XXXHolic: Hitsuzen


Suzume never put much stock in superstitions before, but that soon changes when she meets the mysterious Yuuko and her part timer Watanuki and friends. Was their meeting chance or fate?

Mystery / Romance
Age Rating:

Fated Meeting

Author's Note: I don't own anything but my OC. As everyone knows, XXXHolic belongs to the geniuses known as CLAMP. I'll probably be using a combination of the manga and anime for this story, so I'm sorry if there's any confusion. I hope you like it!

≈ Narration ≈[speaking over phone or other electronic devices]{setting/stage directions}"Speech."'Thoughts.'"English speech."—¡–!–¡–!–¡— Scene shift/passage of time.A whole line of text like this without quotes is a written letter or something similar.WORDS IN ALL CAPS AND NO QUOTATION MARKS ARE SOUND EFFECTS.Flashbacks and changes in POV will be labeled.Unless stated otherwise, the POV will be third person omniscient.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Nothing in this world is coincidence. Everything is hitsuzen.≈

{At the local hospital...}

"Yuuko-san, why are we at the hospital? Is someone you know ill?" Watanuki asked Yuuko. "—And why are you here!?" Watanuki demanded of Doumeki, bristling like a cat that just had water thrown onto it. The three of them were walking down the hallway of the hospital together. Yuuko had very forcefully, at least in Watanuki's case, invited them along to visit the hospital with her. Doumeki agreed since he didn't have archery practice that day, and she promised that Watanuki would make them all snacks so that they could have a picnic later, much to Watanuki's chagrin.

"Oh, didn't I tell you? We're here for a customer. She has a wish that she desperately wants to make, but for certain reasons, she is unable to make it to the shop. So, we're going to her." Yuuko explained, smiling like a Cheshire cat.

"Oh, like when we went to the apartment of that 'Hanahana' person...? But why is he here?" Watanuki yelled as he pointed dramatically at Doumeki, who remained as stoic as ever.

"Shouldn't you keep your voice down, we're in a hospital." Doumeki deadpanned.

"It's because of you that I'm yelling!" Watanuki snapped, vein mark throbbing on his head.

"Well, we're in a hospital, right? You of all people should know what kind of things lurk these halls. Normally, you'd have a hard time entering into a place like this, but it's safer for you with Doumeki here." Yuuko said nonchalantly. "Ah, here we are." Yuuko said as she entered a room that had the surname 'Inoue' on the nameplate.

"Ah! You can't just barge into the room without even knocking!" Watanuki scolded her as he and Doumeki followed her into the room. "I'm sorry, this person has no manners. Please pardon the intrusion!" Watanuki said as he rubbed the back of his head and apologized to the patient in the room. He was caught a little off guard when he saw that the patient in the room was about his age. She looked extremely pale and frail. Her blue-violet eyes were dull from pain and fatigue, and her brown hair had lost its healthy shine. This poor girl, whatever she had, she was really sick. She looked like death warmed over, like she would break if you even breathed too hard on her.

"Who has no manners?" Yuuko asked, irritated, as she smacked him up the backside of his head, snapping him out of it. It was rude to stare, after all.

"Waah!" Watanuki yelled, more out of surprise than pain as his hands flew to his head, and he shot about a foot off of the ground. The bedridden girl in front of them giggled weakly, but then she broke out into a coughing fit. "Ah! Are you alright!?" Watanuki asked urgently as he rushed to her side.

"Water." Doumeki said as he handed the girl the cup of water that had been on the table by her bed. The girl took the cup from him with shaky hands, and carefully sipped it until her coughing stopped.

"Th-Thank you..." The girl said. Her voice was barely louder than a whisper, and she gave them a weak, but grateful smile. "I guess it's been a while since I laughed like that, so I was caught off guard." She smiled wryly. "I'm Inoue Suzume, and you are...?"

"Oh, I'm Kimihiro Watanuki, and this rude, poker-faced guy is Doumeki, and she's—" Watanuki said, but Yuuko interrupted him so that she could do her own introduction.

