(A/N) For those of you reading La Belle Au Bois Dormant, don't worry. An update is coming. I just had to write this little one shot. You know, I think this is actually the first one shot I've ever written. OMG! Well, the thing here is that I read the myth of Izanagi and Izanami and it sort of reminded me of Kurogane and Fai. I haven't followed the story to the letter, but that's what this is based on for anyone who happens to be familiar with it. My choir had to perform at a church last Sunday and I actually wrote most of the story out during the sermon. Tee-hee.
Warnings: Kurofaiyaoi to the extreme. Need I say more? I have read up to chapter 187, so there are potential spoilers up to that point. Any potential OOCness on the part of our angsty duo is the fault of this imperfect authoress.
Disclaimer: Uh…duh! Hope you enjoy.
Izanagi And Izanami
That first night back in Nihon, Kurogane dreamt of his mother. He didn't know why. He hadn't dreamt of her in so long. Not since…since before he had been sent away, really.
The miko was sitting at a windowsill with her young son snuggled up in her lap. It was late and there was no moon out. She was starting to get worried. Her husband was out on an inspection of the boarders of Suwa and he was due back that afternoon. Still nothing. Youou had insisted on being allowed to stay up and wait for his father. She'd allowed it. She was glad of the company, after all.
"Mama, will you tell me a story?" the little boy asked sleepily.
"What story would you like to hear, my little hawk?"
"Iznagi and Iznami," he said without hesitation.
The priestess smiled warmly and shook her head slightly at her son's mispronunciation of the names, but launched into the story anyway.
"A long, long time ago, when the heavens were new, there was no land. So the gods called Izanagi and Izanami to them and charged them with the creation of the land."
"My wish…" the two strangers began together.
"…is to return to the land I came from," Kurogane finished.
"…is to never return to the land I came from," Fai finished. The two glanced sideways at each other, each sizing the other up.
"I cannot grant each of your wishes individually," the Time-Space Witch explained. "The price would be far greater than you could ever pay. In order to have your wishes fulfilled, you must travel to different worlds."
"In order to do this, the gods granted Izanagi and Izanami the Spear of Heaven. Together, the two carried the spear to Heaven's Bridge."
"Mokona will act as a guide and companion on your journey," Yuuko said as she held the white creature out toward them.
"Together, the god and goddess stood on the edge of nothing and plunged the great spear into the darkened waters of Earth, bringing forth the sacred island."
"Mmph…Kuro-chuu, please," the mage begged as the ninja thrust into him again and again. "I'm…I'm going to…the children might hear-"
"Bit late for that," Kurogane muttered against his slender, sweating neck as he increased his speed.
Fai clutched desperately at the headboard of the bed and buried his face in the soft pillow, half-screaming as he came. Kurogane continued his violent movements, seeking his own release.
"Mage!" he cried out as the orgasm swept through him. He bit down on Fai's neck to prevent any more sound. He tasted blood after a bit but Fai did not protest. For the longest time, the two lay together on the bed, sated and sweating. After a while, Fai started to survey the "fruits" of their activities.
"Naughty Big Puppy made Big Kitty make a mess," he whined, taking Kurogane's hand and running it through his spilt seed. "He'll have to do the laundry tomorrow."
"Like hell, I will," the ninja grumbled, seizing Fai's head and turning him so he could place a rough kiss on his lips.
"What? Would you rather Sakura-chan did the laundry? If so, I'm not going to explain to her what it is that she's washing off of your sheets."
Kurogane was suddenly grateful for the darkness that hid his heated blush from his lover. "Fine," he hissed. But then he seized Fai and flipped them so that the mage was straddling his hips.
"What are you doing, naughty puppy?" the magician asked coyly.
"If you're going to make me clean this up, you might as well help me contribute something to it."
Fai shivered with pleasure as he slowly crawled down Kurogane's body.
"Fai-kitty likes it when his Kuro-puppy talks dirty."
"On this island, Izanagi and Izanami made their home. Izanami brought forth many islands and many other beautiful children. They built a huge palace and lived happily together for many years."
When did it happen?
The ninja and the mage constantly asked themselves that question. When had everything changed?
Kurogane's wish was to return to Nihon…to return home. It was the reason why he could keep going. But…something was different now. He could no longer picture his home clearly in his mind's eye…because Fai was not there. Damn that mage to hell! He had completely destroyed his perceptions! He could no longer picture his own life without Fai in it. He was an idiot, a liar, a fool, a coward, and he had absolutely no respect for his own existence! He was a million unpleasant adjectives. He was everything Kurogane hated, and yet he still wanted him in his life.
