Title: Reflection

Day/Theme: Aug 28 / GilgamishSeries: TRC

Character/Pairing: Kurogane/Fai, Syaoran/Sakura if you squint.

Rating: Hard PG-13 to light R for violence & sexual situations which are barely touched on and very vague. ...

started & finished: August 28th 05

for: 31days at lj, for the theme "Gilgamish"

For M because I offered to write her a drabble instead of requesting.

disclaimer: if I owned Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, it'd be categorized as BL, obviously, I do not.

Apologies for the earlier version, the site likes to eat my formatting, apparently.

He lost his beloved companion on his path to immorality. And when he reached the lore'd halls, they closed the doors. "Everything must die, everything." They said.

They travel though lands swept by wind and lands surrounded by water, pitted by sparkling lakes and with people who've seen far too much of the world, their faces worn and weary.

Fai has put away his magic, put away the memories associated with flights of fancy and face turned downwards over a burling cauldron filled with spices and a ambrosia for immortality.

"You cannot live forever, you cannot change the past, you cannot but move on."

And his face is crestfallen, his cheeks look sunken in this light, his skin overly pale and too tight over a face which when not smiling seems deflated, unreal.

Kurogane doesn't respond, doesn't vocalize the questions in his mind and rolling on the tip of his tongue, but wonders at this difference between them, between the facets of Fai, like night and day - can they truly exist to mutually?

This world is one of water, and Fai's reflection can't seem to smile even when his face is curved in a wide grin, it never reaches his eyes.

"I once lost someone precious to me" - Those are the words Fai has never said, but what Kurogane knows well. He can read beyond the surface, between the lines. He notices every movement and expression of Fai's. Is slowly figuring out the lanky man who seems cheerful, and perhaps even is.

Kurogane can't help but wonder, if how deep Fai's persona goes.

And the consequences of revealing more. How deep before he drowns?

Dusk comes in shades of pink and orange and they promise of light falling from the world of water. The people are weary in this world, the daily life has weighed them down, their faces droop downwards as if held by excess gravity.

They are weary, so Fai builds magic from words. Folds animals from paper, mimes acts and makes shadow beings from outstretched fingers and flame. He brings life to them, laughter, forgetting, and joy. He teaches the children wonder, and sends them off to sleep with dreams and calmness. They forget for a moment, and then he forgets, he is the person he once was, and he truly smiles. The reflection smiles with him.

"You can use magic for them?" Kurogane asks after the performance is finished, his face half masked by shadows.

"This isn't magic, it's just sleight of hand."

The people of the water are weary, their lives war-torn through centuries. No one can remember why they're fighting, it is as accepted as breathing, as aging, growing, living. That is life, their life so they take it with as much pride as the weariness will allow.

Syaoran offers help them fight with weapons of wood, stone and his unyielding honor. Kurogane offers for the taste of blood and sweat is too faint in his memory.

Fai offers to go along for he has nothing else to do.

"No. You'll stay." Kurogane commands.

"I'm not a woman" Fai responds.

"You'd get in the way." Kurogane's voice never reaches the tone of harshness for the words. "Besides," He says, continuing on "Someone needs to protect the girl."

Fai doesn't argue, just nods and accepts it.

Fai wishes he could do more than watch Kurogane's back receding into the distance.

So they fight, for what else is there to do? They beat back another people, fight against another tribe, others who are not monsters, just other human beings. Other humans who probably can't recall the reason for fighting but have taken it on as a way of life, a fact, a certainty, a doctrine.

Syaoran kills a boy near his own age, with a face too much like his own. He never forgets that moment, the look in the boy's eyes as life left him.

Kurogane is unaffected. He was raised on battlefields, bathed in blood as a infant. To him, this is just home, displaced.

And they return, some of their rank lost, wiser and even more weary.

Sakura worries about Syaoran's wounds, although minor, she demands he sit and attends to them.

She blushes while applying ointment to his chest, he blushes perhaps more than her.

A young female villager attends to Kurogane, or at least attempts to, for he cannot keep still and often yells profanities when she attempts to remove his armor.

"I'll take care of him" Fai says smiling at Kurogane's frown.

"Ha, you're more likely to kill me than her!"

"Of course, Kurotan. But won't it be much more fun?"

"For you, maybe!"

Fai smiles, and begins to peel away Kurogane's layers of armor. Kurogane lets him, grumbling of the pain he will inflict upon Fai later.

The ointment burns against his skin, but not as much as the feeling of Fai's fingertips, far too fleeting and light.

"A kiss to make it better?" Fai says after finishing the dressing and applying of ointment.


Kurogane wakes to the sound of rustling. The idiot's up again, he thinks.

Fai often woke in the middle of the night. Insomnia, was it? Something always was on his mind. Closing his eyes, Kurogane could just make out the sound of Fai's particular gait.

"Stargazing?" Kurogane asks, a cynical tinge to his voice.

"In my world, you can read the future from certain groups of stars." Fai replies, his voice distant in memory.

"And what do they say?"

"Aaa. I don't recognize these stars." Fai says with a sad smile.

They are silent for several minutes, only broken by the sounds of night and the sounds of surprise when Kurogane presses him into the sand. Even if I drown he thinks.

Kurogane peels off the layers of clothing like an onion, rougher than intended but Fai does not complain, does not resist, despite his original surprise at the gesture.

Fai's skin is milky white in the dappled moonlight, like the white of an eye slowly going blind, losing sight.

They do not kiss, or at least in a conventional, romantic sense. Kurogane's mind boggles at what to do next, he's not a virgin, but this is a completely new his hands shake ever so slightly in a way which he hopes is not seen by the man beneath him.

He wonders if Fai has done this before, not just, 'this' but this

if he has been straddled at moonlight on a bloodstained beach by another male who prior had only said words of anger mingled with annoyance.

His clothes fall away from him, Fai's hands are deft, skilled and full of untold experience in this art. And when Fai moves to accommodate him, allows their naked bodies to touch, but not completely mesh.

Fai's breathing sounds like sobbing, something deep and held back for ages, Kurogane's hands are rough, unskilled in this venue.

Fai presses his hips to Kurogane's, wraps his legs around him, and the friction lets them be completed, forget for a while. Within this place there is only sand, the sound of waves crashing against the bloodstained shore, and the feeling of Fai's fingernails going deeper into his back.

They do not talk as they unclasp arms, legs from their entwined positions. Kurogane only tries to gather what just happened.

"It's called healing." Fai says, and for just a moment presses his forehead to the hollow of Kurogane's neck and clavicle.

"We should hurry. Morning will come soon enough and we still need to get cleaned up." The sky is already turning pale grey intermixed with pink as the light makes its way back, like an unspoken promise.

Kurogane only makes a noncommital noise and grabs Fai's hand as he makes his way to the water.

"Even if I drown" he says. And Fai understands.