"Syaoran-kun!" the princess called, hurrying towards him with a worried expression on her face. Syaoran instantly snapped into 'I will endure anything to protect the princess' mode and determinedly awaited his fate, eager to be of any service he possibly could. "Have you seen Fai-san?" she asked when she stopped in front of him, and he was just a little bit crestfallen that she was looking for the scrawny wizard. "He asked me to cook dinner for everyone; I need to ask him a question about one of the recipes, but I can't find him anywhere. I wanted to ask Kurogane-san if he had seen him, but I was afraid to. Mokona hasn't seen him either."
His heart lifted when he heard she had only been looking for Fai to ask about dinner. In an effort to reassure her, he placed a hand gently on her shoulder. "Don't worry, hime. I'm sure Fai-san is around somewhere. I'll go ask Kurogane-san if he has seen him," bold he was in his conviction to make himself seem brave by doing what Sakura could not. Though even he had to admit asking Kurogane where the lanky blonde had disappeared to was close to a suicide mission. Even if he may not survive the encounter, he would do it for Sakura's sake.
"Good luck, Syaoran-kun!" she called encouragingly after him as he headed towards the stairs on a mission that would ultimately bring Sakura happiness by the discovery of Fai. Besides, it would get him dinner, and his stomach was starting to grumble.
He grimaced as soon as he was out of Sakura's sight, however, not looking forward to the upcoming confrontation at all. Kurogane was no longer a violent man, but if in a bad mood, he could give you a look that reminded you he had once been a very violent man and he could resort to those days at any time. He seemed to give those looks to Fai a lot. Fai seemed oblivious, but Syaoran always started mentally preparing what he was going to tell the princess should her favorite blonde no longer be a part of the living.
"Syaoran-kun, why is your face like that?" Mokona asked from a shelf at the top of the stairs, nearly causing Syaoran to fall back down them.
"Sakura-chan needs me to ask Kurogane-san if he knows where Fai-san might be," and he looked down the hall to where the ninja's door loomed menacingly. "But, I think I may just try to find Fai-san myself. Kurogane-san doesn't like it if you ask him anything about Fai-san." He had tried it once, and for the first time in his life he had understood what people meant when they said they felt like they were going to die.
"But Kuro-puppy always knows where Fai-san is!" the white thing told him happily.
"Are you sure," he asked warily. It really would save a lot of time if Kurogane did know where Fai was. And then both his stomach and Sakura's happiness would be satisfied quickly. Mokona nodded at him.
With a new determination, he marched grimly down the hall to the menacing door. He would face Kurogane's displeasure for Sakura's sake. He knocked resolutely on the door. No response. He knocked again. Still no response, but he was positive he heard noises of some kind coming from the other side of the door. Someone, or something, was definitely in there, and he was willing to put his money on the aloof ninja trying to ignore his existence again. Emboldened, he tried, "Kurogane-san?" Still no response, but the noises, whatever they may be, continued unabated. "Kurogane-san, I'm coming in." He slowly pushed the door in, gradually revealing the interior of the room. "Kurogane-san, I was just wondering if you knew where – Fai-san!"
He knew he shouldn't have stared, but he just could not turn away not matter how much the image was scarring him. Later, he would be very grateful that they were still wearing the majority of their clothes.
And… Kurogane-san, on top of Fai-san, mouth pressed firmly against Fai-san's, one hand in Fai-san's pants, hips rolling against Fai-san's as he was nestled between the lanky man's thighs. It was certainly an image he had never wanted to witness, and he was afraid of what would happen if Kurogane realized he was witnessing it.
He knew he should leave before either one noticed his presence or before they decided they needed less clothing, yet he couldn't pull himself away, and he cursed the wonders of trauma.
Fai rolled his head to the side as Kurogane's mouth moved to his neck, and blue eyes widened in shock. "Syaoran-kun?"
And the heat rushed to his face as he realized he was still staring, and he regretted not being able to get all of Sakura's memories back, and he said prayers to every god he had ever heard of as Kurogane pulled away from the blonde and turned to look at him.
"Go-gomennesai! I didn't see anything!" He knew his face was bright red, but he did not care as long he got out of there alive. His face could permanently stay that color if he could escape Kurogane. "Sakura-chan was looking for Fai-san to ask about dinner, but I'll just be going now," and he turned to leave.
"Syaoran-kun?" he heard Fai's high voice calling after him, but there was no way he could ever face either of them after what he had seen. "Poor boy. One of us should talk to him so he's not confused."
"Later. I'm busy now." Too late he realized he had left the door open; he blushed a deeper shared of red and hurried his footsteps as he heard Fai make a noise he had never wanted to hear coming from the blonde.
"Syaoran-kun, what's wrong?" the princess asked as he practically tumbled down the stairs. "Are Fai-san and Kurogane-san alright?" He panicked when he saw her place one hand on the railing and one foot on the first step.
"They're both fine," he said, grabbing her wrist in an effort to stop her. "I mean, they're not in any trouble or anything." And Sakura was giving him the look he knew meant she didn't quite understand what he was rambling about. "They're just busy… meditating… and I'm sure they don't want to be interrupted again."
