Yuuko is smirking, and Watanuki sighs. When she tells him his assignment, he is relieved, even though he knows that a simple treasure hunt will be anything but. After all, Yuuko is the one assigning the job, and none of her jobs have ever been something he would classify as simple.
Doumeki stares blandly at the map over Watanuki’s shoulder, and Watanuki can feel the warmth emanating from Doumeki’s body. He steps away and isn’t surprised when Doumeki steps with him. He turns his head to yell at his companion to back off but Doumeki’s face is too close and Watanuki suddenly can’t breathe. He whips his head around and stares at the map, not seeing the symbols and lines and hints, and feels his cheeks burn.
The wind shifts and Watanuki shivers, the flush receding. He focuses on the map and shuts Doumeki’s presence out. They need to move quickly if they are to return by nightfall.
“Rainbow Bridge,” Doumeki says suddenly, voice filling Watanuki’s ear, and Watanuki jumps back with a yelp.
“What the hell?” he cries, and Doumeki just stares at him blandly.
“The clues,” Doumeki responds, voice bored. “They mean we should go to Rainbow Bridge.”
He doesn’t know how Doumeki figured it out from the random lines and colors written meticulously on the piece of paper, but he doesn’t question it and soon they’re at Rainbow Bridge.
Watanuki looks around and avoids a section of the bridge that is covered in thick, inky black fog. Voiceless screams are echoing in his ears as he edges around the perimeter, and suddenly Doumeki’s hand is on the small of his back. The screams end abruptly, and Watanuki sags in relief.
Doumeki stops them a few minutes later and points down. Watanuki frowns and looks. A small man is glaring up at him, holding tightly onto a pot of gold.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Watanuki mutters.
The little man’s glare intensifies, and Watanuki rolls his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You have something that my boss wants.”
“And what would that be, lad?” the man replies, accent thick.
“The gold,” Doumeki pipes up, though he’s looking at the spot on the bridge they passed earlier and not at the man dressed in green with buckles on his shoes.
“You can’t have me gold,” the man replies. “What is a leprechaun without ‘is gold?”
Watanuki feels a headache starting between his eyes. “Look, Leprechaun-san,” he begins. “My boss wants your gold. If I come back without it, she’ll be very angry.” Watanuki does not like it when Yuuko is angry. It usually ends with him dressed in some pink frilly outfit that Fai-san gave to her for White Day. Watanuki shudders at the thought.
“Who be your boss, lad?” the leprechaun asks suspiciously.
“Ichihara Yuuko-san,” he replies promptly.
“Yuuko?” The leprechaun blinks up at him before grinning salaciously. “I’ll give you me gold if you take me to the witch.”
“Fine,” Watanuki says, because the black fog is making him light headed and he doesn’t want to rely on Doumeki. “Let’s go, then. Doumeki, be useful and carry the gold.”
Doumeki grunts in reply, giving the fog one last glance, and Watanuki wonders if Doumeki can see it. He shakes his head to get rid of the thought, and offers to carry the leprechaun.
Watanuki’s phone rings just as the leprechaun is settled on his shoulder. “Watanuki speaking,” he says, even though there are only two people who call him, and one of them is standing next to him, carrying the pot of gold that a leprechaun had just given them. Watanuki wonders when this became normal for him.
“Did you get it?” Yuuko’s voice asks through the phone, and she sounds smug.
“Yes, Yuuko-san,” Watanuki sighs. “We’re on our way back now.”
“Good,” she says. “Take one of the back ways. There is one on the directly across from you. Good luck.” There is a click and then the line goes dead.
“What did that woman want?” Doumeki asks.
“She says to cross the street and take a back entrance,” he says as his stomach drops. Crossing the street meant passing through the edge of the fog. A hand latches onto his forearm, and he turns to glare at Doumeki but ends up looking grateful instead.
They cross the street without incident and are back at the shop in ten minutes. Yuuko is waiting for them, sipping her sake, and not bothering to look up as Watanuki falls face first through the portal onto the grass. The leprechaun is cursing Watanuki under his breath as he stands and dusts himself off. Watanuki sits and looks to the side to see Doumeki standing next to him, looking blandly around the yard.
“Ooh!” Yuuko squeals suddenly as Doumeki puts the pot of gold down in front of her. “This calls for beer, Watanuki!”
Watanuki stares at her in disbelief for a moment before shaking his head and going into the house to retrieve the alcohol. Maru and Moro meet him at the entrance and latch onto his legs, singing some medley about rainbows and eyes and despair, and Watanuki shudders.
Mokona is sitting on the counter when he enters the kitchen, shoving the pastries Watanuki had spent all morning making into its impossibly huge mouth. Watanuki ignores it and opens the refrigerator to retrieve the beer. He grabs four six packs and hopes that it will be enough to knock Yuuko out. Mokona jumps off the counter and onto Watanuki’s shoulder.
“Oi, Watanuki!” it chirps.
“What?” he asks irritably. He is walking out of the kitchen when a rainbow colored blur flies by and wraps itself around his neck. “What the hell!?”
