*flips fan* Disclaimer:
The characters herein belong to CLAMP, and CLAMP alone, I am merely a vessel for insanity involving their characters and mean no infringement upon their sacred ownership.
With thanks to the wonderful Willow-san who gave me the idea for the Takeshi/Kentarou piece.
"You want us to WHAT?" Suoh Takamura demanded.
"All move in together," Nokoru Imonoyama repeated.
The two sat in the College Division Student Council rooms and stared at each other.
"Why?" asked Suoh finally.
"I think it's a great idea!" said Akira Ijyuin, the third and final member of the council. "We can have slumber parties and everything!"
Suoh sweatdropped. "Ijyuin, I think we are a bit old for slumber parties."
"I don't see why," Nokoru said. "It makes perfect sense!"
"No it doesn't!" Suoh objected. "Why don't you try explaining your reasons first?"
Nokoru smiled. "Now that my exams are finished and I've officially graduated from CLAMP School, I will be taking over more of the Imonoyama Zaibatsu duties, as well as some duties on Campus. To this end, Rijichou has furnished me with a house on campus. Since you, Suoh, have another year to go before you finish, and Akira has two years, I propose that we all move in together. It will be more handy for you two, and that way we can all work together."
"On _what_?" Suoh demanded.
"Oh, I'll still be on hand to help out with Student Council duties, just like I was when I graduated out of Elementary, Middle, Junior High and High School Divisions before you two. And don't forget, we are still the CLAMP School Detectives!
"Hmph," said Suoh. "Well, it _would_ mean that I could keep a tighter control of security on you."
Nokoru sweatdropped slightly. "And we practically live together anyway," he pointed out. "We've shared Council rooms and study rooms since we've been here. Just think how much _fun_ it will be, all three of us together! Just the three of us!"
"Just the three of us?" Suoh's eyebrows raised. "What about guards?"
"We don't need any of that," Nokoru waved a hand airily. "I'm sure we can manage fine by ourselves."
"I have no doubt of that, it's just... people might talk Kaichou."
"They'll talk less if there's three of us," Nokoru pointed out.
"Hmmm... true..." said Suoh.
"What's wrong with us living together?" Akira asked. "Lots of friends live together. Shuukaido Takeshi and Higashikunimaru Kentarou live together."
There was a pause.
"So, how are the arrangements for the College ball going?" Suoh asked.
"Fine! Fine!" Nokoru replied. "More tea?"
"Have you made all your arrangements Nokoru-san?"
"Yes Rijichou," Nokoru beamed at his mother. "The house is ready and furnished, and Akira and Suoh move in today." He bubbled over with enthusiasm. "We're going to get along so well."
His mother smiled at him. "I agree." she said.
Which just goes to show that Rijichou isn't ALWAYS right. But if she was, this would be a very dull fic.
"Are you sure this is a good idea Akira-kun?" Utako asked.
"Yes!" Akira said happily. "Kaichou and Takamura-sempai are like brothers, and now we can all live together just like a real family!"
Utako paused. "Yes..."
It should be remembered that Utako _has_ siblings.
"It's so nice that you and Nokoru-sama and Akira-kun are all moving in together," Nagisa said, carrying a couple of boxes.
"Mmmm..." said Suoh.
"You're all such good friends. I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun!" Nagisa enthused.
"That's what I'm afraid of!" Suoh complained.
Nyeh heh heh. Okay, enough foreshadowing and breaking of the fourth wall. On with the story!
"This is fun, isn't it?" Akira enthused, as he brewed some tea.
"It's great!" Nokoru beamed as he slid some plates onto the table. "It's been so much fun unpacking..."
"Or not unpacking..." Suoh shot a look at Nokoru. "You've only unpacked one box Kaichou."
"And look at how much fun it gave us." Nokoru pointed out. "Who knew that duct tape was so versatile!"
Suoh sighed and looked at the objects which were now stuck to the ceiling. "Yes Kaichou."
"Don't be so gloomy Takamura-senpai," Akira passed him some tea. "This will all work out. We've split the chores up fairly, and we're already on track."
"Speaking of which, dinner is served!" Nokoru spooned some rice and vegetables onto Suoh's plate. "Eat up!"
Suoh and Akira smiled. "Itadakimasu!" They picked up their chopsticks and took large mouthfuls.
After some choking and coughing, Suoh finally managed to ask. "Kaichou, did you ever take any home economics classes?"
