A/N: Apparently bad news in my academic life is a form of inexplicable inspiration.

Scented Candles

The night was a sea of stars looting the moon, and a single kiss now would have been a sanguine tide crushing against a shore of breath.

But it is the taste of wine that I indulge, though I savour the sweetened smoke from his pipe. Just like how the moon fills my gaze, but not my thoughts.

Such is the whine of the dog that goes without.

"You're not drinking any more than that- you have a presentation tomorrow morning," he warns with an unbecoming placidity.

Mokona chirps a cheeky reply that earns a chorusing echo from Maru and Moro, probably drawing nothing more than an indulgent languid smile from that timeless face.

"I can't get drunk on this," I hear myself rumble dully. Another sip. Another dry silence. Another sip. A stray pattern of smoke melts so simply into the courtyard that I frown into the darkness.

"Stay the night. I can prepare something for the hangover," he instructs, and the creases fall away. I lean back and line the empty wine flask in a neat row of its predecessors. Watanuki would fuss if they were carelessly strewn about, and I approve of the orderliness myself. Yet I wonder if I should allow them to roll freely on their bellies, tumbling tipsily into each other. The clear clink of porcelain is such a joyous sound.

"I'll prepare your bath."

Above the excited activity bursting from the shop's guardians tinged with the rustling of crisp fabrics, I draw a breath that gets lost searching for the right words to take.


He returns my intercepting gaze with just the ghost of his human rude spirit in the challenging lift of his slender boyish chin.

"Any complaints?" He demands.

"… scented candles."

"Huh?" That old furrowing of incredulity. This victorious half-grin.

"Light some scented candles too."

"Tch… don't say something like that with that kind of manly face!" He raps back with a disgusted grimace. "Jasmine's fine right?"

The sharpness scraped pleasantly along the nagging itch of an old scar. I could have sighed.

"… and a glass of champagne."