Wah! I can't believe it's over. Funnily enough, I didn't listen to How to save a life once whilst writing this. Anyway, so ends this fic, please enjoy.

Chapter nine


This is a true account of everything that has happened to me from the point Fai transferred to the school to, well…the end, I guess.

Granted, I haven't included everything like, for instance, the number of times I used the bathroom, my adopted mother's frightening obsession with Elton John, or every single detail of Fai's lunacy, but every major event I have covered honestly (enough) and with detail.

That is why you should believe that everything that I say happened really did.

And what if you don't believe me? Well then screw you. Who the hell are you anyway?


"Kurogane," my mother called on me the instant I arrived home, tired and thoroughly pissed off. "I got a call from your school. Where were you all day?" she asked but I stalked upstairs to my room without answering her, hearing her yell my name up the stairs.

As soon as I reached my room, I slammed the door close and flopped onto my bed. The word "Idiot!" escaped from me and I was suddenly caught up in the urge to punch something.

I don't know how long I stayed there, lying on my bed, gazing up at the ceiling as the clock ticked the minutes and hours by. By the time I sat up, I was feeling groggy and it was almost midnight.

If I had any sense, I would have just called it a day and gone to bed but I knew very well that there was no way that I could possibly sleep. That, and because hanging around with Fai for so long had knocked off a few of my brain cells.

Without a word, I slipped downstairs, sure that the rest of the house was sleeping. As quietly as I could, I took the latch off of the door and stole out of the house.

My first objective was to reach Fai's house and talk to the moron. Even if the idiot were sleeping, I would shake him until he was wide-awake and then…and then what would I do? What would I say?

Before I could think of anything, I had already made it to his home. The lights were still on. I was surprised but pleased that I would not have to go throwing bricks into windows to get some attention.

The doorbell rang and a moment later Fai's uncle dressed in a vest and shorts peered sleepily from inside. I could hear the TV running and the sound of canned laughter coming from the set.

"Excuse me, I'd like to talk to Fai," I said, giving no excuse for my lateness of apologising for the time.

"Fai?" his uncle leaned on the door-post and scratched his belly. "I dunno where he is," he shrugged.

I unconsciously drew a sharp breath.

"He...he hasn't come home yet?" It was already late and all the schools would be closed by now. I quickly pushed my apprehension out of me. There was no need to be worried. Who would be worried about that idiot anyway?

"Staying out all night isn't unusual for him," he shrugged again. "God knows what that boy does all day."

"Well maybe you should find out," I replied tersely.

"What's that?" he blinked lazily, hardly listening to me.

I glared at him. Never so badly had I wanted to hit a man as I did now. "You're his uncle, aren't you? You should know these things! His favourite food, his song…do you know anything about him at all?" I cried.

His uncle looked thoroughly bored "Look, Fai doesn't have a problem with how I raise him. I give him freedom and let him do whatever he wants and he's fine with that."

"You're two strangers living in the same house!" I yelled at him. Before I turned to leave, I looked back and snapped at him, "And for your information, Fai's favourite food is gummi bear sandwiches! His favourite kind of pets are cats, though he has a soft spot for dogs with floppy ears, he can't sing worth a damn but he's always bellowing songs by Oruha from the roof, he laughs at the stupidest things and his smile - "

I stopped. What I was doing? Since his uncle was staring at me, I decided that I might as well finish. "When he's really, sincerely smiling, he looks sorta cute," I grumbled and took off into the night.

"I don't like trains very much. You stand there alone on a crowded platform amongst all those strangers. I always think that someone will suddenly appear. Wouldn't it be kinda nice if someone showed up unexpectedly when you're feeling lonely?" Fai had said. Now I sort of understood what I meant.

The train could not arrive fast enough. I boarded impatiently and muttered my undying hate to the train for being so slow as it crawled its way through the stations.

I had no idea where Fai could have been. For all I knew, he was hanging by the river back home, but my gut told me otherwise.

Finally, the train pulled into the right station. I ran off, wondering where to go next. If I took a shortcut through the park next to the station, I could be at Momokuri academy's gates in twenty minutes, but why would the moron still hang around that school?

Still, it was better than standing on a deserted platform all night.

