Not in Tokyo Anymore

Note: a working knowledge of Tokyo Babylon, X, and xxxHolic will probably enhance your reading experience, however, they are not essential. (Lord knows there are enough Subaru jokes flying around on people's profiles that everyone is already aware that he is basically the angstiest character ever created…) Also, in case it wasn't obvious, this is all very tongue-in-cheek. I do love me some sadistically written manga…

The leaves of the tree were an odd shade of grey with no hint of the warm green or reds of summer, or even the crisp browns of autumn. Stranger still were the dull grey blossoms which floated from the branches, twisting and turning in the breeze before making their final descent to the ground.

The wizard might have paid more attention if the branch he was currently suspended upside down from hadn't chosen that exact moment to snap in two and send him crashing – face-first – into the cold, grey ground below. As it was, his somewhat limited cognitive processes were more immediately occupied trying to sort out exactly what the hell he'd been doing hanging from a tree in the first place.

He rubbed his head, pausing to inspect his hands for any tell-tale traces of blood produced by the impact. There were none; only a sticky black substance coated his fingers. He rubbed this away into the dirt and struggled to his feet, scanning the bleak horizon for any sign of life.

He seemed to be standing on the edge of a city; no, a village was more accurate if one was to judge by the loose clustering of domestic edifices and scattering of open fields along the edges. The tall, multi-storied buildings, however, with their ornate trimmings and the intricate, weaving roads between them were like nothing he had ever seen in a rural community before. From the shaded windows, large, glassy, radiant eyes stared at him in horror.

He spied a few stragglers from the town hurrying into their homes. They were tall, lithe, and disgustingly good-looking. He wondered vaguely what they were running from. Surely the welt on his forehead hadn't made him that distressing to look at…

"Excuse me."

He spun toward the voice to find another exquisitely tall man with delicately carved features and other obscenely unnecessary descriptors observing him from behind thin, oval glasses. He winced; he knew this man…

"Ahaha..ha…" he chuckled nervously, "You're Syaoran's, um, older man-friend, aren't you?"

"Just how old do you think I am?"

"That's not really the part I was concerned about."

"Oh," the man paused, "Well, at any rate, you seem to have dropped a tree onto my brother."

"Yes, I…what?"

"My brother," the man continued, lighting up a cigarette. "You dropped a tree on him."

"How did I drop…?" he trailed off as he noticed the black booted feet sticking out from beneath the roots of the tree he had just fallen from.

"It's fine," the man proffered his hand, "Seishiro. Grand Sociopath of the West."

"The Grand…" Fay shook his head, unable to look away from the still-twitching feet, "Who's that, then?"

"My brother. Fuuma, Plot Device Sociopath of the East. Cigarette?" Seishiro rattled the pack.

Fay politely declined. "You seem awfully calm for someone who's just accused me of killing his brother."

Seishiro smiled. "Yes, well, I am a Sociopath," he paused to take a long drag, "And I did already kill you once, sort of. Besides, there is always a corpse beneath the Sakura tree."

"A corpse?"

"Yes. The tree drinks the blood of the corpse hidden beneath it. This is what gives the flowers their beautiful, pale red color."

Fay looked around him. "But everything is grey."

Seishiro shrugged. "I suppose that's the nature of this country. The blood dripping from your head isn't exactly looking too red, either."

Fay brought his hand back to his forehead. So that had been blood staining his fingers, after all. "Why? Why is everything grey?"

Seishiro's eyes widened – ever so slightly – in surprise. "Why, because everyone knows Bishies look best in black and white, of course."

"Bishies?"

"Yes! Bishies! Bishonen! Beautiful young men with faces like angels and bodies like…well!" he grinned, motioning toward the village, "Or has the hauntingly exotic willowiness of it all somehow escaped you?"

Fay supposed it had. But still… "Why black and white?"

Seishiro sighed. "Cleaner lines. Sharper features. That, and once you start adding in colors arguments inevitably begin over the exact jade green hue of their eyes and you have to dress them in fancy clothing to accent their startlingly gorgeous faces and it all just gets so expensive…"

This seemed a suitable answer to Fay, who smiled knowingly and nodded. "I wonder what they're all hiding from…"

"Me, I expect," Seishiro answered, "There is, after all, no one better at breaking in a Bishie."

"Ah, yes. That's the part I was concerned about." Fay ran a hand through his hair, tugging at the ends where blood had dried. "And how do I go about getting out of here and back to my friends?"

