First TRC fic, I just felt like writing it on a whim. Characters are probably OOC and grammar is probably a mess but it's still readable. KuroxFai, very mild shounen-ai, rather sappy at the end but I hope you enjoy it anyway.


The Wizard's waltz

He was never a heavy sleeper. In fact, where he came from getting up at the crack of dawn was amost customary, but still there were limits to how early one could get up, and though he was not sure how early it was, from the darkness outside it sure as hell was nowhere near dawn.

Rubbing the last lingering traces of sleep from his eyes, Kurogane softly padded through the hallway of the rather large estate they had happened to have had the good fortune to be loaned to them. After a rather tiring trek in search of civilisation when they had first arrived in this new world, he had not had the chance to explore the entire complex of the estate; neither had he wanted to, until today.

Somewhere, he could hear the slightest threads of music - well what this country liked to call music it, was more like a cacophony of noise to him - disturbing the silent air of the nearly empty estate. In silence, even the slightest noise sounded as loud as a gong. How the kid, the princess, and that damn manjuu could ever sleep with such disturbances was anyone's guess.

"Lousy mage," he mumbled, running a hand through his black hair.

It had to be the mage; he was the only one up at this God forsaken time of morning, which was unusual in itself as the mage was rather a heavy sleeper. As soon as he found the blond haired man, he would…well, he was not quite sure what he would do but it would most likely be painful for the mage, sadistically satisfying for him, and most likely involve toothpicks.

Storming down the hallway now, he could hear the music grow. Turning, the passage ended with a set of mahogany double doors, vines and flowers intricately carved into the wood.

There was no doubt about it, the source of all the noise was beyond those two doors. Placing his hands on both sides, he forced them open.

At first, the sound of music, magnified beyond human reckoning, threatened to blast his ears away, but as he stepped in the sound did not seem quite as unbearable as before, it was suddenly deeper and less piercing.

The second thing he noticed was that he was in a ballroom with a floor so shiny that he could see himself in it and golden columns that supported an arched roof.

The third was smaller, less obvious than the other two, but it was the person that he had been searching for.

Fai had one of those ridiculous robes on, the ones that the owner of the estate had given them. He was rather suspicious of anything so frilly and that was meant to be worn by men, not to mention that the owner had been a little too generous in handing over the estate, clothes, food and a little money to boot.

Spinning mindlessly, the mage twirled across the ballroom floor in his newly acquired ice blue robes. The clothes of this country were loose and breezy with draping sleeves, usually made of silk or satin and attached with so many satin ribbons that when he twirled the ribbons were caught up and twirled with him.

A recorder in the corner blasted the damned music that had woke him up in the first place, but that stood forgotten for the moment was he watched the blue-eyes mage gracefully twirl in his dance.

He had to admit that Fai looked pretty good in those robes, better than him anyway. Well, he was too masculine for such clothes anyway, unlike Fai who was willowy and way too feminine for his own good. The mage seemed to be in a world of his own when he danced, but as he slowly came to a stop and opened his eyes there was no surprise in those blue pools. "Ah, Kuro-pii," his steady smile broke into a small grin. "You'll dance with me, right?"

He blinked. "What?" He had come here to tell the damn mage to shut that damn music up not be offered to dance.

"Dance with me," Fai had completely stopped and was now staring intently at him, smiling the same smile he always wore.

Was he mad? Even since he had known him, the mage had always seemed to be missing a screws, asking he, Kurogane, the greatest warrior in his land to dance! It was ridiculous.

There was something evil in the glint in Fai's eyes as he sidled ever closer to the ninja. "Could it be?" he smirked. "Kuro-tan, can't you dance?"

"Quit calling me those stupid nicknames!" he tried to bat him away but Fai dodged the arm with ease.

"But it's fun, Kuro-rin," he laughed, poking him with a finger.

Kurogane rolled his eyes. There was nothing worse than dealing with an imbecile, no matter how cute said imbecile was or how good he looked in frilly robes. "I don't have to do anything I don't want to," he muttered, swatting away Fai's intrusive finger.

"You're so stubborn." Seizing him by the arms, Fai swung him around, grinning at the obvious discomfort he was causing his partner. "So, can you dance? Can you? At the very least you can do a simple waltz, right?" he spun round and round, Kurogane in tow. "You don't know, do you? Kuro-wan can't dance!"

"Why would I know to how to do something stupid like dancing? Where did you pick it up from anyway?" he bit back defensively.

Freeing himself from the deadly spin of death, Kurogane backed away. That damn mage was grinning way too much…but it was a real grin, and after seeing so many fake smiles, he supposed that he would allow the blond wizard this one.

Still, there was no way in the seven levels of hell that he would dance!

"It's not a hard dance to pick up."

"I just want you to shut your music up," he muttered. How he could have been deterred from his original purpose was beyond him. He turned to complete his mission and turn off the damn recorder when he felt something latch onto his waist.

He froze.

And looked down.

"Kuro-pipi's so mean!" Fai had his long arms around his waist, holding on tighter than a vice and wailing at the top of his voice, loud enough to drown out the sound of music.

No…way…

His hand was placed on Fai's hip, the second hand holding Fai's hand, whilst the mage in turn had a hand on his shoulder and another clasping Kurogane's hand. The mage was grinning. He was scowling. 'I won' was painted across the magician's face. How did this ever happen?

