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Author: Amy the Evitable a.k.a. Lunar
Written for the LibriHolic LJ community, an AU set at CLAMP university
wherein Watanuki is the head librarian, and Doumeki is a grad
student... and all the rest of the CLAMP multiverse can be found, too.
For Drae and Kat, because they rock my world.
If Watanuki Kimihiro, librarian extraordinaire, had one weakness it
would be --
Well, frankly, if you took a poll among the students and faculty at
CLAMP University, the unanimous result would be that Watanuki
Kimihiro's one weakness was a total inability to retain his cool in the
presence of one Doumeki Shizuka.
Not that his cool was all that spectacular in general, but this is
beside the point.
If one approached the librarian himself as he manned his post at the
information desk, and asked what his one weakness would be, the reply
you would receive --amidst much stammering and full-body wriggling--
would be 'genki girls.'
Watanuki Kimihiro found it absolutely impossible to say no to genki
girls. Especially when they pulled out the puppy-dog eyes. Those eyes
were unfair and ought to be just as illegal as any other form of
brainwashing, in the librarian's opinion.
This had already lead to any number of distressing situations,
including the inter-library loan of a certain unnamed volume from
Miskatonic University in Massachusetts at the request of the four women
who made up the Manga Club.
But the less said about that, the better.
It was two particularly exemplary specimens of genki feminity who had
Watanuki pinned at the moment. Both Sumeragi Hokuto and Daidouji Tomoyo
were adorable, cheerful, and kind. It had always puzzled Watanuki that
at times the dearest friends of the girls – Sumeragi Subaru and
Kinomoto Sakura, respectively – would from time to time get a wild look
around the eyes, and attempt to flee when approached by the delightful
After this encounter, Watanuki would no longer be puzzled by this
When they'd approached him, he'd been happy to offer his assistance. As
members of the Drama Club – the senior Costume Designers, no less! --
they had often consulted with Watanuki in order to research appropriate
period dress for a campus production. They were always polite in their
requests, which were made in a timely manner unlike those of a certain
Professor Ichihara, and they treated the books with appropriately
reverent care. Were it appropriate for librarians to have favorites,
Hokuto and Tomoyo might be among Watanuki's.
So they stood before him, Tomoyo in her school uniform and long dark
hair worn loose, and Hokuto in an outfit that resembled nothing so much
as one of the giant orchids Watanuki had seen in a recent television
special about rare carnivorous flora of the rainforests.
But on Sumeragi-chan, it was cute. Really.
"So as part of European History Month, we're going to put on something
by William Shakespeare! Everyone is terribly excited about it, and
Ichihara-sensei is serving as the faculty sponsor," said Hokuto, ending
with a firm nod that caused her outfit to billow in sort of a feral
snapping-shut sort of way.
But it was a lovely shade of lavender. Honestly.
"That's good," replied Watanuki, as he carefully edged back a few more
inches and wished the tiniest bit that he hadn't told the girls it was
permissable to come to his side of the counter so they could look over
his shoulder as he searched. "So, you'll be wanting some information on
Western costuming? Are you looking for the costumes that would have
been used in the original productions, or costumes authentic to the
"We've decided to keep as close to the original production as
possible." Tomoyo gave a hesitant smile. "We're trying to recreate a
slice of British history."
Watanuki rushed to reassure her. "Yes, yes, that's wonderful! I'm sure
you'll do a very authentic job."
The smile steadied. "You're willing to help us, Watanuki-san?"
"Of course! To the best of my abilities!" Surely there was no job more
rewarding then his, thought Watanuki. To be so relied-upon by the
students, to have his expertise so valued! "I know for a fact we have
several excellent books on the subject!"
"Oh, yes! Watanuki-san has the library so well-stocked! We were able to
find very detailed examples of the costumes!"
"It's all been sewn already, in fact. We just need to do the final
Watanuki deflated a bit. "Ah, so... I'm glad you were able to find your
research materials. So... With what did you need my help? Finding
appropriate props and acessories?"