Seishiro considered this. "Well," he said slowly, "Normally I would suggest that you go to the Bishikinland Travel Bureau in town, but…"

"But?"

"But you're no longer a Bishie. You now fall under the jurisdiction of the Wizard."

"No longer a Bishie?" Fay pouted. He was demonstrably a Bishie. All one had to do was take one look at his dazzling, golden, flowing locks, perfectly tousled about his welted forehead and caked with blood…Oh. "And where do I find this wizard?" he demanded.

"No one can say for sure," Seishiro answered, "But I imagine if you follow the road, you'll inevitably meet up with him."

Fay looked around him. There seemed to be no shortage of winding roads leading away from the village. "Ahaha…and which road would that be?"

"Why, the Monotone Road, of course."

"They're all monotone, smart ass."

"Well, then I suppose you'll just have to pick one," Seishiro stamped his cigarette beneath his toe. "Best of luck to you."

Fay sighed. "Thanks…"

"Oh, one more thing," Seishiro grasped his arm as he turned to leave, "Take this with you."

Fay eyed the long, black piece of cloth being offered. He accepted it tentatively, shaking it out and holding it up to the light for a better view. "An eye patch?"

"Yes," Seishiro smiled, "I'd had it made for my brother – just in case – but the lucky bastard managed to escape with both of his eyes still intact. Take it with you – you'll need it."

"For what?"

"Just trust me on this one."

"Thanks…" Fay murmured, stuffing the ribbon of fabric into his pocket. Sending a large, plastic smile back to the Grand Sociopath of the West, he set off down the closest Monotone Road.

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· Later ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

Fay had been wandering for what felt like hours. He'd tied his hair back with the eye patch; the whipping wind drove the dried ends into his eyes when it blew and slapped the bloodied fringe mercilessly against his cheeks. The wind was cold and damp as well and he shivered as he made his way across the desolate countryside. He wondered how long he would have to wander before he found this "Wizard."

He stopped to rest on top of a large, craggy rockface and drew his feet up beneath him as he surveyed the landscape. There seemed to be very little in any direction beyond the rolling hills and twisting streams and he wondered if he should turn back the way he had come. He was debating the merits of this plan when the sky overhead grew dark and a loud "CAW" pierced the air.

He looked up, just in time to see a large, black bird drop a bundle from its talons. He rolled off of his perch, narrowly avoiding a collision with the falling debris, which landed with a loud THUD and spayed bits of straw out around it.

Fay crept toward the bundle and toed it hesitantly. He was disturbed a moment later when an arm poked out and began clawing at the ground around it, eventually hauling out a startlingly tall body behind it. The man looked Fay up and down. "You the wizard?" he asked after a long moment of silence.

"I'm a wizard, but probably not the one you're looking for…" Fay stared into the sky above. "What was that thing?"

"That," the man said, brushing himself off, "Was a big, scary crow."

Fay stared. "That is a terrible pun."

"What is?" The man finished cleaning his clothes and moved closer.

"Oh, never mind," Fay chuckled, "Hold on, you've got some straw…" He leaned in closer to pick several stalks from the man's hair.

"Thanks," the man said, looking around himself. "But now, if you're not the wizard, I'd better be on my way." He started down the road.

"Hey wait!" Fay called, hurrying to catch up with the man, "I'm looking for him, too. So if you don't mind some company…"

The man shrugged, and continued mutely down the path. Fay followed closely in his wake, chattering on about this and that; the weather was terrible, the scenery drab, and – oh hey, look! A bunny! His traveling partner, however, wasn't really much for conversation and regarded Fay with a reserved, yet subtly amused expression. It was all terribly familiar.

"Don't I know you?" Fay asked, a faint memory tugging at his consciousness.

The other man shrugged. "I don't think so."

Fay was certain now. "Yeah…you're friends with that spazzy kid who works for the witch. I saw you three playing baseball when I gave her my staff. Although, you looked a lot younger then."

"It's possible. There've been a lot of time-skips on our end. In fact, I think as far as the actual timeline goes, I'm still supposed to be a teenager right now, so God only knows why I look like I'm 30," he paused and offered his hand. "Doumeki Shizuka," he said simply.

"Fay D. Fluorite," he grasped Doumeki's hand, "What on Earth are you doing here? Why do you need the wizard when you have the witch?"

Doumeki scowled. "I need him to take my brain."

This was not the answer Fay had been expecting and he recoiled slightly. "Ahaha…ha…ha…Your brain?"