"No, they clashed with nuclear physics. Why?" Nokoru helped himself to a mouthful of food and turned the same colour as Suoh's hair.
"Oh, just wondering."
"A... a minor problem." Nokoru choked out. "I'm sure it'll all be smooth sailing from here. What could possibly go wrong?"
"Hallo Kaichou! Are you just finishing using the washing machine?"
Nokoru smiled at Akira as he continued to take his wet clothes out. "Yes, I'll just be a minute. How were your afternoon classes Akira?"
"Fine, fine..." Akira noticed a basket of clothing and headed for it.
"Uh, Akira - those are Suoh's clothes."
"Yes, I thought I'd just put them in with mine - I don't have a very big load."
"That's not a very good idea," Nokoru warned.
"Why?" Akira picked up a pile of clothing. Two throwing knives and a shuriken fell out of them and impaled themselves in the floor by his feet. A small grey object followed them and exploded on impact.
Akira and Nokoru coughed and choked but finally managed to get through all the smoke to the door, which they slammed behind them. Then they both leant against it, tears streaming down their faces.
Once again, the Mysterious Thief 20 Masks had struck. Each move had been perfect, and all the extra guards they had brought in after his warning had been useless as he snuck through the mansion to get the sculpture he'd wanted. This had all culminated in a perfect getaway, and noone had even suspected that...
"Do you know what time it is? Kaichou and I have been worried sick! Where have you been?!"
Akira gulped and turned around slowly. "Umm... I went out for a walk!"
Suoh stared at him blearily. "Went out for a walk," he repeated. He looked past Akira. "Leaving and entering through your bedroom window." He stared at Akira's clothes. "In a tuxedo." he added. He looked at his watch. "At 3 in the morning." He looked pointedly back at Akira.
"Errr..." Akira stalled.
Suoh sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Look Ijyuin, we don't mind you doing your 20 Masks thing, but could you give us some warning so we don't sit up waiting for you next time?" He moved slightly so that Akira could see Nokoru asleep on a chair, attired in a fabulous gold, embroidered, dressing gown.
"Uh... uh... sure thing." Akira finally managed.
Suoh nodded and turning, hefted Nokoru over his shoulder. "I'll just go tuck him in. _You're_ on breakfast duty tomorrow, alright?"
"Uh... uh... okay..." Akira stammered out.
"Oh and Ijyuin?"
"Next time, use the door."
Later in the morning:
"I _still_ can't believe you knew about me being 20 Masks all along," Akira grumbled over breakfast.
"Oh come _on_ Akira-kun," Nokoru grinned, getting up to rinse his dishes. "It _was_ a little obvious."
"I suppose," Akira sighed. Then he brightened up. "I guess it's a little like you 'secretly' being the boss of Duklyon."
With a clang Nokoru dropped his dishes and cutlery into the sink, an expression of shock on his face. "You... you knew???"
Akira and Suoh looked at each other and snickered. The snickers eventually turned into full-throated laughs.
"What?" Nokoru demanded. "What? What?"
"O... of course we knew Kaichou..." Akira managed, wiping tears out of his eyes. "W-w-ha ha... who do you think kept putting bread and stuff in their 'secret passage' oven?"
"Akira? SUOH!!!" Nokoru turned on his friend, who was laughing silently. "I can't believe you've been doing this all along..."
"Well, we couldn't believe that you'd organise another group when you already had us." said Suoh. "And you didn't even offer US power armour."
"You don't _need_ power armour," Nokoru grumbled. "Do you have any idea how often that was a nuisance?"
"YES!" Akira and Suoh yelled out, before collapsing into hysterics.
"Suoh... how is Nagisa?"
"No Kaichou - it is YOUR turn to do the dishes. You cannot put it off like paperwork. Unlike paperwork, we WILL run out if you leave it for long enough."
"Have some tea!"
Two hands lifted cups to two mouths, which sipped, paused, and swallowed.
"New house rule, Kaichou is not allowed to cook anything. EVER!"
"Kaichou! Will you PLEASE hurry up and get out of the bathroom?"
"Takamura-senpai, you're on the roster for today to get the mail in!"
"I'd love to... if I could just get in to the bath first!!!"
"Who left hair in the sink?"
"What colour is it?"
"Then who do you _think_ left it in the sink Kaichou? Use your detective skills!"
"Don't pick on me, goddamn it!"
"Wow, Kaichou's not a morning person is he?"
"Have you seen Akira this morning?" Nokoru asked.
