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Home Is Where... | Nezumi/Shion fic; No. 6

What's this? A fic journal? I have one of these? O_O

Heh. Long time, no see. Sorry about that - I've kind of been out of the fanfiction loop for a long time.

What brings me back here today is my brand new obsession: the anime No. 6 (which is doubly weird for me because I'm usually not that into anime/manga). IT'S SO ADDICTIVE. I couldn't help myself!

So here, have some fic with some NezuShi understones ;)

Home Is Where…
Author: chelime
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Disclaimer: Nezumi and Shion and No. 6 belong to Asano Atsuko; My Fair Lady belongs to George Bernard Shaw, Alan Jay Lerner, and Frederick Loewe.
Summary: Nezumi bluffs. Shion doesn’t call him on it…but maybe Nezumi wants him to.
A/N: Oh sweet Jesus, THESE BOYS. I didn’t want to let myself love them so much (especially because I just have this awful gut-feeling that this week’s final episode is going to be utterly tragic—I already have Remus/Sirius who’ve got “tragic” down to a science, why do I need another ship like that?) but clearly that failed, seeing as how I stayed up until 5 AM to write this. And honestly, I let myself because that awful gut-feeling of coming tragedy means that I really needed this bit of fluff to make myself feel slightly better. (I’m still terribly anxious, though. SERIOUSLY, GUYS, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO IF NEZUMI OR SHION DIES?! My creys; they will be endless.) Anyway, hope you enjoy this little moment of time between our boys. Not sure exactly where I would place this on the timeline, but let’s just go with “before episode seven.” ;)

 * * *

Nezumi rubbed at his head in irritation; the rehearsal had accomplished nothing but to give him a throbbing headache. Masao had once again pitched a fit about Nezumi landing the lead female role—Eliza, the foul-mouthed street rat turned refined woman in My Fair Lady, and oh how that made Nezumi laugh—and true to form, Satoshi, the boneless director, had spent an hour fumbling through apologies and reassurances before Nezumi had stood and walked out without a word. Satoshi was probably frantic without him, but it had become routine to let Masao have a day or two to cool down before any actual rehearsing was done.
Besides, having to grit his teeth and keep from throttling Masao always gave him too severe a headache to be much in the mood for acting anyway.
Nezumi’s eyelid twitched.
Suppressing a sigh, Nezumi swung open the door to his home—and stopped abruptly in his tracks.
You idiot, he thought.
Shion was sitting in the middle of the floor reading from a book. His usual two groupies, Karan and Rico, sat on either side of him—but they were not the only children in the house. Another four huddled together in front of Shion, listening to him speak with rapt attention.
Shion glanced up at Nezumi, gave him a slight smile, and continued reading.
Idiot, Nezumi thought savagely as he closed the door behind him. I told you not to turn my house into a fucking classroom.
Nezumi stomped around Shion’s flock—which included Hamlet, Cravat, and Moonlit, those traitorous rats—and flopped down on his bed. Squashing down the urge to yell at Shion—at least until the kids weren’t around—made his head throb harder.
It wasn’t until he’d gone through every curse he could think of in his head that Nezumi finally listened to what Shion was reading.
            What’s to become of me? What’s to become of me?
            How the devil do I know what’s to become of you? What does it matter what becomes of you?
            You don’t care. I know you don’t care. You wouldn’t care if I was dead. I’m nothing to you—not so much as them slippers.
Nezumi barely managed to stifle a groan. My Fair Lady. Had he accidentally told the fool which play he was auditioning for? No, he never talked about work with Shion. It was pure coincidence that Shion was now reading the lines Nezumi had committed to heart over the past week.
Still want to throttle him, Nezumi thought sullenly.
Nezumi let himself listen along as Shion read aloud to the children. He was somewhat amused that Shion was even going so far as to alternate between a high feminine voice and a low tenor for Eliza and Higgins. Brat’s gotten pretty good, even if his only audience is usually rats.
“Stealing?” Shion said, adopting the tone of an older man. “You shouldn’t have said that, Eliza. That shows a want of feeling.
“I’m so—“
“I’m sorry,” Nezumi interrupted. Without even making a conscious decision to do so, he slipped into the role of Eliza like it was a coat. Nezumi moved to stand behind Shion, who had turned and was now staring at him in wide-eyed wonder. “I’m sorry. I’m only a common, ignorant girl, and in my station, I have to be careful. There can’t be any feelings between the like of you and the like of me. Please will you tell me what belongs to me and what doesn’t?”
Shion barely missed a beat as he raised the book back to his eyes. “You may take this whole damned houseful if you like. Except the jewels. They’re hired. Will that satisfy you?”
They tossed lines back and forth, the words growing more heated. Shion was by no means a pro, but he had conviction and a nice voice that was easy to fall into. Nezumi was surprised to find that he was enjoying himself as he shouted, “Don’t hit me!” The children gathered around Shion gave little shrieks of delight—though whether it was due to the intensity of the scene or the additional actor in their little entertainment, Nezumi couldn’t say.
“Hit you?” Shion cried back. “You infamous creature! How dare you accuse me of such a thing? It is you who have hit me. You have wounded me to the heart.”
Nezumi gave a pleased little hmph. “I’m glad. I’ve got a little of my own back anyhow.”
“You have caused me to lose my temper, a thing that has hardly ever happened to me before,” Shion read, his words stiff. “I prefer to say nothing more tonight. I am going to bed.”
And just like that, Nezumi wished he could just go to bed too. He still had that headache throbbing behind his eyes—why should he have to amuse a bunch of kids in his own house when he was tired and aching? Nezumi abruptly snapped out of Eliza as he caustically said, “You should go to bed too,” to the children, turning his back on them to stalk back toward his bed.
“Uh, yes, it’s getting pretty late,” he heard Shion stammer. “We can finish this next time.”
Next time?
“Awww, but—“
“Nah, he’s right, Taki. Come on, Mom’ll be putting out supper now.”
“Thanks, Shion.”