"Come with me," he had once said to Fai in the country of Recort. He had told. He did not ask.
"What?" he'd whispered, no false smile, no lying eyes…just pure, utter shock.
"You heard me," he'd said, already angry. Angry with Fai for being the cause of all this and angry with himself for even saying anything. "You don't want to return to your own country…so stay in mine. When we reach Nihon…stay with me."
Fai had said…nothing. He did not even decry the impossibility of the request. The two of them sat in absolute silence for hours afterward, Kurogane knowing that he would wait forever if he had to, Fai hoping to drive him away with his silence.
He'd wanted to say yes. God, but he'd wanted to say yes. He'd wanted to throw himself into the swordsman's arms and cry, "Yes! Yes, I'll go home with you! I'll tell you everything! I'll never lie to you again! Please…take my pain away. Let me stay by your side forever! Let me…love you. I don't want to go back in the dark!"
But he'd said…nothing.
It was a strange feeling to him, for someone to want him. Not to want him dead or to use him as a pawn, but to truly want him…simply for him. No one had ever wanted him, not really. No one except Fai, and Fai was dead. He'd killed him. Ever since that day, he'd been longing for death…to return life to his beloved twin and receive the nothingness that was his just reward for slaying his other half. When Ashura's true intentions had been revealed and the quest had begun, he had thought, "Finally. The game is up. The life I stole can be given to its rightful owner and I can die…like I should have all those years ago." But…things had changed. Without meaning to, he'd become a part of the little family. He'd become attached, and…for the first time in so long, he didn't want to die. He had something that he would miss…and someone who might miss him. He had a place to call home now. Wherever Kurogane was…that was home. Kurogane made him…want to live.
But, deep down, he'd always known that he had no right to live. Each breath he took was a lie. He was running on borrowed time…stolen time.
So he'd said…nothing.
Then they'd arrived in Tokyo.
"Izanagi and Izanami loved each other very much. But sadly, Izanami eventually died in childbirth."
Once again, Fai had failed. He had tried to prevent the seal on Syaoran's eye from being broken, but he'd failed. The real Syaoran would come soon and their Syaoran would lose his heart. Everything was falling apart around him…again. He'd failed his family. He'd failed them as their "Fai-mommy". He'd failed Syaoran and Sakura and Mokona…and Kurogane. The boy who was like a son to them…they were losing him. And now he was helpless in his grasp. He could see his end in those unfeeling mahogany eyes.
"In order to get the feathers back," the clone mused, tracing sure fingers up Fai's trembling cheek. "I may need this."
Fai only had a moment to be truly afraid before those uncaring fingers plunged directly into his head. A scream was torn from his throat as pain lanced through his skull. His battered body writhed in agony as Syaoran tore his blue eye right out of its socket.
This is it, he thought as he listened to the clone chew on the eye. The end…Oddly enough, as his world went black, Fai felt something that he had not expected to feel…a small flicker of regret; regret that he would not be able to see their faces…see Kurogane's face, ever again, regret that they had not had more time. The ache in his chest was so intense it surprised him. It almost over road the pain in his head. For a moment, his desire to gaze into red eyes once more almost overshadowed his desire for death…almost. He could at least take comfort in knowing that he had died trying to protect them, protect him, from the awful truth of their situation.
But, as darkness closed in around him, Fai could have sworn that he heard a voice crying out. Kurogane?
"Izanagi was so grief-stricken at Izanami's death that he could not bring himself to believe that she was really gone forever. So he ventured to the Yomi, the dark underworld, to bring her back to the light."
"Hold out your arm," Kamui ordered softly as he sliced his wrist open. Kurogane did as he was asked and Kamui sliced his arm open as well. He held Fai's head up and the two allowed their mingled blood to dribble into the dying mage's mouth.
I won't let you die, mage. I won't
"But Izanami did not want to come back. The darkness of Yomi had consumed the goddess and made her its own. Izanagi tried to pull her back but she chased him out of Yomi. Izanami vowed to hate him for all eternity."
"I hate you, Kurogane," Fai said quietly as the ninja held out his bleeding arm.
"I love you, Fai," Kurogane returned just as softly, the dispassionate look on his face remaining unchanged. It was always like this. The words had almost ceased to have any meaning. Fai hated Kurogane. The ninja was aware of it. But, at the same time, he knew that it was another lie. The love that he had followed ever since Yama was still there. He knew it was. Kurogane loved Fai…and the mage knew that he loved him in return. After a lifetime of running, he had come up against something that he could not run from. Kurogane would not let him. But hey, that was fine by him. If Kurogane wouldn't let him escape, he wouldn't give him what he wanted either.
