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08 November 2007 @ 10:32 pm
Title: Better Than Me
Fandom: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles
Characters: Kurogane/Fai, Sakura
Prompt: 086. Choices and 13. Farewell
Word Count: 1353
Rating: T
Summary: Lecourt. Angst. Fai finds a magical creature that prompts him to talk about how he feels about Kurogane.
Author's Notes: For cloud9_alice, as a late birthday present.

The five of them had been walking back to their lodgings along the cobbled streets with Mokona humming on Sakura’s shoulder, and Fai had been determining the most amusing way to startle the stoic ninja walking beside him when he heard a small whimpering from the grass of the park they were walking beside. Forgetting about the others for a moment, Fai went to investigate. He couldn’t see anything in the tall grass, but he heard the pitiful whimpering again.

“Oi, mage, what are you doing?” The other three had stopped walking and turned around to watch him.

“Just a minute, Kuro-sama!” He crouched down next to the grass and stated pushing some of it to the side, concentrating on the source of the whimpering. He heard an impatient Kurogane stomping over to him and managed to scoop the tiny creature up just before the ninja pulled him to a standing position by the back of his collar.

“Kuro-tan, look what I found!” He held the tiny magical creature up for Kurogane’s inspection. The creature looked like a very tiny horse with wings and cat paws instead of hooves.

Kurogane scoffed. “Put it back down and let’s go.”

Sakura and Syaoran had joined them, and Sakura was hesitantly trying to rub the creature’s nose with her index finger.

“She’s hurt. We need to take her with us.”

Fai knew Kurogane was aware that he was outnumbered in the situation, and after a brief moment, the ninja started stalking back towards their apartment. Smiling in his triumph, Fai cradled the magical creature carefully in his hands. Hopefully, the creature would be well enough to send back out on her own before they found Sakura’s feather and were forced to leave that world. Once they arrived back at the apartment, Fai watched with amusement as Kurogane headed directly towards their limited supply of alcohol. Against Sakura’s protests, he immediately took the small magical creature into his room and laid her gently down on the pillow for some rest. He was torn between staying with the creature and going out into the common room to embarrass the ninja about Kurogane’s apparent lack of concern for other creatures. He knew Kurogane really was concerned, but was unaccustomed to showing emotions. He eventually decided the creature needed him more at the moment than Kurogane needed his company..

Over the next few days while they were not looking for Sakura’s feather, Fai spent all his time in his room with the new friend. She would lay on his pillow and look up at him with interest, never saying anything and never appearing to be judgmental. During the first few days, he kept the topic mostly mundane, never delving into anything too personal as he related the tale of their inter-dimensional journey. Eventually, he ran out of mundane things to speak about and started into the dangerous territory of Kurogane, revealing more and more intimate details as the days passed.

“After that first time, if Kurogane wants sex he’ll come to my room with a bottle of alcohol after the children have gone to bed.” He was starting to be able to communicate with the creature through some base level of understanding. He could tell what she was trying to tell him without hearing the words. Ever since he had first told her about Kurogane, she had been curious as to how he felt about the other man. “It doesn’t matter how I feel about him. Kurogane deserves someone better than me.”

The creature cooed and walked closer to him, putting her front paws on his leg, and looked sympathetically up at him. “I feel closer to him than I ever have to anybody else, but I can’t tell him that. I can’t allow him to feel the same way; he’ll only be disappointed later.” The little creature seemed to know more than he had actually told her, for there was a certain understanding in her gaze that he was uncomfortable with.

He didn’t have to look at her for much longer, because they were interrupted by a knock on the door. His glee was short-lived, however, when he turned to see Kurogane standing in the doorway with a bottle of sake in his hand. “Kuro-sama…”

He knew the signs of what the ninja wanted, the way he was standing uncomfortably in the doorway looking like he wanted to be currently drinking the sake rather than just offering it to him. He had tricked himself into believing Kurogane had not been visiting him recently because the other man had been losing interest instead of the much more plausible explanation that the ninja would not be able to perform while the tiny magical creature in the room. He longed to allow Kurogane to touch him, to let the ninja’s rough hands run familiarly over his skin. It had been nearly impossible to enjoy Kurogane for quite a long time.

“Can I come in?” Kurogane asked, and they both knew he was looking for more than a drinking partner.

Fai thought about it for a moment, on the verge of granting him permission; the magical creature had already hidden herself under the bed. “Sorry, Kuro-chan, I’m not in the mood tonight,” he lied with a smile.

Kurogane hesitated a moment before walking away, drinking directly from the bottle. He sat and watched the spot where Kurogane had been standing, hearing the little creature fly out from underneath the bed. “Ow.” The creature had immediately bitten his finger and was now chirping at him in a reproachful tone. “I don’t need your lectures,” he responded, pulling his hand away and putting pressure on the bleeding wound.

Within the next few days, the magical creature had healed enough that she was ready to be released back into the park. Besides, Fai had a sense that they would be finding the feather soon and leaving the country. He sadly scooped her up into his hands, holding her close against his chest as he stepped out into their common room. Syaoran was gone, presumably off looking for the feather somewhere, and Kurogane and Sakura were having an odd little embarrassed stare down with each other from across the room. Fai wanted to ask what had happened, as it would no doubt provide him with plenty of opportunities to tease Kurogane relentlessly, but there were more important things. “I’m going out for a bit,” he announced without revealing his intentions as Sakura would surely want to go with him. However, he also knew when he didn’t voice his intentions Kurogane would always figure them out and worry about him more.

“Do you need me to come with you?” Kurogane asked, looking directly at the magical creature he was holding.

Fai shook his head. “You can stay here and continue amusing Sakura-chan.” The princess squeaked when Kurogane resumed staring at her with that odd mixture of anger and embarrassment, so Fai made sure to leave before Sakura volunteered to go with him.

He made his way slowly to the place where he had found the creature while she nuzzled against his hand. He would have to go back to keeping his feelings locked away inside. When he reached the spot, he saw another creature that looked like a slightly larger version of the one he was holding. “Is that your mother?” he asked as the creature squirmed excitedly in his hand. “Can I ask you a favor?” He held the creature up to eye level, and she stilled at his serious tone. “I don’t think I’m going to survive the next few worlds. Once I’m gone, can you find Kurogane and tell him everything I told you. Reassure him I did have feelings for him regardless of how I’ve been treating him.” She nodded at him and Fai smiled weakly at her. Once he extended his hand to release her, she flew off to return to her mother, nuzzling against her side. Once he found a way to do the same with Kurogane, he was sure the ninja would return to Tomoyo and never think of him again.

almighty_taka: Yuukoalmighty_taka on November 9th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
TT^TT!!!!!!! *just cries* that was so wonderfully bitter and so amusing at the same time!
youkohiei_fan: syaoran listening inyoukohiei_fan on November 9th, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)
The last line was so sad...but this is so bittersweet and good as always ^-^ This fic makes me want to draw a pic of the little creature ^^
ユウイ: KuroFai bittersweetsnowaltz on November 9th, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
Bittersweet.. But I like it nevertheless, nice writing!
urania: *cute* Faiscarlettohara on November 9th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is sad... but somehow it makes me wanna smack Fay. òo

Pretty fic. <3
Wrenfengtianshi on November 11th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
So bittersweet and lovely and heartbreaking! Fay's interaction with his little new friend was cute and intense, I really loved it! <3