Title: Peacock Blue
Series: xxxHolic
Character/pairing: Clow/Yuuko
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note fic_promptly: the third time / kink bingo: feathers furs silk satin. Happy winter holidays, dropsofviolet!

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The third time he saw her, she was a peacock in silk and feathers. Her dress was a low-necked sheath of the most vivid blue which cupped every ample curve, and the material shone in the low light of the candles. She was not a future, a Ito be/I as the first time, or a brat of a trainee witch as the second, where the grudge against him was first form. Now, hundreds of years later, she was a woman full grown and well in control of her power.

She was not Yuuko Ichihara then, nor he Clow Reed. They were other names, other people in an ancient era that still believed in magic, and respected those who wielded its power.

That day, she wore a blue half-mask framed by white feathers, and made her way through the gathering, a glass of fine wine held in her blue gloved hand. Through the smoke and arcane satin decor of the party, she chatted up the other timeless magicians, some hundreds of years older than her. There was no quiet corner here, and already he knew of what conversations would happen, who would come to him, what they would say. Foresight had become tedious even then.

So he focused on her instead, over the starry glints of the floor, the curtains over the many windows of the ballroom made to look like constellations. She knew he was watching, and he knew that she knew he was watching. Perhaps that was why she never gave him another glance, not even to gloat that she, the skinny bratty trainee had grown into someone who could catch his eye.

Not that it was particularly hard to catch his eye. Now keeping his attention, that was an entirely different matter all together. But he knew her weakness then as he knew it now, and filled a glass. He made his way through the crowd of other lesser magicians, straight towards her.

"A glass of fine wine for a lovely lady?" He said.

"You never were very original," she said, with a smirk. Still, she took it and downed it with great pleasure, a momentary contentment coming over her features at the taste of her beloved alcohol.

"I must say, bitterness becomes you, my lady." He took one gloved hand.

"Well, then after ten minutes with you, I daresay I'll be the most lovely woman in this room," she said.

"You already are," he said. He did not break away from her gaze as he took one gloved hand to his lips and kissed it. The touch of silk leaving a sensual tingle against him.

This earned him a grudging smile.

"I think I will regret this one day, and perhaps it's merely the alcohol speaking, but perhaps I'll pay you the honor of a dance," she said.

"I would be ever so grateful. I might even share my wine, which as you probably know, my stocks of alcohol are legendary," he said.

"If you did, I might even momentarily mistake you for a gentleman," she said.

He smiled. "No one would mistake me for that, not even while dead drunk," he said.

He took her gloved hand to the middle of the starry floor, where the party had parted. A simple spell provided a sensual melody. She wasn't impressed, as mortal women often were. She waved her hand, and the melody was added to, until it was a symphony of collected instruments, like a silenced song set free.

He put his arm about her, resting over the silken blue material that covered her back. She looked mischievous as they began, downright devilish, as if this too was an attempt to humiliate him.

It was, of course. Back then it always was.

The dance was close and tense, neither breaking the intense, even challenging gaze. It was a contest of wills as they stepped one, two, three and he let her dip down low. They were quite pair, her in Peacock Blue and feathers, and him in his black robes with moons emblazoned over them, wearing a mask to match the starry decor. The pace increased, and they twirled and twisted together, close enough to brush and feel each other, close enough to catch the scent of spices, alcohol and opium over the exotic scent of her perfume.

The world and the knowledge of what would happen faded away, and for the first time in his life, something unpredictable, unseen had happened the moment she pulled his lips to hers into a kiss.

And that, was where they truly began.

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"Do you remember?" he would say, sometimes, in the hundreds of other times they visited each other.

So many memories, so many times. All of them dulled by lots and lots of alcohol. Of course, they never could stand each other any other way.

"I try not to, but unfortunately, the alcohol never kills enough brain cells to fully erase you," she said. He'd been there for two whole days, and she was already about ready to erase him from existence.

"Just to know you remember makes me a little happier," he said.

And she did not say and I'd be even happier if I bashed this bottle over you, no, she remained unpredictable and said nothing. But her face in all its gentle nostalgia told all.