Title: Big Things Come In Small Packages, 1/?
Pairing: Kuro/Fai
Rating: PG - 13
Summary: AU. It was an easy life Kurogane led and there was no room for complications. However, come Christmas morning after what was perhaps too much sake and ninja manga, he was surprised to find a three foot box wrapped in gift paper sitting in his living room. A three foot box with breathing holes. The note attached to it said simply, "From Santa", in what suspiciously looked like Yuuko's handwriting.
Notes: Not mine but CLAMP's, etc. This is my first attempt to write this pairing, and I fear that I bring AU and humor.

1/?

The weatherman said something about a 50 percent chance of snow.

Of course, the prediction wasn't any startling.

The holiday season was rolling in after all, and in a few days it would be Christmas. Pretty soon, traffic would become more unbearable than it already was. The roads would fill with minivans as people fled to the outskirts of the city. Decent parking space would be near impossible to find and malls would be bombarded by those doing their last minute shopping - mostly deranged housewives ready to kill for the sake of getting their daughters the last doll on the shelf. Mostly.

It was times like these though, Kurogane was glad he actually had a life. He didn't get any Christmas presents to give around. Not this year, not last year, the year before that either, unless need be, and he was a thrifty enough person to know he didn't need anything this Christmas - just some food and maybe a new manga of the ninja variety.

It was an easy life Kurogane led and there was no room for complications.

However, come Christmas morning after what was perhaps too much sake and ninja manga, he was surprised to find a three foot box wrapped in gift paper sitting in his living room. A three foot box with breathing holes. The note attached to it said simply, "From Santa", in what suspiciously looked like Yuuko's handwriting.

Though, it didn't magically appear there, overnight. There was a sound explanation as to how it got there, and an equally sound explanation as to why Kurogane warranted this three foot box with its breathing holes and wrapping paper, and later, what really lay beneath all those ribbons and paper.

Rewind nine days ago to when Kurogane was on his way to get himself some bread and sake. It was close to sundown, though sometimes it was hard to be sure without first consulting the time. The temperature has had fluctuations lately yet snow had not yet fallen.

It was odd and in some ways, alarming, how the sun seemed so obscured these days like there was something dreadful forthcoming, but it could always just be global warming like the folks down at 12B say whenever they talk about the weather as they played mahjong. Not that Kurogane listened to them. They were old women who had nothing better to do but gamble and shake their canes at him whenever he passed them by. He was generally feared by the younger occupants in the building, but the ones older than fifty seem to think he was quite rude and needed to get laid. (Old people! Tch.)

But anyway, there was something off-kilter about that day in particular. He could feel it the moment he entered the store, the silver bell tinkling in greeting above him and the brat in the cashier standing stiffly with his arms raised. Yes. Just his luck. Kurogane resisted the urge to curse because that would have not helped the situation any.

"Empty the cash register!"

There was a fat man standing next to the brat. He wore scruffy old jeans that kept falling off and which he kept holding up over his belly. He had those pantyhose things over his face which in Kurogane's opinion did not help at all in concealing the man's identity. Kami-sama. He was a robbing a mini mart, not the bank of Japan. "Hey, you!" the man gestured towards him with a careless sweep of his gun. "Empty your pockets."

Kurogane just stared him down and huffed. "If you were any smarter you would leave now before I pound you to ash."

The man glared. "I said empty your pockets. Or don't you see the gun I have my hand?" And really, Kurogane would have done something that would severely hurt, if not, dismember the man, had the lady chosen not to enter the store, too.

That lady, Kurogane would later learn when he was in the hospital bed mending his wounds, would be Yuuko. And Kurogane couldn't remember why the man fired or how the brat ended up with a medal of valor or some reward money, but all he knew was that Yuuko had somehow managed to be indebted to him.

It all happened very fast.

Or at least that was what the brat had said when he came to visit him in the hospital. Apparently, Yuuko-san was picking up a crate of sake all by herself because she had given her helpers a day off (It was the Christmas season, after all) and she was surprised to see a man with a beer belly waving a gun about.

She might've said some completely honest things about the beer belly man and the beer belly man might've not like the way she said them or what she said at all and Kurogane, in a moment of sheer idiocy or nobility or both, might've taken a shot for her.

"… and so that's how you ended up here, Kurogane-san," Syaoran had kept his head bowed the entire time, unable to look him in the eye. What Kurogane couldn't understand was why he took a shot for a complete stranger who, from Syaoran's story alone, he could guess had some trouble trying to keep her mouth shut.

"You seem to be doing okay now, though, Kurogane-san."

Kurogane rolled his eyes. "Kid, do I look okay to you?"

Syaoran shrank back. "But, what you did was noble Kurogane-san. And I admire that - "

"Ah, here he is, the man that I am indebted to!"

Kurogane knew he was going to hate the turn of events. The door opened to reveal an inappropriately dressed lady seemingly trapped in an inappropriate time. There was no other word to describe her but sharp. That, and her presence seemed to command a certain … Kurogane wasn't sure.

