Chapter 1: A Pirate's Life for Me!
Yue stirred as he felt the change begin. He had been sleeping the sleep of the hardworking guardian (the sleep of the lazy guardian if you asked Keroberos; Yue never did), and was certainly not expecting it on what had been an utterly uneventful day. He hadn't been paying much attention to what Yukito had been doing up to that point- all was well, and beyond that what did he need to know? Paying too much attention to what Yukito was doing tended to cause diabetic shock in any case.
He opened his eyes and immediately regretted his inattention. For a first, he was rather firmly tied up, a rope holding his arms behind his back and circling his chest. Second, and perhaps worse, was the fact that instead of his normal white and purple, he was wearing a frothy, lacy concoction of pink and white.
He was tied up. And he was wearing a dress.
And he was on . . . a ship?
Yes, it was definitely a ship. Wooden deck, masts, cannons, coils of rigging, the whole nine yards. He'd seen his fair share and more, as Clow had been bizarrely fond of that mode of transportation. Yue, for his part, was nowhere near so attached to them. They smelled bad, and they tended to be crewed by men who had been scraped out of the dirty back alleys of the local bars at the last port-of-call. Clow had waxed poetic on the beauty of sailing ships, but then he'd had his nose spelled shut. Due to security concerns, Yue hadn't allowed himself that luxury.
This ship, bizarrely, didn't smell at all, though the rocking motion was authentic enough. Yue staggered-- was he wearing shoes? Heels?-- and found himself with a face full of wool and linen that (thankfully) smelled of nothing other than wool and linen.
"Haven't gotten your sea legs yet?" Strong hands on his shoulders set him back on his feet, and he found himself blinking up into Touya's handsome, tanned face, Touya's concerned dark blue eyes-- blue eye--
--why was Touya wearing an eye patch? For that matter, why was Touya wearing a rakish tricorn hat? And since when did Touya have enough hair to pull back into a short tail at the base of his neck?
"What," Yue said in what he thought was a perfectly reasonable tone of voice given the circumstances, "the hell is going on here?"
"Language, Yue, Tomoyo wants this to qualify for the PG-12 rating," Touya whispered, then raised his voice theatrically. "I am of course the Dread Pirate Touya, the dashing scourge of the Spanish Main, who has kidnapped you mostly unwillingly from your rich father's mansion after hearing many a totally justified rumor of your beauty. Now, as we sail the perfect blue waters of the Caribbean, you find yourself falling for your handsome and daring captor, and--"
"Sails off the starboard bow!" There were sailors after all-- Yue couldn't imagine how he had missed them. Perhaps because, bizarrely, they did not smell, and appeared to be-- he had to look again to be sure his eyes were giving him the proper information- a series of clones of That Boy from Hong Kong.
"Where away?" Touya boomed.
"Six points to! It's--" a very dramatic gasp, "--it's the Farseer, flagship of your arch-nemesis, Commander Eriol!"
How in the world was Touya the captain of a ship crewed by at least ten copies of Syaoran Li?
"Is this some sort of strange dream?" Yue demanded.
Touya raised the eyebrow not over his eye patch and dropped his voice to a rumbling whisper once again. "If that's what you think this is, then exactly what are your dreams usually like?"
Yue squelched the sudden and completely unreasonable urge to shiver. "I do not--"
"She's on an intercept course!" The shout came again from the heights of the rigging.
"Ready the cannons!" Touya was suddenly all action, whirling with a dramatic flair of his long coat. "All hands, prepare for battle! Doubtless he seeks to deprive us of our prize!"
Ship-to-ship combat was admittedly not an area Yue was familiar with, but the movements of the two vessels seemed overly cinematic, and rather quick. Nautical commands flew fast and furious through the air, most of them of dubious intent and meaning. The cannons discharged with concussive force, but didn't seem to do much other than make noise. They certainly didn't allow space for thought; unable to cover his ears, Yue set his teeth and endured. Watching Touya pace up and down the deck, shouting orders and occasionally getting into miniature glaring matches with various Li's, was sufficient entertainment in and of itself. Especially with the high boots, and a rolling stride to accommodate the pitch of the ship--
--definitely not the appropriate time for that kind of thought, Yue reminded himself sternly. If the cannons would just hold up for a minute maybe he could figure out why he was tied up, wearing a dress and heels, on a ship crewed by Li-clones and captained by Touya and under attack by Commander Eriol- or maybe he was being rescued by Commander Eriol? Which made even less sense than the fact that he was tied up and wearing a dress.
