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28 June 2011 @ 10:36 am
xxxholic; red strings; doumeki/watanuki; r  
Title: red strings
Author: nebulia@con_noncuranza
Fandom: xXxHOLiC
Length: ~1350 words
Rating: R, for graphic depictions of violence
Summary: Watanuki leaves. Doumeki needs him. Also, he may be immortal.
Warnings: While this is not self-harm as usually considered, there is self-harm and something rather like suicide. Also, kind of weird.
Notes: For the wtfholic_fest, for two promtps: one being the sample prompt, that is: <a href="http://wtfholic-fest.livejournal.com/1186.html">It took Doumeki a few years to realise he wasn't getting older</a>, and the other being: "I'll come back, and we'll be young men together again." (/shameless quote stealing from Inception), although unfortunately I did not get the use that line. However! This popped into my head, and I actually have another fic I'm also working on for these two prompts combined. So. :D



red strings

Oh into the sea of waking dreams
I follow without pride
Nothing stands between us here
And I won’t be denied




Watanuki vanishes with the shop in a sea of blood and wood chippings.

He stares at the field for an hour, and then he goes home and destroys the kitchen.

The floor had suddenly sucked in beneath him like a drain, and Watanuki had smiled at him, the kind of smile people have when they know they're going to die and they know you're going to hate them for it.

He hurls a plate across the room, and can't help but feel a rush of bitter, wrathful satisfaction as it breaks through the shouji and shatters on the floor behind it.

Then he drinks and drinks and drinks until he pukes for what seems like hours, and then he tips over and curls up next to the toilet and cries.

--

In the morning he steps on a shard of shattered ceramic, barefoot. He wouldn't have noticed it but there is a bloody footprint on the floor, following him like a shadow. When he sits down—on the tatami mat, he'd destroyed all the chairs and there are feathers from the floor cushions in his hair—and examines it, he pulls a shard as long as his thumb and wider still at the base from the arch of his foot.

It doesn't even hurt, not really. It's like he's out of things to hurt.

If he saw Watanuki right now, he would probably punch him.

The cut won't stop bleeding for over an hour. He bandages it and goes on with his day. He doesn't clean up the house but steps around it. He sits outside next to the pond and watches the koi. He contemplates burning down the whole temple.

That night his foot still bleeds, a slow faint ooze that doesn't really distress him. It has probably bled like that most of the day. If it's still bleeding in the morning maybe he'll go to a doctor.

Maybe.

--

He wakes up shaking, sweating, gasping in the night.

He knows what to do.

--

The next day he limps to the shop and walks out into the field and there, in the middle, half-buried and rotted in the earth like it's been there for decades, is a pipe.

He kneels. He takes out a knife. He holds his left hand over the pipe, and there it is, the faintest glimmer of red, twisting around his fingers and down his arm, stretching away from him and fading.

He slits his wrist, knife digging deep into the skin. It bleeds heavily, as he expected. Most drips onto the pipe, but some of it thickens the gossamer red until it's a thread, not a gleam in the sun. It gains form again as it leads away from him, pulls taut, draws him down into the earth.

The ground beneath him parts like water. The pipe is in his hand, once-faded red and black lacquer suddenly clean and shining again, and he lets himself fall like Watanuki did, tumbles not through dirt or earth or water but mist and fog and grayness. His blood follows him down in a train of droplets and pulses and spurts. The red thread burns, starting in his pinky and following the twisting line around his hand and wrist, down his arm, leaving deep red lines in his skin like a tattoo of blood, of hope, of need.

He closes his eyes.

--

And lands in water, or something like it, silvery and slick and parting for him, and yet not like it, strangely dry and calm, despite a current. It is not cold and not warm and not even lukewarm.

Idiot, something says, and pulls him out, a long-fingered hand grasping his wrist and pulling. He comes out of the water and breathes for what feels like the first time in years.

What are you doing? Watanuki, or something like him, says.

It is Watanuki, and yet, maybe it isn't. It is like a pale version of him, hair darker than he'd ever seen black be, skin pale, though Watanuki was pale to begin with. No glasses, eyes still as blue as before he left, though as always, his left eye is a pale shadow of his right.

And he doesn't speak aloud, though his mouth moves. Instead, it echoes in his head like an errant thought.

Why—you—

He's still clutching his wrist, and he turns it over. The thread has burned into his skin but beneath it is an open, gaping wound, cut deep, almost to the bone. It still bleeds, but the blood wraps around them like smoke.

Watanuki looks up at him. His eyes are huge. What were you thinking? he demands. Why did you—Some of the blood has settled on his cheekbone, shockingly red against the white skin.

"You can't leave," Doumeki tells him, and his voice is louder than he expected. He realizes suddenly that it is completely silent wherever they are. There isn't even the strange ringing he usually hears in his ears when there is nothing but utter silence.

It is unnerving but also calming.

I can and I have, Watanuki says.

"No, you can't. We need you."

Who needs me? Watanuki asks, and laughs. Mokona is gone. Moro and Maru are gone. Mugetsu is is gone. You're all that's left.

"I need you," Doumeki says, and the words sting his throat, raw and painful.

You don't need me, Watanuki says. He closes his fingers around the gash in his wrist. No. You don't. Blood spills across his hands.

"I do. You're coming back with me."

Watanuki watches him carefully. His fingers are still closed around the cut. You can't. You can't leave. We can't leave. This is—this is a tomb. My tomb. He looks down. There is misery written across his face, the kind of misery you feel when you finally come to terms with something that has been true all your life, something you hoped wasn't true so badly that you began to believe it. Yuuko-san is never coming back. I will wait forever, but she will never come. So—I'm going to rest here instead.

