A/N: YAY! AN UPDATE! You thought it was over, didn't you. 6.U Well, shows what you know. Anywhose, HERE WE BE! New installment! I'm sorry! I'm hyper!! A little anxious, but very hyper! -does a jig- This is the last week of school for me! Friday is OFFICIALLY the first day of SUMMER!! WHOOOOOOO!!

...I hope I don't fail finals...-pale- GODDAMMIT! I HAVEN'T DONE MY ART SHIT YET!! -runs around screaming- I'll be screwed if I don't get that turned in tomorrow!!

Oh well. I got new manga.

Three -

Dream a Dream

:Flashback:

Kurogane caught him and jumped back in time to avoid a painful encounter with a poison stinger. "Mage," he said, never taking his eyes off the demon scorpion, "are you okay?" He got no response, which worried him. When he got a safe distance away from the approaching demon, he risked a glance down. The wizard was shivering uncontrollably, heavy-lidded eyes half-open and unseeing, his face flushed; he was clenching Kurogane's arm tight enough to draw blood, breaths coming in short wheezes. This alone was enough to get the point across to the ninja; he was in agony.

Kurogane hissed, crimson eyes flashing as they fell upon the demon that had hurt him. He drew his sword, channeling his chi into it for a final attack. He prayed that Mokona and the children were safely out of range in their pursuit of the feather, and let his attack fly.

When he got the blond home, the children hadn't returned. Kurogane wasn't worried; he knew Syaoran would keep the princess safe from harm. He laid Fye out on the couch, covering him with his thick white coat. He left for a moment, trying to drown out the sounds of Fye's weak struggles for breath, and returned with a damp rag and some medication Fye had demanded be bought several days prior.

Brilliant blue eyes met and held his, and Fye said softly, "Medicine won't be necessary, Kuro-chuu." He smiled. "The magic in me prevents and disease or poison from spreading, and will eventually iliminate it." His voice was hoarse, and his face was feverish.

Kurogane frowned at him. "But medicine will help with the pain before then."

Fye smiled again. "What pain?"

"Don't start that," Kurogane snarled softly.

Fye blinked once. "Really--I'm not in pain. What would make you...Oh," he smiled, realizing. "I see." He sat up slowly and Kurogane quickly braced him gently. "The villagers told us that the demons were poisonous, but Syaoran-kun didn't care because what made the scorpions demons was the feather in the forest." Kurogane knew all this, and wondered why the mage was telling him--and why he was speaking at all and not resting. The blond said, "But when you and Syaoran-kun rushed off to scout about, the woman told Sakura-chan and I more about it." He tapped a finger to his forehead. "The poison affects your mind, really; your body feels the symptoms as well, but mainly what the poison does--it's more of a virus really--is rush inside your thoughts and memories to weave the most horrifying dream you could ever imagine, based on what it learns about you. What the body feels is almost nothing in comparison." He touched a finger lightly to Kurogane's nose. "So no more worries, Kuro-chii. I'm just fine."

Kurogane scowled. "And the dream?"

Fye's smile was a bit forced this time. "Well, even if one manages to somehow get the poison out--it's possible for me, because of my magic--the virus will remain; and once it's seen your mind, even if it dies, it's imprint will remain there forever. Meaning, basically, that the dream will be a reoccurring one." His smile faded slightly, his eyes hardening. Quietly, "And even if I used my magic, there's no way for me to get rid of it."

It must have been bad if Fye had actually thought about magic as a remedy. Kurogane didn't like the thought of something so horrible and irreversible befalling his magician. He asked him, "What was your dream about?" and regretted it almost instantly. He could see Fye's gaze change as his mind rushed back to the memory of that nightmare; he could see, to his utter mortification, tears begin to swim in the wizard's wide, horror-filled eyes. That agony from the moment the poison reached his bloodstream was back in his expression, and he was choking back sobs, clenching the couch tightly as though searching for support.

Kurogane knelt in front of the couch to wrap his arms around the mage's shoulders; the mage only continued to shake with repressed sobs, clutching at his arms, blind with fear. "Fye," he said quickly, "it's alright. You're alright." He tipped the blond's chin up, searching that blue gaze for any signs of coherence. "Fye?"

