He needed to leave.

There was no way he was staying here; not after all that had happened. It wasn't because he wanted to, God no. If he had a choice, then he would never think of leaving this cottage and all its heaven-sent inhabitants. After all, it wasn't everyday that broken drunks like him would wander around at night and instantly get themselves a family, and he was far more grateful than mere words could ever express. But he had no choice. Staying would mean hurting them all over again. Staying would mean seeing Sakura's sunshine smile, Syaoran's unwavering determination to help, Tomoyo-hime's unrelenting understanding and Kurogane's… well, Kurogane's everything. He knew that he didn't deserve their attention. After all, what had he done in exchange for everything they had given him? Nothing. Nothing but give them trouble and pain and suffering. Worst of all, he understood how much of a danger he became to them. There was no choice. He needed to leave.

His cat-like eyes stared intently at the floor. A single window was open, allowing the moon's light to enter the room in a single ray, casting a penumbra on the floor and catching the vampire's eyes. Apart from that almost non-existent source of light, his room (once Tomoyo-hime's room) was completely shrouded in darkness. Ever since he first drank Kurogane's blood, he decided it would be too much… too constricting, too suffocating to share the old room with him, especially since Kurogane knew everything now. He knew everything now, perhaps understood everything, that just being with him in the same room made Fai feel as if he were standing nude in front of him. No masks, no covers, just bare. And that was something he could never get used to. He had taken to sleeping outside so that Tomoyo-hime could have her room back, but everyone in the household protested, resulting in Kurogane literally dragging him back inside. 'No, you can't stay outside because of this and that.' But he knew with a single look what they really meant. They were afraid that he would go.

Ironic, he mused as he tore his gaze from the floor. What to do, then? Emotional pain is just as hard to deal with as physical pain, at times, even harder. He didn't want to inflict either. He didn't want to hurt them at all. Was there even a way out of this? Dying was not even an option right now. He knew he would be tracked, and Ashura-ou already knew by now with whom he was living. Dying was not an option, not yet. At first, he had wanted to, despite knowing from years before that this encounter with Ashura-ou was exactly what was waiting for him when he made the deal. But there were the others now. There were people to protect. But maybe, if he explained everything thoroughly, they might just listen to why he needed to go.

The door opened, breaking both Fai's reverie and the poignant silence that enveloped the room. He knew at once who came in just by the footsteps.


Here we go again.

For the past month since the incident, Kurogane had taken it upon himself to be responsible for Fai's every need, including his feeding. There was no choice but to offer his own blood, because the idiot was far too rigid and too idealistic to hunt for his prey. Kurogane had no qualms about his responsibility. He had accepted it the very instant he understood what the idiot had become. He wasn't bothered by anything anymore, and not even the old hatred resurfaced. All that mattered now was Fai.

"How many days has it been?" came the vampire's smooth voice.

"Five. If you don't drink now, Tomoyo-hime will worry if you collapse again."

Sighing, Fai stood and walked closer to Kurogane who was then standing by the window. Resistance was so much harder these days, what with Kurogane's persistence and his own need.

His shadow temporarily blocking the moon's reflection on the floor, he inched closer, closer, to Kurogane until their bodies touched. His right hand held Kurogane's face tenderly, as his other hand placed itself on Kurogane's shoulder. Kurogane, in return, bent his head low so that the other could reach him. Sinking his fangs into the taller slayer's neck, he felt the pulse with every sip, felt the warmth that emanated within his body, and felt the life envelop his being. Kurogane was warm, too warm, and he felt everything surge at once as soon as the blood touched his lips. He closed his eyes as he succumbed to the sensation that feeding gave and sinking his fangs a little deeper, he felt Kurogane's head rest on his shoulder, his hand holding unto the thin fabric that was Fai's tunic.

More. He needed more.

He needed blood, warmth, life, Kurogane…

Kurogane's head shot up as he felt Fai break away from him, quickly wiping the blood that still trailed from his lips. His eyebrows furrowed at the sudden movement, and Fai turned his back to him.

"Don't tell me that's it. That's barely even enough." Kurogane reprimanded.


"You what?"

Fai faced him, his face totally shadowed that Kurogane found it hard to read his eyes. Eyebrows furrowing even more, Kurogane closed the gap between them so that he was towering over Fai.

"I could have taken too much if I continued. I could have killed you."

"You've been drinking from me for a while now and you haven't done me any harm. You know that will never happen."

"Who says so?"

"I say so."


"How come I am still not a vampire even if you drink from me?" The question was sudden, as if betraying Kurogane's thoughts. He had been banking on it the first time he gave Fai his blood, but so far nothing has happened.

"Because I do not want you to be one."

"It is a choice?"


Something was odd today, Kurogane thought. It amused him though, that Fai was actually answering his questions.

"Why do you keep lying to me?"

"I do not lie to you, Kurogane."

"Then what are you doing? I can't pretend anymore, Yuui."

"Omission does not equate lying, Kurogane."

Annoyed by the answer, Kurogane gripped Fai's arm tightly. Knowing things without talking about them was futile. He wanted to understand.

"Why did you make that deal with Ashura?"

"You saw it. I needed to save Fai. I was tired. I didn't want to fight anymore."

"Why do you have to keep playing the martyr, you idiot?!"

"I don't want to fight anymore."

That was right, Kurogane knew it all along. But having Fai admit what was true was altogether a different thing. He released his grip on the other gently. Having this conversation, having him answer all the things Kurogane wanted to know despite his answers' ambiguity, Kurogane believed that something could change. Fai could trust him now.

"I have to leave Kurogane."

"Like hell."

Fai sighed. Was there even a point in talking to him? He walked closer to the windows and opened them one by one. There was a fireworks display outside. He had almost forgotten that it was New Year's Eve. New Year's. So much had changed in just a year.

"I need to. Ashura-ou will come back to claim me. My absence will keep you all safe."

"No, he won't."

"He won't what?"

"Come back to claim you."

"But he will. The deal, remember?"

Kurogane stepped forward, stopping close enough to stand by Fai's side.

"I don't care about the damn deal. I'll break it for all it's worth. No one will claim you because you're mine alone."

For a whole minute or so, neither spoke. Only the fireworks' noises outside and the others' cheers of celebration from the dining room broke the otherwise utter silence.

"Kuro-sama?" Fai whispered, a hint of mischief bordering his smile.


"I love you."

A silent grunt came as a reply. Fai smiled; he knew what that meant of course. Typical Kuro-sama.


A huge, warm hand groped for a slender, colder one in the darkness. Finding it, the large hand took it in his, intertwining their fingers, locking them tightly together.

It fitted there perfectly.

A/N: Woooh. How was everyone's New Year? This was supposed to be a New Year's fic (really!), but it came out a few days late. Honestly though, I am now having a hard time with this fic. It's turning out to be longer than I planned it to be. And errr.. I don't know. Comments, guys! They really help. 