Disclaimer: Sorata and Arashi are the property of CLAMP Summary: No one dies and Sorata gets his girl! Had this ended up all right, it would have been for Anna Chung
When Sorata first heard that Arashi was spending some of her free
time in garbage disposal, he had a hard time picturing his calm,
neat, incredibly lovely shrine maiden sitting amoung stinking garbage
Well, that was exactly what he find one day when he secretly followed her one of the mansion one afternoon.
Luckily, it was winter, so the day wasn't very hot. Sorata shuddered at the thought of going into a garbage disposal in the middle of July. He carried a bouquet of purple asters, something he picked up along the way, which why he didn't get to the garbage disposal until Arashi had been there for ten minutes.
She was plainly shocked to see him open the heavy door of the garbage disposal outside the fast food chain. Her eyes went large and hard and her face, already an ethereal tint of pure white, grew paler. Still, she was sitting most regally on top of the pile of garbage bags, her back straight and her head held high.
Arashi Kishnu was the only person Sorata knew that could look dignified sitting amoung garbage. She almost looked like a monarch up there.
"What are you doing here?" the monarch demanded when she saw him.
Sorata could only imagine the picture they made: the two of in the garbage disposal, her in her now dirty and wrinkle uniform sitting like a queen, and him standing precariously by the door, dressed in a light cotton shirt and jeans, holding a bouquet of purple flowers.
Sorata wasted on time on lies. "I was following you," he admitted.
Annoyance flickered on Arashi's face. "Why can't you leave me alone?" she asked.
Sorata surveyed the site around him, trying not to gag. "Trust me," he said with an exaggerated tone of pain. "With the way this place stinks, I almost would."
Arashi persisted. "Why don't you then?"
Relunctantly, Sorata made his way up the garbage mountain to Her Royal Highness. His journey was a squishy one, and every time his feet sank down on the bag, dust and tiny partciles of trash would fly up like a cloud and …. He tried to hold his breath because he was sure the smell itself was toxic. Arashi kept her eyes on him and looked like she wanted to pull away. "I'm curious about why you're spending so much time here," Sorata said on his way up.
"And why's that?" Arashi was icier than usual, and Sorata had a fair idea why. Something Yuzuriha told him, something that made him realise there was a chance in hell.
"Because I want to get to know you better," Sorata replied, grimacing when coffee spurted out of a small tear in the garbage bag onto his shoes. Somehow, he made himself ignore the cofee and looked at Arashi playfully. "I wanted to know my future lover as someone more than just an extremely beautiful girl."
His comment struck a nerve with Arashi. She pressed her lips tightly together and her eyes hardened.
"Arashi," Sorata said gently. His gentleness was hard for Arashi to take. She had to turn away. He took a couple more steps on the squishy ground to her and put his hand on her shoulder, near her throat. She started to jerk away, but then stopped. Her body was perfectly still under his hand, except for the beating of her jugular that he feel. It was pulsing faster than his heart was going. "What are you scared of?" he asked.
Arashi bowed her head away from him, her hair falling like a black veil over her face. She avoided the question by asking another one. "You really want to know me better?" she said hallowly, but with an edge in her voice.
"Yes," answered Sorata blindly.
She lifted her head but didn't look at him. She looked at the garbage before her instead: bags upon bags of wet, sticky, stinking garbage hidden under the black shiny surface. Flies and bugs crawling on and between the bags. A couple of seagulls picking at some fallen buns and half empty cartons that fell from a broken bag. The incredible hot putrid smell of it all, sticking to her nostril and almost choking her.
"This was my nurturing ground," she finally said to Sorata, indicating the garbage before her in one wide swept of an arm. "It was here I found food to keep my alive and clothes to keep me warm. And here where I played as a child. It was my playground."
"Your playground?" Sorata looked around him in revulsion and disgust. The cream colored paper cthat the flowers were wrapped in crinkled as his hand tightened around it.
Arashi scratched lightly at the knotted top of a garbage bag. "People throw away so many things," she informed Sorata. "Toys, mangas, books, pens, even photos. I used to like going through people's garbage can because they threw away the most interesting things, things they don't want to remember and see again. Photos and pills and letters. I used to make things up about the people who did."
Probably feeling like she said too much, Arashi suddenly closed her mouth, leaving poor Sorata to find an appropriate answer for everything she had told him. "You're past that," he finally said lamely.
"I'm not," she replied. "That's what you need to understand if you-"
Again, she shut her mouth quickly but Sorata understood more than she had expected to. He had to be extremely careful. "Yuzuriha," he said delicately, "told me that you cared about someone."
Her face flushed scarlet with embarrassment and rage. "What makes you think you're that person?"
The bitterness in her tone as well as her voices stung him. By reflex, he reverted to his old joking genkiness. "Oh come on, Arashi," he teased. "Everyone knows that deep down inside, you're crazy about me!"
She looked like she was going to slap him for a moment and infact, Sorata tensed his body in anticipation for the blow. But after lifting her hand, she stared at it for a moment and then turned around. Sorata watched her movement in amazement.
My God, he thought to himself. She does care.
The feeling which should have brought exhiliration to him brought him a sense of horrified responsibility instead. If her heart was in his hands, he would have be careful with it. "Arashi," he said again, and watched in fascination as she squared her shoulder almost in defence against him. "Why did you come back here?"
She shook her head. "I don't know."
She really didn't. She hated the garbage, feared it and despised it as much as she drawned to it. She vowed she would never come back here no matter what, and here she was again. Her inability to answer that question made her feel helpless and upset. She turn to glare at Sorata. "Do you really want me, Sorata?" she hissed. "Do you really want this?" She waved her hand as if to say the garbage around her equal the person that was herself.
Sorata understood that. His words were playful, but the tone of his voice was light but serious. "Even if it came with an earthquake, I'll still take the whole package."
An agonised sort of despair shot through Arashi's expression. "Why do you have to be so perfect?" she demanded. "Why do you have to be so wonderful?"
"What can I say?" Sorata couldn't help joking this time. "The Gods knew what they were doing when they made me." But he turned serious as he dropped down to Arashi's level so that they were eye leve with each other. She looked like misery incarnate at that moment. Sorata spoke lightly. "But honestly, Arashi, I know having you in my life means having to a pretty girl to look at, but I'm willing to take it all. No matter how bad it is, I'm want every part of you. I love you, Arashi, and I want to rule this kingdom with you."
She looked at him in surprise. "King – dom?"
He smiled. "I thought you looked like a queen sitting on her throne when I opened the door. Queen of the Garbage Disposal."
The idea seemed to appeal to Arashi. Her expression softened; the despair and misery started to fade away. "Where's my crown?" she asked dryly.
Sorata pulled some of the poenies out of the bouquet and begin to thread them into a coronet. "Your Majesty," he said with flourish, holding out the wreath to her, "will you accept my humble attempt of a crown to put on your royal head?"
Arashi took it coolly and placed it on her black hair where they stood out like a spray of violet stars. Despite her dirty outfit and the questionable surroundings, she did look gorgeous. A flush had brought a tint of color to her cheeks and …..
He got down on one knees and held the remaining flowers in his arms. "So can I be your king, Arashi?"
Arashi regarded him solemnly for a long moment before nodding her head.
Knowing Sorata as well as she did, she wasn't surprised when he jumped at her with a whoop and swept her into his arms. She was smiling a little herself actually. "You need a crown too," she said.
And so they sat there in the garbage disposal together, both crowned king and queen of their royal realms.