Notes and Disclaimers: This story is written using characters from CLAMP Campus Detectives and, more notably, 20 Mensu ni Onegai. All characters are the sole property of CLAMP, who have issued a public statement that say they don't mind if we use them, which I think is very keen.

I wrote this story for a contest I didn't much care whether I won or not, but the rules were to write a yuri story with CLAMP characters. Someone on the Yuricon mailing list said that there were no canon CLAMP yuri couples, but I said there was one. And there is. Akira's two mothers from, CCD and 20 Masks. And here we are, the only 20 Masks fanfic in existence, as far as I know. :-)

As always, if you enjoy this story, please let me know at because this author never gets tired of learning that other people enjoy her work.

"World Shaking" Fanfic supports the Fanfic Revolution, because fanfic doesn't have to suck.

WSF also supports and sponsors Yuricon, a celebration of shoujoai and yuri in anime and manga.


The Velvet Mask


It was one of those beautiful evenings in late August, when the warm air blows through the curtains of the open windows and you can hear the crickets sing.

Akira was cleaning up after dinner – he had made us one of my favorite meals, sweet boy that he is – and we were all sitting around the table just enjoying each other's company.

"Mothers," Akira began politely, "You've never told me how you met. I was wondering about that today."

I looked across the table and knew that my love’s blushing cheeks were matched by my own. Our hands met and squeezed each other's softly. "We never have told, have we?" I said quietly.

"You tell him, I can't, it's too embarrassing!" she laughed and covered her cheeks with her hands girlishly.

I smiled. "It *is* rather embarrassing..."

"If it's too...personal, you don't have to tell me." Akira's face was a little pink too, by this point, and I laughed and pinched one cheek between my fingers.

"No, I'll tell you all about it," I said, my own face warm with the memory, "although it was a little...well...I’ll tell you."

"It was a dark night – there wasn't any moon," I began, trying to set a mysterious and romantic tone. "I climbed up the wall silently, passing story after story on the outside of the building..."

"You what?" Akira interrupted, rather uncharacteristically.

"I climbed up the wall," I said. "Weren't you listening?"

"Yes, but I don't understand," he said plaintively. "Why were you climbing up a wall?"

"I was breaking into a building from the outside – I had to climb the wall to get to the right window," I pointed out the logic. "It couldn't be helped."

Akira didn't answer, but his mouth opened, then closed again. I resumed.

"I was getting close to my target, but it was becoming more difficult," I remembered the wall well. It had been highly carved towards the bottom, but was smooth as glass up on the upper storeys. "I slowed down for a moment, and something slipped and the next thing I knew...I was laying on the balcony of the floor below with a twisted ankle and a bump on my head."

I laughed at the memory. "I was so frightened that someone might discover me that I actually forgot to look around me. When the voice came I nearly jumped right off the balcony!"

"'Are you alright?' the voice asked, very concerned. I looked around until I heard 'I'm up here!' and I finally looked up. Your mother was leaning out of the window, looking very worried. I told her that I was fine, but she insisted on coming down and getting me."

Akira looked at his mother for a moment and blinked. "Didn't you wonder why she was climbing outside the building?" he asked, very naturally.

"Well of course," she said, "but she looked so cool in that velvet mask, so mysterious...and I just had to know why she was there."

"A velvet mask?" Akira repeated.

"Yes, a velvet mask. That was how I got my name. ‘The Velvet Mask.’" She said the words along with me and we locked eyes and giggled.

"So, your mother, consumed with curiosity as she was, disappeared inside the window and in a few minutes, she slid open the French doors to the balcony I was on. She helped me to my feet and we moved inside. We hobbled to the elevator and the next thing I ankle was bandaged, I was drinking a cup of hot tea – and I was looking at some of the most beautiful art I'd ever seen."

We smiled at each other again.

"Your mother worked at an art gallery," I said, prodding Akira's memory. He nodded.

"I remember. Go on."

"Well, that was just what I wanted!" I said. "I was, after all, trying to get into this very gallery when I had slipped. So it was even more exciting that the very beautiful gallery assistant had let me in herself."

"You looked so mature that night – all in black velvet, and that dress! I couldn't stop looking at you." She smiled at me shyly.

I blushed a little, remembering the black velvet I wore and that oh-so-sexy dress that complimented the mask perfectly. "And I was watching you closely, waiting for you to leave the room, so I could fulfill my quest."

"Which was?" Akira asked, his eyes glittering.

"I was going to steal the most beautiful thing in the gallery, of course!" I laughed and they both laughed with me.

"So, you were the art thief, the Velvet Mask," Akira mused. "I should have known."

"Yes, you should have." I said, pinching his cheek again. I let the narrative drop at that point because, mature as he is, there was no reason to make our son hear of the intensity of that first meeting. Our eyes met over the table, as we both remembered the attraction, the energy that made the hair on our skin stand up, that drew us together inexorably and ended up, not terribly surprisingly, in a long night of intimate and intense passion. We lay together on tables, divans, chairs, the floor and, at one point, upon three carpets piled in one corner of the gallery. Each texture, each smell drove us to new heights of ecstasy. Within minutes of our meeting we knew we were destined to be together forever. And each kiss sealed the deal, each taste of each other was the signature we placed one another's bodies to make it permanent.

We locked eyes, and our hands found each other's once again across the tabletop. Akira stood, then placed his chair carefully back in its proper position, like the gentlemen he is, then paused.

"But did you ever steal anything that night?" he asked.

"Oh yes," I said, "I took the most beautiful thing in the gallery."

Akira looked at us both and smiled, that quiet, adult smile of his and I knew he understood. He walked away, humming a little tune and, I hope, thinking about that adorable girlfriend of his.

When he had left, we stood from the table and walked hand in hand to our bedroom, where once again we sealed that bargain made so long ago.


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