All at once, the smaller man was burying his face in Kurogane's chest, clenching the back of his shirt in tight fists, sobbing, "Please don't die!"

And Kurogane knew what his dream had been about. He clenched his teeth, hating being so useless now when he needed to be strong for his mage, and disentangled himself from the latter enough so that he could lean down to kiss him; Fye had always said his kisses were magical, because he never did anything halfway. To his relief, he felt Fye relax ever-so-slowly in his hold, sobs reduced to shuddering breaths as he gradually got back in control of himself.

Soon he lifted his head, eyes closed, and said cheerfully, "I'm sorry I lost it like that, Kuro--" but the rest of his words were cut off when Kurogane leaned down to kiss his lips again, softly. After a moment, Fye pulled back to stare at him, looking lost. His lips parted and he said, "You're not going to leave me, are you?" Fye's arms tightened around him, trust in his eyes. "You won't, will you?"

"Che." Kurogane stood and shifted Fye over, so he could sit next to him. Then he put an arm around Fye's shoulders and pulled him over; the blond was startled but didn't struggle, choosing to instead lay against the ninja and gaze up at him, weaving their fingers together. "That's a stupid question."

Fye smiled. "Will you answer it anyway?"

Kurogane rolled his eyes and leaned down to kiss the mage's forehead. "I'll never leave you, no matter how much I may want to."

"Waaa, Kuro-tan's cruel!"

:End Flashback:

--

Kurogane frowned. Where was he? He glanced around and found his comrades. He started towards them, opening his mouth, but paused.

They sat in the first row of several rows of chairs, facing the front of the room. Syaoran's arms were around a sobbing Sakura; tears streaked his face, but he didn't make a sound as he sheilded the princess from whatever it was that had so upset them. Mokona was wailing from where it sat in Fye's lap, covering its eyes with its round little paws, its ears flat against its head. Kurogane checked Fye's expression to gauge how bad the situation was and realized it had to have been really bad.

The magician's eyes were void of their usual animation, dull and colorless. They were fixed on the long black casket at the front of the room, and Kurogane realized he was at a viewing. He wanted to see whose death it was that had taken such a toll on his comrades, but couldn't tear his eyes from the sight of those silent tears falling down Fye's emotionless face. He was as still as stone, receiving no comfort and offering none.


Kurogane reached forward, loathe to see his mage cry; his gentle fingers met Fye's face, but Fye didn't seem to feel him. Nor did he see him; that gaze went straight on through the ninja. Frowning, the swordsman turned and made his way to the front of the room. Peering into the casket, he was startled to find himself lying there on the white silk.

What? He looked back at his friends; Fye stood suddenly, Mokona falling out of his lap. He walked forward to the casket and gazed down at its inhabitant. After several long moments, those perfect lips parted and Kurogane heard his almost inaudible whisper:

"You said you'd never leave."

Kurogane's eyes shot open, and he sat upright quickly. A nightmare? he thought incredulously, bringing a hand to his face to brush the sweat off his brow. I haven't had a one in years--at least, not one bad enough to wake me up in the middle of the night.

Soft fingers were suddenly brushing his cheek, and he glanced down. Fye, who'd been curled into a ball under the blankets, was sitting up as well, rubbing his eyes with the hand that wasn't drawing Kurogane's face toward him. Kurogane cursed inwardly; he'd learned before that once Fye woke up, no matter what time it was, there was no getting him back to sleep. "Did you have a bad dream, Kuro-tan?" he murmured sleepily.

"I'm fine," he said with no conviction. "Just go back to sleep."

Fye smiled, stretching. "Nah, I'm awake now. I'll go read or something until it's time to start breakfast." He flopped back onto his pillows, before rolling forward and sitting up. Kurogane slid an arm around his waist and pulled him back, bringing his other arm around him as well. Fye didn't struggle as the swordsman held him against his chest, rather tipped his head up to smile at him.

"You don't get enough sleep," Kurogane said quietly.

"You're not one to talk, Kuro-pii," Fye chided lightly in a sing-song voice. He leaned his face up to plant a gossamer kiss on his lover's cheek. He felt Kurogane's irritation, and decided it best to add, "I'll lay back down if you do."