With a sweep of her hand, Syaoran had the decency to leave his seat and let her occupy it. She smiled cordially and Syaoran flushed and bowed again. "Yuuko-san, I will leave you two alone." Suspicious words from an even more suspicious boy. He faced Kurogane once more. "Get well soon, Kurogane-san." And he was off as the door shut behind him.

Kurogane turned to the strange woman sitting next to him. It was only then he noticed the pile of get well cards and balloons to his left, and apparently, even the old women playing mahjong sent him a card after hearing of his misfortune. As if reading his thoughts, Yuuko smiled discreetly and handed him the card.

Get laid already and keep everyone out of misery!, it said. There was even a photo of them playing mahjong. Kurogane gritted his teeth. "How thoughtful of them," he remarked dryly.

"Yes, I know." Yuuko said and hmmed. "You seem to have a lot of friends for somebody so rough-mannered."

Kurogane glared. "I am not rough mannered!"

Yuuko handed him her card, ignoring that last statement. "I suppose an introduction is an order."

"I don't need your card."

"But ah, that's what you think Kurogane-san. You may need my number in the future, several of them even. It's quite hard to catch me after the holidays, you know."

"Don't get any funny ideas lady. Just because I took a shot for you doesn't mean I'm interested."

Yuuko rolled her eyes. "Well, you're not my type, either so I suppose we're both even aren't we?"

Kurogane grunted, clearly at a loss. He could distinctly feel the mahjong-playing old women shaking their heads and their canes at him, screeching, "Get laid already! Get laid!"

"Tch."

"That was a heroic thing you did back there, Kurogane-san," At present, Yuuko was reaching into her black handbag and rummaging for a moment. "You don't mind if I smoke?"

"This is a hospital, lady."

"I'm so glad you don't mind," she smiled in an infuriatingly condescending way and lit up.

Kurogane rolled his eyes and turned the card over in his hands. It was glossy and had several numbers written on them. The eccentric lady was running a shop. What kind of shop though, it did not say. At the back of the card, she had written her name in spindly letters. Yuuko

"Anyway." She said, breathing deeply. "I suppose I haven't thanked you yet for saving my life like that."

"I've almost come to regret it," Kurogane said below breath.

"What was that?"

Kurogane just rolled his eyes. He'd come to think of the lady as a kind of harbinger of doom.

"Kurogane-san," Yuuko's voice snapped him out of his thoughts. "I am no a harbinger of doom. In fact I'm the exact opposite. I bring good fortune to those deserving!"

"What?"

"I said I'd like you thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting your life on the line. For me." Even if she'd made the spotless hospital floor her ashtray, Kurogane recognized sincerity when he heard it. Or that could just be the meds.

"Just so we're clear on this lady," Kurogane said, crossing his arms though with some difficulty. "I don't make a habit out of saving lives."

Yuuko smiled, eyes twinkling. "You're an interesting character, Kurogane-san."

"Tch."

"Just so we're clear on this, Kurogane-san," Smoke rose into the air and Yuuko leant back into the chair. "I don't make a habit of saving lives." She smirked lightly. "But I'll do this just once." She rose from her chair and made to leave. "You can take me in the future though it really isn't necessary. It is a fair price. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. A life for a life."

If Kurogane wasn't so hyped up on meds, he'd have said something more intelligent than, "What the hell are you talking about lady?"

Her eyes twinkled again. "Merry Christmas, Kurogane-san,"

And there was something about that statement that Kurogane didn't like as the door shut behind her.

Several days later brought Kurogane into his current predicament. There was a three foot box in his living room. The front door was suspiciously busted open and he made a mental note to follow the suspicious trail of ash, later.

For now, the box was, well, sitting in front of him. "Stupid lady sending stupid unwanted presents to unsuspecting-" but then the boxed moved, and Kurogane's eyes widened.

"What the?"

There was something inside the box, something moving and breathing, and alive. "If this is your idea of a joke lady I swear to Kami I'm going to get you back for this!" Despite his misgivings however, Kurogane found himself tearing open the gift paper so that it lay in shreds on the floor.

There was another note, this one clearly indicating that the present was from Yuuko. "Merry Christmas, Kurogane-san. Enjoy your present and drive safely. The life you save may be mine."

There were instructions at the back of the note but Kurogane had no time to read them anymore for there it was, this blonde slender, thing wrapped in synthetic white fur. It was pale and according to the tag around its wrist, it was named Fai.

"What the hell? What is this? A male … stripper?" Though as unfortunate as it was, even the mahjong-playing old women would be dismayed. It was not a male stripper.

It was.

Well.

Kurogane would be getting there shortly.

It blinked curiously up at Kurogane with wide blue eyes. The bell around its neck tinkled and Kurogane took an indignant step back. "EH?!?! WHAT THE HELL?" Whatever it thought it was wearing could've put all the strippers to shame, male or otherwise.

The Fai-thing pounced.

And settled, purring between Kurogane's thighs.