KuroFai Drabbles - AlphaBeta
Rating: K+ (for shonen-ai)
Disclaimer: Clamp owns all of the characters involved.
Forever in Flight (part 1 of 2)
It was a night much like any other night, a winter much like the ones before, and a dream that had been reoccurring for weeks… yet there was something about it all that decidedly began to disturb Fai tonight. Kurogane breathed deeply beside him, his chest rising and falling much like the waves of the ocean – strong, powerful, alive. That was how everything was with the samurai. He was strong. He was powerful. He was…everything Fai was not, and would never be.
The moonlight fell over their bed in tiny boxes so that only half of the samurai's face was lit. Under the silvery light, Kurogane's facial features seemed even more pronounced than usual. Everything, his nose, his eyes, his cheekbones…they all seemed so free, so prone to change and yet, at the same time, so stable and confident. They held the keys to any expression the samurai chose to take on, for Kurogane was truthful. He never had to think before he changed faces since they were all real… there were no masks in his world.
Fai had a lot of masks, all of which smiled, all of which seemed to overflow with joy, all of which were fake. He hid behind them. They shielded him. From pain. From loss. From love. From all things human…
They worked to some extent. Like all masks, many can be fooled but there will always be a select few who cannot – a few who find the hidden cracks. Fai had been hurt once, shed his tears, tore out his heart to feed to the crows, and left… ran away… hollow, empty, he ran away with a mask plastered forever to his face to protect him from any more pain. It had bewitched all that he'd come across… all but one.
One. Just one.
…but one was enough to change everything…
A few nights ago, the mage had been alone on the roof, thinking. About this and that. About the present. About the future. And trying his best to avoid the past. The minutes ticked by and it wasn't long before Kurogane came looking for him.
"What are you doing out here so late?" the samurai asked in his usual gruff tone, but in his hands he held a spare jacket which he promptly threw over the mage's shoulders.
"Stargazing…" Fai said quietly, pulling the jacket closer, "Arigatou…"
For a moment, Kurogane didn't say anything and just turned his head upward. "The sky's empty tonight…" he said at last, "Something's troubling you." Blunt. Straightforward. No question, just a statement that made people feel necessary to explain why.
"Kurogane…" The word fell out of the mage's mouth without his consent and his mask fell for an instant… but just an instant. And then he was back in control, with the same smile he always wore glued to his face, "No, not at all. Why would you think that, Kuropyon?"
This time, the samurai just gave him a long stare… a stare that told so much more than anything he could've said. Confusion mixed with a bit of understanding. Annoyance mixed with a bit of acceptance. And something else that Fai just couldn't recognize.
"There are those who run and there are those who stand their ground," Kurogane said simply, "Those who run will learn to stop. They will find something to hold on to. Like a ship, they will find an anchor. They'll have to, because it's the only way to live. …one of these days you'll learn."
The footsteps faded away and a door clicked in the distance but Fai didn't hear a thing. His smile disappeared. The jacket slipped from his shoulders. And he stared into the distance, seeing nothing in particular. One of these days you'll learn.
He hadn't been overcome with distress, nor had he been shocked. He didn't know what it had been to tell the truth… It was some confused emotion he'd never felt before… or perhaps chose not to feel.
Two days later, Fai began to have that cursed dream.
There were a group of children playing in a field. They laughed and shouted, ran around in circles until they got dizzy and dropped onto the grass. Their words mingled, echoed, blurred so that not much could be discerned but there was one word they said over and over again. Fai. Fai. Fai.
It wasn't a very complicated game. One person would be "it" and he would run around with a smile on his face, whilst the others threw rocks at him and called him names. Whoever could break the smile would win that round and get to pick the next victim. It was a brutal game and many times the person "it" would end up bleeding and crying… but no matter what happened, no one seemed to feel like quitting.
After about three rounds, one of the children's mother came and immediately the kids dropped their stones, cleaning up their bruises so that she wouldn't see any traces of their savagery. But despite their efforts, the mother noticed.
"I thought I told you kids never to play that game!" she said, glaring at the children.
They hung their heads and mumbled a few guilty "sorry"s.
For a few moments, the mother just stood and scowled. Then she slowly shook her head and sat down, "How about I tell you the story behind that game?"
The children's eyes lit up and they gathered around, nodding fervently.
"But first, if I tell you guys, you have to promise me never to play that game again, ok?"
"Good," the mother smiled and shifted around a bit so she was comfortable, "A long time ago, in a land forever covered in snow, there was a great magician who committed a terrible crime. He knew that the punishment would be treacherous and if there was one thing in the world he feared, it was pain. So, he decided to run away – far, far away. He ran to many worlds saw many things. Some say he traveled alone, others say he had company. But whether he did or didn't isn't important. What is important is that he pretended not to have a past and rarely ever thought about the future. For him it was always the present, down to the very second. But unfortunately, life is meant to be lived in one place and people who are alive must have a present, a past, and a future. So in the end, he no longer remembered who he was or where he was or how he got there. He just wandered from world to world, forever smiling, until one day he vanished. No one knew where he went, whether he died or not. Some say heaven opened its gates to him when he was in-between worlds."
…until one day he vanished.
Every time, Fai would wake up with those words ringing in his head. And every time, he wouldn't know what to make of it. It didn't make him particularly fearful, nor did it make him sad enough to cry. It was more of a remorseful sorrow. Something that made his heart ache a little every other second.
He had never mentioned the dream to Kurogane and when they got up in the morning, Fai would always make sure he was beaming like usual. There was no reason for the swordsman to know. And even if there was, the mage denied it's validity because, truth be told, he just didn't want Kurogane to know. He wasn't ready to open himself up yet… there were some secrets he hoped never to reveal to the swordsman.
"Are you ok?" Kurogane asked in a whisper, his breath gently grazing Fai's ear.
Startled out of his ponderings, the mage jumped, "I…" Fai turned his head slightly to look at his lover's face. For a moment, he just stared…silent, still, and for the first time, free of his protective smile, "Kuro…gane…" He had said it again, but this time he couldn't tell if it was by accident or not. The swordsman's red eyes stared back at him and they seemed to be seeing him – truly seeing him – for the first time. They were studying him… taking in every last detail lest they should never "see" him again… and it hurt. Somewhere deep down, it hurt. It hurt to finally realize how alone he truly was. And slowly… in a barely audible whisper, he felt the words tumble out of his mouth… words that he never knew he could say… words that surprised him more than anything ever had in his life.
The swordsman leaned forward and placed a soft, reassuring kiss on Fai's lips, "You've finally learned."
A/N: I AM SOOOO TERRIBLY SORRY FOR BEING ON SUCH A LONG HIATUS!
Yeah... and to think I'd come back after FIVE MONTHS with this awful piece of writing. ugh...
Wow... I'm really REALLY sorry! I have got to stop neglecting my sites... sigh if only highschool wasn't so stressful. Seeing as how I'm now a junior, I have even more to worry about (PSAT, SAT, and all kinds of standardized blah TT ugh!
Well anyways, I hope you guys will welcome me back and please please forgive me for my prolonged absence. I am alive and well and will continue writing whenever time permits (and you can be sure that I will never go on such a long hiatus again...at least not until I graduate from highschool xD)
Edit: Forgot to tell you guys that yes, this is the first part of a 2 part drabble. Part 2 will probably be the "S" chapter so yes, you'll have to wait for it xP sry...