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Ship Tease / CLAMP

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CLAMP has their 20 series, hundreds of characters, dozens upon dozens of plausible pairings, whether Boy Meets Girl or Queer Romance...and about 5 canon. There's a great deal of pining that crosses into intentional territory though, especially for some Queer Romance couples.

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    Angelic Layer 

    Cardcaptor Sakura 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura is essentially built on this trope, the manga even moreso than the anime. Sakura and Syaoran (from the second season onwards) and Touya and Yukito (pretty much always) have at least one teasing moment every chapter/almost every episode before they become Official Couples, with plenty of remaining teasing scattered about between Sakura and Yukito, Syaoran and Meiling, Syaoran and Yukito, Sakura and Tomoyo, and most probably others.
  • And then there's Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-...*sob*. But putting that aside, let's see: Aside from the main couples, among the most focused-on, there's Sakura and Syaoran crushing on Yukito, Meiling's crush on Shaoran, Tomoyo pining for Sakura, Meiling and Tomoyo, especially in the movie, Tomoyo having some interest in Touya (due to a mistake on the part of one of CLAMP's artists, hilariously), Yue's anguished memory of Clow, Yamazaki/Chiharu ("cousins", eh?), Nakuru crushing on Touya, etc. And that's not even getting into some of the bizarre/obscure ones; the Mirror card quite obviously has a crush on Touya, for example, and he can always tell when she pretends to be Sakura but doesn't get upset at her for it, and at least one promise between one of Sakura's classmates and their teacher, despite being canonically portrayed as wholesome, get many fans' Squick, and is the rare pair that isn't protested from being cut out of the original English dub. There's also similar responses to Mizuki-sensei and Eriol's connection, and Touya/Mizuki-sensei.
  • Sakura and Syaoran are the main Official Couple of the series and the resident characters eventually getting through the series with the power of Puppy Love and Childhood Friend Romance, continuing into Clear Cards.
  • To elaborate on some Queer Romance-oriented relationships, Touya and Yukito become one of the Official Couples by the manga's conclusion, Syaoran openly admits that his infatuation with Yukito is much the same as Sakura's, and Sakura herself states she feels the same way around Kaho as she does around Yukito (yet somehow fails to understand the implications). Tomoyo is sincerely in love with Sakura, but during the second half of the manga bows out gracefully and becomes a Shipper on Deck for Sakura and Syaoran instead. Tomoyo's mother had a similarly unrequited affection for Sakura's mother.
    • In the same episode, they also explain that most of this is because people with power are drawn to each other, often romantically. The logical conclusion is left as an exercise to the reader.

    RG Veda 
  • RGVeda features a great deal of Ship Tease thanks to Kedappa-ou and Souma, who are canonically in love and devoted to each other.
    • To the point that right after Kendappa-ou stabs Souma (since she believes that if they won't survive the final battle) because she wanted Souma to die by her hands and no one else's, she kills herself by slitting her throat with Souma's weapon because she believe that no heaven is worth living in without Souma. After she dies, Souma continues to fight against Taishakuten, who is holding her back, and tries to crawl back to Kendappa's side. Taishakuten eventually laid their bodies together, because he knew the pain of being without one's lover.
    • Taishakuten was tragically in love with Ashura-ou, who agreed to indulge the former's affections for one night only in return for a rather large favour.

    Tokyo Babylon 
  • Seishirou and Subaru share an iconic, if enormously tragic, relationship first in Tokyo Babylon and later in X1999.

    Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 
  • Sakura and Syaoran return as the main Official Couple of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-. By the time Sakura gets her bearings in the Acid Tokyo Arc, however, things get increasingly tricky for them.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- has several couples that are Crossovers from other series, in addition to original characters Fay and Kurogane. Over the course of the series, they grow from Vitriolic Best Buds into caring and devoted comrades who function as the group's parents and, in true CLAMP fashion, can easily be construed as more than just friends. Ship Tease highlights include:
    • In Chapter 38, Fai and Kurogane are in a bar when the singer begins singing a love song, singing how they want happiness, to cause your happiness, to be your happiness, and how they want them to take them elsewhere, to take me. Fai then comments that he's been waiting for someone to stay by his side. Cue nearly a hundred chapters later and over to endearing carrying, Roaring Rampage of Revenge, curse breaking and Kurogane giving an arm to take Fai away from the past that haunted him all his life.]] Kurogane ended up being by his side the whole time.
    • Multiple parallels may be drawn between Kurogane/Fai and Syaoran/Sakura. Fai himself arguably sets up a notable comparison by dubbing Kurogane and himself "Big Puppy" and "Big Kitty", and Syaoran and Sakura "Little Puppy" and "Little Kitty", making his relationship with Kurogane analogous to that of the teenage lovebirds.
    • Fai also gives Kurogane the affectionate nickname "Daddy". Soon after Mokona, putting two and two together, comes up with a brilliant idea to nickname Fai "Mommy". (And no, Fai never refers so to himself. Considering how hard he tried not to get close to anyone, it would have been unwise.)
    • Typically, in artwork, the two have complementary colors - white/blue and black/red, and they both carry the Dragon and Phoenix symbolism. (Fai with his tattoo; Kurogane with his sword).
    • Fai wears a furisode in chapter 167, just before he and Kurogane reconcile. Not only can such an outfit arguably constitute bridal wear, but, in a historical context, was by the male lovers of samurai before the Meiji period. Who's the only samurai in this party? Yeah.
    • Chapter 185 takes the innuendo to a new high, with Fay arranging for he and Kurogane to have their own room. Ostensibly he simply wants to check Kurogane for injuries, but we are treated to a lovely shot of him casually ripping off Kurogane's armour, and flirtatiously licking blood from his thumb. Fans may extrapolate from that as they choose.
    • It should also be noted that Kurogane cuts off an arm so that he can rescue Fai from Celes, and never ever complains about it despite the fact that its ill-fitting mechanic replacement causes him pain.
      • It's seen in a flashback with Tomoyo that right after they landed in Nihon, Fai broke down crying and, in the OVA, begging for them to save Kurogane.
    Fai: Hurry! He's going to die! If he dies... if he dies, I'll be...
    • Before even the arm-sacrificing, Kurogane pretty much bound himself to be Fai's side until death do them part so that he could save Fai's life after C!Syaoran ate Fai's eye and stole half of his magic. Then their relationship becomes tricky since Fai doesn't forgive Kurogane for saving him, creating a rift in their relationship, symbolized by him calling him "Kurogane" instead of a silly nickname, yet it becomes more intimate since Fai has to feed off of Kurogane's blood. And Kurogane doesn't care because if he hesitated, Fai would have died. It's not until the above Limb Or Fai's Freedom Decision event occurs that they get better.
      • Then it goes on to Fai explaining to Yuuko his reasons to stop calling him nicknames: if he forgave Kurogane, he would be even closer to him than before. He's afraid that he's already "crossed the line" in their relationship, and he doesn't want to bring misfortune to Kurogane or the kids. If he takes their relationship to the next level, he knows there's no going back. Yuuko also refers to Syaoran and Sakura as "the children" a couple times, as if Fai's their parent, a relationship he shared with Kurogane. "When you're in pain, the children are in pain as well."
      • In the final chapter there's a touching family scene between the travelers with Syaoran apologizing and thanking his surrogate parents. Fai just gives him a loose hug but Kurogane goes so far as to loop an arm around Fai to ruffle Syaoran's hair and then leaves his arm around Fai for a good few pages. Which arm is that? The prosthetic. And with Clamp, that's some symbolism right there.


    X/ 1999 
  • X1999 also contains strong implications between Kamui and his dark counterpart, and a lesbian relationship between their late mothers.
    • In chapter 83, after killing Kotori, Fuuma pins Kamui to a wall (by stabbing him through his arms and legs) and puts his face really close, while murmuring seductively and licking his neck. Oh, and it doesn't help that Kamui is steamily whispering Fuuma's name the entire time.