“Yeah, thank you, Shion!”
“You’re welcome. I’ll come get you all when I’m free again.”
“See you.”
“Thank you, Eve.”
Nezumi tensed up and didn’t say a word as he heard the shuffle of feet go out the doorway, the scattered goodbyes, and, finally, the door being gently closed.
“You idiot.” Nezumi whirled around. “What the hell are you doing? I told you to get your own place if you wanted to run a fucking kindergarten! Like I need to come home to bunch of brats. What a nuisance.”
Shion’s worried expression abruptly hardened. “I didn’t think you would be home for a while. They can’t inconvenience you if you’re not here.”
Nezumi snarled. “Well I am here. But anyway, that’s not the point. This place isn’t yours to use as a daycare. Stop bringing them here.”
“They have nowhere else to go,” Shion protested. “Their mothers work all day to bring home food at night, and they’re left alone. Why shouldn’t we all spend time together when we have nothing else to do? And reading to them…they get to learn something I didn’t. I never got to read Shakespeare or Keats or Sophocles. Teaching the children teaches me too.”
Your heart’s too damn big for this place. It’s useless here. “Either stop playing babysitter or find someplace else for your little study group. They’re not coming here anymore.”
Shion blinked. “But…all the books are here.”
“Don’t care.”
“Where would we go?”
“Not my concern.”
“I suppose I could ask Karan if we can use her home.” Shion frowned. “No, we’d never get anything done. Her father drinks too much. That’s why she likes to bring Rico here.”
I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care.
I don’t care.” A thought sparked in Nezumi’s mind—maybe he could use it to scare Shion off from this crazy need to be everyone’s keeper. “You want a place to go? Get your own place. You’ve been working for Inukashi for a while now, right? You should have enough saved up by now to get a little schoolhouse for you and your brats.”
“You…” Shion blinked. “You want me to leave?”
Nezumi indolently shrugged one shoulder. “Doesn’t matter to me. I’m just saying you don’t need to be here anymore. Especially not if you want to keep making study dates.”
Nezumi smirked to himself as Shion floundered. This is for the best. You’re letting those brats get too close. Most of them won’t survive the winter anyway.
“Maybe I will leave!”
Nezumi glanced up in surprise. Shion’s fists were clenched and a hard, determined expression was on his face.
“Maybe it is time I live on my own,” Shion continued. “You’ve done enough for me. More than enough. I shouldn’t keep relying on you.”
Done enough? Nezumi scoffed. I don’t think I’ll ever do enough to repay that debt. But Shion didn’t need to hear about that right now. “You really think you’re ready to live on your own?”
Shion mimicked Nezumi’s shrug. “You manage. I can manage too.”
I’m not too sure about that. “It’s your choice.”
“I—I think it’s for the best.” Shion bit his lip. “But, um, where should I go?”
I can’t believe he’s seriously considering this. The idiot. “If you wander around enough, someone’ll eventually catch on that you’re looking for a place to live. They’ll make you an offer. If you can accept it, you do, if you can’t, they’ll show you where to go.”
“Okay.” Shion bit his lip again. “I’ll start looking tomorrow. If that’s okay?”
“It’s your choice.”
“Right.” Shion turned to the stove. “Well, I’ll get started on dinner then.”
Nezumi didn’t respond. He just slumped on the bed, closed his eyes, and ignored the niggling voice in the back of his mind that cursed him for his foolish bluff.
* * *
The next morning, after a tense breakfast, Shion pulled on his coat and turned to Nezumi with a wan smile. “Wish me luck.”
“Luck,” Nezumi said flatly.
With his shoulders hunched, Shion went out the door.
Nezumi glared at the closed door for a long moment. What was that moron thinking? He’d never survive on his own. He hadn’t yet managed to make it through the market without causing trouble, he thought every pitiful person was his responsibility, and he was the biggest airhead Nezumi had ever known. How could that moron honestly believe he could make it in the West Block alone?
Because you told him to, idiot.
And there it was. Nezumi had made his bluff, and Shion was too much of an airhead to even call him on it.
“Whatever,” Nezumi said violently, knocking over his chair as he stood up. “What’s done is done. He wants to live on his own? Fine. I’m not his fucking keeper.”
He stalked over to the bookshelves, eyes scanning for something that would take his mind off of Shion wandering cold and alone through the slums of West Block to find an affordable hole in the wall. His eyes paused on Macbeth—Shion and his army of rats had grown attached to that particular play. Shion enjoyed reciting the witch’s spell while stirring the soup, making his voice as hoarse and wicked as he could. Nezumi always scoffed at his dramatics, reminding Shion that he’d been the first to use that joke and that Shion had no hope of topping his performance.
“Maybe not, but I bet my eye of newt tastes better than yours,” Shion would reply with a grin.
Nezumi tilted the book so he couldn’t see its title anymore.
He continued scanning the shelves—shelves Shion had spent a week organizing, dusting off the books Nezumi had shoved haphazardly into corners and tucking them all neatly beside one another.
Groaning at this annoying train of thought, Nezumi abandoned his book search and turned to the piano in the corner. He let his fingers dance idly along the keys, no particular melody in mind. One eventually started to form from his random chords though, and he let it take him away. He was just beginning to feel himself calm when his fingers froze on the piano. That song. It wasn’t some random melody. He’d heard it before. He’d teased Shion about singing in the shower for days after hearing it.
