Kurogane stared in wonder at the man who had materialized before him. His appearance was familiar to the warrior, and yet Kurogane knew they had never met. Smooth blond hair fell loose and long past the man's waist. Robes of white fabric draped his thin body, shimmering in movement as he walked toward Kurogane. His eyes gazed kindly at him, bright sapphire blue. A chill raised the hair on the back of Kurogane's neck.
The two men were alone in this place. The world around them was blank, like a canvas left unpainted. The mysterious figure came to a stop several feet in front of Kurogane. He stood silently watching him, as though waiting for Kurogane to speak first.
Kurogane stared back for several long moments before making up his mind. "You're him, aren't you?" he asked. "You're Fai's twin." Even at a near-whisper, his voice seemed unnaturally loud in the empty space.
The man nodded in affirmation. "It's good to finally meet you, Kurogane. I have been looking forward to this night." His voice matched his brother's perfectly.
"But how…" Kurogane began. If the dead could not return to life, how was it that this man now stood before him?
The man shook his head as though reading Kurogane's thoughts. "This is but a dream," he explained. "The place where you now sleep is holy ground. It is a place more connected to the spiritual realm than most. That is how I am able to visit you now. It cannot be called coincidence that you arrived at this spot on a night called sacred by those who once worshipped here."
At the explanation, Kurogane felt memory return to him. Arriving in a new world late in the evening, he, Fai, Syaoran, and Mokona had taken shelter from the rain in an old abandoned church building. He was asleep there now. The apparition's story made sense. And yet, something still puzzled him.
"Why me?" Kurogane demanded. "Why visit me instead of your brother?"
The spirit regarded him with an amused smile, as though he thought Kurogane's question to be silly. "Because you fell asleep first," he answered. Kurogane frowned at him. The twins seemed to share more similarities than he had guessed. "And," Fai continued. "Because I wanted to thank you."
The spirit's eyes locked with Kurogane's. His gaze was gentle, sincere. "I want to thank you for everything you have done for my brother," he said softly. "You were there for him when I could not be. You saved him, not only his life, but his soul, his heart. You brought joy to a man who had resigned himself to sorrow and guilt. You gave him hope in his despair, love when he knew only darkness. Through all your trials, you never abandoned him."
Fai raised a hand to touch Kurogane's cheek. His touch was light, like the touch of a feather. "It brings me peace to see Yuui safe and happy with you." Kurogane found himself suffused with emotion. It was as though the touch of that incorporeal hand poured into him all that Fai's spirit was feeling. Gratitude and gladness flooded through him, and he found himself unable to speak.
Removing his hand, the spirit smiled gently at him once again. "I give you my blessing," he said. "Through whatever worlds you find yourselves wandering, I pray that happiness follows you. May you and my brother always find peace, comfort, and joy in each other." Standing on tiptoe, Fai placed a kiss on Kurogane's forehead. It left the warrior with an odd tingling sensation, as though it contained magic.
"And now," the spirit said, stepping aside and walking past him. "I must bid you farewell. There is one more dream I must visit before this night is over." Turning to give Kurogane one last smile, Fai vanished from his sight.
Kurogane opened his eyes to a ceiling of stone. Moonlight drifted in through mostly empty windows, passing through the few remaining panes of colored glass to cast scattered shades upon the floor. The rain had stopped. Kurogane lay still for a few moments, contemplating what he had just experienced. Had it simply been dream, a fiction conjured by his tired mind? Or had he truly been visited by a person long dead? Perhaps there was no way to know for certain.
Kurogane rolled over to look at the man lying next to him. His Fai lay curled beneath a cloak, his head pillowed on one of his arms. The wizard's hair fell messily around his head, partially obscuring his face. Kurogane reached out a hand to brush away the wayward strands. Pushing the hair aside, Kurogane could see Fai's expression clearly in the dim light. Though he smiled, tears glittered on the mage's pale cheeks. The spirit's last words to him drifted back into Kurogane's memory. He knew of whom Fai was dreaming.