She was sill giving him her cute, confused expression, but she stepped off the stairs. He heaved a sigh of relief. "Kurogane-san is doing things with Fai-san?"
It took a few heart-stopping seconds before he realized her question was entirely innocent. He could hardly see how it was his fault if the answer wasn't. But she did not have to know that his mind argued. "Yes."
She clapped her hands together. "How wonderful! I'm sure that makes Fai-san very happy!"
From where he was standing, his overtly sensitive ears could just barely make out the sounds emanating from Kurogane's room. "He sounds like he is," he mumbled, a faint blush returning to his cheeks.
"Nothing," he stammered. He wanted to get Sakura away from the stairs as soon as possible before she heard the noises and asked him about them, or worse, go up to investigate them herself. "I'll help you with dinner, hime. Fai-san said to trust your judgment, and he's sure whatever you make will be delicious." She nodded, and he led her to the kitchen.
Once dinner was ready, he ashamedly asked Sakura to call their older companions down for dinner, warning her not to go upstairs but to call them from the bottom of the steps. Fai bounded into the room a few minutes after she came back and Syaoran resolutely stared at his plate of food. "Fai-san, you're in a cheerful mood today. Is it because Kurogane-san was playing with you earlier?"
"Hai, Sakura-chan!" he responded happily as he flopped down into the chair across from her.
"I was doing no such thing," Kurogane said as he stalked into the room and sullenly sat down across from Syaoran. Syaoran felt the heat rising back to his face, and he tried to look everywhere except across the table as the two of them continued their strangely usual evening banter. Strange how he never realized before how much of what they were saying had a double meaning. He was just grateful Sakura remained oblivious to it all. He was just disappointed that he could no longer do the same.
Kurogane was the first to leave after dinner, saying he needed to be alone to 'think about things.' Syaoran finished his meal rather quickly but felt obligated to stay until the princess finished hers, just to make sure she did not choke to death or anything in his absence. He got so distracted, however, he failed to notice she had finished until she was happily scurrying from the room. In a vain effort, he tried to follow her. "Syaoran-kun, can I talk to you for moment please?"
He tried to come up with an excuse as to why he could not stay, he really did, but his traumatized mind failed him. With a sigh of defeat, he collapsed back into the chair, doing his best not to look at the blonde. His vision of the other man was eternally tainted. He would not be able to look at him without seeing his face flushed and his body writhing underneath Kurogane's. It was just too much for his young mind to handle.
"Syaoran-kun, I need to talk to you about what you saw earlier." He had been deathly afraid of that, but some small part of his mind had been hoping that the man would just ask him how he had liked Sakura's cooking. He tried to will his body to meld into the chair. It didn't seem to be working very well. Fai could still see him. "Let's see, what's the best way to do this?"
When Fai looked to the ceiling fan for inspiration, Syaoran tried to slip quietly out of the chair. Unfortunately, he got caught when he stepped on a nut Sakura had dropped on the floor earlier. "Syaoran-kun, stay here for a moment, please. It's very important you understand."
He slumped into the chair. "I was just going to give you some time to prepare," he suggested hopefully. "I would have come back as soon as you were ready."
"That's not necessary," Fai waved his hand at him. "I already know what it's all about. I was just thinking of the best way to phrase it for your young ears." He wanted to say, 'What about my young eyes that have been scarred for life? WHAT ABOUT MY EYES?' but he remained silent and tried to block out the sound of the man's voice which unfortunately did not work quite as well as he would have hoped; Fai's voice had a way of wriggling itself into someone's brain whether it was wanted or not.
"You see, Syaoran-kun, when two adults are in love, they want something stronger than handholding and hugs to express their feelings for one another. As a result, these two adults will have sex with each other which involves-"
"I get it. You and Kurogane-san are in love so you were having sex with each other, so if you don't mind, I'll be going now." He tried to stand up to leave before he had to hear anymore, but Fai pushed him back into the chair.
"Please let me finish, Syaoran-kun. I don't think you fully understand yet. Now, the most basic form of sex is for a man to put his penis inside a woman's vagina. Sometimes, however, when the adults agree, the man will put his penis elsewhere." Syaoran began to feel physically ill when Fai started explaining in great detail all the ways a man and woman could have sex together. He felt light-headed when he started describing the ways two males could have sex together. When he got to the part about how two women had sex, he fell off the chair. "Are you okay, Syaoran-kun?"
He couldn't bring himself to give an affirmative answer as he pulled himself back into the chair. "Fai-san, I don't see what this has to do with you and Kurogane-san."
"I was just getting to that. Everything I've said so far works under the assumption that the two people are in love, correct?" He nodded dejectedly, wondering how the princess would ever survive without him should he spare his mind and kill himself. "Well, sometimes those sexual feelings can arise in an individual when he or she is not in love. Those people still need to release those feelings, so two consensual adults can form a sexual relationship with each other in order to release those feelings. Sometimes, people act as a sexual release for money. These people are called 'prostitutes.' They are the generally accepted avenue for sexual release that does not involve a significant other. Do you understand so far?"
