Presentiment/A Silent Blessing

'That jerk! That free loading, lazy bastard! He eats half the meal and then falls asleep! The nerve of some people! He doesn't even have the decency to help me clean up! That big oaf doesn't deserve Kohane's kindness.'

Watanuki continued his internal barrage of insults as he set a plate aside. Right now, he didn't even feel like doing the dishes, an activity he usually enjoyed. How could he when every time he glanced at a bowl or plate, his face, the face that caused him so much misery would appear, smirking. No, right now, he felt like releasing his anger on the real Doumeki.

He left the kitchen; careful to avoid the broken dishware he had "dropped" on the floor. (He promised to pay for those later.)

"I'm going to drag him in here and make him do the dishes," Watanuki muttered to no one in particular. "That'll teach him!" He continued to mumble to himself as he stalked to the living room.

"Dou-" He stopped when his eyes landed on Doumeki and Kohane. The former sat on the ground, leaning casually against the wall with Kohane against him. They were asleep. Her head rested gently on his chest while his arms encircled her lightly, but almost protectively. Fading light shone through the open sliding doors that led into the garden. Combined with the silence, it felt almost as if they were the only two creatures left in the world. Even the bugs were quiet, as if they thought a single noise would wake the pair.

It was the middle of fall so the evening air held a slight chill to it. Watanuki grabbed a blanket from a nearby room and approached them. That's when he realized it really wasn't completely silent. As he leaned in, he heard their even breathing not quite match up, overlapping in gentle waves. When he breathed in, she was already blowing out.

It was one of the most beautiful things Watanuki had ever heard.

He wrapped the blanket around Kohone first, leaving a soft kiss atop her head. He lingered there, breathing in her subtle sweet scent. Due to his size, Watanuki had to move in closer to get the blanket around Doumeki's shoulder. When he receded, on impulse, he gently kissed Doumeki's right eyelid, the eyelid that covered the eye they now shared.

A pang of sorrow shot through him. The moment passed quickly, but the meaning remained. It foreshadowed something larger and although he didn't know what was to come, he knew the he would…

"…disappoint." He withdrew but kept his eyes on Doumeki. "I'll disappoint you." Hovering over them, Watanuki glanced at Kohane and then back at Doumeki. Slowly, he got up and rubbed his right eye before returning to the kitchen. He had dishes to wash.

Doumeki opened his eyes to watch Watanuki's retreating back. He brought his calloused fingers to his face and ran one of them across the delicate skin, trying to recall the fleeting touch, but it was gone. Kohane stirred in his arms, blinking owlishly up at him.

"Is something wrong, Shizuka?" she whispered gently, her voice still laden with slumber. He stared down at her for a couple seconds and then sighed. "Nothing's wrong." Brushing some loose strands away from her face, he kissed her forehead. "Go back to sleep."

First posted story ever on this site. I feel accomplished. It only took me, what, two years or so. Would like to thank Eli for giving me the idea for this fic and for encouraging me to finally finish what I started, which I hardly ever do.

And I also want to point out that I hate the way xxxHolic ended. Basically, the two people who love Watanuki get together so their posterity could watch over him forever. That is messed up. I wanted to convey that, yeah, Doumeki loves Kohane, and they will move on, but he loves Watanuki too and wishes this could have turned out differently. I like or try to leave meaning in what is not said. Anyway, take it as you will and review please.