    xxx Holic 
  • ×××HOLiC has evidence for Watanuki/Himawari, Doumeki/Watanuki, Doumeki/Watanuki/Himawari, Yuuko/Watanuki, Clow/Yuuko (which seems all but outright said to be canon), Haruka/Watanuki (even though Haruka is dead), Watanuki/Zashiki-Warashi, Watanuki/Kohane, and even a little Doumeki/Himawari or Doumeki/Kohane which incidentally ends up being the ONLY Official Couple here, though for the most part it's offscreen and doesn't appear to be the most conventional of relationships since both of them cared the most for Watanuki. The worst part is the majority of these pairings are sunk by the last chapter.
  • Doumeki and Watanuki in ×××HOLiC, though it looks to be more one-sided for Doumeki, considering that Watanuki sees him as The Rival. Yuko constantly hints and teases Watanuki that he suits Doumeki much better than Himawari does, and she constantly puts them in situations that resembles her matchmaking them. And whenever Himawari herself sees Watanuki and Doumeki interact (read: bicker), she always comments on how they're both so cute and how close they are. Not to mention how much suffering and hell Doumeki has to go through for Watanuki's sake, constantly suffering bad injuries to protect/rescue him. Considering how much Watanuki disliked him and acted like a Jerkass toward him, none of that would really make sense unless Doumeki... um... really really liked him.
    • In chapter 159 Doumeki reveals to Kohane why he stays with Watanuki. He tells of one day he saw Watanuki standing in the rain, sadly cradling a dead kitten. He hears Watanuki say, "I'll die like this too. Alone." Doumeki then vowed to himself that he wouldn't let that happen. After telling Kohane this she asks him to take care of Watanuki and not to hesitate when the moment comes that he'll be needed.
    • Of course, when the series ended it is revealed that Doumeki and Watanuki NEVER HAPPENED. In fact, as revealed in the last OAD, Doumeki revealed that he married Kohane. Then in the last chapter, Doumeki died one hundred years later, and Doumeki's grandson ends up watching after Watanuki.
    • Not even that stops the Ship Tease. He married Kohane despite the fact that she loves Watanuki more and apparently Word of God has said that Doumeki loves Watanuki more as well. Which has lead some fans to the conclusion that they married and had kids so that there would be someone to take care of Watanuki in their place since they'll eventually grow old and die.
    • CLAMP's definition of love has always been...tricky. True love, destined one, most important person, and marriage aren't necessarily aligned. The last OAD seems to reaffirm that Watanuki and Doumeki are bonded by destiny, and it's up to Watanuki to choose if he wants to remain in Doumeki's life. Watanuki says yes. Also note that the entire OAD focuses on Doumeki and Watanuki's relationship. Doumeki is having nightmares which are troubling him just before his marriage. Is it a coincidence that most of Doumeki's dreams contain his first meetings with Watanuki, and the more traumatic incidences involving Watanuki? It's easy to interpret Watanuki as the reason Doumeki finds it difficult to move on to marriage, and hence the nightmares.
    • And then there's all those times Doumeki saves Watanuki and those Take My Hand! moments.
  • And then there's chapter 185, where the heartbroken Watanuki reveals that, after Yuuko disappeared, he decided to make a pact to wait for Yuuko forever, never aging, and never being able to leave the shop, until the day she returns to him.
    • To top it all off, we find that Watanuki can leave the shop after living there for one hundred years and that he still decides to wait there for the sake of Yuuko.

    Other CLAMP series 

  • Yaoi Guys Saiga and Kakei.
    • Kazahaya receives much Ship Tease from Saiga and Kakei as well. Kakei once comments that Rikuo looks "elegant" dressed up in a robe.
  • Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is essentially a yuri sex comedy.
  • Wish, even though the angels and demons are genderless, it's telling that Hisui and Kokyu are deemed as the forbidden couple even more so when they both take on male forms in Drug and Drop. Kohaku also falls in love with Shuichiro. Koryu appears to have a crush on the angel and constantly teases them.
  • Gate 7 has Sakura and Tachibana, who might become their newest pairing. They've already been stated to be Yin and Yang in the first chapter. And Sakura has offered to lick Tachibana's wounds...
  • Duklyon: CLAMP School Defenders has Takeshi and Kentaro. Kentaro's dream is to become a "bride" and he openly voices his desire to "marry" Takeshi.
  • Blood-C: The Last Dark has Saya and Mana. Their first meeting is a Rescue Romance where Saya saves Mana from an Elder Bairn who abducted her. Later on, they have a bath scene together where Mana glances shyly at Saya's body. After the school infiltration, Mana ends up falling on top of Saya and have a heart-to-heart conversation about their fathers. They also holds hands frequently and just before Saya storms into Fumito's hideout, Mana promised that she will wait for her. Too bad for Saya when Fumito revealed that the Elder Bairns that took Mana which she slayed at the beginning of the movie was actually Mana's father. At the end, Saya didn't return to Mana as she doesn't want her to find out what had happened to her dad.