"Yes."

"W-why?"

Doumeki sighed. "Right now I'm capable of making decisions."

Fay waited for Doumeki to finish this thought. When it became apparent that the other had no intention of doing so, he pressed on. "But, isn't that something that most people would, you know, want?"

"Maybe."

Fay sighed. "You're not big on communication, are you?"

Doumeki shrugged. "If I remain able to make decisions easily, it will look funny to readers later on when I'm not able to choose what to do with a simple egg. That's going to cut down on my monologuing, which in turn is really going to drive down my face time. I'll end up just like Himawarii."

"Hima-who?"

"Exactly. You're pretty new at this, aren't you?"

"New at what?"

"Being a CLAMP character."

"I suppose I am…" Fay murmured, wondering what in the hell Doumeki was getting at. He paused as the other man turned off the path and headed into a clearing in the woods. "Where are you going?"

"Over here," he motioned for Fay to join him.

The clearing was man-made and full of stumps, which Fay fastidiously avoided tripping over as he wound his way to rejoin Doumeki. A man was sitting in the middle of the clearing, unmoving and staring off into space with an axe at his feet. "What's his deal?" Fay wondered.

"He's catatonic," Doumeki answered simply.

"From what?"

A large, leather bound book was thrust into Fay's hands. "Here," Doumeki grunted.

Fay flipped through a few of the pages. Tokyo Babylon. "A manga?" he asked, wondering why this had been given to him.

"Just read it," Doumeki assured him and settled down to rest next to the catatonic man.

Fay shrugged and sat down with the book.

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· 6 Hours Later ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

"Oh my GOD!" Fay bawled uncontrollably, "They just BROKE him! He was so kind and goodhearted and they just DESTROYED him! What kind of sadistic people are these CLAMP women?"

Doumeki shrugged and motioned for him to come closer. He grabbed Fay's wrist as the sobbing man drew closer and tilted his head such that the flowing tears dripped onto the catatonic man's face. After a few moments he frowned and tugged at the catatonic man's arm. Nothing happened.

"Hmm…" Doumeki wrinkled his nose, "This isn't enough. Try this." He thrust a second leather bound book into Fay's hands.

X-1999. "I don't want to read it."

"Just do it," Doumeki insisted, flipping through the pages. "Start from here."

Fay sobbed quietly as the terrible saga continued.

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· 3 Hours After That ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

"I can't take this anymore!" Fay finally shouted, throwing the book away from himself. He was now crying freely, broken sobs heaving through his chest as the tears fell silently and copiously down his face. "He was so good to everyone and now he's going to help destroy the world! All because some bastard sociopath played with his heart!"

"Yeah, it sucks for him," Doumeki agreed, once again tilting Fay's head over the catatonic man. This time, a small moan broke though the man's lips. "But without all of that build-up, readers would be experiencing some pretty severe cognitive dissonance reading X-1999."

"Cognitive-what, now?"

"Dissonance. You can't just suddenly go from being happy to angsty for no reason. You have to build it up. Otherwise it just comes off as Wangst."

"Why would anyone want to be angsty in the first place…?" Fay wondered as Doumeki shook his head, ensuring every last tear drop fell onto the catatonic man's face.

Doumeki shrugged. "Everyone knows that your popularity amongst fans is directly proportional to your angst quotient."

Fay sniffled. Angst quotient? Popularity? This all sounded very complicated and he was in no state to think about it; he felt completely wrecked from the emotional stress of watching so much horror befall a single character. "I want to go to sleep for a week."

"No," Doumeki insisted, "I don't want to have to wake you up, too. Just keep crying for a little longer."

"I think I'm out of tears."

"Think about your childhood."

"My childhood?"

"Yes. It was terrible, right?"

"It was?"

Doumeki looked up, suddenly understanding. "Oh yeah, I suppose you haven't gotten that far in the manga yet. Well, I suppose that just means that now is the perfect time to start…"

"Start what?" Fay wondered.

"Nothing. Here, could you hold on to this for me?" he handed Fay a small, black bag and released his head.

"Sure…" Fay fought the temptation to peek inside as he watched Doumeki work, slowly moving the catatonic man's arms, legs, and torso. In the end, his curiosity got the better of him and he pulled the satchel open.

He closed it just as quickly. Was that really…? He opened it once again to be sure.

Yes. That was definitely a brain.

Ew.

