Um. These are short stories (some very short!) inspired by various songs that'll be named in the A/N's of each chapter. But wait! Don't run away! They're not songfics - not really. Stick with me here ;)

The songs aren't mine. The credit for these should really go to Ali-san as she gave me the idea, and as well major thankies to her for beta-ing them :D.

This one is inspired by My Immortal by Evanescense.

Disclaimer:The characters belong to CLAMP sob


Pain
sugahcat

It's snowing. The flakes are falling softly, so softly as I gaze out of the window. It reminds me of Celes. More than Spirit did, for the town itself reminds me of the village near Ashura-ou's castle. The people here are as jumpy as in Celes, as overly polite and fearful. We've yet to ascertain why they're this way and part of me doesn't want to know.

This place stirs so many memories that I have a hard enough time with my own troubles without worrying about other people's. I've been trying to be as carefree and teasing as I normally am but I think Kurogane sees the strain beneath the facade. I misjudged him when we first met and perhaps I'm paying for it now. I can't fool him, but maybe that's for the best. If he sees who I truly am and doesn't hate me for it, maybe I can allow myself to begin to be myself again.

Kuro-tan's given me a lot to think about. Should I live my life the way I want to, for myself? I wonder idly whether Kuro-chan knew that my living that way would involve him. I really have no idea. While he seems to see right through me sometimes, I have no idea how to read him. Perhaps it is because I'm so used to dealing with people who weave webs of lies and deceit that when I come to speak to someone who is plain and as he appears I'm completely out of my depth.

I chuckle and contemplate on how very different he is to Ashura-ou whilst ignoring what comparing the two of them in this way means.

Of course, they look different - both attractive though Ashura-ou was beauty and grace and Kuro-tan is raw, fierce sexiness. And their personalities... My King was a liar and as graceful in his speech as in his movement. He used me and wouldn't hesitate to do it again for it amused him and I pleasured him. He was the most selfish man I've ever met.

Kurogane is honest to the point of brutality and his emotions are astonishingly open. He tries to hide the fact that he cares about his companions but I see differently. Perhaps because this is one of the only ways in which he is being deceitful, this is the thing I see most clearly. He gives his loyalty and his time only to those whom he see's as worthy - he is loyal to his Princess but I know that he would not be blindly loyal, as I was to Ashura-ou...

Ashura-ou. How I wish I could give up my memories - my obsession, perhaps - of you. But your presence still lingers and nothing I do seems to make it go away. When I'm traveling with Kuro-tan and the kids suddenly I'll remember something and it's like a punch to the gut and it's all I can do to keep smiling. Oh, you used me, Ashura-ou. I hate you for this. You lied to me so that you could keep on using me. And when I didn't believe your lies anymore, you threatened me. You liked me in your bed and liked me even more in your armoury and you weren't about to let me go. But for a long time - the longest time - I believed that you loved me. What a fool I was, I think bitterly as I stare resolutely out at the snow. No matter how much it hurts I refuse to cry over you again. You're not worthy of my tears.

I was yours, completely - but you were never mine. Even though you haunt my thoughts and dreams, you were never mine.

For long moment I battle with my tears, trying to keep up my resolve to not cry. And just when it seems that I'm about to lose that fight, Kuro-tan walks into this room that we're sharing and looks at me. I wonder how I look. I'm pretty sure my eyes are full of tears and I must look pretty distraught. He looks over at me, an unreadable expression in his startlingly scarlet eyes.

I gaze back and the urge to cry fades slowly and then is gone. I don't feel quite so lonely anymore with Kurogane in the room. We look at each other with no animosity, no challenges, no teasing, and suddenly I feel as though the pain I'm feeling will fade one day after all. I smile a small, sad smile, but it's a real one. He tilts his head back slightly - and then nods. He's never tried to force me for information if I don't want to give it. He seems to understand that I'm not ready to talk yet. For now, we just sit in comfortable silence and I hope that I'm easing his loneliness a little, too.