about lying here, with her in her comfortable, warm bed. You're talking about. . .you. The both of you. Your relationship, and you still have that wonderful short of breath when you think that: this is a relationship.
"Do you want it to stop?"
Her eyes seem to question you, as if she's wondering why you're asking these questions now, but isn't really surprised that you are.
And suddenly you can' breathe, because she might as well have told you that she's head over heels in love with you. Because Yuuko doesn't commit. Never, ever unless she really wants to commit. And then it's your hands, roaming over her naked hips and pulling her close to you, but it' s when you feel her hand on your cheek that you close your eyes.
"I'll make that happen," you say.
"Make what happen?" and you get the distinct impression that she just wants to hear you say it.
"I'll find a way for us to stay together. To be together. Always."
When you open your eyes, she's smiling again, extremely amused, and she runs the nail of her index finger down your jaw and under your chin.
"Then, my little Watanuki," and you bite the inside of your mouth because she hardly ever calls you that unless you're in the presence of company, "you'd better hurry."
"You're beginning to catch up, you look almost older than me now."
"I'm only twenty-four," your respond, indignant and she laughs. "I'm serious, I want this for us," you tell her and her smile and laughter fade.
"Is. . .is this something you're asking of me?" and her tone sounds timid, almost afraid.
"Is it a wish you can grant?"
The hope that you were feeling a moment ago is replaced with worry as her face falls drastically and her vibrant eyes dim the tiniest bit.
"Yes," her voice has grown softer and softer and you think that maybe she's scared that you're going to rush and ask her to make your wish come true in the next sentence. But, as always, you suspect that there much more it, because when it comes to her, nothing is simple
"It's the payment, isn't it?"
She closes her eyes and brushes her fingers across your temple. The sensation of her caress brings the weight of the warning bells going off inside of your head around you.
"This price. . .It's too high," she whispers sadly.
"You know I'd sacrifice anything," as you say this, your arms grip her harder and you press her body even more into yours.
She waits a few moments after the words leave your lips and then she opens her eyes.
"You should never say you'll sacrifice anything. You should know better than anyone."
"Then what will it cost me?"
She brings her face closer to yours and you think for a moment that she's going to kiss you, but she stops less than an inch from your face.
"Your feelings," she hushes.
"My feelings?" You're totally lost, but that's nothing unusual when you're talking with Yuuko. However, she does something next, something that the Space-Time Witch never does.
You stare at her, unable to utter a word. Your mouth even opens several times, but the only thing that leaves is the heavy air that escapes your lungs. There would be no point if forever with her was without love. It's that thought which causes your next revelation. This magic in which she holds, this power that she wields, is nothing more than a curse. The price for this sorcery ties and binds her. And you are struck with the reality that the collateral for this gift is her own happiness How much joy has this power cost during her already long life?
You're not sure, but you know that you want to give her all the happiness she's never had. All the joy that she's lost.
Suddenly, the corners of your mouth tilt upward, and she stares back at you confused, a rare look for her indeed. But then you're rolling her over onto her back, pinning her to the bed, and as you dip your head down to place a kiss over the lids of her eyes, you think you taste salt and feel something wet slip out from under her lashes as you let your lips make a trail down to her mouth.
You don't open your eyes because you afraid of what hers might say. And this kiss, it's more than a simple act of affection. It's a seal. A promise. To her. And when you open your eyes, your surprised that hers are dry and you're left wondering of you imagined the moistness from before, but the savor of salt is still on your tongue.
"Then, I'll find another way," at these words, her smile returns only looking much more mischievous than before.
"So," she begins, "how old do you think I look?"
She's teasing you. You know that whatever answer you give her, she'll give you a hard time, but the truth is, she looks no more than twenty-five. You remember when you were only seventeen, and that seemed so old. Not so much anymore.
So, you tell her that she looks young enough, and kiss her again before she can give you any shit.
Wednesday is when you make love to her for the first time.
It can't actually be happening, but it is, and it's happening in a way that you never anticipated.
It's early but still dark, and the fresh, crisp breeze from the open window fills the room, mixing with her scent of smoke and sake. You didn't expect this to happen when you came into her room to leave a glass of water on her night table, but it did, and it is, and it's probably not going to stop.
Her kisses are tempting, and her sighs are maddening and her fingers tickle your skin as you nip and stroke any exposed part of her body that your lips and hands can chart. Everything about her reminds you of some Greek Goddess from tales forgotten. But when you're both under the covers, and your clothes and her clothes are draped messily over the edge of the bed, that she suddenly becomes shy.