Because there was absolutely no way for him to be wearing a dress, let alone for him to be tied up, unless a) magic was involved, b) Yukito had put on the dress and been tied up before he initiated the change, or c) both.
Growing suspicion towards option c was diverted by another shout from the Li-clone in the rigging, which somehow penetrated the consistent roar of the guns. "Captain! They're coming up along side!"
"All hands, prepare to be boarded!" Touya roared. "No surrender and no compromise! We keep what we've fairly stolen!"
The other ship was indeed pulling up alongside, and pandemonium ensued as grappling hooks whistled through the air and clanged home on the railing. Following them came . . .
Yue changed the status of what he was experiencing from dream to nightmare, because a swarm of Nakuru-clones wielding slim swords were leaping across to do battle with the horde of Li-clones wielding cutlasses. Did military uniforms really involve that many lacy ruffles?
At least the canons had stopped. Yue shook his head, impatient for the ringing in his ears to subside, and used the break to attempt to figure out what was going on. Now that he could actually think, he could definitely recognize the aura of Clow Cards all around him. With a moment's concentration, he could also recognize which ones-
"Avast, Dread Captain Touya! I am here to rescue the fair Yue from your evil scheme, and put an end to your pirate career for good!"
The shout broke right through Yue's attempt at intelligent thought and yanked his head back to the other ship. Definitely one he knew, though it was still trying to settle into the deeper pitch of an adult. Considering how surreal everything else was, it should have been no surprise to see Eriol posed dramatically on the railing of the other ship in a military dress uniform, the ridiculous hat he wore with remarkable aplomb topped by an immensely fluffy feather. He looked far too pleased with himself for Yue's liking- at least that was normal, even though nothing else was.
"You think you can win against me, you prancing English dog? Let's see you back up your words with steel!" Touya had taken up an equally dramatic pose on a suddenly clear section of the deck.
Eriol drew his blade with a flourish before jumping the distance between the two ships. "Have at you!" he proclaimed, and swords met with a far too musical clangor. Because when you hit one flat piece of metal against another, while it makes a noise it can never precisely be described as ringing. Nor should it have resulted in smatterings of sparks, no matter how impressive they looked.
Watching Touya engage in an overly acrobatic swordfight across the deck was no less distracting than the cannon fire had been, but for entirely different reasons. Despite the noise of steel striking steel, though, it wasn't nearly as loud. If he tried Yue found that he could actually think, and even concentrate enough to identify the auras of various Cards in the vicinity- that was Create, holding everything together, working in tandem with Woody and Watery. With Mirror and Twin taking care of the Nakuru- and Li-clones, Illusion handling the special effects, and Cloudy providing a backdrop-
Actually the whole thing was impressively complex, and must have required a great deal of planning and advance preparation. It was an excellent demonstration of Sakura's maturing ability and power, in fact, although the ends to which she had put so much effort could only be described as adolescent, and was likely influenced by one of the romance novels Yukito had caught her reading (and had tactfully neglected to tell anyone about; in retrospect a bad move). If Yue could manage to take his eyes off the swordfight for a moment he was sure he'd be able to locate the Mistress herself- and her partners in crime, as well, since this production just screamed out the bad (possibly fiendish) influence of Tomoyo and Keroberos.
At least it explained a month's worth of peace and quiet around the Kinomoto residence. Come to think of it, that period of uneventful quiet should have set alarms in his head to blaring, but he had been enjoying the opportunity to catch up on his sleep and worry about nothing much at all. So he had missed all the telltale signs that there was major mischief in the works.
And if Tomoyo was involved . . . and there was no way she couldn't be involved . . . that meant that there was a video camera involved, too.
The thought of ever having to relive such humiliation, even second hand, made Yue want to sink through the deck of the ship. Surely throwing himself overboard and drowning was the better option- but since that was Watery it certainly wouldn't work, and on top of everything else he'd be wet. And still wearing a dress.
Although maybe Touya would dive overboard to rescue him. Then they'd both be wet, and then-
Video cameras, he reminded himself firmly. And the water was cold (of course it must be, never mind that this was Watery they were talking about, who never failed to accommodate his wishes), and surely he'd get some up his nose, and snorting seawater onto someone else's chest was not at all romantic. Not to mention what a dowsing would do to his hair.