"I am Ichihara Yuuko. I own a shop that grants wishes. Since I was drawn here to you, you must have a wish, one that you desire very strongly." Yuuko said.

"My... wish?" Suzume asked, confused. She had been glad to see someone other than her vulture relatives, but if these people weren't right in the head, it could be dangerous...

"Isn't there something that's been bothering you lately, something you want to change." Yuuko said. It wasn't a question. Yuuko knew what this girl's wish was. Suzume bit her lip. It would be nice if this woman really could grant her wish, but... if she were to wish for anything, it would be for her illness to be cured. However, the doctors couldn't even figure out what was wrong with her, so she didn't know how this woman could possibly help her.

"Don't you want your 'illness' to heal?" Yuuko asked, as if she could read her mind. "Your illness was sudden, wasn't it. Everyday you grow weaker, yet the doctors still have no idea what's causing it, despite all of the testing they've subjected you to. At this rate, you'll probably be dead by the end of the week." Watanuki's eyes widened slightly when he heard that. This girl only had three days left to live? Yuuko sounded so serious, that he knew she wasn't just saying this to coerce the girl into making her wish. Suzume really was dying. Suzume stared at Yuuko, shocked. She didn't want to believe it, but she had heard the nurses gossiping about how they didn't think she'd last much longer, and Suzume couldn't deny that she could practically feel her lifespan shortening.

"... You're saying... that you can heal me? ... What's the catch?" Suzume asked, trying not to sound as desperate as she felt. Suzume wasn't an idiot, she knew that whatever could cure such a horrible illness wouldn't be cheap. Yuuko smirked. This girl was smarter than most of her customers, who usually just assumed the 'price' of the wish would be something insignificant.

"I'll grant your wish, but... I want equal payment." Yuuko said. Suzume furrowed her brow in confusion.

"... Somehow, I get the feeling you aren't talking about money..." Suzume said warily.

"No. If I heal your 'illness,' the cost would be quite high since the thing causing your illness will be quite troublesome to get rid off." Yuuko said. "The price for your wish will be that you will no longer be able to 'turn a blind eye' to certain things in the world around you. This could prove to be dangerous for you. You must also give me the book of poems you wrote while you were bedridden." Suzume stared at Yuuko, shocked.

'How did she know about that book...?' Suzume wondered. 'And I don't understand that part about my eyesight, but at this point, I'm desperate enough to try anything.' She decided. Suzume closed her eyes and took a breath before looking up at Yuuko. "I'm not sure I fully understand, but I'll pay. Just... please cure me." Suzume said, her eyes shining with determination through her pain. Yuuko smiled like the cat that ate the canary.

"Watanuki, open that bag I had you bring here, put the incense in the four corners of the room, and burn it. Then grab that mirror hanging on the wall, and stand at the foot of the bed while holding it." Yuuko ordered. "This is for you, Doumeki-kun." Yuuko said as she handed him a bow, but no arrow. Suzume raised and eyebrow.

'Where did she pull that out from...?' Suzume wondered as Doumeki took the bow without so much as batting an eyelash.

"When it's time, shoot, just like during the hyakumonogatari." Yuuko instructed him. She turned back to Suzume. "Now, I'll be needing that notebook."

"Um... okay, it's in the drawer of that table." Suzume said, referring to the table that Doumeki had gotten the cup of water from earlier. Yuuko opened the drawer, removed the notebook, and started flipping through it.

"My, you certainly have a way with words... Ah, yes, this one will suit our purposes nicely." Yuuko said as she ripped one of the pages out and stuck it onto the back of the mirror that Watanuki was holding. "Now that everything has been properly set up, we can begin. Suzume-chan, no matter what happens, you must not move or speak. If you do, the exorcism will backfire on you." Suzume gaped at her.

"Exorcism!?" Suzume yelled, stunned. She wasn't particularly superstitious or anything, so demonic possession was a little hard for her to believe.

"Unbearable painIllness affects my very soulLeave—plague me no more!" Yuuko recited.

