Title: All Hallow's Eve
Series: xxxHolic
Character/Pairing: Doumeki/Watanuki, Clow/Yuuko
Rating: PG-13 for Yuuko's last stunt.
Summary: All Hallow's Eve was without a doubt, Watanuki's least favorite holiday.
A/N: comment_fic: Doumeki/Watanuki, Halloween. / The Gauntlet: 34. heavenly wine for old friends

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All Hallow's Eve was without a doubt, Watanuki's least favorite holiday. Not that it was widely appreciated in Japan, but Yuuko took any excuse to drink and celebrated any holiday regardless of nationality. And so it was, a whole holiday dedicated to creeping, crawling dark things that he saw on a deadly basis – and if possible, even worse, small children dressing as them and demanding candy. It wasn't that Watanuki hated children in general, it was more that Yuuko took some sick pleasure in sending him on errands which involved the brattiest, making Doumeki come along to keep him from being eaten by demonic ghost children and then teasing him for days about their 'marriage'.

So Watanuki knew that nothing good could come of this.

He wasn't sure if Yuuko had willed a bunch of neighborhood kids to come and torment him for candy, or if she'd simply turned some switch in the house and made it open up to a place where All Hallow's Eve was more widely celebrated. He'd read a story once like that online, and he'd not slept for days after hearing about the people-devouring houses.

If there was one thing Watanuki hated (and there were many) it was horror. Considering that he saw ghosts on a regular basis and had witness quite a few monsters, fiction came far too close to reality for his liking.

Yuuko wore the dress of an gypsy, with a turban of fine cloth of many colors, a low-scooped neck of peasant blouse with gold necklaces and a long, loose skirt of many different types of material sewn together. It was a patchwork quilt of different cloths, with gold trinkets and bells jingling with every step. She was mildly drunk, which meant nothing as she was always mildly drunk. She'd already told him his future twice, and both times it involved Doumeki, some twine and situations that were inappropriate to be mentioned around children. Or himself, for that matter.

Watanuki was dressed in top hat and tuxedo, which he soon found out to his chagrin was a high-grade servant's garb for parties. Doumeki wore what he did half the time, when he was attending to his duties at the shrine.

"You're supposed to be in costume!" Watanuki said.

Doumeki looked down at his hakama. "I am."

"No! No! You're supposed to be a ghost or an angel or a witch or a girl!"

"You want me to wear a dress?" Doumeki said.

"Watanuki wants to see Doumeki dressed up as a girl! A girl! Watanuki likes drag queens! Drag queens! Watanuki thinks Doumeki will be sexy in stockings! Stockings!"

The twins chanted while dancing in their bat-wing/angel-wing combo dresses.

"My, you're kinkier than I thought," Yuuko said from her seat.

Watanuki shrieked.

.

The first ones were ghosts and goblins and then there were witches (who Yuuko always found somewhat amusing, though she'd never worn a hat like that in her life.)

It was as if Yuuko had purposefully found every single ornery child in the neighborhood. He'd already been bitten by a lion, kicked by a little cop and insulted by three smurfs and Batman. Doumeki was impassive, and took to standing back when the hoards of children came to the door.

Doumeki had saved him from tentacle monsters, giant spiders and rampaging spirits of all kinds but he crossed the line at children in costumes. There were some monsters that even he wouldn't fight.

.

After the children's bedtime had come, another crowd came to the house. It was the time of the Obake, the creatures of the land who he usually had to strike deals with, or evade. Despite her drunkenness, Yuuko was alert. If any of them made even the slightest of trouble, she and Doumeki would see them out. The Kudakitsune, in full form lay across the threshold, its many tails spread out, soft, and yet a warning. They twitched at times, when guests came to call. Tanuki, Nekomata, Bake-neko, even another Kitsune passed. They walked on hind legs and conversed with wild tales to tell. He even saw a cat girl, still chasing after some invisible-to-the-naked-eye goldfish.

He saw the fox's child, who blushed when he waved, and placed some Oden that had been ordered. Watanuki himself was of course, relegated to catering and waiting. At least there was magic to keep the spirit food from running out at the buffet.

Yuuko was out of her gypsies' garb and now wore a revealing purple cocktail dress with many pearls sashed with gold down the middle. She talked and entertained guests, and the smoke from the many pipes was thick and heady in the air, sweet with opium and stranger drugs. The kind of drugs that would draw one into the spirit world, never to return.

