flesheatingammonite: (Wish)
Like I promised, one of the few Wish themed fanfics I managed to pump out last week! I really enjoyed how this turned out!

Warning:
Contains spoilers up to the most recent (as of writing this) chapter of Drug & Drop, and allusions to the ending of Wish. If you're behind on or have not read either of these I suggest you skip this one or get crackalackin on some manga, they're good reads I assure you!

Title: Age Before Beauty* Special thanks to my cousin Krystal for the title! You're the best cuz!
Fandom: Wish/Drug & Drop (AKA Legal Drug)
Pairing: Hisui/Kokuyo, by extension Kakei/Saiga because.
Word Count: 2,688
Rating/Warnings: G, look out for The Son Of Satan being a total tsundere!
~ A certain couple who run a drugstore reminisce on the subject of change and how experiencing it as mortals has effected them. Set during the “Legal Drug” portion of Drug and Drop, right in the middle of volume two, prior to Kazahaya and Rikuo’s return with the cat.

They wore their human skins comfortably. After all, they‘d been living amongst them for years now. But it had not always been so easy, it was almost second nature really. My, how they’d changed.

These were the thoughts that preoccupied Kakei’s conscience as he waited for his young employees to return from their latest errand. He sat on the couch in the back room of his small drug store . His lover, Saiga, accompanied him, with his head nestled comfortably in his lap.

He startled from his reveries as Saiga’s large hand reached towards him and caressed his face.

“What is it love?”

And that was the magic phrase. It called far beyond “Kakei”. It was a name that went through him, pulling forth something else, something lurking beneath the surface.

There was a shift, like bubbles popping beneath these human skins of theirs.

Pretenses melted and a persona carefully built from years of reserved study and focus cracked ever so slightly. The face of the sly and guarded Doctor Kakei fell away like a mask. The stiff cunning lips became relaxed, the eyes a little more genuine in their focus and an expression of calm pressed forth from underneath. One of serene smiles and otherworldly wisdom took it‘s place.

Likewise, the carefree and teasing façade of the man who dared call him in this way ruptured at the seams and something fearsome, brimming with intensity beyond the sleepy Saiga’s very existence pulsed up through the new holes. A hellish light glinted like a fire behind those sunglasses of his for only a moment and the corners of the mouth pulled upwards in a crooked smile full of danger and excitement.

Hisui, the fallen angel master of the wind ran a hand through the short hair of Kakei, smoothing it back into place, and Kokuyo, runaway prince of hell, rubbed at his left eye from beneath Saiga’s thick sunglasses.

Hisui smiled. He wondered what the boys would think if they were to see Kokuyo, or rather “Saiga” as the they knew him, addressing him so gently.

“Love…”

“Its, nothing dear.”

Hisui placed a hand over the one Kokuyo had placed on his face and pressed his cheek into the warm palm, pushing the cold wire frames of his glasses into the skin. The sensation chased away the creeping heat that rose to his cheeks at the pet-name.

“Yeah right, spill it.”

Hisui laughed gently, the sound had a warmth to it, but was reserved and soft from decades of disuse.

“I was just thinking, how cute Kazahaya’s reaction might be if he saw us together like this.”

“Ha! That would be a sight to see!” Kokuyo chuckled heartily. “All blushing and fidgeting. And Rikuo…”

“And Rikuo,” Hisui agreed. “That stoic boy, surely he’d be surprised too, but you know he’d never show it.” He smiled at the thought.

“Yeah, that boy would just go right on teasing that kitten over his ruckus, not that I blame him, the kid is far too much fun to tease.”

Hisui reached towards a small table to the side of the couch where they lay and plucked a small bamboo pick with a downy poof attached to the end from a cluster of other such tools nestled in a small vial.

“Yes, Rikuo does seem to have a hard time expressing his feelings, much like a certain man we once knew…” He added with a tinge of melancholy.

He grew quiet, and twirled the pick in his hands. Kokuyo said nothing but folded his hands to his chest.

“But what I wonder even more so… is if they’d believe me if I told them you weren’t always such a cheerful tease.” Hisui remarked, changing the subject.

“Wasn’t I?” Kokuyo laughed and rolled onto his side as Hisui brushed aside small strands of hair near his ears.

“Oh no, you could be quite frightening at times, always growling and glaring. You weren‘t quite so domesticated either!”

“Feh, I’m not so scary, besides, you’ve changed too. You were never quite so sadistic!”