Suzume immediately shut up, surprised when she heard Yuuko reciting one of her haikus, and startled by the serious look on Yuuko's face as the lights suddenly flickered off and the room started shaking slightly. Suzume could feel an intense burning sensation in her chest, like an extreme case of heartburn after eating a chilidog with cheese, bacon, onions, jalapeno peppers, hot sauce, with some special sauce, and then washing it down with a nice tall glass of battery acid. Whether she believed in demons or not didn't matter, because this was all definitely happening, for real, so Suzume decided to follow Yuuko's instructions, rather than risk the consequences of having this exorcism 'backfire' whatever that meant. Suzume nearly ran out of the room when she looked into the mirror before her. The reason why her chest was burning, was probably because there was this freaky looking snake-like creature flying out of it, and trying to enter the mirror. She noticed that Watanuki looked just as freaked out, and she didn't blame him, since it was flying right at him.

"Now, Doumeki-kun, shoot the mirror." Yuuko ordered. Doumeki pulled the bowstring back, aimed, and fired. Suzume's eyes widened when some kind of glowing energy hit the creepy snake thing, just as it reached the mirror, and completely obliterated it. The lights immediately came back on, and the burning sensation in Suzume's chest subsided. In fact, she could feel herself getting stronger by the second. That crazy exorcism had worked! "I can see you're feeling better already. Some of the color has returned to your face." Yuuko said.

"Yes, I don't know what the heck that thing was, or what just happened, but it worked! Thank you!" Suzume said as she smiled radiantly at them, overflowing with happiness and relief. Watanuki was stunned. It had only been a few seconds, and there was already such a huge difference from the ghost of a smile she had given them before. Suzume turned to Doumeki, looking extremely curious. "Say, what was that light you shot at it earlier?"

"Eh? You could see that?" Watanuki asked, surprised. Not many people could see another's spiritual energy, and it was especially surprising since she hadn't even been able to tell that she was possessed. Watanuki hadn't seen it since it was hiding inside of her, but he had sensed its presence after being in the same room as her for a while. Yuuko smiled.

"What you saw was Doumeki-kun's spiritual energy. He has a power that wipes away evil spirits and demons." Yuuko explained.

"Wow... that's awesome!" Suzume said, amazed.

"Yeah, but he can't see them at all." Watanuki muttered.

"Eh? Then... how did he hit it?" Suzume asked, confused.

"That's why we had to use the mirror to draw the demon out of you. It gave Doumeki-kun a target to aim at. Without realizing it, you had infused the words you were writing with your own spiritual energy, giving them power. That poem was basically a type of talisman. That's why I recited it to drive the demon out. The smoke from the incense that has filled this room was to mask the presence of your real body. This confused the demon, and it flew towards the image of you that was reflected in the mirror instead, attracted by your spiritual energy that was in the poem I taped to the back of it. I had Watanuki hold it since spirits are naturally drawn to him, too." Yuuko explained.

"Wow... that's pretty amazing... thanks for explaining." Suzume said. She hadn't really believed in any of this supernatural stuff before, but after seeing that... Suzume was definitely a believer now.

"So, you used me as bait... again!" Watanuki said incredulously. Wasn't it bad enough that those things targeted him without Yuuko's help?

"Sorry, thanks for helping me." Suzume said, laughing nervously as she sweat dropped.

"Oh, no, you don't need to apologize." Watanuki told Suzume.

"This happens all the time." Doumeki deadpanned.

"It does, but it pisses me off when you say it like that!" Watanuki snapped.

"Haha, you two really get along well, huh?" Suzume said, smiling in amusement.

"No, we don't! Why does everyone think that!?" Watanuki yelled indignantly as he held his head and spazzed out. Suzume laughed and smiled wryly, amused by Watanuki's antics.

"Haha, you guys are hilarious!" Suzume said. Her cheeks were starting to hurt from all the smiling she was doing. It had been weeks since she was able to smile like this. Yuuko watched as the three teenagers interacted with each other, none of them noticing the mysterious smile on her face or the scheming gleam in her eye.

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