A/n: This plot bunny's been biting my fingers for months now, and I never seem to have time to write it.
Captivity (title subject to change)
One silvery tear rolled from amber down his cheek and onto the floor. Fay and Kurogane were silent watching him. There wasn't anything they could say or do. So sat (or stood as was the case with Kurogane) in the dank dark prison cell, the three were left to their own thoughts. You might wonder why three of our heroes were currently stuck in captivity on death row in a foreign world.
Well, that would be Mokona's fault.
"Damn white thing." Kurogane mumbled absently.
"Shh Kuro-rin, not now." Fay whispered weakly. Mokona had deposited them, with all the magical hullabaloo of transportation, smack bang in the middle of a town faire. The town's people stared at them like they were insane and Sakura who had fallen into a bush by accident was saved the onslaught of arrest. Before any of the three could protest they had been arrested on suspicion of being witches. (To which Fay had smiled rather cutely) Syaoran had given Sakura and Mokona, watching from the shrubbery, a hand signal to tell them to stay down, which had thankfully been the right decision because:
"Death." The penalty for use of magic. And then they had been thrown in here and told they had a few hours before they would be killed. Mokona had Kurogane and Syaoran's swords, and Fay refused to use his magic, the cell seemed indestructible meaning escape was impossible, especially while cuffed.
Which brings us to now.
Syaoran sat on the decaying wooden bench with his head in his hands, crying silently.
Kurogane leaned against the wall with his arms folded and chin against his chest.
And Fay sprawled haphazardly on the floor, his eyes distant and lost.
"So what we're just gonna fucking sit here!?" Kurogane barked angrily. Fay sighed and looked up at him.
"If you have any other bright ideas I'd be happy to hear them, failing that: shut up." He mumbled.
"Stop it you two." Syaoran whispered. "That isn't helping."
"Yeah well neither is sitting here, you two might have given up but like hell am I going without a fight."
"Kurogane-san you don't have your sword, and we're outnumbered by the guards at least 10 to 1." Syaoran said logically, wiping his eyes. To be told he had 'given up' frustrated him, because he had always been taught never to quit, but the outlook was definitely bleak.
"Not such a big man without your weapon are you." Fay muttered darkly.
"The hell was that, mage!"
"Oh yes that helps the situation entirely." Fay clapped slowly and sarcastically, the chain on his manacles tinkling slightly, and Syaoran realised the circumstances had gotten to both of them. Fay was not normally this catty and Kurogane who was usually calm in tough times was on edge.
His heart wrenched, feeling a tinge of guilt at the surge of happiness that Sakura wasn't here to endure this… but she was all alone.
"I promised I'd take care of her." He let out, his voice strangled and hoarse. "I swore to protect her… and now she's alone." He clenched his fists into the knees of his trousers
"And even now…" Fay smiled softly and sadly up at the boy. "He thinks of her." There was a slight longing in his voice. "And you… who are your thoughts with?" He asked Kurogane, who was slightly taken aback by this. Fay had learned not to concern himself with others pasts or emotions in the hope that nobody would question his.
"Home I guess." Kurogane muttered. "If that damn Tomoyo hadn't sent me away I wouldn't be in this mess. I should've just punched the guys trying to arrest us."
"And been killed on the spot in front of Sakura-chan… don't even entertain the notion you could have escaped." Fay didn't have a soothing tone to his voice anymore, and looked dead on the floor.
"And you, who the hell do you have to think of? Other than that damn princess is there anyone who's gonna miss you?" Kurogane barked, and Syaoran buried his head on his lap, thinking these two were insufferable.
"No. I have no one." Fay said simply, thoughts drifting over Ashura who couldn't possibly miss him in his sleep, and Chii, who he wasn't sure was capable of emotion anyway.
"Why the hell don't you just use your magic!?" Kurogane hissed after a moment of tense silence he hadn't expected Fay to answer his accusation Fay looked at them, at Kurogane who was angry, and Syaoran who was silently pleading with his eyes. To use his magic would save their lives, he had that power… but there were consequences.
