[Author's note: You can blame Miyabi--I wrote this as a drabble for her. She asked for a fic with Subaru, Kamui, and a small child, and my brain went to the wacky place, I'm afraid. (I also wrote "Still Waters" for the same drabble request; that one's a bit more serious.) This fic is set in my "Wings" continuity, but isn't *part* of the continuity, if that makes any sense. I don't think there are any particular spoilers here. As usual, the characters are property of CLAMP; please see my disclaimer page for copyright information.]
ChibiphobiaAn X fanfic
By Natalie Baan
The seven Dragons of Heaven stood in a loose semi-circle around the box. It was a large box, standing about chest-high on Kamui (so not really that large after all). It was marked with stencils proclaiming "Fragile" and "This Side Up!" and on one side a prominent label read:
Courtesy of Toujyou Pharmaceuticals
Kamui shifted his wings and scratched at the back of his head, puzzled. "Toujyou Pharmaceuticals?" he murmured, half to himself. "Where have I heard that name before...?"
"Be careful," Arashi warned. "It could be something dangerous, sent by the Dragons of Earth." Next to Kamui, Subaru shook his head.
"The CLAMP Campus security team would have gone over any package very carefully before allowing it into the building," the onmyouji said. "Between that and the magical protections laid over the Campus, nothing harmful should be able to get through."
Karen smirked, a merry glint in her eyes. "And of course the thirteenth head of the Sumeragi clan and premier onmyouji of all Japan has checked out every one those protections himself, in addition to meeting with CLAMP Security on a daily basis just to keep informed about the comings and goings." She leaned over and stage-whispered in Kamui's ear, "Isn't it nice to have such a conscientious boyfriend?" Kamui blushed and sidled a step or two to one side, glaring back at her. Fortunately nobody else seemed to have noticed--or else they were wisely pretending not to have heard.
"So what's the hold-up, then?" Sorata moved closer to the box and began peering at its seams. "Somebody get a knife or some scissors, and we'll get this baby open!"
"Stand back," Arashi said. A pale, brilliant light began to coalesce around her hand.
"Wait! Let me help!" Yuzuriha put two fingers to her lips and whistled piercingly for Inuki.
"GYAH!" Sorata fell over backwards and then crab-scuttled out of the way as two very large swords were lifted. "Miss! Yuzu-chan! Don't you think this is a bit extreme?"
Swish! Swish! Slashslashslashslash! In a matching swirl of CLAMP high school uniform skirts, Arashi and Yuzuriha struck still poses, as though each had just finished a martial arts form, their swords held out in perfectly extended follow-throughs. With the slow drama of a kekkai crumbling away, the four sides of the box parted, began to tip outward, one of them taking the still-attached box top with it. As they fell, an avalanche of packing peanuts spilled out after them, cascading with a faint /shhhh/ until they formed a low, gently sprawling mound.
Seated in that improbable nest there was...an egg. An egg of unreasonable size, pale ecru with just a hint of coffee mottling.
The Dragons of Heaven stared as one.
"Well," Seiichirou said at last, readjusting his glasses. "That's unusual."
"I'll say!" Sorata gazed up speculatively at the egg from his seat on the floor. "I wonder how much tamago sushi you could make out of that?"
"Wha-? Bu-!" With a wrenching mental effort, Kamui finally got his jaw in gear. "Why the hell would somebody send me a giant egg?" he demanded, mantling his wings in annoyed distress.
"Maybe it's not a /real/ egg," Yuzuriha suggested brightly. "Maybe it's like a giant party-favor, and it breaks open with sparkly confetti and prizes and stuff!"
"Like a piñata," Sorata added. He glanced at Arashi and paled, perhaps with visions of god-swords flashing through his mind. "Or not! Ahahaha!"
"Well, /I'm/ not breaking it open." Kamui stared suspiciously at the egg, trying to sense whether there was any mystical power involved with it. He thought that there might be something, a glimmering just at the edge of perception, vaguely reminiscent of someone he knew.... He almost hoped that there /was/ something, because he was going to feel really stupid if he was being paranoid for no good reason. "And if this is somebody's idea of a joke--"
"Look out!" Subaru stepped forward, one hand outstretched wardingly before Kamui and a set of ofuda fanning between the fingers of the other, just as Kamui sensed a gathering of energies within the egg. Everybody else jumped into fighting positions and braced themselves. Thin cracks zigzagged like manic ant trails across the egg's smooth shell, and a pure white light began to stream out through those gaps, growing brighter and brighter as they spread. The whole egg shuddered, and then with a blinding burst of light its upper part fractured into shards, releasing a surge of scintillating force that roiled upward. It peaked a little shy of the high ceiling and rolled there like a junior mushroom cloud, but it quickly faded away into a diminishing haze. No other magical pyrotechnics seemed to be forthcoming, at least not right that instant. Everyone let out a wary breath.