It blows your mind the way her skin blushes so easily, or the way she trembles slightly, her breath coming out in nervous little shudders. It's as if she understands and has mastered seduction, both studying it scientifically and crafting it like an art, but when it comes to the actual act, she's completely lost. This is a part of her that you've never seen before. . .that you would have never expected to see, and you wonder if anyone knows, or has even caught a glimpse at this rare and timid version of the Dimensional Witch.
That realization both comforts you and excites you.
You have to push her a little at first, and it takes her a while before her movements become less awkward, her kisses less cautious and for her crimson eyes to finally meet your blue and gold ones, but soon she relaxes and then everything happens.
For some reason, you thought that being with her like this would be frantic, the both of you half-crazed with desire, half-anxious with excitement. You thought it would be sharp, and violent, and rough with her dominating every aspect of your body and mind. You anticipated that your first time would almost be over before it started.
Instead, it's slow and languid and aching. The warmth of your bodies protecting you both from the coolness from the outside world. You know that she's seen many different places, lands and times, but this is your world that the two of you have created together, and only you know that it exists, and you wonder if she understands how special this place is the way you do.
Because this world is birthed in a way that you could never have fathomed. Instead of pain and frenzy and control, she's soft and gentle, and the kisses and touches, and sighs that are shared between the two of you are born into perfect equivalence.
When your lips trace the delicate lines of her jaw, you feel the flutter of her eyelids wisping lightly over your cheek and the simple sensation makes your heart stop by the intimacy of it all. It's enough to push you further into lunacy; and your brain shuts down when you hear her soft, long inhale as you place your mouth over hers in a deep, passionate, leisurely kiss. And when your lips part, you feel her breath brush against your face. It's dreamy, like mist, and she makes a fleeting sigh, and the heat of it drowns you in an urge to make that sound come out of her again.
You lie next to her after, surprised at satisfied and cemented is your realization that you are overwhelmingly in love with her. This may be your first night together, but it's not the first time this night, and when you pull her down for another kiss, her messy, ebony hair enfolds you like a veil, and you know it won't be the last either.
After all, you're still young, and she's so very thirsty.
You'll never forget the Thursday that she sets you free.
"Your debt is paid."
Suddenly you're cold, as if all the blood in your body has burst and there's nothing warm to comfort you, like there's nothing real to makes you human. You've finally graduated from Private Cross Academy, and you're job has become more like a way of life, and you and Doumeki are actually getting along, and now you're truly happy for Himiwari, and your employer treats you now like family rather than a slave and everything has been going so well.
"What!?" you gasp. "So soon?"
And you see her mouth twitch sadly, like she finds your question amusing, but can't actually bring herself to smile.
"I will grant your wish," she says calmly and that cold, empty feeling in your veins causes you to panic.
"No!" you almost shout and you actually see her flinch in surprise. "No, no, no, no! I don't – no!"
"Watanuki. . . ." and her voice now insanely calm and you can't stand it, "I've received my payment. You must receive your wish."
"But I don't want that wish anymore!" you yell at her and your voice sounds strained because you're literally squeezing the words past the lump in your throat. "I don't want this anymore!"
You don't really care about the fact that you're acting like a two-year-old, you don't care about the last three years you spent laboring for her, you don't even feel the faint prickling in your eyes and the snot beginning to run from your nose. All you care about is here, now, them. . . .her.
You just want her eyes to stop saying those unspoken words.
"I don't want my wish granted! I don't, Yuuko-san!"
"So you want the spirits to be drawn by your blood?" her eyes follow you and they seem even more red because of how wide they've become.
"I want to help people," you ramble quickly, "I want to keep changing. I don't want to go back to the way my life was before. I don't want to see people hurt, and not be able to understand why. I want to work here, and keep working here because when I'm here is the only time I'm not lonely, and the only time I feel truly human. I don't want to leave this world. I don't. . .I don't want to leave. . ."
"Watanuki. . ."
There's something in her voice that makes you stop and finally look at her. Really look at her, and then you're terrified, because without this gift that you once thought was a curse, you won't be able to see the glow under her skin, or the light in her eyes, or any of the secrets that make her special.
". . .I don't want to leave."
You close your eyes because the dull prickling has become a harsh stinging, but then you feel her hand on your cheek, and when you open your eyes, she's close to you, her eyes full of fondness and a depth you've never seen before and she's smiling so sweetly and you have a sudden desire to always see her this way, but you have an aching fear that perhaps you never will again.
"That makes me happy," she tells you.
Then her thumb is smoothing over your cheekbone and it's so gentle and delicate and you wonder if this touch of endearment will cost you, and you hope it does.
"I want to stay,"
"If I grant this wish, then those three years will have been for nothing. Are you sure you want that?"
You don't hesitate to answer.
"But it wasn't for nothing. What I've seen, what I've learned. The person I've become, it's because of this gift. But mostly. . ."
