A/N: I finally got around to rewriting this thing. I rather like it a lot better now since I'm more familiar and comfortable writing their characters now than I was when I first wrote this story. I took a few liberties with Fai's life in Celes that are mentioned a couple of times here but apart from that, the stuff here strictly follows the manga. I hope you enjoy this version.

The song used is 'Just Like You' by 'Three Days Grace' which in my opinion seems to have been written out just for these two.

Drop me a review and tell me what you think.

"I could be mean, I could be angry

You know I could be just like you..."

Fai watched the man stomp all the way back from the city hall, a tiny smile playing about his lips as he thought back to the ninja's hilarious reaction to the names he had picked for them all. In hindsight, maybe it had not been fair of him to give such a ridiculous name to the man but really, could anyone blame him for wanting to do it? The ninja's reactions just made teasing him all the more attractive. Had he taken it all in stride, Fai might have relented to calling him by his real name by now. After all, he had never actually done something like this before in his life. Ever. There never really had been an opportunity for it back home where everything needed to be proper and courtly.

He had seen people interact with their friends in villages he was sent out to help every now and then and he had always wondered if he could ever be that way with someone. Ashura had always encouraged him to try and make some friends his own age instead of spending all his time with the Royal Librarian, the head of the Royal Guard or the Cook. He was allowed to do whatever he wanted at home but he had never truly felt like he… belonged there. The people treated him with love and respect and whispers of bad omens never followed him there but he never could convince himself to approach someone his own age.

"Kuro-sama, are you still mad?" the blond said in a sing song manner as he skipped after the man currently storming away from him in high dudgeon.

"'Are you still mad?' he asked!" the man declared as he stomped on his merry way. He refused to pay any attention whatsoever to the magician following after him and for some reason, it irritated Fai. No. Irritated was not quite the right term. It… unnerved him. He had never done well with being ignored.

There had been that one time in Celes when he had learnt a new spell and gone off in search for Ashura-ou. The kind however had been engaged in some rather intense discussions with some of his advisors regarding the neighboring country's recently hostile behavior towards Celes and some possible strategies to avoid the upcoming war. The man had only given him a tiny nod of approval for mastering the spell before returning to the advisors and Fai had… Fai had run away thinking the king was fed up with him. Of course he had not really been able to get very far and search parties had been sent out to look for him and he had been found hiding in a tiny cave near the castle with some supplies stolen from the castle and some pastries from the kitchen. There had been a great deal of fussing over him by Ashura once he had been brought back suffering from hypothermia and the king had refused to leave his bedside in the infirmary until he had been discharged.

He had been hugged by the king and assured that Ashura was not irritated by Fai's presence and that he did care a lot about his well-being and would he please never try to give him such a big scare again?

Pulling himself out of memory lane, Fai decided that he had to do something about the ninja's current dismissive behavior of him. wondering if maybe the red-eyed man would react to him being in danger in the same manner as the king, Fai let out a startled yell.

Kurogane's reaction was instantaneous. The man whirled around, alarm clearly dancing across his features as he looked at Fai. "What is-" the man began, comprehension slowly dawning across his face as he realized Fai had just tricked him, his words of concern turned to those of anger near the end. "-IT?!"

A soft fluttering sensation sparked inside his chest as he discovered the man had been worried about him. Leaving his former life behind in Celes, Fai had seized the opportunity to be someone completely different from the person he had been back in that world. He finally decided to try and do what Ashura had asked him to do all along. He finally allowed himself to try and become their… what exactly was it that he was to these people? And what were they to him? Would friendship be an appropriate term to describe the relationship he had with his travelling companions?

"Yay!" he declared happily, "he turns around." Remembering the worry that had been etched in Kurogane's face just moments before, he allowed himself another grin, this one exposing some of the joy he felt on the inside but the ninja was too irritated to actually notice this slip of emotions as the former drew his sword with a growl.

