I don't own Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle. CLAMP does. No legal issues PLZTHX.


ff.n is starting to get on my nerves.

Seriously. This was meant to be the first chapter. THIS.

...and ff.n goes and deletes half of this, I realize when I do the live preview.

...RAGE AND FRUSTRATION.

So THIS is the first chapter. I'm sorry. Reflection on this chapter was in the first chapter, and reflection for the FIRST will be next chapter, most likely.

I'm really sorry. :le flail:


Forbidden Fruit

By Javelin the Silent One

Fruit First: Forever


In the morning Fai wakes up to a tan arm slung across his shoulder, loose and careless like the towels its owner casts about the tent. A nose pushes against his temple, breathe in, breathe out, deep and heavy and even.

All Fai does at this point is tilt his head to the side away from the dark heated exhalations and look at his lifemate from the corner of his eye. Lifemate...odd, but strangely right, he decides, a small smile curving his lips.

The tanned eyelids are closed, heavy with sleep, lips slightly parted as his eyelids twitch.

Look at him. Fai smiles to himself and brings his head back a little bit more, leaning it against Kurogane's nose. His breath is still hot and the tent is getting stuffy despite the cool white linen that surrounds them, but it feels pleasant. Look at him, so far away, centuries, miles…where are you now? A hand twitches to brush a few dark strands away from his face, but he stills it.

So far away. That's where his thoughts are…where they almost always are. Sometimes I fear he's lost and gone forever. But he always comes back…always, comes back to me….

It has been seven days in the tent, and this seventh day and night is their last together…the last night they get to spend as lovers and lifemates rather than Heroes and warriors fated to give light to the masses. Tomorrow morning they will return to Shirasaki and resume their duties—diplomat, guard, persuader, defender. And Kurogane goes back to his job defending the castle.

Defending and facing death, everyday, leaving Fai with the looming fear of being left alone.

So he just lolls his head back on the pillow and flutters his eyes closed. Memories of gentle, almost white pink and gentle splashes of water.

"You're tense."

Fai didn't look up from the stream, from the one-eyed reflection gazing softly back at him. In a moment, a black-haired indigo-eyed girl stood alongside him, her reflection rippling serenely next to Fai's.

"Any reason why?" the girl asked, sending what she hoped to be a comforting grin into the water.

A small smile. "I suppose not."

"So you just are."

"Yes."

Silence. Then Fai spoke again.

"It's…I'm scared, Tomoyo-hime."

"Of what?"

"Of dozens of things. If he changes his mind…if he's not there to take my hand and say his vows…." He did not want to admit he was worried about smaller things. The twitch in his eye; the itchiness behind the eyepatch; Kurogane stumbling over the lines they had so painstakingly practiced; if perhaps his love wasn't enough…

Tomoyo didn't say anything, just looked into the clear depths.

"….I wouldn't know what it's like. But believe me, please, when I say I think that you have nothing to worry about. You—"

Both jumped at the sound of a bell. Tomoyo laughed nervously at her reaction.

"…Right then. I'll…uh…I'll see you in fifteen?"

"…Yeah."

Tomoyo hurried to the corner, around it, and Fai counted three seconds and then she must have passed the curtain. Fai knew because he knew when he walked it took him seven seconds with a normal stride to get to the corner, one to turn it, and another three to get to the gossamer door that shielded the entrance to the royal gardens—

And the bell rang again. Fai wondered how fifteen minutes had passed in such a short time.

All he could do now was make sure that the sprig of blossoms and attached ribbons were tucked firmly behind his right ear, that the ring was in his hand right where he left it, and in the space of a few seconds he had nothing left to check.

He walked the seven seconds forward, the one-second turn, and then three steps, pausing at the translucent gossamer that separated him from another life.

Time to go.

And he stepped forward into the light.

"You look wonderful."

Even through the strain of his racing heart, he managed a smile. "Thank you."

"No need."

