Author's notes: This is a response to a tempsmort challenge, where the challenge was to write a series of drabbles that connected together in some manner. Each drabble had to be exactly 100 words, and you were only allowed to spend 15 minutes max on each drabble. This was my response!
Taking Time For Tea.
Over a Cup of Tea.
Fai had never tasted tea before, and he found it too bitter for his liking. Dark and strong and far from subtle, even a touch of milk could not bring any true sense of flavour to the horrid drink. One sip, two sips. Another cube of sugar, another swirl around with his teaspoon. Sip. Attempt to not pull funny faces.
"Well?" Kurogane asked impatiently, his own cup of tea already drained.
"Absolutely wonderful, Kuro-pii! You will have to make me a cup every morning!"
Kurogane snarled in response, but there was a pleased glint in his eyes, all the same.
Apples and Oranges.
"So, oranges are red in your world, Kuro-kuro? How … strange. You would think that even a simple country such as your own would know the basics of a colour chart."
"This coming from the idiot who thinks apples should be purple. Besides, they are not called oranges, they're called Pinas."
"Oranges." Fai smirked slightly, his eyes lighting up.
"Pinas." Naturally, Kurogane couldn't quite see the humour in such a serious conversation.
"Pin-oof!" Fai shoved the orange/pinas into Kurogane's mouth, muffling (and practically choking) the other man.
"Pinas," Fai agreed, before skipping off towards the relative safety of Sakura.
The display was trite and annoying, and made Kurogane long far too much for home. Back in Japan, fireworks didn't just fizzle and explode with randomness; they lit up the entire sky and danced amongst his ancestors.
Here, they were nothing more than a meaningless display of colour and noise.
"Amazing, huh?" Fai said it almost softly, slightly wide eyes never drifting away from the night sky. Kurogane had never seen Fai truly in awe of anything, before.
It appeared as though Ceres did not have fireworks at all, not even pathetic, pointless ones.
"They're not bad," Kurogane allowed grudgingly.
Kurogane let it go on for months. It was not his responsibility, after all, to school Fai in the basic fundamentals of eating. The mage could figure it out for himself, or starve trying.
"You idiot, you're holding them wrong," with frustration he rose from his seat and stood behind Fai, his large hands slipping over Fai's smaller, pale ones as he corrected Fai's clunky grip. "They're chopsticks, not weapons." Fai's hands fitted perfectly to his own as he shaped them correctly around the chopsticks.
If Kurogane's hands lingered for slightly too long, Fai didn't say anything.
"Finally! A proper cup of dajin." Fai looked blissful as he took a sip of a foreign drink that Kurogane found too sweet. "Much nicer than that nasty stuff you drink, Kuro-pai."
"What, you said you liked the tea!" Kurogane's words came out as a growl as he glared unbelievingly at the other man. "Why did you drink it if you hate it so much?"
"Well, you put so much effort into it," Fai pouted, before humour flashed in his eyes. "Besides, I've always had a … taste … of anything dark and strong."
Fai's smile was much too innocent.
"It would be considered a disgrace to court another with such cluelessness in Japan," Kurogane said, smirking slightly as they watched Syaoran and Sakura. Normally that kind of comment presented a window of opportunities, and Fai could've easily replied with how he personally liked breakfast in bed and lots of chocolates – and was Kurogane taking notes?
"But it would be better to be courted badly than to be merely caught, wouldn't you agree?" He said instead, and even Fai did not seem all that convinced by his own smile.
"Fai?" Confused. Worried.
Any Old Excuse Will Do.
Their cave was somewhat dry, but only in the sense that it was also somewhat damp. The kids were wrapped in Fai's fussy coat, protected at least partially from the harsh wind as they slept fitfully.
"I thought you weren't cold," Kurogane said irritably as Fai dropped down beside Kurogane and dramatically snuggled against him. "You said Ceres was far worse, and that we were simply not acclimatized."
"I'm not cold." Fai agreed brightly. "But when I'm next to you, I'm warm." They were light words, fluffy words, but Kurogane read them correctly, all the same.
Neither moved until morning.
Fai had almost died, he should've died. That was how battles were fought, with the weaker of the opponents perishing at the end of the other's sword. Bleeding and broken and battered, Fai stood no chance against an opponent that was better armed and more willing to live.
But somewhere along the line, Fai seemed to have suddenly decided that he quite liked living as well.
Kurogane was so damn angry that it had taken Fai this bloody long to get his head straight, that he had come close to almost hitting the mage.
He ended up kissing Fai, instead.
Tea for Two.
There was no dajin, so Fai had to once again succumb to Kurogane's terrible tea. Harsh and hot, he liked it far better than any of the cups Kurogane had made for him previously, although that could be more because of the setting than the flavour. Fai found that tea was much nicer when served in bed, and actually almost bearable when poured by a naked Kurogane.
Anything was better when being poured by a naked Kurogane. Scientific fact.
When Kurogane kissed him, lips tasting dark and bitter, Fai thought he might just come to like the drink, after all.