Author's Notes: Spoilers up to manga chapter 125. Written before 126 came out so it's slightly AU. Sakura POV and hints of KuroFai.

Isolation

Fai has been sleeping for two days.

Sakura knows because she's been counting the hours with Mokona, making a sort of game out of lost minutes and ticking hands of time. She sits in the room next to Fai's, partly to stay out of the way, and partly because... Syaoran (she has to get use to this) likes to pace in the hall, seemingly burdened with dark thoughts. He seems to feel some guilt for their current situation and, though she knows she should, she isn't ready to talk to him. Everything's gone horribly wrong and there's nothing to do but wait.

Sakura is lonely.

Kurogane spends most of the daylight hours locked in the room with Fai. She doesn't know what he's doing in there but she does not hear raised voices so she knows the mage is not conscious. Sakura worries about Fai. She'd brought Kurogane a pitcher of water the night before and the ninja had allowed her to sit by Fai's side and hold his long fingers in hers and tell him the same stories he'd told her before she fell asleep in strange worlds. She likes to think his pinched expression had eased at her words but when Kurogane finally ordered her to bed, he still looked weak and oh-so-fragile in that big bed, blond hair spread out over the coverlet. As she'd closed the door, she saw Kurogane take her place next to the mattress, his large body curved over the side, crimson eyes never leaving Fai's pale face.

Subaru comes to sit with her the next morning.

He is a polite person, bringing her a cup of tea and smiling kindly in a way that tells her he knows she feels isolated. He is alone himself, missing his twin who Sakura still has not spoken to (he's rather scary). They sit in silence, breathing steam, until Sakura finally asks the question lodged in her throat.

"When will Fai-san wake up?"

She does not ask Will he wake up? because she does understand a little of what's happening. Mokona had told her through hiccuping tears an hour after she'd blinked her eyes open and found she could remember watching Yukito make a fountain in the desert with a wave of his hand.

Subaru sets his cup in it's dish with an almost dainty clink.

"He's been through quite a bit in a short time. He'll wake when his body has rested." He says it so calmly, his dark eyes so knowing that she's reassured. She takes another sip of tea and tries not to think of what would happen if she lost Fai. She's lost Syaoran, the Syaoran who tried so hard to get her feathers back for her though she could never quite undrestand why, and she can't bear the thought of losing one of the two people she has left. She loves Fai and his bright voice and hair. She loves Kurogane, too, but Fai is special to her. While Kurogane and Syaoran went out to fight and find memories, it was Fai that stayed and entertained her with cake mix and too much flour while Mokona giggled and made white prints on the walls.

Sakura's eyes fill suddenly with tears and she sets her teacup down before she spills it. Subaru notices and touches her arm lightly.

"Don't worry. He'll be alright, he just needs-" He's cut off by the door to Fai's room opening and closing, making both of them sit up straight as Kurogane's frame fills the doorway. He glances at Subaru before his eyes find Sakura's and he crooks a finger.

"Come and see him if you want. He's awake. For the moment, anyway." His gaze shifts back to Subaru. "I need to talk to this guy alone." Subaru stands calmly, as if he expected such a thing, and Sakura rises and slips by them. She sees... Syaoran at the end of the hall, apparently speaking with Mokona. She can't tell if the Dimensional Witch is present and she doesn't stop to look because Fai's door is cracked and she can hear sheets rustling inside as he moves.

"Sakura-chan," he says as she enters, his one blue eye looking at her gently. He smiles wearily at her and opens one hand. She hurries to his side and holds it with her own, kneeling down on the hard floor so she can look into his face.

"Fai-san," she says, tearfully, and he gives a little sigh, barely more than an exhale. One finger lifts to touch her cheek.

"Chin up, Sakura-chan. Everything will be better," he pauses to breathe, "in a couple of days." He smiles again and she can't help but smile back though she thinks her heart should be breaking. "In the meantime, I look pretty cool with this eye patch, right?" She laughs a little and hopes it doesn't sound like a sob. Fai squeezes her hand briefly even as Kurogane appears.

"Hey," he says, and the way he looks at Fai tells her it's time for her to leave. She stands but Fai doesn't let go, holding her there one more moment.

"Sakura-chan, can you look after Kuro-rin for me?" Sakura blinks but Fai isn't looking at her, his good eye is locked with Kurogane's. His expression is very serious. "He's going to need your help for awhile. Can you make sure he takes care of himself?"

"Y..Yes," she says, and nods. Fai does look at her then and she wishes she could hug him but she's afraid to try in front of Kurogane. Instead, she squeezes his hand once more and then leaves, closing the door behind her softly. She's two steps away when she hears Kurogane lock it.

Subaru is gone from the couch but she sits anyway. Candles are burning down in the corner of the room; another moment has passed.

Her tea is cold.

The End