Not really, but he nodded anyway. "Good, now, sometimes people who don't have access to prostitutes for whatever reason, will use each other as a release of those sexual feelings we talked about earlier. Kuro-sama and I fall into the last category." He was still wondering why he had to sit through the hour lecture on different sexual positions just to get to that, but he nodded his understanding and mumbled his thanks to Fai-san for 'clarifying the issue.' "Anytime, Syaoran-kun."
He waited until Fai would be very far from the kitchen before he stood to leave. He turned around just in time to see Kurogane striding into the room. "Kid, I need to talk to you about what you saw earlier. I don't want any confusion about what is going on." He panicked; he really didn't know what else he could have done, and he tried to flee. Kurogane stopped him with one hand and pushed him back on the chair. He pulled the other chair out, placed it between Syaoran and the exit, and sat down on it. Syaoran eyed the stove wistfully, willing it to catch on fire.
"Have you ever heard about the eel and the cave?" Regrettably, Syaoran found he had to shake his head. "Men are equipped with eels, women are equipped with caves." Some of Fai's explanations came rushing back to him, and he momentarily panicked again. "Because of basic survival instinct, sometimes a man's eel likes to visit a woman's cave. The eel spits to mark its territory, and every so often the spittle merges with other aquatic life already in the cave to make a baby." The hell? That didn't sound like Fai's explanation at all, though it seemed considerably less painful to listen to. He thought he heard a light giggle from the other side of the door, but he brushed it off as his imagination. "Sometimes that instinct rises when there are no suitable woman's caves to visit, so the eel can also visit a man's different cave instead."
He really wanted to just fade away or die by this point, so he asked, "Does Fai-san's eel ever visit your cave?" and waited patiently for the death blow. This time he definitely heard a snicker from the other side of the door, but Kurogane didn't seem to notice.
"That's none of your damn business," he growled, and Syaoran was slightly disappointed he was still alive to endure any more torture. "Do you understand what you saw now?"
"No, because Fai-san told me something different. He said people have sex when they're in love, but sometimes two adults will just use each other for sexual release."
"Aa. And sometimes a person is lonely and uses sex and their partner as a replacement for feelings of love which is not healthy for either participant." He heard a sigh from the other side of the door, and the sounds of someone shuffling away.
"Since we all seem to agree that the two of you were having sex, can I go now?" he asked hopefully, wanting the nightmare to be over. "I don't need to know the reasons why." Kurogane grunted, and Syaoran saw that as his signal for freedom; he darted out of the room before the ninja could change his mind.
Later that evening, he found Mokona pressing its ear against Fai's door. Fearing the worst, he hesitantly stepped closer to the white creature. "Mokona, what are you doing?"
"Syaoran-kun," the creature turned to look at him with a worrying posture, "I think Kurogane-san and Fai-san are having a fight," and it indicated that Syaoran should try to listen and test its suspicions. Tentatively, he pressed his ear to the door.
"Is that all I am to you, just some release?" and if Syaoran didn't know any better he might have thought there was just a hint of worry in the dark voice. "Good way to teach the boy to be a whore, implying any one on the street can satisfy your needs just as well as the next person."
Thud. "Ow, Kuro-rin is so mean. Besides, you told him I was just instinct, so don't talk to me about giving the boy the wrong idea. I taught him other things as well, like love and how to please your partner and to be openminded. Which is more than I can say for your silly little eel in the cave story." While Syaoran hated to be the cause of so much dissent, he could not help but feel some satisfaction that they had brought this upon themselves by not agreeing on what exactly it was they were doing before they tried to talk to him about it.
"Don't mock the eel and the cave. It's how my parents taught it to me, and I turned out just fine." He thought he heard Fai trying to hold back a laugh. A growl, a few more thuds, then some shuffling. An awkward silence filled the air. Syaoran shifted his weight and tried to leave, but a sense of duty told him to stay and make sure Fai was still alive.
Finally he heard Fai chirp, "Kuro-rin, does your eel want to explore my cave?" Syaoran turned bright red; the white manjuu remained politely perplexed.
"Well, my eel wants to explore your cave." He nearly passed out, and he heard a thump followed by the sounds of struggle.
"Get off me! Nobody said you could do that! Stop touching me there!" Mokona tried to push the door open to investigate, but Syaoran quickly pulled the handle back to them.
"Ne, Kuro-sama." The sounds of struggle stopped and Syaoran could only hear the adults heavy breathing. "Sometimes people who are lonely want real love." Kurogane mumbled a response Syaoran couldn't quite hear. Then noises suspiciously like the ones he heard before walking in on them earlier started, and he picked up Mokona and darted down the hall to his own room.
"Wait, Syaoran-kun! Fai-san is feeling lonely. I should sleep with him tonight."
"I'm sure that won't be necessary," he said, clutching the white thing closer to his chest. "Besides, I'll need someone beside me to keep away the nightmares tonight."