"Stay still while I send you to the next world!" the man declared, lunging for Fai like an angry dog. Knowing that their game of cat and mouse and rather dog and cat was on, Fay cheerfully began to prance ahead of him. His joy was sadly not long-lasting for the sudden appearance of kiji in the street behind the oblivious ninja was a big damper on everything. Wondering if the man might fall for the same thing twice, Fai let out another startled cry as he stopped running and looked directly at the kiji now solidifying behind the warrior.

"Do you think I will fall for the same trick again?!" the man growled, refusing to turn around and look at the kiji swiping their claws towards his exposed back. Knowing there was no time to warn the man, Fai drew a few darts he had stashed in his coat pocket earlier in the day after he had installed a dart-set on one of the café walls. The look on Kurogane's face was priceless when the dart sailed through the air towards him, only to completely miss him and stroke their intended target right on the mark.

The warrior whirled around to witness the demons melting to the ground in a shapeless black goop as a tiny smirk appeared on Fai's lips.

"This time it's the real thing." Was all the blond said.

"I could be fake, I could be stupid

You know I could be just like you..."

"Don't just dodge them!" Kurogane half-yelled, half-screamed in frustration as he whirled around and sliced cleanly through the kiji before him. The idiot in his classic idiot mode, simply pranced around the road, weaving in and out of their attacks like it was all some sort of elaborate dance, "We need to attack them." Somehow during the time it took Kurogane to slice through the next batch of kiji, the blond had somehow made his way to the roof, plucking up a few of his darts that must have landed there when he had thrown them earlier. Doing as Kurogane had demanded, the man finally threw them at the big-ass kiji that had formed from all the smaller ones. There was no end to these demons was there?

Kurogane had been one of the best demon-slayers in all of Nihon. The court liked to gossip that he fought like a demon because he loved to bathe in their blood, but even they had to grudgingly admit that he had never lost a man to those monsters on when his team was on patrol. The problem with this world demons that made them rather difficult opponents despite their low level of strength was the fact that they had no aura. Kurogane had trained himself to sense their auras since early childhood but these creatures they… they were just a big fat nothing. Like empty space.

"The kiji just keep recovering after my attacks," the blond complained, "it's like they're made out of liquid!" he could tell the magician was being rather difficult on purpose. Had he chosen to really use his strength in this battle, it would have been over long ago but since the man had apparently promised never to use magic again, it was up to Kurogane to finish the job. As though, reading what had been going on inside his head, the mage continued with a rather sly grin, "Maybe I should just leave all this demon slaying business to a professional like you. Right," he paused and Kurogane knew what was coming next even before the idiot opened his mouth to say it, "Big Doggie."

"You have no idea how much you piss me off with that name." he growled, dodging a swipe from the kiji at the same time.

"Really?" the man gleefully sang, "Kuro-tan, Kuro-chi, Kuro-pipi,…" on and on went his long list of ridiculous nicknames and Kurogane had to wonder if the man have ever gotten formal education on how to be annoying. "Which one do you like?" the blond asked amicably as he too dodged an attack and jumped a few paces back.

"I don't like any of them!" Kurogane declared, praying to the gods for some patience. This idiot was sure to give him an aneurism before the end of this journey if this stupidity kept up. Honestly was it so hard to be a little more serious? Especially in the face of such imminent danger. It was rather obvious the cheerful front he put on for the world was nothing more than a façade to fool the less observant but being observant was a pre-requisite of being a ninja. He knew that the blond did not like people catching him off guard or getting a glimpse of what lay underneath that fake foolish mask.

They both knew that Kurogane was not one to be deceived by these acts and that he knew something was up with the blond. And he knew he unnerved him. So whenever the blond thought Kurogane was close to cracking his mask, he would pull out an annoying, mangled version of his name and despite himself, Kurogane would not be able to keep his irritation at bay.

"You thought you were sittin beside me

You were only in my way...

You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you..."

"We should fight back." Kurogane suggested, keeping one eye on the mage and the other on their opponent. Out of the two of them, the idiot was at a more disadvantageous position as he had once again run out of darts. He had only been dodging attacks for the past five minutes now.

