A/N: Written for a LiveJournal 10 whores community challenge. The prompt for this one was 'look to the sky'.

Warnings: Worksafe, save for one small kiss.

Disclaimer: I disclaim. Go bow down to CLAMP for the characters.

Better place

She always looked so happy that it gave him some sort of a hope to see a better world one day. She did not dwell on the bad things, instead choosing to move on and take every day as it came. She could find many small pleasures in almost everything she did, but when they had to face the other seven... her face became a mask of grim determination and she was smiling no more. Her eyes shone with something he could not name even though he had seen it so many times in his sister's eyes and in the eyes of those countless people whom he had met while working as an onmyouji on call.

Subaru often wondered if that strange expression was a certain sense of fatality, a knowledge that nothing could be changed no matter how hard they tried, and that the outcome might not live up to their expectations. He never asked though. He had too many unanswered questions already and doubted anyone he knew could provide answers.

He did not question her; he never had. And on the only occasion she had collapsed against him in search of someone's shoulder to lean on, too grief-stricken and insecure about what the future held for all of them, Subaru had allowed himself to embrace her. Yuzuriha was strong, he knew it, but even the strongest of people sometimes broke down. She had just lost Inuki, the night was long and dark, and despair was lingering in the air like a foreboding and almost tangible haze.

She had pressed closer to him, shaking hands caught between their bodies and hot tears soaking his white shirt, but he did not care. It was irrelevant. He did not have to whisper reassuring nonsense to her, and she had not come to plead for a chance to see the old spirit dog for one last time.




All preordained.

And they were just playing along with the music of some unknown great composer, stopping and stalling, and then jumping back in at the appropriate time. They cheered and lamented like well-tuned musical instruments, and one by one fell silent until a duet would remain. After that, there was the unknown. There was the silence and emptiness of that dreaded moment when music ceased and the world skipped a heartbeat.

But right now Yuzuriha was there and Subaru was there, and she had finally stopped crying, but he was still not letting go. And then it happened. She looked up at him, he leaned his head down to make sure she was all right, and somewhere in-between their lips met. A light touch, breath against breath, eyes wide open and void of emotion. It was over as soon as it had started. Meeting and separating, sharing a touch in the middle of infinity only to have it swept away in the tides of time.

Neither of them had backed away first, neither tried to pull away. They stood motionless for what seemed to be hours, their expressions calm and serious. When they finally parted, the sun had already risen. Both Seals had spent the remaining part of the night outside on the roof, sitting side by side and looking up at the sky as it lit up. Not a single word had been exchanged between them, eyes and hearts speaking louder and clearer in silence. And for a while, the world had seemed to be a better place to live in.