Afternoon Blossoms

Summary: Kurogane finally gets a quiet afternoon alone… but a certain auburn-haired princess ruins it for him. Well, maybe not. Set in the Country of Oto. KuroganexSakura

Author-person: Am I really the lone supporter of this pairing? -sigh- I dunno why I want the princess with the tall, dark and handsome ninja, dang it!

I'll probably get flamed for writing this… but I wanted something a little different from the usual KuroFai. No offense. Really. I actually enjoy a little yaoi once in a while…

This fic is to satisfy my own need for KuroSakura.

They may be OOC so… Meh. Whatever.

Disclaimer: I do not own TRC.

….

Kurogane's eyes followed a particular cherry blossom petal that drifted along the gentle afternoon breeze.

The pale pink petal, soon enough, settled in the quiet ninja's sake cup, creating the smallest and subtlest of ripples he had ever seen. He focused his gaze on it, his dark crimson orbs failing to blink for a minute longer than he'd expected… The man snapped from his sudden daze, grinned and decided to close his eyes.

He needed a loooong deserved nap, the ninja thought.

Kurogane sat on a concrete bench located just outside their café, enjoying the peaceful view of falling pink blossoms, and a cup of some very fine liquor.

The kid and the annoying blonde were out that day.

Shopping, supposedly.

Sigh.

Silence. Finally.

It'd been a long time since he wasn't glomped, tickled, teased and driven to the brink of insanity... Ever since he began traveling with the odd group, the cheery wizard by the name of Fye D. Florite always had a mouthful of things to say about him. Fye commented on every damn thing. The way Kuro-tan always dressed in black, how cool Kuro-min looked when he was kicking some serious ass, how Kuro-poppo would always hide his good-guy side…

It was annoying. Irritating. Frustrating.

But thankfully, the ninja had somehow obtained a few hours of peace. And he hoped, he wished and even prayed to the gods that Fye and Syaoran had somehow lost their sense of direction while in the shopping district.

As Kurogane slowly drifted off to sleep, he suddenly heard the soft crunching of gravel nearby. He wanted to ignore it. Wanted to just be alone for a little while longer. But the being just…stayed there, staring at him for some unknown reason. Perhaps to rob him of his much needed siesta...? But then she didn't really have the motive (or the courage, apparently) to sneak up on him and shout a resounding 'BANZAI' in his ear, just as a certain wizard did a few days ago.

Kurogane cracked one eye open, and a small squeak broke the calming stillness.

"What is it, princess?" He grunted, closing his eye again.

Sakura blinked in surprise and felt blood rushing to her cheeks. Clearly embarrassed at being caught for staring at him while he was napping.

"K-Kurogane-san?" She said, still flushing and letting some cherry blossoms fall in tufts on her auburn head.

"Hn?"

"C-can I… s-sit with you? If it's okay… only if it's okay, o-okay?"

At this, he slowly opened both eyes and gave the princess a befuddled stare. She wanted to sit with him? What, was the manju bun out cold or something? He heaved a long sigh, gave a curt nod, and removed his sword from the bench to give the trembling Sakura a place to sit.

"Thank you." She said, the pink in her cheeks fading a little as she sat down beside the mildly irritated ninja.

The awkward silence stretched for what seemed like a full thirty minutes, before Kurogane finally decided to start a conversation and keep the princess from going through a seizure.

"So…" He started, tipping his cup to the side a little, careful not to spill his precious sake.

The cherry blossom petal swirled around.

"…what's wrong with the manju bun?"

"Eh?"

"M-Mokona." Kurogane struggled with the name, glancing around to see if the damned dimension-shifter was anywhere in sight.

"Oh." She blinked. "He went with Fye-san and Syaoran-kun. Didn't you know?"

Kurogane mentally slapped himself on the forehead.

"Is that so?"

"Yes." She nodded and turned to face him.