“Oh?” Hisui narrowed his jade colored eyes and removed the dark sunglasses from Kokuyo‘s face in one smooth motion, carefully setting them aside.

He had tried to suppress it when the thought had crossed his mind, but couldn’t help but let forth a slight giggle.

“Hey, what now, are you going to do this or not?” Kokuyo demanded impatiently.

“Sorry, sorry, it’s just, I can’t help but laugh when I think that, only a few years ago you really would have just started a staring contest with that boy as a means of communication, Rikuo is just the spitting image of you, don‘t you think?.”

“Get on with it.” Kokuyo growled. His ears burned a bright, shameful red and the hairs at the back of his neck bristled.

Yes, the two of them had definitely changed over the years, Hisui thought, as he settled into a soothing pace, delicately cleaning out the inside of Kokuyo‘s ears.

Back then, While Kokuyo had always treated him as carefully as delicate, blown glass, the Fireball, as he was better known, was not at all known to be quite so gentle in temperament towards others. The almost docile nature of his human guise would have fooled even his own father, Satan himself! Though that wasn’t to say it was all a rouse. Kokuyo had definitely become a calmer, kinder being during their stay on earth.

Hisui leaned down, his long, uneven bangs glancing across Kokuyo’s face, and blew softly into his ear before swabbing it once more with the downy puff. “Say, do you remember when we first came here?” he whispered softly.

Kokuyo sneezed at the tickling of Hisui’s hair and grabbed at it. “Yeah. This place used to be such a dump, but you were so sure we could pull it off. We just had to, you said.” He ran the short strands between his thumb and index.

“Your hair used to be so long.” He said with a tinge of longing.

“It still is.” Hisui reassured him with a bright smile.

“I know, either way, these are the shapes we chose best for ourselves and this duty.”

“Were you surprised?” Hisui asked. 

“Not really.” he answered matter-of-factly. “though I do miss the hair.”

In regards to Kakei‘s appearance, Kokuyo certainly wasn’t expecting it to be such a long standing performance, especially since it was quite different from Hisui‘s natural manner, but in the end he wasn’t too surprised at the form Hisui had chosen.

He reluctantly dropped his hand and rested it on Hisui’s leg, patting it affectionately. Hisui sat back up and resumed picking and cleaning.

Hisui had to admit, he himself would never have foreseen how comfortable living as a human male would have turned out to be. It wasn’t till much later that he and Kokuyo had realized that as a result of this choice, being as open as they’d ever been abut their affections, they would garner many amusing reactions from other mortals, especially since Kokuyo‘s guise wasn’t much different from his usual, and rather masculine self on a whole.

Initially Kokuyo was annoyed with these responses, (demon culture made no such distinctions nor fusses when it came to the preferences in one‘s bed partner) though eventually, provoking such comments, especially out of a certain errand boy of theirs, would turn into something of a hobby as he began to adjust. Hisui certainly didn’t mind the extra kisses at the expense of that poor boy’s comfort.

“Perhaps I could grow it out a little longer, maybe it’s not quite as unacceptable these days as I’d imagined, after all, Kohaku’s hair was quite long and no one seemed to question it.”

Kokuyo snorted. “Yeah, but most people took that kid for a human girl anyways… Then again, she’d make a pretty cute one anyways, don’t you think?”

“Or he might make a cute boy.” Hisui suggested with a smile. The little one never did have much need to be so concerned with ideas like gender or sex while in heaven, and probably never would. Kohaku was Kohaku and had no concerns beyond that.

“Hmm, less talking, more picking.”

A moment’s quiet passed before Hisui asked:

“Do you miss Kohaku?”

“Not particularly, no. It’s just that…”

Hisui waited while Kokuyo languidly stretched and rolled over, allowing access to the other ear, and buying himself time to organize his thoughts and censor the bits that would imply that he did in fact care.

“It’s just quiet is all.”

Hisui gave a knowing nod and playfully ruffled Kokuyo’s cropped black hair. A stiff, pained silence hung in the air for another moment before Hisui finally said:

“I miss Kohaku. Very much...”

Hisui dropped his hands from their idle work and held them over his heart as if it pained him, the pick clenched tightly. Kokuyo, deciding the picking was over for now, propped himself up on one arm and caught Hisui’s watering gaze.

“It’s just… we’ve changed so much, don’t you think?”

Kokuyo engulfed Hisui’s thin, delicate hands in one of his own, massive by comparison, and gave them a tight squeeze. He said nothing.