"Not yet," Suoh replied. "I think he overslept a bit. I knocked on his door a couple of minutes ago."
He opened the door to the corridor.
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckety fuckety fuck!" Akira hopped past them, hair awry and shirt half on. "Fuuuuuckk...." His voice receded down the corridor.
Nokoru and Suoh stood frozen in shock.
"Did I just see what I _thought_ I just saw?" Nokoru asked.
Suoh closed the door. "No," he said firmly. "_You_ didn't see that, _I_ didn't see that, it _never_ happened!"
"Kaichou! Hurry up in there! Dammit, when is the other bathroom going to be repaired?"
"It was repaired yesterday." came a muffled voice through the door. "Didn't Akira tell you?"
"No he... Ijyuin! Hurry up in the other bathroom!"
"It's no good Ijyuin, we'll just have to admit it, our detective skills aren't up to this task." said Suoh.
"We should never give up Takamura-senpai!" Akira protested. "The answer may yet reveal itself."
"Fact it Ijyuin, we have theorised, calculated and retraced all of the events leading to this incident." Suoh pointed out. "It is obviously intended to be one of the mysteries of life. The Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman, and how Kaichou managed to actually burn water, are just secrets man was not meant to know."
"WILL you give it a rest!" Nokoru burst out. "It was a perfectly normal accident and could have happened to anyone. Now help me scrub the soot out of these pans."
Akira trudged through the campus, eyes downcast. Things were not working out as well as he had thought they would and he was confused. He couldn't understand why they were having troubles. He sighed and walked into someone.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry!" He panicked.
"It's alright, I wasn't paying attention either." The other man shrugged. "Too busy looking at what's become of the place since I left."
Akira took a closer look at the man. "You're Shuukaido Takeshi aren't you?"
Takeshi blinked. "That's right. I remember you - Ijyuin Akira, you were a few years behind me in school."
"Quite a few," Akira agreed. "I'm still there in fact. Two more years."
"Enjoy them while you can," Takeshi sighed.
"I'm _trying_," Akira said. "But... I'm having some problems at home."
Akira blushed. "No! It's just my housemates and I are... never mind, I'm sorry to bother you. I just thought, since you seem to be getting on fine with your housemate, you..."
In his stuttering, Akira had failed to notice Takeshi's blush.
"Uh well, Kentarou and I... er... Would you like to come to our apartment for a cup of tea?" Takeshi invited.
"I'd LOVE to!"
"This is a wonderful apartment, Takeshi-san," Akira gazed around. "I love the paintings."
"Thank you," said Takeshi. "I'm not much of an art-lover myself, but Kentarou is fond of bright pictures, so therefore..." He trailed off, handing Akira a cup of tea and putting a plate of biscuits on the table between them. "Help yourself."
Akira sipped his tea. "Mmmmm, jasmine. Um, Takeshi-san, if it's not too much to ask, could you give me some tips about harmonious house sharing? The three of us started off as such good friends, and now we all seem to be getting on each others nerves. You seem to have a very good relationship with your housemate and... are you alright?"
Takeshi coughed rather harshly and eventually managed to choke out, "Fine, I'm fine." He sipped his tea and regarded Akira.
"I'm afraid you've rather got hold of the wrong end of the stick Akira-kun. You see, in fact, I try to kill Kentarou on a daily basis."
Akira fell over in surprise. "You... you do?"
Takeshi nodded. "Oh my yes, not a day goes past that I don't contemplate doing the hyperactive little pest in." He sighed. "But somehow, I always let it go."
A giggle sounded by the doorway. "That's because of the secret trick to ensure survival in living together." Kentarou walked in.
"Trick?" Akira was all ears as Takeshi froze.
Kentarou winked. "Great sex."
Takeshi fell off his chair while Akira tried to understand.
"Really good, regular sex," Kentarou elaborated. "Takeshi always gets distracted from his tempers when I start putting a few basic moves on him. If you want I can lend you this useful book I found..."
Takeshi loomed up in front of Kentarou and slammed his hand across the other man's mouth.
"How could you say that in front of a guest!" He roared. "I ought to wring your neck! EEEP!!! Stop doing that!"
Kentarou tickled faster.
"Nooooooo... eep, ap, ork, ah ah.... ahhhhh!!!!"
Akira stood up hastily. "Thank-you-for-the-tea-I-better-be-going!"
Kentarou giggled and then squealed. "Takepon!"
"DON'T CALL ME TAKEPON!!!!"