"Not... exactly..." Hokuto stepped a bit closer. Watanuki couldn't help
but notice just how empty the library had become in the last few
minutes. Aside from the three of them, it looked entirely deserted.
It was almost uncanny.
"Watanuki-san, did you know that in Shakespeare's era, they didn't
allow women on the stage? They thought it wasn't appropriate. So all
the women's parts were played by men. Short and slender men. I guess
they were maybe... kind of pretty men."
Right then, the very genki girls were reminding him of a pack of
wolves, circling the prey and cutting off avenues of escape.
"How fascinating." Watanuki laughed, and rubbed at the back of his head.
"We are trying to be as authentic as possible --"
"-- and my brother had a lead role, but was suddenly called away by
family business --"
"-- You know how few boys are in the Drama Club, don't you? Subaru-kun
didn't have an understudy."
"And we don't have time to order the material and sew a whole new
costume. But you're about the same height and build as my brother..."
Watanuki laughed again, and there was an edge of hysteria to it.
"You're teasing me, aren't you? It's very funny..."
Tomoyo pulled out the puppy dog eyes. "Oh, no Watanuki-san. We would
never tease about something so important as the Drama Club. We were
really hoping we could count on you to help us – you've always been so
dedicated to helping us create quality productions before. And you said
you'd help to the best of your abilities. We really need you to take
"But... it wouldn't be appropriate! This is a student production! I'm a
Hokuto added her big, sorrowful eyes to the struggle. "But since we
were on such a tight timeframe, with an all-male cast, we had to
request other staff and faculty to take roles! For example,
Seishirou-san is playing the role of Don John!"
"I..." Watanuki swayed, but his resolve remained firm, even in the face
of two-fisted puppy-dog eyes. "I really don't think I can help you with
The girls exchanged a sorrowful look. "Himawari-chan will be so
disappointed," whispered Tomoyo.
"Didn't we mention that Himawari was directing? It's her directorial
debut! She's been so nervous about it, and we've had to reassure her
night and day that everything will come together... But now..."
Watanuki's shoulders sagged, admitting defeat before the rest of him
was quite ready to surrender. "The role – it's not Juliet, is it?"
"No no no!" Tomoyo hastened to reassure him. "We'd never ask that of
you! Besides, Himawari-chan wanted to direct a comedy!"
"It would make her so happy if you'd agree to step in and save the day!"
"I... All right. I'll do it."
What happened next will forever remain mercifully blurred in Watanuki's
memory... or perhaps only until someone finally gives into the urge to
show him the footage from Tomoyo's portable camera.
But so far as Watanuki will later recall, from nowhere Hokuto a
creation of burgundy and rose velvet,with cream-colored lace spilling
out of every haberdashing orfice. There was a an almost fetish-worthy
proliferation of black satin ribbon, crisscrossing hither and thither
After a longer look, Watanuki removed the qualifier. It was without a
doubt fetish-worthy. Someone seriously into bondage had been give far
too much input on the bodice of the dress.
He held out his arms. "I'll see if I can figure out how to get into it."
Watanuki swears that the next few moments are proof of the existence of
supernatural beings on the campus. House elves. Stack gnomes.
Day-tripping grey aliens. SWAT teams of sartorial ninjas. Because there
was no way on earth those two sweet, innocent girls could pin and strip
a man in less than 60 seconds.
Even the camera footage is blurred, much to a certain someone's
disappointment. There are high-pitched shrieks of protest –"What? Wait!
No, don't take – Ah! Don't touch me there!" There are slightly
lower-pitched reassuring noises about professionalism, and the outfit
absolutely requiring a team of dressers. Drab dark clothing is flung
away from the camera at great velocity, and there are only a few
blurred shows of pale, pinkened flesh.