"Do you? Do you really?" Fai queried derisively as he batted the arm away. "If you cared for me at all, you would have let me die. You don't know what love is, Kurogane."
Kurogane just shook his head. "I don't know what love is? Not letting someone I care about die? I'm such a heartless bastard," he said sarcastically.
"It was my time."
"It wasn't. Maybe you're right. Maybe I don't know anything about love. I'm a selfish, possessive fool and I wanted to keep you here. I didn't want you to die!"
"You don't understand-"
"Of course I don't understand," he interrupted harshly. "You won't let me. Do you want me to understand? Do you want me to stay away from you? I might have believed that if we'd stopped fucking after we left Yama, but we didn't. You never said, "Stop". You said, "Hold me"! What was I supposed to think? Stop acting like a child and figure out what you want!"
"It was just sex, damn you! Don't tell me that you actually thought I cared about you!"
"You're lying again," Kurogane shot back. "You can't keep secrets from me."
Fai said nothing. What do I want? He thought bitterly. I thought I wanted to be dead. I deserved to be dead! But you had to come along and spoil that, didn't you? What do I want, Kurogane? I want you!
"But that can never be, can it?" he whispered wistfully.
"I hate you!" he hissed violently, falling back on the old litany.
"You don't," Kurogane said forcefully as he pressed his open wrist to Fai's lips. He would have fought but the vampire in him could not resist the call of Kurogane's blood. He greedily began to drain away the liquid that sustained them both.
"Izanami swore to Izanagi that she would kill 1,000 of his people everyday."
A thought struck Fai as he fed. The vampire was half-drunk on the sweet wine that was Kurogane, so it probably wasn't the best idea. But after Kurogane's tongue lashing, he was feeling petulant. He raised his face from the wound but kept his hold on the limb. He gazed steadily up at the ninja's stoic face.
"I'm going to kill you," he said in a serpent-like voice. "I'll drain your blood dry."
Kurogane said nothing as the incensed Fai went about his work. He did nothing to stop the loss of blood. He stood by and allowed Fai to drink his life away. After a while, his skin began to turn ashen and he dropped to his knees. The mighty warrior could not have resisted Fai even if he'd wanted to.
"You want to kill me?" he whispered through pale lips. "Go ahead and kill me. I won't stop you."
Fai did not stop until Kurogane fell to the floor, unconscious. The sound of his body hitting the floor instantly snapped Fai out of his blood lust. He saw Kurogane lying, unmoving, on the floor, and dropped to his knees beside him. With shaking hands, he turned the ninja onto his back, seeking the beat of blood in his neck.
I didn't take that much, did I? I…I couldn't have!
"Kurogane?" he whispered urgently, shaking the unresponsive swordsman. The whisper quickly turned into a scream. "KUROGANE!"
"Don't you dare die on me, you goddamn fool!" he screamed, grateful that the kids weren't around to hear this. Mokona had insisted that all the children go grocery shopping together.
Finally, blessedly, Fai detected the faint flutter of a pulse. Since he was not conscious to know it, Fai took a chance and hugged him.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled as he lifted the large man into his arms and carried him to their bed. Then he left to get food and water.
"In return, Izanagi swore to her that he would create 1,500 people everyday."
"Aren't you afraid?" Fai asked coldly as he pressed a strawberry to Kurogane's lips "Afraid that I really will kill you one day?"
Kurogane shook his head as he chewed on the offered food. Normally he wouldn't eat something so sweet, but he was in no fit state to refuse food. Fai was sitting against the headboard of their bed with Kurogane's head in his lap. The intimate pose brought to mind happier times for the pair, but things were very different now. It hurt Kurogane that Fai would not look at him as he fed him and gave him small sips of water. It was the tender act of a lover, but there was no warmth in the mage as he mechanically went through the motions of pulling the ninja back from the grave. Fai had deluded himself into thinking that Kurogane wouldn't be lying here with him if he had the strength to stand. His skin was still deathly pale and his limbs shook whenever he tried to move. It would take him a few days to fully recover. Even though he didn't want Fai to see just how helpless he was, there was nowhere else he would rather be.
"I'm not afraid to die," he said softly as he closed his eyes. Fai pressed another strawberry to his lips and he opened his mouth to receive it.
"And yet you hate people who would welcome death?" Fai asked contemptuously as he trickled some water down the warrior's throat.
"You're getting confused, wizard. I said I'm not afraid of death. Doesn't mean I won't make the bastard work for it." Kurogane fell silent for a while, allowing Fai to feed him like a child who couldn't handle a pair of chopsticks. But after a bit, he opened his eyes and stared up at the mage. His lips did not move, but his eyes clearly asked…
Fai continued to mindlessly feed Kurogane the strawberries, but the lost, scared child within him was sobbing helplessly.