Akira hurriedly took his leave and sprinted across the campus, bursting into the house and zooming up to Suoh and Nokoru, who were also having tea.
"I'm sorry to do this, I realise that this may come as a shock and I want you both to know that I love you very much, but I'm leaving you." Akira blurted out. "Goodbye." He spun on his heel and disappeared.
Nokoru and Suoh stared after him.
"Did I miss something Kaichou?"
"You and me both Suoh."
Suoh sighed. There was just no way around this bad news. With Akira gone and no other bodyguards, the situation had deteriorated to dangerous levels. He had to break the bad news to Nokoru about this new threat.
"Kaichou, I'm afraid I am going to have to take immediate action to ensure your continued safety." Suoh faced Nokoru. "My recent investigations have uncovered a new and greater threat to your life than has ever existed before."
"What is it Suoh?" Nokoru's eyes were wide.
"Me." Suoh replied bluntly. "I'm afraid if I stay here any longer I'll kill you, so I'm moving out this afternoon. Don't try to stop me."
Nokoru looked at the sword Suoh was holding. "Whatever you say Suoh."
One week later:
Suoh entered the cafeteria holding his tray and hesitated. Nokoru and Akira were seated at opposite ends of a table, and both their gazes were locked on him. Carefully, he walked over, put his tray down on the table and slid into the seat between them.
"So," said Suoh.
"So," said Akira.
"So," Nokoru replied.
There was a long pause as the three young men looked at each other. Akira was the first to grin. The other two followed suit immediately afterwards.
"Well," said Suoh.
"Well," said Akira.
"Well," Nokoru finished up. "That was certainly an educational experience."
"Indeed," Suoh agreed. "Not _entirely_ unpleasant."
"We did get to find out things about each other that we didn't know before," Akira admitted.
"Like Kaichou can't cook."
"And Akira owns all the Sailor Moon soundtracks."
"And Takamura-senpai sleeps with a loaded gun under his pillow."
They all looked at each other and then looked away as other memories rose up.
"I won't tell anyone if you don't," Nokoru said. The other two hastily agreed.
"Still, at least we now know that we weren't meant to live together," Suoh said.
"Do we?" Nokoru asked innocently.
"My mother's moved out of the Imonoyama mansion," Nokoru said idly. "It's a pretty big place."
"I don't care how..."
"Hmmm..." Suoh considered.
"Hmmm..." Akira pondered.
"Plenty of space for Suoh to practice his martial arts, lots of places for 20 Masks to stash his gear, huge rooms with big desks for paperwork... a staff, bodyguards, completely secure..." Nokoru trailed off.
Akira and Suoh looked at each other and hesitated.
"Well... I guess it couldn't hurt..." Akira said. "I mean, as long as there are other people there."
"If there were more space and other bodyguards..." Suoh added. "Maybe... just maybe... I suppose we could try again."
"That's the spirit!" Nokoru cried. "Nothing can go wrong THIS time!"
Round Two, Day Two:
Imonoyama Rijichou walked along to the Imonoyama mansion.
"Excuse me, Rijichou?"
She turned to see two girls blushing prettily behind her. "Utako-san, Nagisa-san," she said. "How lovely to see you."
"Are you going to visit Nokoru-sama?" Utako inquired.
"Why yes, I wanted to see how they were all getting along in the mansion." The Rijichou fell in with the two girls, "I assume you are going to visit Suoh-kun and Akira-kun?"
"Yes!" Utako said. "We thought we'd make sure everything was going alright."
Rijichou laughed as they walked up the path to the mansion. "I don't think there will be any disasters this time." She pushed open the front doors.
Inside the main foyer, Nokoru was lying flat on his back, Akira astride him, shouting incoherently while Suoh kept the younger man in a headlock and tried to pull him off Nokoru. Smoke filled the room and several doors were hanging off their hinges. Shuriken were buried in one of the walls and boxes lined the room. The three men looked up as the door swung open and froze in their respective positions.
"..." said the Rijichou, Utako and Nagisa.
Nokoru cleared his throat. "Umm... would you ladies care to help us finish unpacking?"
Rijichou closed the door firmly and walked off, pulling Utako and Nagisa behind her as shouting erupted from the mansion. "Let's go and get some tea."
"Is it safe to leave them behind?" Nagisa asked anxiously.
"Oh don't worry Nagisa-san," the Rijichou smiled at her. "It's perfectly alright."
"Oh yes. The mansion is fully insured against damages."
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