All that earned Kurogane was a chuckle and a rosy blush from Fai—both of which seemed strained. Both of which were strained, the mage realized, and the thought made him smile a little less.

It didn't make sense. It was supposed to be happy, it was supposed to be butterflies in the stomach and an overflowing of the heart's cup.

And it was.

But there was more to it.

Kurogane picked up on this and put his hand forward, cupping Fai's chin and not caring who noticed they weren't paying attention at all, completely oblivious to the fact they were speaking in almost hushed tones, barely hearable. "You're trembling."

Fai just stood there, dumb as the locked doorknob to their bathroom.

"What's wrong?"

"…and now it is the time to recite the Bonding Prayer. Fai?"

Fai had barely heard the Empress as he took a calloused palm in his hand and extended the ring, and the world shook and turned and churned, at least for him. Later, he would find he had stayed steady during the entire ceremony without a single quaver as he recited his lines in the language of his people.

Sky that's above me

Land that's beneath thee

If were I to love thee

Wouldst thou still accept me?

Somehow the ring had gotten on to Kurogane's finger because it wasn't in his hand and he hadn't heard the musical ring of metal on cobblestones and he hadn't seen where it had gone.

Sight was beyond him now as Kurogane took Fai's own white hand and Fai just felt the cool metal slip onto his fourth finger and a deep, rumbling voice resonate in his ears and chest.

Sky that's above thee

Land that's beneath me

If thou would accept me,

Wouldst thou let me love thee?

A warm forehead pressed against his and all he felt were teasing lips, soft and sweet against his. And it wasn't his voice that spoke or Kurogane's; it was both, it was neither, it was the voice of something divine rising up to the heavens and back down upon them in tenfold blessing as the last verse was recited:

By thy side I'll keep me

And cherish thou deeply

Tho' heaven might take us

And Earth then forsake us

They were lost in a kiss that wasn't quite a kiss; more of a brush, a tease, and it tasted like rainwater and chocolate and vanilla and wine; it was life, quickening and pulsing beneath their skins like the crawl and creep of so many animals.

A sharp clap and Fai started, startled; and he found that the clap had just come from Kendappa-ou, who grinned happily, and Fai felt a smile creeping onto his face uncomfortably. He didn't want to smile this way. He didn't want to feel this way.

But he did. He felt afraid.

And he didn't know why.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur as Primela and Gigei (dancers from an exotic land, he saw, from their supple bodies, and he was glad Kurogane found no interest in them) danced for them to the sounds of Kendappa's harp as the small group chatted pleasantly amongst themselves and laughed and congratulated the new couple and ate.

Kurogane didn't talk, looking at the dancers thoughtfully, slowly chewing on a small piece of cantaloupe.

What was he thinking? Fai wondered.

He's thinking he wants you to do that, for you to do that and then he can just—

No.

It's happened before. Ashura-ou.

Kurogane's not like that, is…is he?

Silence.

Fai was suddenly aware of the heat of Kurogane's thigh against his and the hand wrapped firmly around his shoulders and he felt trapped and he suddenly needed to run away, just run away….

It was only when the sun was setting and the last guests wandered off sleepily that Kurogane and Fai left also…to their separate rooms. This would be the last time they used their own rooms.

Next week…no, tonight…that would change forever.

Fai somehow managed to twist and turn his body like a pretzel to undo the elaborate kimono top he was wearing and pulled the ties to his hakama, which fell away from his waist.

He was aware that his body was shivering and his breath was coming short and panicked as he donned a simple yukata and nothing more, then picked up the pile of neatly folded blankets in the corner of his room, a note in some language he can barely read scrawled gleefully on the parchment with hearts doodled all around it. Tomoyo, most likely, he thought, and smiled warmly. He'd thank her later.

For now, however, he could only gather them in his arms and take one last look at his room; bare, empty, testament to the new life he was about to begin.

He sighed, turned away and closed the door softly behind him. Kurogane was already waiting for him, futon tucked under his arm.