Within minutes, Doumeki had succeeded in getting the catatonic man upright and moving. "Sorry that took so long," he murmured apologetically, "It would have gone faster if I had some fangirl tears to revive you, but all I had was him." He pointed toward Fay.

"It's alright," the no-longer-catatonic man said, "You have to work with what you have. Who is he, anyway?"

"That's Fay. Fay, Subaru," Doumeki quickly introduced them. "He's going to see the wizard, too."

"Charmed," Fay managed, eyeing Subaru up. He looked familiar as well. "Weren't you the one…?"

Subaru held up a hand. "Probably. This is hitzusen, after all."

"Oh, goody."

"That's the spirit!"

"The spirit…?"

Subaru only smiled.

The three men exited the clearing and headed back to the road. The weather hadn't improved much, and they struggled to stay their course through the thrashing wind.

"Why are you looking for the wizard?" Fay asked as the sky opened up and cold rain pelted them.

"I need him to take my heart," Subaru answered.

"…"

"I can't have it anymore," Subaru insisted, "If I keep it, then I'll just continue on as a do-gooder and never develop as a character."

Fay winced. "But, wouldn't you be happier if you kept it?"

Subaru smiled. "Undoubtedly. But what kind of a story is that? If people wanted to watch a guy never change his mind about anything, ever, they could just hang out with 99.9% of the men they know. For free."

Fay considered this. It had a ring of truth to it, even if it was unpleasant to think about. And speaking of unpleasant thoughts…

"What was that you were saying earlier," he asked Doumeki, "About my childhood?"

"That? It was nothing."

"It wasn't 'nothing,' though. Is this really going to be that bad?"

Doumeki paused and turned to look Fay in the eyes. "Look, you've been all happy-go-lucky and goofy so far, right?"

Fay nodded.

Doumeki nodded and started walking again. "Then, yeah, it's really going to be that bad."

Fay pouted. "If I stop being all giddy, can I avoid this?"

Subaru shook his head. "It's way too late for that now. You've built up such a mountain of daffy that the fall is going to be world shattering."

"But I don't want my world to be shattered!" Fay yelped, then recollected himself and smiled deviously, "Unless… Does this mean Kuro-sama will help me pick up the pieces?"

"Oh no," Subaru said quickly, "You have to push him away now. You can't chance him being affected by your sordid presence anymore."

"What? But I love him! And what do you mean my sordid presence? We've been screwing like rabbits since Yama and nothing bad has happened to him!"

"Yet," Subaru corrected, "You really need to over-think these things more thoroughly. Besides, what's a love story without some conflict? And maybe an amputation or two? All the best love stories involve amputation*."

"Ampu-what? No! Look, we can write everything up till now off as fanservice for all I care! All of it! The pet names, the hand-holding, the jealous Tomoyo-baiting, the cradling and the head-stroking…"

"Yes, but then you'd be ignoring important plot-development and come off sounding like some silly homophobe whose head is so deep in the sand that one has to wonder if they read the same series as the rest of the world."

"Ouch."

"Yeah, I know, the truth hurts," Subaru laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "So, grow some back bone – just not too quickly, because that would be strange. Conflict is good for your character! If you write off all of your development as fanservice just because it involves a certain strapping young ninja, not only will you make him come off as a severely disturbed individual with a bizarre penchant for self-mutilation later, you won't be a dynamic character at all and you'll have served no real purpose in this story."

"I'm 'comic relief.'"

"No, Mokona is 'comic relief.' And much less time-intensive to draw, I might add. You're 'eye-candy,' which means that you need some sort of character development or readers will get sick of you."

"I get plenty of character development from interacting with Sakura…"

"Yes, but a) it's going to look really strange if you start acting like jerk to a little girl and b) you can't really count on characters like Sakura to be around for much longer."

"Characters like Sakura?"

"Yeah, you know; repeats. They always seem like a good idea in the beginning, but eventually CLAMP gets bored and stabs them. Sometimes twice."

"Oh my God…poor Sakura… I suppose there's always Syaoran…"

Subaru paused, grasping Fay's shoulders, "Look, I'm telling you. Readers are not going to forgive you acting like a complete bastard to children! It has to be Kurogane!"

"But I'm not a complete bastard! I'm a nice guy!"

Doumeki let loose a disgruntled sigh. "I told you. You have to ease into it."

"Ease into what?" Fay felt he was on the verge of going mad. "Aren't I just here to here to be a background character, anyway? Why do I have to go through all of this development? Hokuto and Kotori didn't have to do any developing!"