You aren't able to finish because her thumb moves over your lips, but you're certain she knows what you were about to say.
It's because of her.
"You're not a boy anymore," she seems pleased that you understand so well. "Your wish will cost more labor," she warns.
"I don't care." And you really, really don't.
She grins now, a real, genuine grin, and places her other hand on your cheek so that she's cradling your head in her hands. When her face is close enough to yours that you can smell her breath and swallow her words, the blood rushes back into your body and you are full again.
"Then may your wish come true."
She dies on a Friday.
You're thirty-one, but you've been thirty-one for a long time. So long that you've lost count of your real age long ago. You kept you promise, and you found a way without asking for a wish. You earned the right to always be by her side, and it almost cost you your life, but you prevailed, and like her, your time was halted.
You grip her in your arms, arms that you did not have when you first met, the arms of a man. The blood on her face makes her skin look so white and the color of her eyes are beginning to fade and she smiles. . .
You're telling her you love her, that you'll always love her. During the countless years you've shared with her, you've only told her you loved her a hand-full of times. She always said that words held power, but actions held so much more, and so you strove to show her everyday, thinking that you had forever. But forever ends now, and you want the last thing that she hears is your voice telling her how precious she is to you.
She fought a good fight, and was never liberated from the power which bound her freedom, but you made it work, always paying, always compensating, because you chose to take her as she was, and to not let the limitations and trials keep you from happiness. But her time is now and the place is here and you're trying to say goodbye, but the tears and the gasps and wet kisses that you rain on her face keep the words from leaving your lips.
But her fingers find the hand that you're using to brush the hair from her eyes and she holds them, the rings on both your fingers becoming stained with red. Chaos is crashing around you but she stays so peaceful as you rock and sway her and try to make these last moments as comfortable as possible.
And this life that the two of you created is flashing before your eyes and you wonder for a crazy moment if the same life is going through her mind as well. The places you've seen, the people you've helped. The joy and despair. All the times you cooked for her, cleaned for her. All the nights you spent in her embrace. How you watched all the children that she gave you grow up and pass on, how you've seen the birth of your linage grow into a generation of royalty.
Her young, beautiful face begins break and she starts to cough and you hold on and plead and beg because you've loved for so long. She's been yours and you've been hers. You've shared everything and she's given everything that her magic has allowed her to give. And this parting is like tearing your soul from your body, and you wonder:
Will a piece of her always live on through you? Or will a part of you die along with her?
The sun is sinking below the horizon like gold in the ocean as her time is growing shorter and shorter, and she's slipping further and further and she's trying to thank you and her crimson gasps of devotion sound choppy and strained, but all you ever needed from her were her feelings and she opens her mouth one last time. . .
As you promise to find her again the sun finally disappears and darkness creeps like a spider and then everything stops.
Through your grief as you cling to her body, you still find the irony that you knew her better than any other person in any other world but you never knew the love of your life's true name. It's something that you'll never find out.
But something else is born as hot as hellfire and you vow that you will meet her again.
And in the darkness, the stars begin to shine the smallest of light and you know that you'll keep your promise.
Then you feel her all around you, and you're soothed that this is not an end, but a brand new beginning
It's a Saturday when you realize you're in love with her.
She's granting your new wish, and things go on as if nothing has changed.
You watch her sitting on the porch watching the sun come up. It's not like her to do so, as she is normally recovering from a hangover or sleeping in until noon. But on this morning, she's up and is sitting with her tea and she's watching the sun rise.
You've begun to notice it more and more. The little things about her that are dear to you, like how she can still surprise you and not surprise you. And when she turns her head, her eyes catch yours and the sun's reflection shimmers making them softer and angelic and her skin is radiant and she opens her mouth and calls out to you and she's never been lovelier than at this moment.
It's then that you realize it. That you know it. That you feel it.
So you go to her and you sit next to her on the porch and you watch as she drinks her tea and hums lightly to a tune you've never heard and you wonder if she knew all this time that you would fall in love with her.
As you talk, you think about the future and what it holds. This shop is the path you have chosen and you hardly can see what lies ahead. What trials you will face and if parting with this life will be sweet or bitter. If you should plan ahead or just run with it, chase after the pain because if life balances out like Yuuko says, you're sure to crash into to some joy as well.
When the sun finally has risen and its early heat is beating down on your face you turn to her and she looks at you and you know that you shouldn't dwell on the unknown, because everything has a reason.
And as if she can read your mind, she tells you not to worry about it, but to just live and find the beauty in everything because that is the only way to be set free. So you decide to love her, to set her free, and give her a life worth living.
Because life, after all, is inevitable.
Thank you so much for reading!