And all Fai could do was take his empty, outstretched hand, lacing light fingers with dark, sturdy ones, and let himself be led through the palace, out of Shirasaki's Gates and over the next few rolling, grassy hills dotted with the fallen petals of spring blossoms.

Over to where their future lay.

The tent had looked so small from the outside, but when he ducked in he was surprised at how large it really was. There were a couple candles lit and a bowl of steaming jasmine and sandalwood in the corner; the added warmth of their bodies blended into the cozy, homelike atmosphere.

The grass was cool and pleasant against his knees, a hand of comfort petting him softly in comfort as the ninja behind him closed the tent flaps and tied them shut.

By the time he turned around Fai was disrobed from the waist up, back to Kurogane, curled up in a ball with his eyes closed in resignation. Ready for humiliation, dominating…whatever Kurogane had for him.

"Why are you afraid?"

Fai jumped at the voice, mostly out of surprise but partially because of the texture of the voice, deep and velvety, a purr as he nuzzled the edge of an ear and his hand came to rest tentatively on his shoulder. Fai tried to stop trembling from…from fear? Apprehension? Excitement?

Shame?

…yes. Shame that he was acting like this, so nervous and tense. Like some sort of blushing virgin. He'd heard stories—somewhere, deep in his mind, something like a scream—and he was afriad

"I…"

"I won't hurt you," the voice said, dropping to a sultry whisper as the hand trailed down his arm in feather-light touches and Fai was suddenly painfully aware of the blood rushing to his face, the way his breathing became erratic at the ephemeral caress.. "I just need you to follow my lead…and the first thing I want you to do is relax."

The hand slid down, around, snaking its way under his arm and resting over his hip, the other placing his hand around his shoulders. The touch was warm and sensual and created a pleasant sensation that shot straight to the pit of his stomach where Kurogane touched.

Relax.

Breathe in blue, calm.

Relax.

Breathe out red, muscle tension, and Fai felt himself deflating further into those arms.

Lips graced the nape of his neck and he gasped, but couldn't find the strength within him to stiffen. "Good. Now just follow my breathing."

"Foll…"

"Breathe in."

Fai took a deep breath and nearly choked on it when he felt Kurogane's chest expand into him.

"You're okay. Now hold it…and breathe out."

Fai obliged and felt Kurogane press closer to him, planting a small nibble on the base of his neck.

"Good. We repeat that. Just breathe in, breathe out in time with me."

Fai nodded, closing his eyes and focusing on the rhythm and timing of his lover's breathing, the strength of the strong hands on his body, almost melting into him, becoming one with him, like the two were simply another part of each other's bodies.

It was so sensual…so unexpected, slow, his heart rate dropping as he lost himself in the abstract feel of Kurogane. Not bodies, not souls…just them and time, floating, watching the moonbeams skitter along the ripples from underneath and draw strange spider-webs of thin moonlight on white and dark skin.

"Roll over."

Fai came back slowly, quickly, but not suddenly, as if waking from a very deep, relaxing sleep and ready to wake up. And somewhere between point A and B Kurogane had rolled him over and why was he blushing and…

"Roll over."

Fai came back slowly, quickly, but not suddenly, as if waking from a very deep, relaxing sleep and ready to wake up. And somewhere between point A and B Kurogane had rolled him over and why was he blushing and…

"Kuro…"

The Wyvern had disposed of his robes and lay naked, prone in front of Fai. And Fai resisted the urge to look lower and instead focused on those eyes, brow knitted in worry, cheeks red as large, pawlike hands drew the top of Fai's robe back over him,

He's uncomfortable.

And then Fai suddenly felt ashamed that he had made Kurogane think he was afraidin the first place.

"Kuro—"

"No."

"Kuro-tan—"

"No." Two fingers tipped his head upward and directed his eyes into his deep red orbs. "Stay like this."

"But…"

"Are you afraid?"

"……" Fai looked away. Kurogane spoke only the truth.

