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Author: Amy the Evitable a.k.a.
Summary: Strange times, Strange
dreams. Written for a 'give me a title' challenge.
Doumeki had known something bad was coming.
For the last three days, he'd felt the very edges of it himself, like
the pressure system of a typhoon inexorably approaching. Today, the air
prickled along his skin, and when he looked at the sky through his
right eye, there was an ominous greenish cast.
But Watanuki been on edge for weeks. Had jumped at shadows, and his
claims that he had, of course, done no such thing had been perfunctory
at best. Had a pinched look to his face, and the shadows beneath his
eyes had grown deeper each morning.
It was worrying. Maybe that explained the dream.
Last night, he'd dreamt he had woken up some time after midnight and
felt a need to go outside. It hadn't, somehow, been a surprise to see
Watanuki and that woman standing beneath the huge red shrine arch.
Watanuki was silent, giving him a long, wide-eyed look, until Yuuko
laid a hand a hand upon one thin shoulder. Then the seer took off his
glasses and handed them to that woman. He spread a red cloth upon the
ground, and knelt upon it in formal seiza.
The silence made the scene feel entirely unreal; when that woman handed
Doumeki a silver comb and gestured toward Watanuki, it made a strange
dream-logic kind of sense. He knelt behind Watanuki on the red cloth,
and ran the comb through the seer's unruly dark hair. Long strokes,
from the crown of Watanuki's head to the longest tufts at the back of
his neck, and with each pull of the comb, the hair grew impossibly
longer, down Watanuki's neck, then after a few more strokes, past his
shoulders, and after even more strokes, the impossibly smooth, heavy
mass of it hid the protruding shoulder blades from Doumeki's sight.
Caught up in a tactile enchantment – the cool, sleek strands flowing
over his hands like satin, like pure water – Doumeki combed, and
combed, and combed more. He used his other hand to gather the heavy
mass, now almost to Watanuki's waist, and hold it up to meet sweeping
caress of the silver comb. The flow of the silky, midnight-dark locks
against the pads of his fingers, over the insides of his wrists, made
him hard and aching – or maybe it was the way Watanuki leaned
into each pull of the comb, yielding to Doumeki's rhythm.
Watanuki's hair was long enough to pool in his lap, when it wasn't
being lifted to be combed, and he could see the power within it,
quicksilver ripples of silvery-blue in constant motion. The beating of
his heart followed the pulsing of that power, as did the surging tides
of the arousal that filled him. He buried his hands into Watanuki's
impossibly long, impossibly perfect hair, and rubbed it against his
face, against his neck, and never once let the comb fall still.
And some impossible time later, that woman's voice interrupted, halting
his hands. "That's all he has to give now, Doumeki-san."
And Watanuki's head had fallen back, as though it was too heavy for his
neck to bear the burden any longer, and his cheeks looked hollow, and
the spaces under his closed eyes were dark – but when the mismatched
eyes fluttered open, the expression was languorous and sated, and he
stared straight at Doumeki's face.
"Watanuki," said that woman, and one of his fine-boned hands drifted up
to offer Doumeki a pair of silver scissors as Watanuki's eyes fell
Doumeki took the scissors, and when he did, Watanuki lifted his head
and let it fall forward onto his own chest. Doumeki stared at the
scissors in one hand, and at the wealth of hair that was captured in
his fist at the nape of Watanuki's nape, and fell, glimmering, to
become a blanket across his lap,
"It will be all right, Doumeki. It's freely given, and you will need
He came as the blades met, severing that impossibly long ponytail, and
had woken to find himself in need of cleaning and new nightclothes.
Now he stood on the shrine grounds, bow in hand, and knew the air was
too heavy and the sky too green and in the distance, shadows were
gathering into a funnel of darkness.
Footsteps approached, running, echoing in a strange staccato manner in
the heavy air, and Watanuki came to a stop, breathing in great gasps.
Was his hair just a little bit longer than it had been the day before?
"Here." With both hands, Watanuki offered him a coiled string, with
loops at both ends – a bowstring. A black bowstring. Long. Sleek.
Silky. When Doumeki strung his bow with it, grunting softly with
effort, he saw a glimmer of silver-blue light run up the string.
Doumeki took up his stance. Somehow, it no longer felt strange to do
this with no arrow in his hand. None that he could see, at least. And
as he waited for the single moment when the target called for his
arrow, he felt Watanuki step in close behind him, rest his head against
They were ready.
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