Hisui blinked back a few pooling tears, and Kokuyo reached up to dab softly at the corners of his eyes, catching the ones that slid down Hisui’s face despite his efforts.

He started deep into Hisui’s eyes, and Hisui stared back into his.

Kokuyo’s gaze was as intense as ever, but flickering beneath the surface was a certain understanding that made Hisui‘s heart pound. For the life of him he could not decide if the feelings those eyes evoked in him were a stronger love than what he had ever known before, or a great sadness for that which he could not even begin to understand.

Something had changed in them, in all these years. He could see it so plainly on his beloved’s face.

“We’ve changed.” He whispered.

He gingerly traced the creases under his lover’s mismatched eyes with the tips of his fingernails. The right eye the color of cold obsidian, the left, nothing more than a blank space. He continued to trace over the newly worn laugh lines at the corners of Kokuyo’s mouth that outlined the curve of his lips and the stretch of his cheeks when he had himself a good chortle at Kazahaya‘s frequent mistakes and quick temper. The beginnings of crinkles in the corners of his eyes and deep bags from nights laying awake in worry for reckless Rikuo whom he‘d brought back to the drug store bruised and bloody more times than he‘d have liked to.

He relished in the feeling of Kokuyo’s calloused hands on his cheek, worn hard and rough from years of hard labor put into renovating and rebuilding the drug store side by side with him. The stroke of finger tips that he’d seen stabbed by needles, burned by cooking pans and occasionally bitten by playful neighborhood cats. Finger tips that he’d lovingly bandaged himself, time and time again. The nails were clean (he’d made sure of that himself, since Kokuyo enjoyed being spoiled from time to time) and well worn from almost a year of Mahjong with the boys and knitting in the back room when work was slow.

While neither of them had to fear the claws of time, nor age, there it was, staring Hisui in the face, and his stomach churned.

Although his beloved’s pride was great, he’d put that all aside to wrap himself in the fragile trappings of a mortal man, all for the sake of these children their destines had become entwined with.

Even Hisui was not unaware of the toll his current shell had taken, especially psychologically, and the effects strained his heart almost to the point of breaking at times. He had no idea what he’d do without Kokuyo by his side.

 Their false bodies fit like gloves now. They were celestial beings made fragile and vulnerable, and while the damage may have been reversible, the scars of time and change left on their hearts would remain.

He’d become cold, frighteningly so. Determined, and fixated, almost obsessed with that promise, protecting Kohaku, and that which Kohaku held dear. Strong as he may have been, even the rank he held of an ex-angel master of wind would never have prepared him for the joys, despairs or tribulations of mortal experience.

They had changed, and this scared him more than anything in the world. There were so many things he had learned that only revealed to him how much he didn’t know in the end. He was worried and his heart ached so much for the trials those children had yet to experience.

Kokuyo pulled Hisui’s face down close to his and knotted his thick fingers deeply into Hisui’s hair, holding him fast. He pressed chapped, warm lips full of precious fleeting warmth to Hisui’s eyes, planting kisses on both eyelids, banishing the tears that seemed to fall without end.

“Hisui. We may have changed over the years, but my love for you will never fade.”

The tears burned as the last of them rolled down Hisui’s cheeks. His gaze lingered on that blank space in his lover’s gaze and he felt a sense of peace wash over him. That unspoken promise of their very own, from all those years ago would always remain a constant and an unwavering strength to him, no matter what the future might bring.

“Yes, I’m sorry dear, I’m not quite sure what came over me.”

Kokuyo smiled, and looked to the side before saying.

“And…”

“And?” Hisui asked.

Kokuyo fidgeted, finding it difficult to maintain eye contact.

“And I’m sure… Kohaku will love you no matter what. S-so there’s no need to worry about that!” He gave Hisui a gentle head butt to emphasize the point before finally letting his hands fall back to either side of his ears, releasing his captive.

Hisui blinked bewildered for a second, then began frantically wiping at his face anew with the heel of his hand and burst out laughing. Kokuyo jumped up in a heartbeat.

“What? What the hell is so funny?” He demanded, reddening more by the second as Hisui continued to laugh at him.

“Why, you dear!” Hisui was now reclined back on the couch, desperately swiping at his face trying to stop new tears of sheer joy from his eyes.

“You say such beautiful things with a perfectly straight face, but the minute you mention any feelings about the children and you have so much trouble!”

Kokuyo resigned to quiet mutterings under his breath and laid back down heavily, making sure to fidget and rustle about as much as he could just to make Hisui uncomfortable. He knew it was childish and that only infuriated him even more, but he was drained and he would have his revenge.