And as entertaining as it was to watch his boyfriend and his reincarnated ex chase each other around the deck with sharp, pointy bits of metal, undoubtedly it had gone on for long enough to give Tomoyo plenty of good footage. No matter how ill-advised and personally embarrassing this debacle might be, it was still one of Sakura's plans, and he could not in good conscience as her guardian spoil one of her schemes.
Which meant, he acknowledged to himself with a sign, that he had to play his part, too.
Not that he was particularly good at acting, since all of his previous dramatic experience had been in playing, well, himself, and Yukito's previous roles were laughable at best and cringe-inducing at worse. That and no one had bothered to show him the script, so he was going to have to make everything up as he went along. But there was really no way around it.
He moved closer to the fight and drew himself up straight, trying for as much dignity as ropes and pink dress would allow, then pointedly cleared his throat. "Excuse me."
Sword hilts met and locked in a resounding clash of metal, and the two combatants glared at each other over their crossed blades with determined animosity.
They were ignoring him. It was rather annoying, actually. Yue restrained the urge to stomp his heeled foot on the deck. "Hey!"
That got their attention, at least. They had enough sense to disengage and spring apart before they turned towards him, but that didn't stop him from raking them both with an impartial glare. "Exactly what do you two think you're doing?"
Other than the obvious, of course.
Eriol got the first word in, which was only to be expected. "Ah, fair Yue, as soon as I heard of your foul kidnapping at the hands of this nefarious pirate, naturally I took the fastest ship in the fleet to fly to your rescue. Such insolence on Captain Touya's part cannot go unpunished! I will defeat him most soundly and return you to your father's house at once."
"I don't recall asking to be rescued," Yue said, feeling rather grouchy about the whole thing. And lest Touya think he was going to get off lightly, "Nor did I ask to be kidnapped."
"People don't usually ask to be kidnapped. Kinda the definition of the word, you know?" One of the Nakuru-clones was loitering on the deck and watching with an annoyingly smug expression on her face that set Yue's teeth on edge.
"I am not a parcel to be passed around." They all were on the receiving end of a glare then. "Nor am I an object to be fought over. I can make my own decisions, you know."
At a motion from Touya one of the Li-clones stepped forward and cut cleanly through the ropes, freeing Yue's arms. He shook the stiffness out of his elbows, thinking somewhat sourly in Yukito's direction that people in books never got pins-and-needles in their fingertips, and then crossed them in front of him.
"And what is your decision, then?" Touya prompted, sheathing his sword.
Yue waited, letting the tension build, then spoke. "A pirate's life for me."
The stunned silence on the ship was perhaps enough to make everything worthwhile. It was almost enough to make him smile, in fact.
"Well, ah, you heard the lady," Touya finally managed to recover himself enough to say. "The lot of you, clear out! And if I find that you've left even a single crew member behind, so help me I'll-"
"We're going, we're going. All of us." Eriol shot a warning look at one of the Nakuru-clones, who contrived to look innocent. He put one boot up on the railing and managed another dramatic pose, with one hand pointed menacingly at Touya. "You've won for today, you villainous pirate, but don't think this is over! I'll catch you yet!"
"You're welcome to try," Touya doffed his hat mockingly. "Off with you! I'm sick of having you British navy scum polluting my deck!"
At least they did leave quickly, Yue noted with approval; there was no real need to belabor that particular point as it was not cinematic. He allowed himself a certain vicious satisfaction when Touya fished a Nakuru-clone out from behind a barrel and helped her across the gap between the two ships with a well-placed boot to the rear. That was a sight worth seeing- and that meant that they were all gone. He sighed, mainly in relief, and headed to the aft poop deck to lean his elbows on the ship's railing and watch the Farseer pull away. In the slanting golden light, the Union Jack snapped smartly in the wind, a dark counterpoint to the belled white sails. Really, in such a setting it was almost possible to forget how much he hated ships-
--was that lace trimming the sails? Yue squinted. Why yes, yes it was. Definitely Nakuru's doing; that thing- Yue was hesitant to give her status as a person- was pure evil. Sometimes Yue had to wonder if Eriol himself suffered as much as the rest of them at the hands of his own twisted sense of humor. He hoped she'd had nothing to do with the design of his dress, or anything related to what he was wearing, because now that he could thing about it there was something rather odd about-
At that moment he caught sight of Touya climbing the brief, steep stairs to the poop deck and resolutely kept his eyes on the glowing horizon. Touya was not particularly conducive to intelligent thought even in less distracting circumstances, after all.