A strong hand pulled him back into Kurogane's orbit, insistent yet gentle. "If you're not ashamed, than neither am I. But you have to be sure you want this."

I'll do it, he thought, if only to make you relax a little more. If only to banish the shame and fear I see in your eyes.

"What do we do now?"

"Just gaze at each other, I guess."

"Staring contest?"

"….no. Just…stare."

Three seconds of silence passed before Fai bit his lip and snorted uncontrollably.

"Fai…"

"Sorry, sorry!" he managed between giggles. "Okay, okay, I should be…no, wait." A few deep breaths in, out. "Okay."

Kurogane nodded but said nothing. His eyes were completely fixiated on Fai's single blue orb.

For a second, Fai was overcome with the irresistible urge to laugh hysterically—partially out of the reflex but mostly out of anxiety, fear, uncertainty. He almost wanted Kurogane to hate him and storm out of the tent so he wouldn't have to worry. So he could go back to living for himself.

But the most peculiar thing happened. Kurogane's eyes suddenly seemed to glitter in the candelight—no, not the candlelight but all by themselves—and those pupils seemed to fade into slits of black amongst a sea of blood-red eyes and suddenly the urge to laugh died swiftly and painlessly inside him and became aware only of those beautiful eyes….

Fai saw so very many things. He saw worry and pain and fear of rejection, he saw frustration, a lonely child and adolescent, a fury that bested even that of Ashura's. But strongest among them was love, devotion, a desire to protect his treasure, his precious jewel he would cherish and protect and never let go. The love became almost tangible and he wanted feel it, be it, so he raised his lily-white fingers and touched—

Fai was not surprised when the fire within those eyes kindled and glowed at his touch, nor did he jump when a tanned hand reached up and touched his cheek as if it were a bead of rain, perfect and unshaken for the moment.

And Fai found himself wanting MORE as he leaned his head up and nuzzled the palm, still gazing into the eyes that were intensely gazing back into his own, single orb. And Kurogane's eyelids sunk a little…just a little…and he gasped and then purred, pressing a palm more firmly to the cheek and running his hands down it.

Fai's hands suddenly felt very empty, very idle. That wouldn't do, he thought, so he reached out his other hand and ran it through his hair and felt electric thrills run across his skin at the silky feel, as though he could touch every single strand of the suspiciously springy hair underneath his fingers.

Kurogane's eyes were all the way closed now and his body was limp and Fai could almost feel the strong, coiled, powerful muscles beneath the skin and he couldn't believe that anything so strong, so powerful, could be so soft.

Their arms and legs tangled into one another as Fai leaned in to kiss Kurogane's lips, to see if they tasted just like his skin and hair—soft, yielding, perfect, supple. And Fai found they felt a lot like dark, sweet chocolate. They were a beauty to touch, to sense.

Chaste entreatments led way to melting tongues and sinful, moist kisses, parted lips and heated pants as hands slid around on flesh.

"Mmmph—Fa—mmm," Kurogane said, and Fai found himself hurt, pushed away.

"Wha….?"

"Sit up."

Fai dazedly did as he was told. His hand had not left a strong bicep, smoothing his hand over it, loving this moment this time and he never wanted this to end—

He froze when he saw Kurogane bring out a small bottle of oil and deep within him something struck the chords that began a bone-deep shaking.

"Shhhh. Shhhh." Hands stroked his hair but did not lace themselves in it. "Let me show you. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to need you to spread your legs, though."

Fai paused a moment, then slowly leaned back and parted his smooth white legs, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and he suddenly felt very exposed and aware of the arousal between his legs and blushed, looked away.

"There's no need to be scared." The shuffle of hands became muffled, dull, as Kurogane rubbed them together to spread oil on them.

"I…I'm noaaaaaaaahhh…."