"I could, but then it wouldn't just be our lives that were forfeit, everyone we've ever known and cared for could and would be killed." He looked sympathetically at Syaoran. "I wouldn't wish that on Sakura-chan." Syaoran shook his head furiously.
"He's right." He nodded firmly. "Plus that's why we're in here in the first place. No magic." Kurogane gave a noise that sounded like it could be a growl.
"Oi, witches!" Barked a surly looking guard, "You have 15 minutes, and you better hurry up and decide which one of you goes first!"
"The hell! What if we don't!"
"Then we'll slit the kid's throat and let you watch him die… slowly, at least the our way's humane." He smirked wickedly and Kurogane grabbed his shirt through the bars (with difficulty given the handcuffs).
"You listen here, I do NOT take kindly to threats you son of a…" Then dozens of the guards were at the metal grille, aiming swords and weaponry at the unarmed ninja.
"Relax." Fay held up one hand coolly. "I'll go first."
"Fay-san! Don't play their game." Syaoran scolded, a little panicked at the thought of having his throat cut but more concerned for his blond friend's attitude.
"Like hell are ANY of us dying." Kurogane abandoned his fight with the guard and glared at Fay.
"Kurogane, we're all going to die ok. I have no qualms going first." And Kurogane knew Fay was disturbed by this turn of events, because he'd used his real name.
The guards retreated, obviously fearing for their lives that the witches could kill with their bare hands.
"Why you?" Kurogane asked eventually. Fay didn't bother to look up from his sad corner, and only drew a small circle on the floor in response. He knew why him. Because out of all of them, Fay was the only one with dirty hands. Kurogane had killed for protection (even if he had been merciless), and Syaoran… poor innocent Syaoran would never stain his hands with blood. Fay shivered slightly as ghosts from his past danced around the small cell, entertaining fantasies of what could be and what would never be.
"Any regrets?" Fay asked his cellmates softly.
"That Sakura…" Syaoran was torn between adding hime and not, and decided against it. "That Sakura won't remember me. Even after I've gone I'm just the boy who helped her with the earliest feathers… but it's kinder that way. She won't have to grieve as much." He sighed feeling selfish. For yes, he was Sakura's friend now, but he doubted he was anything as special as the childhood companion he'd been before.
"Not punching that fucker in the face?" Kurogane mumbled acidly. Truth be told his regret was to the people he'd killed. For he'd had his reasons: certainly. But perhaps it would have been kinder to send them to prison. He thought of the families he'd left without fathers, brothers, husbands… He glanced down at Fay who, previously having been sprawled out, was now curled up with his knees against his chest, the chains of his manacles dangling at his ankles. "And you?"
"Hm?" Fay seemed distracted.
"Any regrets?" Fay closed his eyes and nodded.
"Too many to list." He whispered weakly. "And I'm sorry… to you two." He added, not specifying why. Kurogane 'tcheh'd' loudly, and Syaoran wiped his eyes again. His nails were dug into his palms to the point they were bleeding, and he spoke through gritted teeth, scared to voice his thoughts.
"Will she… do you think… she'll be okay, right?" He looked at his peers, his mentor and his friends. Fay sighed, he knew Sakura's purposes, and secrets, Syaoran's too.
"She'll be fine," He said gently. "You're a good boy, for worrying so much about the person you love. Cowards like myself can't even admit to themselves things like that."
There was a moment's pause, as this sunk in. Fay had an unrequited love? Aswell as a dark past? Then there was an ominous sound of footsteps. The warden approached, swinging keys on his belt. Syaoran took in a deep shuddering breath of icy air, bracing himself for what was to come.
"Which one?" Barked the warden. Fay slowly drew himself up to his feet.
"That'd be me." He sighed softly.
"Fay-san." Syaoran whimpered, sounding strangled and desperate, elbows on knees, fingers in hair, looking up at the blond magician. Fay smiled and stepped forward, he kissed Syaoran on the forehead.
"Goodbye." He whispered to the shaking teenager, who when faced directly with death: was obviously afraid. He straightened up and looked at Kurogane, all that was never said being sent across in that one look. And then Fay felt a warm stinging behind his eyes. He'd not cried in a very long time. He stood on tiptoe and kissed Kurogane on the cheek. "See you in hell, Kuro-shii." He mumbled gently.