I wish I could tell you! I wish I could tell you everything! But…
But he didn't think he could stand to see the horror and disgust in those perfect red eyes. He couldn't stand to watch the man he loved turn from him when he learned what he really was. No. He could not bear that. He kept telling himself that he hated Kurogane and that he could never forgive him for saving his life. But he knew it wasn't true. The person he was really angry at…the one whom he could never forgive…was himself.
"Every time you open your veins to me, you're laying your neck on the executioner's block," Fai warned, reaching into the bowl and discovering that there were no more strawberries left. "Someday I may not be able to stop it."
Kurogane just rolled his eyes before closing them again. He was fast losing his grip on consciousness. In the morning, he knew that they would be right back to the silence and the anger and the lies. He had to try and get through to Fai now while he was at least being partially truthful.
"Idiot," he mumbled sleepily. "There'll always be more blood. There'll always be enough for both of us."
"Why does the story have ta end so sad?" the boy asked, now wide awake.
"If it's so sad, why do you keep asking me to tell it?" the priestess asked her son.
"I dunno," he said, clinging tightly to his mother and nestling his head in her chest. "I guess…I wanna know how the story really ends."
"Maybe Izanami forgives Izanami and they both live happily together," she suggested with a smile.
"Though, speaking of living happily together, look who's riding up now."
The two glanced out into the courtyard and saw a small company of horsemen riding in. At the head of the group was-
"Papa!" the boy shouted, leaping out of his mother's lap and bounding out of her room. The miko rose gracefully to her feet, containing her joy though she was just as excited as her child.
"Welcome home," she called out to him, giggling softly as she watched a small black blur dart into the courtyard and leap into her husband's arms.
Kurogane started awake, the horsy scent of his father still heavy in his nose. It took him a moment to remember that he was in Shirasagi Castle and not Suwa. As he lay awake in his futon, a million thoughts raced through his sleep-addled brains. He'd been away from Nihon for a long time. He'd lost two swords…not to mention an arm. He'd learned the real reason why his life had been turned upside down.
He was in love.
As he gazed contentedly down at the head of blonde hair that rested on his chest, he remembered his mother's old tale. He knew how the story ended now. It didn't have to be sad. Fai had come back. He had pulled his beautiful Izanami back from the jaws of Yomi…and he would not lose him again.
"My Izanami," he whispered into the mage's hair, pulling him closer with his single arm.
"Mm…did you say something, Kuro-sama?" Fai mumbled sleepily as he glanced up at the ninja. His single blue eye was clouded with sleep.
"It's nothing," he said gruffly. "You can go back to sleep."
"I'm glad…you're all right," he said tenderly as he laid his head back down on his chest and wrapped his arms even tighter around him, as if he were afraid that if he let go he would lose him to the darkness. It was a little uncomfortable, but he was willing to accommodate. He could understand Fai's fear, after all.
"Ditto…Fai," he said soothingly as he tangled his fingers in the shorter man's silken hair. As he listened to Fai's breathing return to the steady rhythm of sleep, he mulled over how strangely right everything was. It shouldn't have been. The universe was being turned end over end all around them, and yet…he had never felt more right than he did lying beside Fai, holding him in his arms. Wherever they made their bed…that was home to him.
"Heh. "Our" bed," he chuckled to himself. What were they? Married? They may as well have been. They had shared a bed in the truest sense for the longest time now. They had known each other even before Yama, but it was in Yama that the bed had become theirs in a much deeper sense than that they both slept in it. They had forged their own bed. Even in the darkness of Infinity, the bed they shared had not ceased to be theirs. No matter how much distance Fai tried to put between them, he had never been able to bring himself to stop sleeping with Kurogane. The lovemaking had never been pleasant. In fact, it had been downright violent…but it had never stopped. And now they were right back where they should be…lying wrapped up in each other's arms in his futon…in their bed. From now on, no matter what befell them, they would make their bed together.
"Sleep well," he whispered to the sleeping magician, kissing the top of his head before drifting back to sleep himself.
Izanagi and Izanami did meet again after all.
They would always meet.
(A/N) So what did you think? Like? Hate? Somewhere in the middle? Should I forget this one shot business and stick to faerie tales? I'm almost tempted to write a longer story dealing with some of the things I introduced here. Meh, maybe once the final battle's gotten a little farther a long and we know what Fei Wang's deal really is. I'm just going to stop talking now. Hope you enjoyed the story.