Mokona calls it a ‘modern world’. To Fai this means multicoloured lights, traffic and advertising, which he likes. He also likes Hotels.
Hotels have soft beds and fluffy towels. Food comes with cutlery.
There are little bottles and bars and boxes of things in the bathroom. Things that smell nice and can annoy Kurogane. For hours.
But what he likes most is reception. He can wander down at any time, and someone is there. Receptionist, traveller, security guard, porter or cleaner he doesn’t care. Nor does he care if they are half asleep.
Bored, they are always happy to chat.
2. Kurogane, Mokona, Fai
The manju is wet and dripping and smiling at him. It is sitting on his manga.
"Kuro-chan is reading! Is it fun? What’s happening?"
Growling, he grabs Mokona by one ear and throws it over his shoulder. It’s just lucky he wants to know what happens next. Mokona wails until a door opens and Fai enters to sympathise with it.
Carefully shaking the water off, he settles back down. Last page, last panel.
Water drips on the speech bubble he was reading. Fai, hair wet and dripping, is leaning over his shoulder.
"Reading Kuro-rin? What’s happening? What does that say?"
3. Kurogane, Syaoran, Sakura
"I’m Sorry, you were in the shower and I didn’t want to bother you."
Syaoran stands nervously at the door as Kurogane watches him. There’s nothing to be done. He doesn’t actually mind them washing his clothes; he just resents having nothing to wear but a hotel dressing gown. It’s fluffy, and it matches Fai’s.
Syaoran starts apologising again when Sakura burst in to the room, frantic.
"I’m really sorry, it must have been bundled up in the clothes! And now it’s… it’s" Kurogane looks round for his manga as Syaoran tries to calm her.
"Mokona’s in the washing machine."
4. Kurogane, Fai, Syaoran, Sakura
"Hmm, Mokona seems to be having fun"
"Will it be ok? What if it drowns!"
"Ah, she’s asleep. The was pretty surprising."
"One moment she’s here, the next she’s gone. Go on, take her back to the room kid."
"But what about Mokona?"
"Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that. See, it’s fine, it’s waving at us."
"What a pain. Why can’t that thing take care of it’s self."
"Oi, shouldn’t we stop the machine."
"So do it then."
"How would I know how to do that? Ah, I think it just sent Yuuko your underwear!"
5. Syaoran, Mokona
The door creaks quietly and Syaoran turns, expecting Fai.
Instead it’s Mokona that creeps across the room. It climbs onto his shoulder and rubs against his cheek with a soft ‘Puu’. Fluffier than usual, it smells pleasantly of soap. The company is more than welcome.
Near dawn he opens his eyes, half aware of dreaming.
"Syaoran, you should sleep. Mokona will watch Sakura." There is a soft tug at the hem of his shirt, gently urging him towards the other bed. Too asleep and feeling too safe to argue, he curls up under the covers.
"Mokona will watch Syaoran too."
6. Kurogane, Fai
A bad idea, Kurogane will not like it. He grins with heavy lidded eyes, cheeks flushed. Red eyes glare back, already suspicious. No, he will not like this at all.
Perhaps bad is the wrong word. Foolish then. And that sums it up; a foolish idea, one of his best.
Drunkenly he declares it bed time and falls dramatically over Kurogane on the way. Righting himself by means of Kurogane's head, he stumbles onward.
Kurogane's bed sheets rumple as he flops down. Seconds later he lands painfully, head end floorward. Yes, another foolish idea.
He's probably a master by now.
It’s quiet, even though the sun is waiting to rise. This city seems to lack birds. Even the traffic seems to have stilled; the people of the city having finally retreated to bed, ready to sleep of the night’s excess.
He had tried to do the same earlier. But laying in the dark, he had found himself listening for Fai’s breathing. Holding his own when Fai’s missed a beat.
Sliding the glass door open, he steps out. Turning to close it softly. Air here tastes of smoke and rain. He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, and stands still.
8.Sakura, Fai, Syaoran, Mokona
Sakura is gone by the time Syaoran wakes. From his pillow, Mokona murmurs drowsily that they've gone to breakfast. Pausing briefly to stretch and change clothes, he heads towards the dinning hall.
She isn't there.
He's about to continue his search elsewhere, when a harassed looking waiter grasps his sleeve in a polite, but desperate, manner.
How Fai ever managed to persuade the staff this would be a good idea is beyond him. But there they are, Sakura and Fai, standing in the middle of the busy kitchen with whisks in hand, flour everywhere and sugar on Sakura's cheek.
9.Kurogane, Yuuko, Watanuki
Walking past the room, He catches a glimpse of the scowl. He should keep walking, really. But they haven't heard from the others for a while and the shouting will only get louder. Besides, Yuuko is smirking. Just. That. Way.
So he stops, and looks round the door. Kurogane's shouting has descended into incoherent rage. Yuuko turns, eyes filled with glee, and instructs him to fetch a bag from the other room.
The moment it touches her hands, she upends it and waves it's contents triumphantly before the screen. Kurogane's roar fills the room.
"Witch, give be back my underware!"
10. Fai, Kurogane, Yuuko, Sakura
"Whaa! What has Kuro-woof got himself into now?"
"What are you offering me? You do want them back, I assume?"
Yes he does, now.
"Now now, Kuro-pi. You can't get something unless you give something."
"Glad you understand."
"Completely. Would you accept these?"
She smiles, she accepts the small cakes.
So why is Fai holding his underware?
"So, what's the reward? Kuro-sama wants them back, right? Ah, bad doggy. I paid for them, so they're mine. Well, half mine."
Despite blushing furiously, Sakura looks determined as she takes hold of his underware.