The warden made a disapproving cluck and Fay obediently slide out of the open cell door, which clanged shut behind him. Kurogane slammed the back of his own head against the brick wall, staring up at the ceiling, determined not to watch Fay as he left. Real warriors didn't cry. For Fay no corridor had ever seemed so long, other prisoner's jeered and catcalled at him as he was lead into a little room at the end of it.
Syaoran let out a loud sob, crumbling under the pressure as the seconds seemed like hours and Fay's footsteps faded into the distance.
"IT'S NOT FAIR!" he cried out. "WE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! WE WEREN'T GIVEN A TRIAL!" He screamed, the sounds echoing through the bars.
"LIFE'S NOT FAIR, GET A GRIP!" Kurogane roared, furious at the situation himself. Two more sets of footsteps hurried their way.
"Over here!" A girl's voice called. Kurogane and Syaoran looked up. Sakura and Tomoyo hurried into view, and Tomoyo, dressed awfully over the top, fumbled with a set of keys. Sakura looked to be heavily pregnant, with Mokona hidden under her dress. Tomoyo was evidently a princess of some kind, medieval grace in her clothing and movements, her hair in long ringlets and a tiara. She unlocked the door.
"Where is Fay-san?" Sakura begged. Kurogane pushed past them both, knocking Tomoyo over on top of Sakura (which earned many more whistles from the inmates)
Kurogane cleared the hallway in seconds and flung the door open. Fay was strapped into a ghastly looking chair, full of spiky metal things and leather bindings, he looked barely conscious. Kurogane grimaced seeing an empty syringe on a table beside the warden.
"You can't come in here how did you…" The warden demanded, but was thrown against the wall by an irate Kurogane, for he'd gotten in the path between him and Fay. The warden lost consciousness easily.
"Sorry." Fay murmured softly as Kurogane un-strapped the buckles and chains keeping the blond tied down and lifted him up.
"Shut the fuck up." Kurogane barked. A still pregnant Sakura, Tomoyo and Syaoran (who had been released from his manacles) stood in the doorway.
"No." Syaoran moaned seeing Fay's state.
"Oh no oh no oh no!" Sakura whispered tears in her eyes.
"Call Yuko-san!" Ordered Tomoyo as Kurogane lay Fay down with difficulty. The cuffs were causing him trouble but he didn't have time to deal with those, he rolled Fay's sleeves up, looking for the needle's puncture mark. Sure enough a tiny pinprick against his left forearm confirmed he'd indeed been administered the poison.
Kurogane didn't hesitate and lowered his mouth to the 'wound', sucking hard. His mouth filled with blood and he looked like a vampire, as he spat it out onto the floor.
"What is he doing?"
"Fay-san's not lost consciousness, there's a chance he can get the poison out of his system before it causes too much damage." Syaoran said, having been briefed on snake bites before. However since it was lethal poison there was always the chance Kurogane himself could be infected, or that he'd just prolong Fay's death and make it more painful. Syaoran tore his shirt off and hurried forward, he tied it around Fay's bicep to prevent the poison reaching any further up.
"Leave me." Fay croaked softly.
"Not a chance, bastard." Kurogane managed to get out, between mouthfuls of blood-spit. Sakura hurried forward and cradled his head in her lap, releasing Mokona from her dress. It tumbled forward and projected Yuko onto the wall beside Tomoyo (who had cleverly closed the door.
"YUKO, HELP! FAY'S BEEN…"
"I know." She said coolly.
"DO SOMETHING!" Mokona cried desperately. Yuko laughed softly.
"Mokona, don't worry so much, Fay's a wizard… that much poison isn't enough to kill him. Just enough to send him to sleep. How do you think I escaped the death penalty?" She said, surveying the scene in amusement. Fay nodded softly.
"That's what…" He mumbled sleepily. "I was trying to…" He yawned and turned his head against Sakura's knees. "Tell you." And he slipped out of consciousness. Kurogane wiped his mouth in disgust and Tomoyo giggled.