The park was already shut. I had to climb over the gates to get in, which was no difficult task really. The trees were lined up in neat rows which wound through large squares of grass fields. Their shadows were all dark and ominous as the wind blew.

"Fai!" I called out his name, hardly looking where I was going. "Fai!" I kept calling his name until I bumped into a tree.

Except it was not a tree and it was standing in the middle of my path.

"Fai!" I almost jumped. Though I could hardly make out his face in the darkness, I was sure that it was Fai.

"K – Kuro-chan!" he looked as if he had seen a ghost.

I don't know if it was because he was just caught off-guard and panicked or if really did not want to see me, but he suddenly burst into a run.

Naturally, I followed after him as he ran through the dark fields of the park.

"Why the hell are you running?" I demanded.

"Because you're chasing me!" he yelled over his shoulder.

"Stop running!"

"Stop chasing me!"

"Do you think I'm an idiot?"

"Shall I be honest of tactful?" he returned.

"As if you could ever be tactful!" I yelled and made a leap for him, grabbing him by the legs, I brought him down onto the wet grass with a muffled 'ow!'

He was panting from the running he had done. So was I. His chest was heaving up and down, up and down, his hair in disarray against the stalks of green, his mouth parted to drink the sweet air and his eyes open wide and starring into the dark sky.

I grunted, crawled besides him and rolled onto my back, breathing heavily. My arms were damp with droplets of rain and my shirt smelt of the wet earth.

"You idiot!" I managed to hiss. "What do you think you're doing here? You like making people worry, don't you?"

He waited until he had recovered enough to speak without wheezing and then smiled a little bitterly, turning his head sideways to look at me.

"Heh, sorry, Kuro-rin."

Fai sat up, made to stand and walk away but I grabbed him before he could even get to his feet. I had him pinned underneath me, holding his shoulders firmly to the earth.

Part of me, somewhere, somehow, briefly worried over how incriminating this must have looked and demanded to know why I was so adamant about this, but I largely ignored that trivial part of my brain. I didn't want to think that I was being stupid. I didn't believe that I was clingy or childish. One had to take a firm hand when dealing with elusive idiots such as the one I had managed to pin down.

"Don't look at me like that!" I seethed. "Be serious! I'm not letting you go until you are."

Fai's eyes were closed to me, almost glazed over so that neither of us could see deep into the other's eyes. A smile curled his lips that failed to reach his eyes, his mouth parted but he did not laugh.

"So you came all this way to find me?" he asked, though his voice was unassuming it had a sharpness hidden underneath it that made my grip tighten. Fai's smile widened and still, somehow, failed to look authentic. "You shouldn't have. You didn't have to go out of your way…doing something so troublesome."

"You're a moron!" I snapped. "If I thought it was troublesome, I wouldn't have bothered. Why the hell do you think I'm out here anyway?"

"Because you've decided to embrace the spirit of a true delinquent?"

"Idiot! It's because I wanted to!" Fai's expression was priceless, as if he had just discovered the sun. I growled at him and went on. "I know that you don't want to be attached to anyone, you don't want to be obligated to do things that you don't want to. But if you like someone, you won't mind having to do things for them."

I fell silent after I spoke. My heart was pounding but I could not discern the reason why. There was something tingling in my chest, something hard and horrible that made my stomach squirm. What was it? Fear? Hope? Anger? Apprehension? There was no name for this feeling. It infested my stomach and wormed its way through my system, taking over every rational part of me.

I held my breath in my throat, feeling like a fool.

Fai's fingers reached for me. They latched onto me and began to play with the second button of my shirt as if it were the most interesting thing in the world. "So does this mean that you like me?" his voice murmured, thick with fatigue.

I stared into the far away look in his eyes and all I could dumbly ask was "What?"

Fai remained absorbed by my button. "Do you like me, Kuro-rin?" he asked.

Caught dangerously close to admitting something other than reluctant friendship, I hesitantly replied, "you're…tolerable."

"I suppose so," he agreed, then said, "I was really lonely before you came," and somehow, I got the impression that he was not talking about when he was wandering by himself a few hours ago.

However, thinking about that brought a most unwelcome subject to mind.

"How was your enrolment?" I asked, forcing the question lodged in my throat to take form.

"I didn't enrol," he said bluntly.

His smile plummeted but my heart soared.