Subaru sighed. "And they're both dead now. Is that what you want? For CLAMP to kill you off and replay your bloody death a million and a half times over until the audience is completely convinced that you were never anything more than a plot device to begin with?"

"Sounds better than whatever they have in store for me now…" Fay mumbled miserably.

"See, now you're getting the hang of this," Subaru smiled and began walking again. "Besides," he continued, "If you pull this off well enough, they might even write you a happy ending."

"Did they write you a happy ending?"

"No."

"Goddamn it…"

Subaru smiled. "But who knows…Kurogane is less of a psychotic bastard than Seishiro was…there might be hope. Or you might just be left holding his eye and decide that everyone on earth needs to die."

"You are the most depressing character, ever."

"That's true," Subaru dug his hands into his cloak, "Say, can you hold onto something for me? I think I see Kamui up ahead…"

"Sure." Fay held out his hand.

"Thanks." Subaru dropped something fist-sized and slimy into it.

Fay closed his eyes, not certain he wanted to have any idea what he'd just agreed to hold. Against his better judgment, he opened them again and stared.

This really wasn't funny anymore.

He stuffed the still-beating heart into Doumeki's bag along with the brain. Off in the distance he could see Subaru dragging a grumpy-looking man wearing a fur collar and cat ears back toward them. Fay sighed.

"Yo," Doumeki greeted the grumpy-looking man.

"Mm."

"It's been awhile, Kamui," Doumeki continued, "What are the cat ears for?"

Kamui shifted uncomfortably. "…Moe?"

"Hmm…I always thought you'd pull off maid service moe better," Subaru sighed, "Though I suppose we can't really get through this without some sort of large feline. Anyway – Fay, Kamui; Kamui, Fay."

Kamui sniffed the air, his fur collar bristling. "He smells like an interference."

"Don't be so stand-offish, Kamui," Subaru chided.

"Can't help it," Kamui grunted, "It's the way I was written. Several times over, in fact."

Fay sighed and slung the ever-growing collection of organs over his shoulder. "Let me guess, you're going to see the wizard to get rid of your grump so you can progress into a more kind-hearted character?"

"No," Kamui snorted, "I'm going to the wizard to give him my balls."

"What?"

"Oh, sorry," Kamui shouted into Fay's ear, "MY BALLS!"

"Oh for fu…" Fay wiped the spittle off his face, "I heard you just fine. What the hell is getting rid of your balls going to accomplish?"

"I've got too many of them," Kamui said simply, "I can defeat Fuuma and save the world too easily. What I really need is to become a sniveling cry-baby and create some tension for my series."

"Oh. You mean your courage."

"Yeah, like I said: my balls."

"Well, what would you be giving away if you were a woman?" Fay demanded.

Kamui stared blankly.

"Ovaries," Doumeki offered after a long moment of silence.

"Ovaries. Really."

"Yeah. They both produce gametes. They're homologous."

"What the hell do gametes have to do with anything?"

Doumeki shrugged. Fay shook his head.

Kamui grunted. "Look, it's just a figure of speech."

Fay sighed and decided it was probably best to endure the rest of their journey in silence. It was getting dark and he was tired and worn out from a day of walking and sobbing. And Doumeki's satchel that he was still carrying certainly wasn't getting any lighter as they trudged on. He was growing more miserable by the minute as thoughts of refusing Kurogane danced through his head and he wondered just how long he was going to be doomed to sleeping alone before he could verifiably say his character had improved. What exactly had he done to warrant this treatment, anyway? He was so happy and pretty and bouncy and kind and wonderful he even made himself sick sometimes. Ahh…maybe Subaru was right after all. He'd overdone it. Now there was a price to pay. There was always a price to pay… Damn it!

Stupid hitzusen.

This sucked.

And he totally deserved it.

"Say, you're getting really good at that," Subaru said.

"Good at what?" Fay muttered, staring at the ground.

"Angsting. It's just dripping off of you now."

"I thought that was the rain."

"Yes, well, angst is soluble, so the rain is helping."

"I don't want to angst!" Fay cried, "I just want to be happy!"

"Oh, stop being so damned meta," Kamui snapped, "Look, this is very simple: Do you want to be happy or do you want to be famous? Now would be a good time to decide." He stomped off a way ahead of the others, muttering to himself as he went, "Good God…angsting about angst…who does that?" He stopped and pointed off to the side of the road. "We should camp here."

Fay squinted. "It's a field of dead poppies. That's not going to be comfortable."