Kurogane thought about agreeing, but knew better; he would stay awake to dissect the dream, and Fye would notice this and get restless again. Instead, he simply sighed and said, "Fine." He was rewarded with a another light kiss on the cheek, before Fye trotted lightly from the room, showing no signs of weariness. Kurogane watched him go silently, thinking back to the only haunting words his dream had offered:

"You said you'd never leave."

--

"Hyuu!" The magician cheered, gracefully avoiding a blow that, had it struck, might've rendered him breathless. "Aha, we're pretty outnumbered!" His voice was cheerful and he held a giggling Mokona in his arms; the creatures attacking them snarled, enraged that the man thought the situation little more than a game, and attacked with more ferocity.

Dodging lithely, Fye called over, "Syaoran-kun! Do you think perhaps you could grab the feather while Kuro-ruu and I play with the puppies?"

Kurogane watched Syaoran dash off with Sakura in tow, and focused his attention once more on Fye; truth be told, he was worried. The bubbly blond's movements may have seemed lively, but he was lacking the normal energy he had. His lifestyle would destroy him; he ate like a bird, if at all, and seemed to have chronic insomnia--he put too much strain on himself in all those jumps and flips and that dancing and running around. His body was suffering, and Kurogane was worried about when it might shut down on him. He slashed a few of the strange wolf-demons away (they were guarding their territory, in which the feather had fallen) and spun to catch another in the jaw with the hilt.

"Fye?!" Mokona's shrill cry made Kurogane whip around instantly; Fye'd taken a hit, merely a light graze--he seemed to be, however, disoriented. He stumbled and reached out for something to brace himself on, finding nothing. The demons took this time to attack.

Kurogane cursed, and made his way over to the mage. He raised his sword, eying the demons warily, before he reached down with one arm to scoop the magician into his hold. The latter fussed for a moment, before he simply fell still; which scared a certain ninja, to say the least. Setting Fye down behind him, he spun around in the same motion, unsheathing his sword. "Shou-ryuu-sen!" he shouted, swinging it around with borrowed momentum. The demons that could stand afterwards immediately turned tail and fled, leaving the wounded to fend for themselves. Kurogane stared disdainfully after them; demons or no, a wolf was supposed to stay with injured members of its pack.

"You said you'd never leave."

The words resurfaced in his mind and he scowled, trying to clear it. He heard Fye laughing behind him, and turned in time to see a relieved Mokona nuzzle into Fye's face, and Fye smile gently at it. Fye glanced at him over Mokona and smiled. "I'm sorry, Kuro-tan, I got in the way, didn't I?"

If Mokona hadn't been there, Kurogane might've punched him. Maybe. "Can you stand?"

Fye seemed to think this was hilarious. "I'm not sure, really," he giggled, and Mokona did, too. Kurogane couldn't find the humor. The blond recovered though, and stood, albeit slowly, and cheered, "Let's go find Syaoran-kun and Sakura-chan!"

Mokona answered with an equally enthusiastic, "Let's go, let's go!"

Kurogane watched Fye trot off with the white bundle nestled in his arms, favoring his left foot to cover a limp; he heard Fye's vague, "Now, which way'd they go, I wonder...?" and Mokona's responding, "Mekkyo!--They went that way!" He heard Fye complimenting the little thing as he started in that direction, then saw him turn around and smile, eyes carefully guarded to hide pain.

"Kuro-wan-wan, are you coming?"

--

"But Kuro-sama," Fye objected, looking puzzled, "I'm not tired."

"Does it look like I care?"

Fye pouted. "It never does." And then he blinked, before crawling over the pillows seperating them and into his lap, peering into his face. "I didn't mean that." He was lifted away, back to his side of the bed.

"I know that. Now sleep." Kurogane's voice was unyielding.

"I can't sleep just because you tell me to!" the mage protested, crossing his arms.

Kurogane rolled his eyes, and reached a hand over to stroke at Fye's hair. About an hour later, after much fuss, Fye eventually burrowed down into the blankets and sighed deeply, lost in his dreams once more. Kurogane watched him sleep, thinking vaguely how similar his sleeping face was to his waking one. A carefully careless expression, a borrowed smile. He thought about those, precious, precious smiles Fye would share with him and only him. Those soft, smiling kisses, and that precious smile.