He pretended not to see Touya's grin when he, too, stopped at the railing. "Yue, don't lean on the railing like that, you look like a guy."
"I'm sorry," Yue said, straightening immediately, and then felt somewhat silly for having apologized at all. Why was he apologizing for looking like a guy when he was one? "What happens next?"
"Well, that's up to you, isn't it?"
Yue tried as hard as he could to keep his eyes on the sky. Really, the Cards were outdoing themselves with the sunset, it was quite spectacular. Couldn't compete with Touya in a now somewhat rumpled pirate outfit, of course, but they were certainly trying. "No one bothered to show me the script. How did they manage to convince you to take part in this torturous exercise, anyway?"
"I was promised certain compensations for my cooperation," Touya said. "And as it happens, I have a copy of the script right here." He pulled a somewhat dog-eared booklet out of his coat and thumbed through it. "Let's see, where are we . . . kidnapped Yue, naval battle, have at you, resolution . . . sunset, here it is!" He cleared his throat. "The setting sun was attended by a retinue of glowing clouds in shifting hues of purple and rose. It cast slanting golden rays across the peaceful, silent deck and perfectly illuminated the rugged handsomeness of Captain Touya as he--"
"Handsomeness?" Yue repeated. "Did Sakura write that?"
"She had help, ssh. --as he stood tall and proud beside the fair-- quiet-- the fair Yue. Yue raised lambent amethyst orbs to his face as he-"
"Orbs? Does she mean eyes? My eyes do not glow. Nor are they made of purple rock, for that matter."
"All right, we'll skip the description of your hair and face, then. Um, and this dialogue, too, Tomoyo can edit it in later. I'm sure Yuki will do it, since you two have the same vocal chords it won't matter. Don't think I could keep a straight face if you tried it, anyway. Let's see-- and Touya swept off his hat and stepped close to Yue even as her arms came up to bracket his broad shoulders. In the last rays of the setting sun, pirate and prize shared a deep, ravishing kiss, herald of many passionate nights to come in the tropical paradise of the Caribbean."
Yue felt his stomach do a flip-flop, not entirely unpleasant. His throat suddenly felt dry. "Is. Um. Is that what's supposed to happen next?"
"Well, that's what's in the script," Touya flipped back through the pages. "Although you're right, this really isn't fair to you. No one asked you if it was all right or if you wanted to do this, after all. So we don't have to finish. I'm sure it's okay, since it wasn't right to force you into this without asking you first-"
"No, no!" Yue felt a little panicked. "I mean, I'm not angry, really, I was just surprised. And, ah, it's the Mistress's plan, isn't it? So, ah, so it's really my duty to help her with it and, you know . . ."
"Do your part?" Touya was grinning down at him, and reached back to sweep of his hat.
"Um, yes," really, it was hard to keep his balance in heels. Much easier if he grabbed a handful of Touya's coat to steady himself. "That's it exactly."
"Well, I wouldn't want you to fail in your duties, would I?" Touya's voice had dropped to a rumble, and Yue didn't notice when he tossed the copy of the script over his shoulder as he leaned down-
On an innocuous cloud floating over the ship, Keroberos clamped an oversized paw over Sakura's wide green eyes, prompting a squeal of outrage. "Kero! I can't see!"
"You're not old enough to see your brother ravishing your moon guardian yet. Maybe in a few years. Maybe after you've had children. Maybe."
"There goes my PG-12 rating," Tomoyo said from behind her video camera. "Oh, well."
Chapter 2: Really Bad Eggs
This is the joke that didn't make the final cut on the fic. I am evil, but not nearly as evil as a certain moon guardian. Not naming any names here, but you only have two to choose from . . .
Nakuru managed to catch Touya alone before Eriol dragged her back to England with him. To be more precise, she cornered him in the narrow walkway that led to the local bakery, where he had a part-time job.
That he did not claw his way up the stucco wall she backed him up against was a credit to his extraordinary willpower, because there was nothing in the world scarier than Nakuru with that gleam in her eyes.
"So, Touya," she drawled, smirking. "What did you think of the underwear I designed for Yue?"
When Nakuru returned to England, she did so with the satisfaction of knowing that she was the only person ever to see Touya blush all the way to the roots of his hair.