“That stupid brat,” Nezumi deadpanned.
In such a short amount of time, Shion had managed to tie himself to every part of this small home. Everything Nezumi stared out at had some memory of Shion linked to it, leaving his indelible trace all over.
Nezumi didn’t know when or how it had happened, but somehow, his home had become their home.
And now Shion wanted to leave it.
Dammit, dammit, dammit.
“Guess I should see if I can change that idiot’s mind.”
* * *
Shion trudged wearily back towards home—Nezumi’s home. He’d spent a good portion of the morning walking back and forth along rows of houses, waiting for someone to appear and wondering if perhaps Nezumi had just been pulling his leg about someone just “catching on.” But finally a man had crept out of an alley and said, “For twelve gold coins, I can give you the best house on this block.” But Shion didn’t have anywhere near that kind of money, so the man had directed him to another street before melting back into the shadows.
The rest of his morning and the better part of his afternoon had been spent being shuffled from place to place. Some had been out of his price range, others were, despite when their landlords claimed, utterly uninhabitable, and one, to Shion’s horror, contained a corpse he tripped over. He’d run screaming from that house, and it took him a long time after that to calm down enough to begin his search anew. The thought of Nezumi’s stormy face and his own desire—need—to prove himself to be Nezumi’s equal drove him back into the slums.
Needless to say, though, it had been an unsuccessful first day of house-hunting.
He hoped Nezumi would allow him a grace period before officially kicking him out.
Shion timidly opened the door, calling out for Nezumi as he peered inside.
“Why are you just standing there?” Nezumi stared at him from where he was sitting on the couch. “Get inside and shut the door; it’s too damn cold outside.”
Shion obeyed. He turned back to Nezumi, shifting nervously from foot to foot before saying, “Ah, Nezumi—“
“How’d it go?” Nezumi asked casually.
“It, um, didn’t,” Shion said.
Nezumi’s eyebrows raised. “Really.”
“It—it wasn’t quite what I expected,” Shion admitted. He hastily added, “But I’ll go back out tomorrow! If I could just stay here one more night, I’m sure I’ll have better luck tomorrow…”
Nezumi stared at him.
“Um,” said Shion.
Nezumi stood and sauntered towards Shion, nose up in the air and hands clasped behind his back in a haughty manner. “Well, Eliza, you’ve had a bit of your own back, as you call it. Have you had enough? And are you going to be reasonable? Or do you want any more?”
“Um,” Shion repeated. “What?”
Nezumi returned his bewildered stare calmly.
Oh,” Shion gasped. “Are you—are you saying you want me back?”
“I haven’t said I wanted you back at all,” Nezumi replied loftily.
Shion snorted. He knew which script to follow now. “Oh, indeed. Then what are we talking about?”
“About you, not about me,” Nezumi said. He stepped closer to Shion. “If you come back, I shall treat you just as I have always treated you. I can’t change my nature, and I don’t intend to change my manners.” Nezumi stopped a hand span away from Shion. “The great secret, dear Eliza,” he continued, his tone of voice softening, “is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls. The question is not whether I treat you rudely, but whether you ever heard me treat anyone else better.”
Shion met Nezumi’s eyes with a solemn and somewhat defiant gaze. “I don’t care how you treat me. I don’t mind your swearing at me. But I won’t be passed over.”
Nezumi turned from him, once again donning that haughty attitude. “Then get out of my way, for I won’t stop for you.”
“You’re a motor bus, all bounce and go, and no consideration for anyone.” There was a note of frustration in Shion’s voice. “But I can get along without you! Don’t think I can’t.”
And Nezumi was suddenly standing in front of him again, his expression sober and his voice low. “I know you can. I told you you could.” Nezumi leaned forward and whispered, “You never wondered, I suppose, whether I could get along without you.”
Shion’s throat felt too constricted to speak. He stared up at Nezumi, heart racing as his mind processed what scene they were really playing out here: hiding behind words someone else had written, this, right here, was probably the closest Nezumi would ever come to telling Shion he wanted him around.
The relief and joy that crashed through him then made Shion dizzy.
Nezumi seemed to sense that Shion understood, and he backed away, smirking. The arrogant mask was back in place. “And so I can! Without you or any soul on earth. But, Your Highness, I’ve learned something from your idiotic notions.” Nezumi bowed towards Shion. “I confess that humbly and gratefully.”
“You’re a devil,” Shion said with a grin. “What am I to come back for?”
“For the fun of it! That’s why I took you on.”
And then Shion could take it no more. Breaking character, he said, simply, “Thank you.”
Nezumi shrugged his same, indolent shrug. “I’m surprised you knew the lines.”
Shion chuckled. “I’ve read the play a dozen times by now. Higgins reminded me of you. Though I’m your Eliza in reverse—you’ve turned me from a respectable citizen of No. 6 into a street urchin.”
Nezumi tsked and ruffled Shion’s hair. “Well, dear Eliza, why don’t you muster up some of that old respectability and set the table while I get dinner started?”
With a beaming smile on his face, Shion was all too happy to comply.
* * *
A/N: The quotes I pulled from My Fair Lady were taken from this version. Since I took considerable chunks, I knew it would look messy if I tried to cite everything, so if you’re truly curious about what was quoted and what was pure Nezumi or pure Shion, you can check out that link.