Kamui stepped up level with Subaru, staring at the egg's remaining lower half. No, he wasn't imagining it. There was a small child sitting there. It was a boy, seemingly about two years old. In spite of himself, he took another step forward, obscurely appalled yet mesmerized. The child sneezed, a brief glitter of residual magic, then lifted its head and gazed about itself with enormous, quizzical eyes.
/Those hazel eyes./ That black, spiky hair. That face, younger even than in his earliest memories, yet still somehow familiar.
The tiny, white-feathered wings that poked from the child's shoulderblades.
Kamui's own eyes widened.
/It couldn't be..../
The child's gaze lit on Kamui, and it smiled, a brilliantly ecstatic smile. Kamui felt his heart lurch over in panic. He began to back away.
With a single flap of those little wings, the child launched itself like a missile past a stunned, open-mouthed Subaru and locked both arms around Kamui's neck.
Kamui went over backward, shrieking like a girl.
"AAAAAUUUUUUGHHH! Getitoff getitoff get it off me!" He thrashed on the floor like a madman, but the child refused to be detached. It was nuzzling its cheek against him and gurgling happily.
"Kamui, stop flapping your wings! We can't get close to you!" Yuzuriha eeked and held her skirt down, shielding her face with the other arm as a particularly strong wingsweep flung whirlwinds of packing peanuts into the air. The thin fabric strips that made up Karen's skirt flew about her legs in a way that, under other circumstances, might have gotten a lot more attention from Kamui, but Karen seemed to be laughing too hard to notice--and if she did notice, she probably wouldn't care.
In fact, she's probably find the whole situation even more hysterical.
He was going to kill everything in the room in about three seconds.
"Here." Subaru apparently had recovered his senses. As Kamui somehow managed to hold himself still, Subaru stepped close and deftly plucked the child away. It dangled in Subaru's hands, its eyes wide, then let out an excited squawk, grinned, and squirmed all its limbs like a demented starfish. Panting, Kamui sat up, scooting himself backward to a safer distance.
"How--why--" He pointed a trembling finger at the child, which Subaru was settling into a less unwieldy position in the crook of one arm. "/What is that! AND WHY AM I SUPPOSED TO BE THE MAMA!/"
"But Kamui, you make such an adorable mama! And you didn't even have to be pregnant--eep!" As Kamui turned and stared at Karen from the edge of a potentially violent insanity, she poofed away in one of her miniature fireballs. A final, faint giggle seemed to linger in the air in her wake. Frustrated and starting to get more then a bit desperate, Kamui looked around, mutely appealing for help, or at least the merest trace of sympathy. Seiichirou...the windmaster had had a child. Maybe /he/ could deal with this one. "A- Aoki-san...."
"You know," Seiichirou was saying thoughtfully, "this is giving me an idea for a new manga!" Pulling out his cell phone, he wandered off into a corner of the room. Kamui opened his mouth to try again but was promptly drowned out as Yuzuriha wailed in abrupt dismay.
"/Inuki!/ Don't eat the packing peanuts!"
"It's all right," Sorata reassured the stricken inugami master. "They're the biodegradable cornstarch ones. See?" He popped several into his mouth and chewed a couple of times. Then his eyes bugged out, and he started gesturing spasmodically with one arm as he sagged toward the floor in over-the-top slow-motion distress. "Miss...Heimlich maneuver...only you can save me...." Arashi rolled her eyes.
"Subaru," Kamui pleaded quaveringly, abandoning any hope of help from the rest of the lunatics in the room. Looking at the onmyouji, he realized that Subaru was smiling gently at the child.
"Actually," Subaru murmured, "he /is/ pretty cute, isn't he?" He jounced the child up and down, earning a high-pitched yip of laughter. Subaru's eyes softened even as Kamui watched, their emerald depths taking on a strange dewy shimmer, and Kamui realized then that he was looking upon the true face of horror.
Meanwhile, under the Government Building, the Kamui of the Dragons of Earth leaned back in Kanoe's baroque throne-chair and stared with bemusement at the violet-eyed, mussy-haired, bat-winged child perched on his lap, wolfishly gnawing on his fingers.
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