Mugetsu’s beady eyes appear in front of him, and Watanuki blinks at the pipe-fox. Mugetsu blinks back. Mokona chuckles.
“Mokona,” Watanuki starts slowly, turning his head to look the creature in the face. “What happened to Mugetsu?”
They are outside and Doumeki is taking the beer from him. Yuuko is grinning widely at them and saunters over, placing her arm around Watanuki’s shoulders.
“Mugetsu wanted to be festive,” Yuuko says.
“You painted him, Yuuko-san! Do you even know if the paint will come off of his fur?! He looks like a mini-rainbow!” Watanuki screams, flailing his arms about. Mokona jumps onto Doumeki’s shoulder, who has one finger in his ear and is sipping a beer.
“Noisy,” Doumeki notes, and Mokona nods in agreement.
Watanuki whirls on Doumeki and points to his neck, where the rainbow-colored Mugetsu is nuzzling him. “Mugetsu is a rainbow, Doumeki! For all we know, the paint can kill him!”
Doumeki rolls his eyes and opens another beer. Mugetsu purrs and licks Watanuki’s chin. Watanuki sighs and sits down next to Doumeki, who offers him a beer. He grabs the beer and takes a swig, only to choke on it. Doumeki slaps him on the back a few times while Watanuki coughs and glares at the beer bottle.
“How about we leave the lads to themselves and have some fun, just us two?” the leprechaun says, and Watanuki blinks as Yuuko grins.
“I’m afraid if I leave these two alone, they’ll do something they regret,” she says amiably, staring Watanuki straight in the eye. Watanuki frowns.
“Now, now, witch,” the leprechaun smirks, placing his hand on Yuuko’s thigh, “they’re big boys, aren’t they?”
Yuuko is watching him and he takes another drink of his beer. He’s starting to feel warm. Yuuko smirks.
“They are,” she agrees. “And I never could refuse the offer of such a fine leprechaun as yourself.” She is standing and the leprechaun is on her shoulder now. “Behave yourselves,” she says to him with a wink and disappears into the house.
“Why wouldn’t we?” Watanuki asks, turning to look at Doumeki, who is on his seventh beer. “And why are you drinking so much, Doumeki?”
Mokona smiles. “We’re having a drinking contest!” it chirps happily, opening another bottle.
“Oi,” Doumeki adds, “we’re almost out of beer.”
Watanuki glares and stands, only to fall right back down on top of Doumeki. “Oops,” he says.
He knows he needs to get out of Doumeki’s lap, but Doumeki is warm and staring at him, and Watanuki can’t find the energy to move. Instead, he wraps his arms around Doumeki’s shoulder before he knows what he’s doing and leans forward.
Doumeki doesn’t move away, so Watanuki’s lips press clumsily against Doumeki’s. Neither of them close their eyes, instead watching the other. Watanuki wonders dazedly if this is going to turn into some contest, and if it does, does that mean the first one to close his eyes loses? What does the winner get? He decides he wants to know.
Watanuki unwraps his arms from around Doumeki’s shoulders and shoves them under his companion’s shirt. Doumeki gasps suddenly and Watanuki takes the opportunity to deepen the kiss. It’s far from perfect, and Doumeki tastes bitterly like alcohol, but there is a pleasantly warm feeling spreading through his stomach that he quite likes.
He’s pushing Doumeki to the ground and straddling the taller teen’s waist before he knows it, and Doumeki doesn’t struggle, just closes his eyes and allows Watanuki to set the pace.
Doumeki’s shirt, Watanuki realizes through the fog in his brain, is in the way, and starts to rectify the oversight, until a brush of fur around his neck halts him.
He looks down at Doumeki to find that Doumeki is also looking at him. There is a flush on Doumeki’s cheeks that has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with the way that Watanuki has been fidgeting against his waist, and Watanuki scrambles off of Doumeki quickly.
Doumeki’s gaze follows him slowly, and Watanuki feels his cheeks burn. “What are you looking at?” Watanuki screeches.
“Why’d you stop?” Doumeki asks instead, sitting up.
Watanuki splutters incoherently for a minute before yelling at Doumeki to fix his shirt. Doumeki sits there, face blank, and stares. Watanuki tries standing again, cursing his legs because they’re to blame for this whole mess, and starts to make his way to the shop.
Doumeki catches him as he trips on his feet, and the heat is back and Watanuki wants to Doumeki to kiss him. He wrenches away from Doumeki and puts some space between them.
“Don’t touch me,” Watanuki pants harshly, fighting the urge to touch Doumeki.
He’s blaming Yuuko, and the beer, and Doumeki, and even the leprechaun by the time he’s safely inside the shop.
Yuuko is standing to the side, smiling at him knowingly. He wants to ask where the leprechaun is, but doesn’t bother. He’s sure it will cost him, and he’s already in enough debt.
He’s making his way to the bathroom when Yuuko suddenly calls out.
“You should call Doumeki-kun in the morning and tell him to wear a high collared shirt to school,” she says.
Watanuki turns and glares and falls on the floor, accompanied by Yuuko’s laughter.