So it went until the clock struck thirteen – odd, he'd never seen a clock do that, and the door opened, almost ominously. Mists, dark and stars filtered in as the masked figure came in. He was tall, almost excessively so. The mask was a aquiline, with feathers and the fierce stare of a hawk. He wore robes, elaborate, Chinese robes with dragons and hawks and stars and suns woven between the flowers of the brocade. The crowd parted past him, wary as he made his way straight to Yuuko.

He handed her a butterfly mask in the same colors, purple and gold.

He murmured something, Watanuki thought it might've been m'lady.

"You have some nerve showing up here," she said.

"Oh? You set up a party on All Hallow's Eve and stoked the wine cellar with my favorite kinds. Is that not an invitation in itself? Besides, with noise like this, you could wake the dead," he said. He smiled to himself as he said the last.

Yuuko took a swift drink of her ever-present wine and looked up at him. She put on the mask he gave her.

The gossamer Obake orchestra started up, and he took her hand. They took long strides and looked as if they were made for each other, to be each other's dance partner. Watanuki's eyes followed them, and how their dance, while flawless, was in itself like a fight. He only looked away when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

"Oi. Are you going to dance?" Doumeki said.

"No I'm not going to dance! Someone has to clean the floors and do the dishes and bring out more wine and ensure that the spell on the spirit food doesn't go out. Obake get angry when they run out of food and wine and the last thing we need is a party full of hostile Obake! Besides. Who'd want to dance with you?"

Doumeki shrugged.

Watanuki took let out a breath, full up with irritation. Himawari-chan hadn't been able to make it, and even then, a dance would with her would have been a dance with death. He didn't want to remember this night as the night where he sat on the side and watched other fantastical creatures live out there lives in whatever dimensions they existed in whilst he sat back and watched his life pass him by.

"Fine. But only one dance, and if you step on my toes so help me I will—"

Doumeki's hand was warm and rough, not that he hadn't felt them before. He'd been pulled up, pulled away, pulled away from danger and that one time where Yuuko made them hold hands and kiss to share air in the aquatic caverns. He was sure she cackled all through that mission and probably watched with some bowl of water which doubled as a magical look into his humiliation. Doumeki wasn't as bad as he'd figured, even if it was embarrassing to be the 'girl' in the dance.

The clock struck again. It wasn't fourteen, but one. The extra hour, the span in dimensions that had opened was gone, the visitor too, had vanished.. Watanuki hadn't seen him leave. She stood there a long time, looking towards where he had left. Then she took off the mask, looked as if she would crush it, only to let her hand rest by her side.

Seemingly tired by the dance, she made her way to a chaise and nursed a drink.

Dawn was creeping towards them. He'd have a night full of cleaning to look forward to. He cut out at the end of one dance, as Yuuko was looking dangerously low in alcohol.

A drink poured here, a tray refilled there. That's how the rest of his night would go.

He couldn't help but checking again and again to see Yuuko, and yet she was still quieter, and he coudn't blame the alcohol this time, for she was more a talky drunk than a sullen one. Perhaps the most telling thing was that she wasn't looking to the doors, by a force of will to keep her gaze to her drink.

Watanuki wondered what ghost had crossed her path.

.

Watanuki woke up to a new day and a new month completely naked, and with the feeling of not being alone in his bed. He froze for a moment and looked over his shoulder, already knowing who he would find there, snuggled against his back. He let out a shriek. Had he not been shrieking so loud, he would've heard the sound of Yuuko laughing.

.

Whenever Clow decided to visit, she was always left with many retorts which she never got to say, for he never stayed long these days. Which meant that all those disgruntled comebacks had to go somewhere. She found a nice way to vent it by making Watanuki be in the most humiliating situations with Doumeki as possible.

She adored the boy, really. But it was like Clow himself said the more you adore someone, the more you wish to see them suffer. And Watanuki only made it worse with his hyperventilating and screaming, for that made it all the more fun.

Putting them in bed together was a stoke of brilliance. Of course, Watanuki was too virginal to realize that if any deed had happened, he'd be more sticky, more sore and more satisfied.

She should've turned the Kudakitsune human and made it get in bed too just for kicks. That would've been even better, though there was always next time.

She chuckled as she heard another shout from Watanuki. From wherever he was, she thought Clow would be laughing along.