Suddenly talking became a very inadequate thing as Kurogane's large hands took hold of the very top of his knees and started kneading them, squeezing, the slick sensation and warmth of his hands surprisingly arousing and he felt himself twitching at the feeling and suddenly Kurogane's hands ventured higher, higher, close close so close—

And he let out a frustrated hiss as Kurogane paused, as to reach up and take the throbbing flesh into his hand—then letting it fall away and instead massaging the muscles around his groin perilously, slowly, until he reached the very base of Fai's flat stomach.

Fai's erratic breath became headier as he leaned forward himself, onto his still-shaking knees (though he knelt on his haunches, mostly, since he couldn't for some reason find the energy to lift himself all the way up, he was just too relaxed….) and breathed slowly, so slowly, into the seashell pink curve of Kurogane's ear before darting out a tongue to lick the sensitive flesh.

The result was immediate and hands suddenly tightened themselves on those broad shoulders, those white arms as Kurogane's breath came hot and moist against Fai's neck. And Fai, for some reason, found himself very much wanting what the other man—what he KNEW the other man—was holding back.

Well, that was certainly another positive spot, and Fai began to feel more and more adventurous as one hand crept around to Kurogane's back and trailed down his spine, one finger so soft, gently, sweetly, soon joined by the other hand as they scattered the lightest of caresses on every bump and curve.

Sweat gliding on his fingertips. Spasming muscles. Heated breaths, light airy gasps, barely muffled groans…beautiful, physical, ephemeral acts that made him feel as though he were a harp-player, completely tuned into the instrument so that it was not just his but rather theirs.

Fai wished he could have remembered what had happened after that; wished he could say with absolute clarity the other uses of the oil they had brought, the secret whispers and almost-innocent chuckles as they explored each other's bodies. But suddenly he'd remember or feel quick nips on his jaw and red eyes glistening down at him and all of it suddenly became a moot point.

When he came to himself finally, it was after a deep, consummating kiss, Fai finding himself straddling Kurogane's crossed legs, sitting on his lap, thighs tucked securely underneath his knees. Rough hands, on in his hair the other on his shoulder. Nowhere near anywhere suggestive. I'm here, he said with his body, arms, fingers, I'm here and patient and waiting for you. Take your time.

Fai realized, then, that he had started shivering and that suddenly he was afraid, tense, anxious, excited—he didn't know anymore.

He paused on the edge of decision, and made his choice. One hand took the hand on his shoulder and caressed it with the gentle tip of his tongue, the other undoing the knot on his waist and pulling at the satiny yukata before reaching over to take the only bottle of oil they hadn't completely used.

I will follow you down the hole, beloved.

The almost imperceptible whisper of satin as it fell to the floor behind him, the muted gasp and shuddery sigh.

I will follow you down, and take you with me—as an equal, as a friend. As what we are meant to be—forever, for life.

Fai simply smiled coyly as glowing red eyes raked over his body, took a hand and poured oil onto it before lowering his hand seductively down Kurogane's chests and abs and finally lighting softly oh, so softly on the waiting cock.

"Haaaah—!!!"

Slicking both hands up it, around it, touching and caressing every little part of him, watching the shifting kaleidoscope of euphoria on the beautiful, wonderful face. My face. My Kurogane.

He was so absorbed that he didn't notice the shaking hand snake out, grab the bottle, until he was being pushed back and up onto his knees and then he had to lean back on his hands and watch as Kurogane applied the lubricant and reached under and—

And then he floated, tried to, at least, as the fingers penetrated the sensitive rings of muscle and inside him, and Fai knew this was necessary oh how he wished it was more than just fingers filling him, fingers were and could be oh so nice but oh how he wanted

And then he thought he had died.

And the only thing that informed him that he hadn't was the fact that, when the blood had rushed mostly from his face and he could see clearly again, the first thing in his sight was Kurogane, an almost tender smile on his face.

"Like that?"

"I—Ihhaaaaaaa—want—n-neeoooooh—AH!!!...haaaaaahhhhhAH—!"

They moved in this, this slow, languid dance, Kurogane fucking Fai with his fingers and Fai writhing and enjoying and begging more, more, more with his whines and pants and moans that carried into, but not through, the heavy desert night air. It was amazement, it was elation, ascension it….