"The music to a waltz is usually at a 3/4 beat so you should aim to move in times with the beats you hear," the mage began.

"All I hear is noise," he snorted. Just because that conniving mage managed to get him in the right position did not mean he would actually dance.

"Kuro-chan, you're so uncooperative," Fai moaned in a voice that made Kurogane's eye twitch.

"I never even said that I'd do this stupid dance."

"It's simple, just follow me. You can hear the beats now, can't you?"

Fai began to move. At first, he stood stock still, refusing to give in to the shorter man but when Fai rather forcefully stepped on his toe, his feet began to follow, suppressing the urge to simply punch the man in the face.

They moved slowly at first, Fai leading the way across the ballroom. It was rather simple. Walk three paces then twirl and change direction; walk three paces then twirl and change direction. One or two times he stepped on Fai's foot on accident.

"So -" he stopped himself from apologising as he landed on Fai's foot for a third time. Maybe now the mage would see what a bad idea this was. Kurogane did not dance. Period.

However, the mage had more determination in teaching him to dance than it first appeared. All he did was simply laugh and say teasingly, "for a shogun, Kuro-mune is surprisingly ungraceful."

"What! I was a ninja, a warrior, not a shogun! And it's Kurogane," he replied hotly. "Kurogane!"

Fai only laughed again, which annoyed him even more. Forget how cheerful or pleasant his laugh was, forget that he had rarely heard Fai laugh properly, it was annoying.

"Okay, maybe you should try leading. A big, scary, hard-headed man like you should have no problem doing that," the mage suggested and straight away he knew it would be a disaster.

They paused, Fai waiting for him to lead. He was not too sure of what to do and it ended with Fai having to prompt his movements anyway.

Why was he doing this again? What was it that had brought him to this place? That was right, the music, the damn music that the people of this world had the bad taste to call 'classical.'

Breaking this position, he sighed and turned away. It was hopeless. Did he not tell the magician that he just wanted to switch off the music?

As if he could read his thoughts, Fai took the head off of the disk. The music that had once plagued his ears abruptly stopped and silence swamped them in its place. He turned towards the blue-eyed magician, casting him a quizzical glance. Had he given up?

"Oh, is Kuro-nin wimping out now?"

It appeared not. In fact, it seemed that he was accusing him of giving up, but that was not right, everyone should know that the great Kurogane never backed down from a challenge, and at the words 'wimping out' his temper flared.

"Wimping out?" he stared at the mage incredulously. "Put on the damn music."

Fai smiled as if he had expected this, which, come to think of it, he probably had. The music came back and they assumed their positions again. No matter how many times he ended up stepping on Fai's foot, the mage patiently talked him through each step, guiding him slowly at first then faster, until his ungainly steps flowed in time with Fai's.

The music suddenly did not seem so bad anymore.

Finally, they began from the top, going over everything that he had bee taught. Fai allowed him to lead and together they waltzed across the ballroom, twirling and spinning, moving in and out in time to each other's steps. Each beat came at a precise time and they flowed within the music, their bodies closing in until he thought that he would step on Fai's toes again.

It became light outside but neither of them really cared for such trifling observations, caught up in the simple elegance of their dance. Fai was…really beautiful. He wondered why he had never noticed something so astounding before. Not beautiful the way a sunset was beautiful, or beautiful the way a woman was, but a sad simple kind of beautiful, a beauty that belonged to Fai and Fai alone.

There was not much that he knew about the mage, Fai would never talk about his own world, and whenever he did he always revealed the bare minimum required to satisfy the inquisitor. What was it like on Fai's world? Why did he suddenly want to know?

"You're going red," Fai whispered. Those robes really fit him well.

"So are you."

Fai seemed to conjure up some sort of teasing retort but decided against it and closed his mouth.

They danced. Fai following the slight nudges he sent his partner to keep the dance flowing. They covered the whole ballroom as they danced.

Golden hair, soft blue eyes overshadowing a petite nose, a perfectly shaped mouth, all this and more he took in as he gazed at Fai and he was pretty sure that Fai was doing the same. What did the wizard see when he looked at him, he wondered.

He dipped his partner, Fai chuckled slightly, which gave him an urge to drop the mage on his giggling butt, but he did not, that would have been too…too mean.

It could have gone on forever, how they flew across the floor, but the record was slowing done, coming to an end soon.

One final whirl and it was all over, but they stayed in their positions, not quite wanting to end it yet.

Fai's grip on his shoulder tightened, startling him slightly.

"Kurogane."

His full name, not some silly nickname, and a voice that was serious. Another surprise.

He had to look down at Fai, who was refusing to meet his eyes. His stomach fluttered. Maybe he was hungry or something.

"I…"

"Hmm?" He shuffled closer to hear. Fai's expression was unusually easy to read – a mixture of indecisiveness and worry.

"Um…I…" Fai flinched as Kurogane moved closer still. He shook his blond head. Never mind. "I believe that you're stepping on my toe again."


Actually, I'm not too sure about this ending, but I decided against the ending kiss. I went through a load of titles for this. At first it was going to be 'I hope you dance' then 'Dance with me' but in the end I settled for 'The wizard's waltz.' Hope you enjoyed it.