(Though Doumeki's frame-by-frame search does conclusively reveal a
dainty little hand delivering a naughty little pinch to what is
unmistakably a nicely rounded librarian ass. He is still not certain if
he should give into his urge to snicker or his urge to deliver a stern
talking-to about pinching other people's librarians without
When Watanuki regains some sense of orientation, he is in the middle of
a tug-of war. Hokuto and her carnivorous-orchid dress are wrapped
around his torso. Behind him, on the other end of the strings, he can
hear Tomoyo making soft grunts of effort.
This would not be half so distressing if A) He were entirely sure that
Houkto's high-fashion was vegetarian, or at least recently fed, and B)
the strings being tugged were not lacing up the burgundy corset around
"On the count of three..."
Watanuki tries to draw a breath to protest, but finds the space in
which breath can be drawn in short supply.
The girls each took a step back.
"Stay!" ordered Hokuto.
They circle Watanuki, as he tries to learn how to breath without
expanding his diaphragm.
There is a 'tsk' noise. "We either need more padding around the hips,
or we need to make that corset tighter."
"Maybe if we shift the padding around a bit?"
Hokuto is in front of him again, and he can see both her hands, so that
means the hands shifting and fluffing and plumping the padding around
his ass had to be....
Had to be those stack gnomes. Or the day-tripping aliens. Because
Tomoyo-chan Would Not Do That.
Hokuto-chan gives him a dazzling smile. "You look lovely, Watanuki! We
just need to make a few adjustments to give you the perfect set of
He tries to reply; it is probably the better for his reputation as a
gentleman that he does not suceed.
"Don't try to breath from the gut. It won't work with the corset.
Breath from up high – it makes your chest heave so nicely!"
Watanuki finds that by complying, he is able to pant. Shallowly. Tomoyo
emerges from beneath his skirts – the sartorial ninjas must have snuck
out while he was distracted, using some particularly occult form of
ninjitsu – and he is again circled, measured up, and found wanting.
"That helped, but..."
"Oh, definitely. Either more chest padding or we lace him up tighter."
"Ahhh... I don't think --"
The tug-of-war has started up again, and the noises both girls are
making are evocative of sumo wrestlers in extremity. They struggle, but
the laws of physics dictate that the matter in Watanuki's torso can
only compress so far.
Until something happens that drives the last tiny bit of air out of
"WHAT is HE doing HERE --- ITAAAAIII!"
"Now that is absolutely as tight as it will go."
"No doubt about it. We'll need more chest padding."
"What --" pant "Is HE--" pant, pant...
"Oh, we asked your co-star to come up and pose for some publicity
photos with you!"
"Hai!" They beamed at him in stereo. He had to turn away. If he didn't,
his rage would come face to face with all that genkiness, and it would
be like a matter/anti-matter explosion, and the carnage would be
horrible, and all but impossible to clean up.
Facing the other way, Watanuki saw that Doumeki was as wide-eyed as
he'd ever seen the bastard. His eyes kept sweeping up and down
Watanuki's costumed body. If Watanuki had not been so lost to his rage
that Doumeki got a cool costume – leather and linen and a vaguely
piratical, swashbuckling look, damn him! -- he might have noticed a
faint hint of blush on Doumeki's cheeks – and other reactions elsewhere
on Doumeki's body.
That is not to say these reactions went entirely unobserved.
"Hokuto-chan, hadn't we better go find some padding?"
"Mmm, definitely. And maybe some silk flowers for Watanuki-san's hair!"
"Doumeki-san, would you mind waiting with Watanuki for a few moments?
While the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absense, the
absence of a reply from Doumeki was evidence enough, and the girls
quickly made themselves scarce.
Watanuki brooded, and noticed further evidence of supernatural
phenomena. Miniscule shadows were invading his library. Was it not
agony enough to see his beloved stacks yet again violated by the
presence of Doumeki? Must the library also suffer an invasion of small
black specks? He tries to focus on them – were they bugs? Kanji
escaping from the printed page? Tiny black holes? But they remained
frustrating on the periphery of his vision.