“Oh come now, stop that. Besides, speaking of children…” Hisui nodded to the door.

“The boys should be here any minute now. And we do have something important to discuss with Rikuo…”

“I get it, I get it.” Kokuyo waved Hisui off as he replaced his thick, dark sunglasses over the bridge of his nose.

Silence resumed in the backroom of the small drug store. The angel and the demon buried themselves back within their human skins. covering up their wear and banishing their fears. They shifted, twisting and burrowing back beneath their paper thin frames, till all had settled still and sank back to the core.

All that remained on the outside was the enigmatic human couple that ran a small pharmacy called Green Drug Store: a beautiful and suspicious doctor named Kakei and his lover the tall, lazy man called Saiga, reclined intimately on the couch together.

Sure enough, within minutes the door to the pharmacy swung open with a bang and a loud, youthful voice called out to them.

“Kakei! We did it, we found the cat!”

Kakei cracked a thin smile and Saiga gave a hearty, knowing laugh. The more things change, the more others stay the same it would seem.

Fin.

And now for some notes I guess!

Writing Kakei and Saiga as literal shells was really fun,  had a blast trying to work out the imagery there!

This was an interesting idea to me. Granted, we don't know exactly how Angels and Demons work in CLAMPverse, so Hisui and Kokuyo's disguises could just as easily be something as small as a change in appearance (since that's what it appears to be for all intents and purposes) but I've always been fascinated by the ideas of celestial, powerful beings from other worlds being contained in tiny human candy wrappers, and went with the "They're actually walking around masking themselves, power and all as mere mortals".

It's not so much that Kakei and Saiga are seperate personalities, they're still Hisui and Kokuyou, they're just Hisui and Kokuyou after a few more years of living as actual humans with a few implied issues that have come as a result.

Originally I'd wanted to expand a bit on the idea of Hisui presenting as a gay man since while it wasn't so surprising, it makes me think. I didn't think it would make much of a difference for Kokuyou since the demons of Wish seem to have more clear cut gender binary lines but also less discretion or concern over bed partners. Or at least the likes of Kokuyou and Koryuu would lead us to believe. Demons implicitly have sex and are shown to have desires to eat, so my interpretation is that unlike angels, they probably do have a more "biological" body along with some kind of sexual morphism, be it a binary or something else entirely, and they don't much make distinctions between who bangs who and what bits belong on what thing.

I wanted to contrast it a bit with the idea that engels are more ephemeral beings who need neither physical nutrients nor accomadations and seem to have very little in the way of vice or carnal desire.  Further more they are explicitly shown to be born from eggs, awakened by song, so they are perhaps more spiritual or mysterious than their more physical Demon counterparts. Angels appear far more androgynous and seem to settle with or flip between whatever concept of gender expression or identity fits their personality best or suits their fancy. Personally I really like the idea of some of them (like Kohaku) being completely genderqueer or nonbinary, either flipping between pronouns constantly or being baffled by human ideas about gender in the first place.

I could sit here and talk about angel/demon gender identity for ages and ages so I ended up editing and rewriting the offhand mention of Hisui and Kokuyou's experiences living as two human dudes in love abut a thousand times so as not to make it sound too awkward or too much like an essay. Perhaps it's something I'll explore more in a different fic because the idea of Kokuyou getting all huffy over weird looks and attention for doing what he's always done with Hisui amuses me to no end.

Actually the idea of what sort of process it took to get from the gruff, stoic Kokuyou  to becoming the amiable tease he is as Saiga is what really amuses me to no end. Snerk.

I decided to frame this story using Mimikaki (ear cleaning) which is considered a pleasant and intimate activity between family and occasionally couples in Japan! You see it a lot as a romantic/sexual innuendo in anime, and it just seemed like something that really fit for Hisui and Kokuyou! Though it is rather difficult to portray quite as, erhm, romantically as it appears visually in anime. ROMANTICIZING EAR PICKING IN WRITING IS A DECIDEDLY DIFFICULT TASK AND SHOULD PROBABLY NOT BE ATTEMPTED.

The story is set specifically in volume two of Legal Drug during the kitten rescue since I was far too amused by Kazahaya's flustering when he and Rikuo walk in and see Saiga just chilling out on Kakei's lap all like "Sup." and of couse Kakei is just all "Oh good you're back." Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

I've still got tons more ideas for writing, hopefully I can get a few more stories out! X3



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Lukadian

August 2016

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