"Mmm..." Fye tossed around suddenly, frowning. "Nn...Don't...Ashura-ou..." Kurogane frowned; Fye had never talked in his sleep before... "Leave...leave him alone...No! NO!" Startled, Kurogane crawled over to the mage, unsure what to do. Fye's expression was one of absolute horror now--

"Well, even if one manages to somehow get the poison out--it's possible for me, because of my magic--the virus will remain; and once it's seen your mind, even if it dies, it's imprint will remain there forever. Meaning, basically, that the dream will be a reoccurring one."

Kurogane realized in that moment just why exactly Fye didn't sleep.

"Kurogane!" the mage was screaming now, "KUROGANE! Don't go!" His hands clenched into fists, and he trembled, sobbing, "Don't leave me alone, Kurogane, please...Please don't go..." He couldn't wake himself up; he was lost to his sorrow, to his fear. Kurogane clenched his teeth, at a loss--but he couldn't allow this for much longer. He put a hand on either side of the mage's head to lean over him, face mere inches from the blond's.

"Don't be an idiot," Kurogane said quietly, kissing the blond's forehead, his nose, his eyes. "I promised you, didn't I?" He was rewarded when Fye's sobs faded to whimpers, his brow slowly easing out; his body relaxed and he sighed in his sleep, a sigh of relief.

"Yes," he muttered, "Ashuro-ou, Kuro-chii promised...Come back...again...tomor...row..." And he drifted into a deeper sleep. Kurogane exhaled deeply, moving off him back over to his side of the bed. He heard knock on the door, and said, "Come in."

The door swung open to admit a meek Syaoran holding a flustered Mokona. "I'm sorry, Kurogane-san," he said quickly, "but Mokona said that Fye was--"

"That damn mage is fine," the ninja said throwing his magazine onto the bedside table. "Get some rest, kid--you too, Whitey."

Syaoran nodded earnestly, "Hai." And as he pulled the door shut, Kurogane heard Mokona's mumbled, "But I know I felt it..."

--

Kurogane frowned. Where was he? He glanced around and found his comrades. He tried to start towards them, opening his mouth, but realized he couldn't move. He was lying in a bed with white sheets, and an annoying little box next to him was beaping repeatedly.

They sat in a single row of chairs, just an arm's reach from the bed. Syaoran's arms were around a sobbing Sakura; his face was a rigid mask of concern, but he didn't make a sound as he shielded the princess from whatever it was that had so upset them. Mokona was wailing from where it sat in Fye's lap, covering its eyes with its round little paws, its ears flat against its head. Kurogane checked Fye's expression to gauge how bad the situation was and realized it had to have been pretty bad.

The magician's eyes were void of their usual animation, but alive with worry. They were fixed on the floor; Kurogane realized none of them were aware he was awake, but couldn't tear his eyes from the sight of those silent tears falling down Fye's frightened face. He was as still as stone, receiving no comfort and offering none, intent upon stillness.


Kurogane reached forward, loathe to see his mage cry; his gentle fingers met Fye's hair, and Fye's head jerked up. His eyes widened and he stood at once, Mokona falling out of his lap. Syaoran and Sakura heard his chair screech back, and then their eyes found the waking Kurogane, and they jumped up at once, both shouting, "Kurogane-san!" Everyone was grouped around him, expressing concern and relief, and Syaoran and Sakura were both rushing out to find a doctor, and Mokona was nuzzling into his neck, crying loudly, but Kurogane had eyes only for Fye, who was sitting on the bed now, stroking the side of his face, smiling.

After several long moments, those perfect lips parted and Kurogane heard his almost inaudible whisper:

"You said you'd never leave."

A/N: Hahaha, I wrote the first A/N a while ago. ID I didn't fail anything, guys! I passed everything with Ds, Cs and Bs! (Well, like, one B. This was not my year.)

OKAY. This was probably THE most confusing thing I've EVER written. More confusing than my WoF story, and that's saying something. :shudder: Naruto fics can get very confuzzling, lemme tell ya. Anywhosems, I've compiled a list of all the important things I need to say (number five is the most important):

1--Thanks for reading!

2--Sorry it's so short!

3--Sorry it took so long!

4--This must be annoying...

5--Please review!!