"I haven't officially left our old school either so…"

"What?" was becoming my favourite one-word phrase. That and 'idiot!'

He looked almost pained. Although he tried to keep his wavering smile plastered to his face it was failing him miserably. His face scrunched up in a vain attempt to hold it there but eventually, with grave finality he let it flutter uselessly to the floor.

The smile gone, he looked up at me with eyes that were full of optimism and fear, pain and hope. His mouth remained slightly parted. He looked different, open and vulnerable, confused and lost. He was like a butterfly that had just broken from its cocoon and was struggling to fly.

"I got to the school and then I started having doubts," he whispered, his voice trembling in the moist air. "I was confused. I've never doubted myself before. I always cut through life, moving faster than my doubts and sadness could catch up to me. It didn't make any sense. All these thoughts kept going through my mind. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't go through with it. Why was I doubting myself now?"

I stayed silent, staring down at his body lying beneath me. He did not look like he was going to run but I kept my position, fearing that the slightest shift in the atmosphere would shatter this fragile moment.

Fai clenched his teeth in an internal battle, fighting something inside of him. I stared at him as he struggled and lost and I realised that he had been stubbornly holding back tears.

"I hate you, Kuro-chan!" he spat as the spilled onto his cheeks. He stared at me accusingly with all the energy that he could muster. "If you didn't always get in my way, I wouldn't be feeling so miserable right now!" he cried.

There was nothing.

Inside of me, I did not feel anything. Or maybe I felt everything and just could not tell the difference.

I was so calm that it surprised even me. A smile took over my lips, curling warmly as nodded.

"Yeah, I know."

His fists moved to hurriedly wipe away his tears, looking obstinate and defiant even as they escaped him. He tried to look away, tried to hide them. Had the circumstances been different, he would have blamed it on being sleepy or hay fever but I would not buy such excuses now and he gave none.

"If you weren't there, I could just keep running! If you weren't so insistent, I would never have had to doubt myself. I would never have had wonder if I was just pretending to be happy!" He lifted his arms up. I thought he was going to try and strangle me from below but instead his hands became fists, pounding half-heartedly at my chest. "I hate you!"


"I'll hate you 'til you die!"


"I'll never forgive you!"

"That's fine," I agreed, "But, since you'll be hating my guts for a long time, would you mind coming back home?"

I was not sure if he was shocked. I thought that I felt him draw a sharp breath but that could have been my imagination.

"Why?" I allowed myself to be pushed off as he sat up, finally gaining control over his tears. "What is it about you that makes me unable to run away? Why do I always have to face up to life when you're with me?"

I looked away, turning my attention to the grass. My fingers plucked random stalks from the ground, twirling them absently between my fingers.

"Today, Tomoyo was complaining about this boy stealing the affections of her favourite," I said slowly. "I told her that if she's going to hold a grudge against him, perhaps I should back him up. It's unusual for me to talk to anyone I don't know well. I don't get on with people at all. During the whole conversation with Tomoyo, I wanted to take back what I said. Socially retarded as I am. I really did not want to risk meeting someone knew."

I turned my gaze upon him now, staring at him unflinchingly.

"I could ask you the same question. What is it about you that makes me unable to run away?"

There were no answers that Fai could possibly give me. In the darkness of the night, I closed his eyes as if there was nothing else in the universe, as if the world only existed for this moment. It was too perfect to be real. It did not feel real. Fai sitting there on the wet grass, his hair in disarray and his cheeks dashed with red, and myself, sitting besides him in such complete calmness.

I wondered if the world would end soon.

Fai stood. The world remained.

"Let's go home," he extended a hand towards me, helping me to my feet. "Let's go home, Kuro-chan…" he smiled like a child and his breath tickled my ear.

After Kurogane finished spouting his romantic affections for Fai to his uncle, I had the urge for him to say; 'Boy, you're gay' but that would have ruined the mood.

There should be a part where Fai returns to school to torture Hamu. 'I've been busy for a while but now I'm back, so let's have some fun, Gertrude,' he says with an evil glint in his eye as poor Hamu quivers in fear.

Well, so ends my first attempt at an AU. It's made me want to write more AUs. I never used to dare writing them or even read them but they're not that horrible, are they? Anyway, thanks to all my reviewers. It was fun.