"Bastard." Was the first word Fay heard when he woke up. Needless to say it was Kurogane speaking. Looking around he saw he was in a rather extravagant bed. Sakura and Tomoyo were sat cross legged on the end of it, Mokona was sat on Syaoran's shoulder, as he sat looking drained on Fay's left, Kurogane was to the right, stood leaning against a wall.
"Morning." Fay chirped.
"Son of a bitch, you acted like you were gonna die!" Kurogane snapped. Tomoyo sent him a withering glance which he brushed off. She was not his princess, and thus could not scold him for his language.
"Being that I'm not a mind reader: I didn't know it was poison." Fay countered smoothly. "Had I known I would've still offered to go first in order to buy you two some time."
"You scared us Fay-san." Syaoran smiled weakly, he'd paled considerably from his usual colour, the events of the day evidently having taken their toll on him.
"Well I for one am glad you're awake Fay-san. I'm the current Lady of the land, my husband's got this rather silly no magic law, but I can overrule should I choose to. When Sakura-chan… is it too formal for me to call you that?" She added looking at the green eyes princess, who shook her head furiously, owing the lives of her friends to the girl. "Showed up at my palace distraught as a mother hen, and much cuter might I add, I knew she was the feather-girl from the prophecy and her friend's became priority. We're terribly sorry we were late." She inclined her head.
"It's quite alright Tomoyo-chan." The blond promised, trying to sit up properly.
"Oh no I insist you rest!" She fussed, getting up off of the bed and fluffing his pillow. "It's been such a long time since I got to take care of anyone like this. In fact you must try some of our speciality tea, Sakura-chan, Syaoran-san, Mokona-san, could you please assist me?" She shot them all (uh… apart from Sakura) 'Argue with me and die' looks and they followed, leaving Kurogane and Fay alone in the room.
Fay rolled onto his side to stare at his saviour, a wicked smile on his lips.
"Don't say it." Kurogane ordered instinctively, knowing that wry smirk was no good coming from the magician.
"Don't say what?" He cooed. "Don't say 'thank you Kuro-sama for trying to save my life'?" He tilted his head a little, allowing his hair to fall in front of his blue eyes.
"Yeah that." Muttered the warrior, crossing and uncrossing his arms in discomfort under Fay's gaze.
"Ne, but Kuro-rin was awfully heroic, leaping to my rescue like some knight in…" The blond purred.
"I said shut up!" There was a moment's pause, then Fay's expression became serious and gentle.
"Nobody's… ever actually cared." He let his eyes meet with Kurogane's, teasing aside and a slightly morbid softness to his voice.
"Who the hell said I cared!?" Kurogane asked gruffly, not breaking the eye contact. Fay sat up and kept their line of vision the same.
"Whether I lived or died. It's never actually mattered to anyone." Unblinkingly the wizard spoke, and nodded, as though he'd come to some better understanding of the value of his life. "Thank you."
"Yeah well… look around you. That princess was in tears over you, the kid… the kid was hysterical when you walked off with that damn warden."
Then there was a comfortable moment of silence, before Fay dared to ask.
"Don't…" There was a slightly strangled tone to the warrior's voice. "Don't misunderstand anything. I just don't want another friggin' death on my shoulders got it." Fay smiled in understanding.
"Got it." He promised, prepared to do his usual and put things like that to the back of his mind where they belonged, however Kurogane startled him, by leaning ever so close.
"If you ever," He breathed. "EVER get that close to death again." Fay nearly cowered under the gaze the intense red eyes had laid upon him, Kurogane's face so close to his own their noses were almost touching… their lips were so close.
"I'll kill you." Kurogane said simply, and pushed Fay backwards onto the bed, as he got up to leave. "Now shut up and rest, you're a whiny bastard when you're tired." He left the room, closing the door behind him. And Fay, thrown onto his back like a helpless turtle, was left breathless on the bed. The fact he had very nearly died was replaced by the comforting fact that they had very nearly kissed. The magician laughed softly. Kurogane would make a lousy knight in shining armour. He'd look terrible in white.
A/n: Reference of course being to a white knight, traditionally the hero.
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