Reviews are welcomed and loved! If you're feeling extra loving, you can also drop a review at FF.Net :D


Sep. 13th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh geez, this is adorable. Nezumi describing Karan and Rico as 'groupies' omg, so perfect.

And this:

The next morning, after a tense breakfast, Shion pulled on his coat and turned to Nezumi with a wan smile. “Wish me luck.”

“Luck,” Nezumi said flatly.

l;jkdf yes. So them.

Loved this. Nezumi is such a ~delicate arteest~ sometimes haha. <3
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
You have no IDEA how relieved you've made me feel. It took me a long time to write this because I've never written characters like Nezumi and Shion before, and it took me forever to finally hit that stride where I felt like, "Okay, they finally sound like themselves." But I was still nervous that I'd screwed it up, so thank you thank you thank you ♥
Sep. 13th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Awwwww! That was sweet! The boys felt very in-character, and you had their relationship down perfect! I loved the little insights into the theatre, and the little details about West Block home-hunting really fit into what we've been shown. Thanks for sharing!
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! It was more challenging than I thought it would be to get in Nezumi and Shion's heads, and I'm so relieved to hear that I didn't completely screw it up XD Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Sep. 14th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
I just adored this! x'D

It's so cute and funny AND SORT OF ANGSTY BUT NOT REALLY? Plus, they're both so delightfully IC here! ♥

Sep. 16th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! And you know, with Shion and Nezumi, I think no matter how fluffy I want to make the fic there will always be at least some angst. Those two are just the kings of angst, amirite?

After watching the final episode of the anime...I neither confirm nor deny that there will be more No. 6 ficage from me...but I will say that I am really damn tempted ;D
Sep. 16th, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
asdsadsa!! <3
awww this was such an amazing fanfic 8´D I loved this completely, also... now I wouldn´t be able to read My fair lady without thinking of them lol thanks for that x3 <3 (btw I´m totally adding this to my favs on FF.net ;3)
Sep. 16th, 2011 10:09 am (UTC)
Re: asdsadsa!! <3
now I wouldn´t be able to read My fair lady without thinking of them

Aha! My clever plan worked ;D Haha just kidding, but there are definitely worse things to associate with My Fair Lady, no?

Anyway, thank you so much for reading and commenting! ♥