And the aliens had to be messing with the gravity. The floor was
"Oi. Are you ok?"
"This... this thing – they laced it very tightly."
"Really, really tightly."
A raised eybrow.
"How difficult is it to understand? Are you blind? You may be too lazy
to ever open your eyes all the way, but surely even the miniscule slice
of vision you bother to obtain tells you something about the costume
they forced me into!"
"Aa." The dots were multiplying, but still taunting him by remaining at
the edges of his sight. "It looks nice on you."
"WHAT DID YOU SAY! You did not just say that. You were not speaking
Japanese. You must have been speaking some obscure African dialect, and
I entirely misheard what you were saying. Or maybe it was the echoes.
Very distorted echoes, because You Did Not Just Say What I Heard You
Say!" He was panting now, furiously and quickly. "You certainly did not
say it as I was explaining, with clarity sufficient to instruct a class
of pre-schoolers that this... this.... THIS CORSET has been laced too
tight and I cannot breathe!"
"So loosen it."
Watanuki's arms raised above his head, bent, and the elbows bobbled
back and forth as his hands searched behind his back for the knot of
the laces. Only fragments of his muttered monologue could be heard. "Of
all the... I can't believe you... Totally inappropriate!"
After a few moments, the elbows came down. If the knot could not be
reached from above, he'd get at it from below. He could feel the
criss-crossing of the laces easily, could follow them up as they pulled
the velvet tight across his abdomen and chest, but where was the knot?
He bent forward, and continued fumbling. No good. He twisted to the
left, then to the right. Still not good. He bend and twisted, and then
shouted, "Would you stop staring at me? How can I concentrate with you
staring at me like that! Look away immediately! As far away as
possible! Even better, close your eyes and find some sand in which to
bury your head immediately!"
Doumeki continued to stare. "I don't think your vertabrae are supposed
to do that."
"You are Not Helping." He had to pant a few moments before he could
continue. "Far from being helpful, your staring – and entirely
unwarranted comments! -- are impeding my work."
It was possible that he'd regret that contortion come tomorrow morning,
but there was no way he'd admit it. The arms went back up. The knot
wasn't at the bottom of the corset. That meant it had to be at the top,
right? Nobody would be so sadistic as to tie it right where you
couldn't reach no matter how hard you tried....
Certainly not such delightfully genki girls as Hokuto-chan and
It must have been by accident. Entirely by accident. Because the
universe hated him. But it was really getting harder and harder to
breathe, and as having one's obituary describe one's death as a tragic
cross-dressing accident would be marginally more humiliating then the
"Um. The knot... Could you... I need you to... "
"What?" Doumeki was smirking. "You'll have to be more specific. I'd
hate to do anything unhelpful."
"Damn it, would you help me get this infernal piece of clothing off of
Doumeki approached his back. Watanuki hung his head forward. Damn it.
"I just want to make sure I have this straight. You want me to take
your clothes off? In the middle of the library?"
"YOOOOOOUUUUUUU!" was all Watanuki managed to say before the swarm of
black dots dive-bombed him, sending him into darkness.
There was a brilliant light, and Watanuki felt himself drawn towards it
through what felt like a long, dark tunnel. There was a radiant surge
as he approached, and he could swear he heard the voices of angels,
high-pitched and sweet. The voice of his own personal guardian angel
trilled in his ears. "...will make wonderful publicity shots! You two
look so dramatic together!"
'You two'? When darling Himawari-chan said that phrase, it almost
As Watanuki's eyes fluttered open, revealing the stoic demeanor of
Doumeki Shizuka above him, the camera flashed for a third time. It
captured the image of Watauki draped backwards over Doumeki's arm...
like some swooning heroine on a cheap romance novel.
In his damn corset.
Perhaps the obituary wouldn't have been so bad, after all.
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