Empty.

Fai opened his eye and was suddenly aware it had been closed—when, he was not certain. "Why…."

Hands slid down to his waist, nearly circling them, and looked up.

"You ready?"

Was he? Could he take this step? Was he truly ready to

His body moved on its own and he suddenly found his body impaling itself so very slowly, agonizingly torturously, on Kurogane's body. It hurt it was delicious it set every synapse and nerve on fire never end never end never end, and he suddenly couldn't decide WHAT to feel.

So he settled on watching Kurogane's face, the way his eyes sensually fluttered shut, the shuddery exhale on his shoulder (and ever subsequent breath in and out afterwards, hot and moist against the pale soft skin of his collarbone), the twitch of his face muscles as he tried to stop the emotions flickering across his face. It was almost dirty.

But he was beautiful.

And he felt compelled, as he slowly used his legs to lower his body up and down, fucking himself on his lifemate, to take that face into his hands, frame the edges of those too-fine lips with his thumbs, lay chaste, sweet kisses and licks on that face and simply drink Kurogane in as though he were water, like he already wasn't Fai thought and I need him, need him to survive.

The eyelids twitched and the eyes opened, half-lidded and heavy and glinting, and looked straight into Fai's eye.

And suddenly he fell down the hole, like nothing was there but those eyes, that crimson mist, the strong hands that took hold of his waist and moved for him and allowed him to not think, just feel and revel and relax and wonder why he had never felt this before and why just why Kuro-chan had chosen—

With a strangled cry he felt his control twist and snap and he wasn't even aware of the eyes anymore, though he was deep inside of them. He wasn't aware of the hot liquid he splashed against them both, though he did vaguely feel something become part of him, something warm and wet and a seal of their commitment and, soon after, the feeling of emptiness within his body.

But he wasn't aware of one of the large hands on his waist sliding upwards to support Fai's back and head as he fell backward, the other arm latching around his waist. He didn't know when Kurogane pulled him back in, laid a sweet kiss on his forehead, and rolled him onto the futon. He never felt Kurogane clean him off with one of the towels he'd judiciously thought to bring.

All that he was at this moment was red, and emptiness, and complete. He wasn't awake, but it was only when Kurogane's beautiful whispery voice stopped stroking his ear and an arm slung itself heavily across Fai's waist that he drifted off into sleep with Kurogane, to seek one another in the Dream Realm and make love once more.

Fai had awoken earlier the next morning and had found a plate of food (scribble writing, again—thank you, Tomoyo), fruits and chocolates and not a chopstick to use or a single morsel of non-finger food for them to eat. And he had taken it back into Kurogane, and they had taken turns feeding each other, trying to catch each other's fingers and make it through the meal without jumping each other.

Needlessly said, they were not entirely successful.

But Fai is scared. He is ashamed that he is scared, and that is selfish that he is scared, but he can't help it.

Life won't be like this again for a very long time—if at all—when they leave next morning. Life will go back to fighting and killing and winning and losing, no longer taking the leisure of making love, talking, eating, making love, swimming in the crystal pond of water nearby, making love, massages…and, well, making love.

Fai wishes they could run away, far away into the desert—maybe find Kurogane's birthing grounds and build a new life there. Just the two of them, and maybe—

And Kurogane sighs, shifts, moves his head down to Fai's chest and a hand up to Fai's hair, splaying fingers in yellow-blonde hair.

Yes. Fai would run.

But Kurogane would not.

And his own wish would not be fair to Kurogane.

So Fai closes his eye and joins his lover in slumber, a tear threatening the edge of his eye but not falling over, drying later when he wakes up and barely remembers wanting to cry at all.

They are bound, for better or worse. Together they rise, fall, and join as one, even if it means death for both in the end. The spring morning is cool, the waves of heat not yet deathly but comfortable as they wash over the lovers and the sound of silence fills the air.