"Then I'll stay with you." The egg in his pocket—reflex to put it there every morning—hums. "I'll stay here with you."

There's nothing here. Watanuki looks up, into the grey and blue and black mist or fog or smoke.

"I'm a dead man anyway." He takes his right hand and uncurls Watanuki's fingers from his wrist. Inside he can see sinews and flesh and tendons and deep within a white streak of bone.

Watanuki shakes his head and swallows. I can't let you—

"But I'm stuck here."

I'll find a way, he says fiercely. I'll find—

"Why? Why do you care?"

Watanuki looks down at Doumeki's wrist. Traces his fingers across the red line winding around his skin and the sleeve of his kimono falls back. His own left hand is marked similarly, Doumeki realizes, the red thread as much a contrast as his own blood. I just do, all right? he snaps. I just—I care, dammit!

Doumeki looks at him, comforted by the sudden aggression. Watanuki's eyes are glassy, like he might cry, and yet it seems like tears would be impossible for this pale, pale Watanuki, for his butterfly-blue eyes and his too-black hair.

"I have something," Doumeki says. The egg still hums. He pulls it out of his pocket, and presses it into one of Watanuki's hands wrapped around his wrist. The egg flares bright gold, and they both reel back from the sudden brightness.

Watanuki brushes long fingers across the warm shell of the egg. It feels like it is alive and brilliant. What is—

"I've had it since—for a long time," he says. "Since just after the window."

He looks up at Doumeki. Hie eyes are even bigger, if it was possible. You are—

Doumeki smiles and kisses him, and the place where they are—this limbo of grey and black and blue—blazes around them.

--

There is a thick, ropy, keloided scar on the sole Doumeki's foot, and an even larger one on his left wrist. Sometimes at night in the temple Watanuki kisses it, sucks red and purple marks into the pale skin around it, and looks up at him like he might shatter. Those nights the shouji is always open, and they lie there and watch the stars move with the seasons. The thumb of Doumeki's right hand under Watanuki's pale left eye where he can feel the lashes flutter, Watanuki's long left fingers on his scar, red thread wrapping them tightly together like a covenant, like an answer.
 
 
 
Andrea: 104 → top!watanukiandreaphobia on June 28th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
YOU WROTE FIC HOLY SHIT

okay let me go and read it now XD
Andrea: 104 → top!watanukiandreaphobia on June 28th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
oh my GOD this is fucking intense oh god oh god oh god I'm hyperventilating

I FUCKING

LOVE THIS you bloody fucking GENIUS



BLOOD EVERYWHERE




YESSS



and the last paragraph fucking killed me jsyk

JUST

SO

YOU

KNOW
Andrea: 104 → doumeki is bossandreaphobia on June 28th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
OH GOD
Andrea: 104 → top!watanukiandreaphobia on June 28th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
SO INTENSE I CAN'T BREATHE I THINK YOU'VE LITERALLY KILLED ME
perhaps from middle dutch.: havemercy maraudersnebulia on June 28th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU THANK YOU

OH MY GOD I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT

I wrote it in like two hours it just came to me

I haven't written something this kind of odd and weird in soooo long and it felt so good.

BUT OH GOD I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT.
Andrea: 104 → top!watanukiandreaphobia on June 28th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
two hours you BITCH how is that even humanly possible

BITCH

THIS WAS SO AMAZING NO WAY IT TOOK YOU TWO HOURS

SLUT i don't know what other nonsensical insults i can call you

NEVER WRITE ANYTHING ELSE AGAIN OKAY THIS IS MY FAVORITE STUFF EVER JUST LIKE THE BLOOD AND THE WEIRDNESS AND THE CRAZINESS

HELL YES
perhaps from middle dutch.nebulia on June 28th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
I DON'T KNOW IT JUST CAME TO MEEEE DON'T KILL ME PLEASE

If it helps I'm writing something that's 7000 words and I have been writing it for, oh, three years and going because I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT so perhaps this is fate giving me a break

I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN NEVER WRITE ANYTHING ELSE AGAIN BUT I'LL TRY REALLY REALLY HARD FOR YOUUUUUUU
Taihen!: DOGS-Badouchinpirako on June 28th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Andrea brought me here XD

Very nice fic!! It had a very dream-like feeling and it was also very xxxHolic-like, I mean, the images you describe in it, for example the smoke...it's very accurate and very well written!

And also, I wish xxxHolic had ended like this. And not the way it did....
perhaps from middle dutch.nebulia on July 3rd, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

You can pretend this is the last chapter...? >.>
ekaterin: DouWata I'll be thereekaterin24 on July 3rd, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Wow.
perhaps from middle dutch.nebulia on July 3rd, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
I hope that's a good wow and not an "oh my god what the fuck is this shit" wow. xP

(I gotta admit, I was sort of leaning towards the latter myself while I was writing it. Like...what is coming out of my head right now? Good god. xD)
ekaterin: DouWata I'll be thereekaterin24 on July 4th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
No, no, that was an "intense, imaginative, really good" wow!! I prefer happier endings but that's optional when the fanfic is original, in character and very well written like this one!
perhaps from middle dutch.: oh shi--nebulia on July 5th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad! :D

haha, for me and holic this is about the happiest ending they can get. At least they're alive and together. xD I'm glad you liked it though, even if weird bittersweet endings aren't your thing. :D
and the sky slows for love ♥: & her nose stuck in a bookstillskies on May 29th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
♥♥♥♥♥

This was gorgeous and fantastic and I would quote my favorite parts, but then I would have to quote the entire fic.

It's been a very long time since I've read something for this fandom that took my breath away with the details. You have such a way with words that I am beyond envious of. Each scene is just so... vivid.

Thank you for sharing this. ♥