Kamui pressed ahead, undeterred. "They're not dead, they just look black because there's no color here. It's fine."

Fay sighed. He supposed it was better than nothing, even if sleeping in a field of poppies seemed just as ridiculous as Kamui in cat ears. He settled down into the stems, tucked Doumeki's bag under his head, and closed his eyes.

"Hey," a hand shook his shoulder a moment later.

"What is it?" he murmured, opening his eyes to find Kamui staring back at him.

"Can you put this in the bag with the others?" Kamui pressed a package into his hand.

"Sure," Fay mumbled sleepily and shifted the bag out from under him.

Lighting flashed in the distance, illuminating the field.

"GODDAMN IT, KAMUI; THESE ARE NOT A FIGURE OF SPEECH!" he shouted, staring at his hands. He didn't know whether he was more disturbed that they were still warm or that there were three of them.

Silence.

"Kamui…?" he called again as thunder rolled over head. "Uh, guys?"

He stumbled to his feet, searching the field in vain for the men he had been traveling with. They were nowhere to be found.

"Looking for someone?" a voice asked from behind him.

He spun quickly around. "The Grand Sociopath of the West?"

"Ah, you remembered me!" Seishiro applauded. "I take it your journey was successful?"

"Successful? No! I didn't get anywhere and I'm left holding a bag of discarded body parts!"

Seishiro eyed the wizard questioningly. "But you have everything you need to go home now."

"How is that even possible? I haven't even found this wizard you told me about and I'm standing in the middle of a field in a thunderstorm. On top of that, I've just been informed that my life is about to take a hard-left into Suckville. If this is what I need to go home, then I think I'll take up permanent residence in the poppy field."

Seishiro smirked. "Let me spell it out for you then, since you insist upon being so deliberately obtuse. You've received a brain capable of knowing far more of the plot than anyone else you're traveling with could or should know, a heart madly in love with someone you can't be in love with, and extra balls to ensure you can stab your comrades with relative ease – though, sadly, you're still one short of actually being able to do anything about Ashura."

Fay stared. "Why would I want any of that? And what do you mean 'stab my comrades with relative ease?'"

"Oh, nothing," Seishiro chuckled, "I'd hate to spoil that for you…" he pulled himself back together, "Look, what I'm trying to say is that you've collected all of the ingredients to bake the perfect angst muffin. You don't need to stay here any longer."

"But what about the wizard?"

"Pssht. You are the wizard and you always have been. The Wizard of Angst." He paused. "Get it?"

"You're an asshole."

"No, I'm a sociopath," Seishiro pulled the eye patch from Fay's hair, "And now, it's time for you to be heading back. I'll be taking payment, of course."

Fay frowned. "What do you want? There seems to be an extra testicle floating around in this bag, if you'll take that…"

"No, I have a small collection of my own. Besides, didn't I tell you you'd be wanting this eventually?" He jogged the eye patch in front of the wizard's face.

'What do you meeeaaaAAHHHH!" Fay screamed as his eye was ripped from its socket. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt. Fay looked back at Seishiro, puzzeled.

"You've been missing this eye all along…" the Grand Sociopath declared. "Now, to get back to your friends, all you need do is fall to your knees and rage at the rain three times: Nothing sells like angst!"

"…"

"Oh, just do it. Or I'll be forced to make the 'Friend of Dorothy' joke I've been holding back all this time."

"Fine." Fay dropped to his knees and shook his fists at the sky. "Nothing sells like angst…"

(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.· Slowly, As If Waking From a Dream ·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)

Fay opened his eye and struggled into a sitting position. His body ached, but felt better than he thought it ought to. What had happened? There had been a field, and a sociopath, and something about muffins…

Now there were just a large number of weathered stone slabs and blood spatters. Well, at least his color vision had returned…

He sniffed. Something smelled delicious. Warm and tangy and irony…

That idiot still hadn't taken any treatment for the gash on his back. He smelled like a full English Breakfast with all the trimmings.

Damn it.

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be famous?

What did he want?

Do you want to be happy, or…?

He considered for a moment, then plastered a large, fake smile across his face.

"Good morning, Kurogane."

There had better be a happy ending in store for him…

* This was actually something Yuuko said in the English dub of xxxHolic…I giggled.

A/N: I've had sort of a love/hate relationship with this fic. I've been playing with it for longer than I'd care to admit, and I'm never sure whether it's good or I am insane… Needless to say, concrit is very welcome. Thanks for reading!