"We don't have any weapons." The blond pointed out as he flipped out of the way of yet another attack and landed neatly on top a lamppost. It said something about the magician's balancing skills for nailing a move like that and then staying where he was and making it appear effortless at the same time was not a small deal. The idiot had turned to look at Kurogane when he had been speaking and thus had failed to realize the danger he was putting himself in as the kiji's eye widened and a harsh beam of blinding red light shot towards the mage.

"Get down!" was all Kurogane could say but even that warning came too late as the beam hit the blond and knocked him into the wall behind lamppost. The force of the blow knocked down the entire structure, bringing a torrent of bricks at his fallen companion. Kurogane tried not to let the strange feeling of panic bubbling up inside of him overtake him as he jumped in front of the smaller man and assumed a wide stance. Without sparing another thought, he cried the name of his family's technique, cutting through the demon like a hot knife through butter. Once he was sure it would not be getting back up, Kurogane finally turned his attention towards the idiot.

The feeling of panic that he had felt for the blond when the kiji had knocked him down, it was… troubling. He had only ever felt this way about Tomoyo before now. How was it possible for the man that irritated him to no end to suddenly instigate the same feelings inside him?

He felt a wave of relief wash over him when the mage showed signs of life and he pushed away the worry nagging at the back of his mind in favor of other more pressing things.

"You thought you were there to guide me

You were only in my way...

You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you…"

He ached all over but if he had to pick out the where he hurt the worse, Fai would have said his leg. That actually hurt the worse. Ti was almost like that one time he had been balancing on the high-beams in one of the training halls in the castle's lower levels in Celes and had fallen rather badly on his leg. This felt exactly like that time.

He heard Kurogane yell something undecipherable before a brilliant disc of gold light spewed forth from the ninja's sword and cut the kiji in half, doing it in for good. Unfortunately the sword itself did not seem to be strong enough to handle the sheer amount of raw power that had just been channeled through it and crumbled.

"Tch." The warrior made a sound of irritation as he looked down at the hilt for a brief moment, "the sword couldn't handle the power of my special technique. Pity, it broke." He said, inspecting the broken weapon rather closely.

"That's our Kuro-sama." Fai sang, trying to make an attempt at keeping things as normal as possible. This was the first time someone other than Ashura-ou had openly displayed so much concern for him and it was… startling to think that someone actually cared for him even if… even if he told nothing but lies. How could someone care for someone like him? No. Why would someone care for someone like him?

"Your leg okay?" the man asked gruffly, quickly drawing Fai out of his thoughts.

"Looks like I didn't die…" he trailed off. He had been meaning for this to come out as a joke. Something to show the warrior that he was perfectly fine and nothing was wrong and he did not have to worry but… somehow, his words had come out sounding wistful. As though… as though he had wanted nothing more than for an accident such as this one to steal his life from him.

Truth be told, a part of him had always hoped his life might end in that manner. Alas, even death did not want him.

"You thought you were there to guide me

You were only in my way...

You're wrong if you think that I'll be just like you..."

Hearing the idiot's response, relief was quickly over-powered by annoyance. He could not help the words that spilled from his lips.

"It's not that you didn't die." He said, pulling out the sheath of his sword and poking the injured man in the leg with it. Sometimes, pain a little pain was good to drive the point home, "it's that you won't die." Ignoring the wince of pain from his companion, he continued, "I won't hold back when fighting an opponent that wants me dead."

The mage lowered his head, no doubt to mask the flicker of pain that shown on his face although unknown to Kurogane it was for an entirely different reason even if hiding it to conceal his pain might have been one of Fai's reasons. "If someone threatens the ones I care about," Kurogane declared fiercely, "I won't hesitate in killing them. I can't remember the exact number of people I have killed," he added, feeling a tiny pang of guilt for not even remembering how many lives he had snuffed out in his thirst for power, "and I have no patience for pretty words but…" he paused for a second, using the sheath to make the blond meet his narrow eyed gaze, "the ones I hate the most are those who give up on their life before all hope is lost."

A tiny flicker of something passed across the magician's face before he hid it all behind a stupid grin, though there was a touch of sadness to it as he said, "that means I'm the type of person you hate the most."

A/N: Revamped version of chapter two will be coming up pretty soon as well if all goes well.