Sakura stared at his profile. Kurogane was… attractive… in a bizarre, offhand way. She could picture him without the hakama and just in his traditional ninja garb. Body well-built, his arm muscles visible and well-toned, tanned skin highly seductive…

SEDUCTIVE?!

The ever so innocent princess shook her head vigorously… God forbid that she get into THAT train of thought.

Kurogane was indeed, your typical tall, dark and handsome ninja in shining black armor… and if he'd just smile. Even just a teensy bit. She was so sure he would look less threatening.

And a little more easy on the eyes…?

Sakura flushed.

From his peripheral vision, Kurogane saw the princess go pink. What was going on inside her head? He had no idea how the female mind worked, but he didn't really have the time OR the willpower to understand the thoughts of the complex species called, 'women'. He saw her fingering the edges of her apron, playing with the hem almost absent-mindedly.

Kurogane found her to be pretty and petite, but not nearly as stunning as Princess Tomoyo. Yet, she held a certain charm that the priestess also did not possess. Sakura was very gentle and kind… And although, she was a bit clumsy, she tried her best to help everybody in her own little way… And the ninja figured… she would never send him flying into some inter-dimensional portal just to teach him a lesson.

"Erm… I was wondering…"

Sigh.

"W-well, if it's okay for me to ask--…"

"Princess," Kurogane said as gently as his ninja-ish pride would allow him.

"Yes?"

"Just spit it out."

Sakura blushed some more.

"Did you leave… anything important back in your country?"

The man raised an eyebrow. Weird question, yes? But then again, this particular princess was weird beyond all reason. Well, maybe not entirely.

"I guess." He answered gruffly, thinking about the dark-haired beauty back in his country of Nihon.

"Oh. So you want to get home as quickly as you can, right?" she said, turning to look at his face. His expression hardly changed.

Guilt wrapped itself around her fragile heart. She was the main reason why they were shifting to different worlds too slowly. Sakura felt that she was somewhat delaying the whole group, and she was annoyed with herself for not having found the memory feathers on her own.

"Blaming yourself won't make a difference, you know." He said, catching a falling blossom in is free hand.

Sakura was startled at how he was able to read her like a book. It took her a moment before being finally able to speak up.

"But if I had some way of finding my feathers more quickly--."

"Do things in a comfortable pace, princess. And never push yourself to do things beyond your limits… You'll find the results very satisfying."

Did he just smile?

Kurogane lay the flower in Sakura's trembling hand and heaved another sigh. He wasn't good at cheering other people up, but maybe some decent advice would help the poor princess feel better about herself.

She smiled at him and, on a weird impulse, took his hand in hers.

It's warm.

Kurogane's eyes widened at the gesture. "What--?

He stared at the small hand clutching his own, feeling her delicate fingers brushing softly against his palm, her pale skin, a stark contrast to his tan… Kurogane relaxed his tensed shoulders a bit and adjusted his grip on the sake cup. He nearly spilt it. But he couldn't really get angry at the princess for something as petty as that.

"Hn." He said, visibly flushing.

It's cold.

"Thank you, Kuro…gane…san." She smiled before letting her head loll to the side.

Kurogane caught her before she could land on the hard concrete.

He pulled her towards him, letting her head rest on his chest… Kurogane gazed at the sleeping figure that breathed gently against the fabric of his hakama… His heart was beating a tad faster than it should and he cursed himself under his breath for letting his feelings get the better of him.

Kurogane felt his sleeve getting wet, and grumbled when he saw that the sake had spilt.

Dammit.

After setting the cup down beside him, he turned his attention again to the auburn-haired girl that had just clutched the collar of his garments. She started stirring slightly as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, holding her closer to him.

"Mmph." Said a snoozing princess.

The quiet ninja smiled and let his lips brush the top of the princess' head gently…

And for a second time, as he gazed at the falling cherry blossoms, he hoped, he wished and he even prayed to the gods that Syaoran and Fye had lost their sense of direction while in the shopping district

OWARI.

….

Author-person: Was it okay? Ehehehe… -nervous laughter-

Please read and review!