A/N: This is my first Tsubasa story that wasn't in the KuroFai realm. Scary. And it's not even SxS, it's SakuraFai! Double scary. Starts in Tokyo, ends in Infinity. No spoilers, unless you're severely behind. The switch in tenses was done on purpose... I don't know why, but I just liked the way it flowed when I did it...


Vi Ma Princia

"…I'm just so glad… that you're alive…!"

God, he wanted to cry. To hold the girl tight and sob. It was the first time. The first time! The first time someone was ever grateful for his existence… He could not find it in his heart to spite her, the broken princess of the desert.

"Forgive me…"

He held her close as she fell forward, shielding her from further injury. He would not let go. No, not now. He couldn't let her down; he couldn't disappoint. Oh, gods, what would he do if this was his fault!?

Even though the witch assured him it wasn't… She had promised him that they would worry for him. Why was she always right!?

This poor girl shouldn't have to worry about someone as low as him. He slowly stood, scooping Sakura into his arms.

He couldn't let her down. He couldn't just die now. Somehow, he'd become important. She couldn't see how horrible he really was.

Tears just as strong as the acid that fell from the sky fell from a singular eye as he carried a precious person back to safety.

As he cried, her heart ached. When she awoke, she looked to him… then looked to the witch, her heart breaking all over again.

They both knew what was to come, her and she. The future in the shattered dreamscape in the land of black and white. Of the blood and the sin, and oh, what she would do to change it! She was the cause. Her soul, her memories, her magic would cause her precious ones so much sorrow…

Even so, she was glad that he had lived. She could not lose another precious person. No, her heart could no longer take that. To keep her hold on the memories she had made with them were the only thing that mattered now. To keep them safe and dear; to keep them free of pain and suffering…

…the magician's pain was too much for her heart to bear. She would not let him suffer because she would break then. To preserve herself, she must preserve him.

"Vi ma princia."

She couldn't let him down. Somehow, she'd managed to become important to him. He couldn't see how selfish she was.

Together, their hearts screamed.

He found he didn't mind being used by her. To fulfill a wish; he didn't mind being treated like a game piece. Hell, he enjoyed fighting.

After every game, he'd go to her side. Hold her close. He liked that. His princess; he'd protect her from any harm, even the one that came from their own 'family'. He wanted to keep that smile on her face, for even a second longer. If there was something that girl wanted, she would get it.

He knew… he was just a chess piece; however, it didn't matter to him. Her heart was far more important.

Fingers brushed against lips, and revelations were made.

The future was beginning today. It was not what she wanted! No! Even if it meant total desecration of herself, she would consecrate a future with life, not...

"It will be as you wish."

She found that she hated using him so. Another person tacked to the list that she had hurt. However, she knew that there would be times that she would need to hurt others ever since then. That world. That first crack in their continuum.

To protect him, she had to manipulate him.

His lips pressed themselves to her hand, whispering promises.

Too kind, too kind.

"Because fulfilling your wish is what I wish."

There may not be much time left, though…

She raised a hand, placing it lightly upon his cheek. What she wished, could he really grant it?

She stood, unsteadily making her way to the small closet.

He followed obediently after, smiling absently.

Too much, too much.

Their ritual began. His hands slid across her neck, trailing lightly down to her dress, tugging the zipper. The material fell from her torso with a quiet rustle, gathering at her thin waist. He leaned forward, his lips brushing against her shoulders.

No time, no time.

The princess closed her eyes in the act of forgetting. The magician continued to forget. Mutually, they shared their secret pains, their fingers interlocking quietly.

They could hear the activity in the other room, of the ninja and Mokona and the boy speaking softly.

He whispers again, and she nods,

As of right now, they are no longer piece and master, nor even traveling companions. They were a broken prince and princess lost in a game of forget-me-not.

She treated him like he was fragile.

He treated her like she was already broken.

So fragile, so short, so complicated. Life.

That man. He knew. So she held back no longer. She let her selfishness and her antagonism and her ugliness bubble out of her calm exterior. It lingered in the air, the bitterness like coffee without sugar and left a bad taste in her mouth.

Her father had told her to create her own future… She wondered if he knew she would do it like that. She winced at what her brother would say. What would "he" say…If "he" knew…? If…

If she didn't make it in time, how could she be able to even go on?

If he could not win for his princess, he would let her down. There was something she wanted—if it was in his power to get, he would get it for her!

This girl who treated him as if he were human. As if he was valuable. Her good luck couldn't protect her from him for very long. Soon, he could feel it in his bones, he would betray her.

He stepped into her room, closing the door behind him slowly.

She looked up at him, smiling softly. After a second, it faltered. The time was soon.

It was coming.

Something big. Something terrible. She feared going to sleep, for it brought terrible half truths of the future.

He stood over her, his hands rising to her face, cold against her skin.

Her eyes tipped shut. Lips pressed against her hair, her forehead.

Assurance.

He was still here. He could still be saved. She could still save them all.

She shook her head when he neared her mouth. Never kiss. Never get attached. You will be leaving soon.

She will be leaving soon.

Soon, she hopes, he will come back. "He" will return. Their "family" would return, and she hopes that the new member can be happy without her. She hopes that she will not be terribly scolded if, when, she returns. She hopes, she hopes…

She wished.

He smiled, patting her head.

"Vi ma princia."

Tears burn her eyes as he repeated the phrase that will save and damn them. She can't be a princess; she feels to dirty for that.

She nodded, then laid back down to sleep.

He leaves as silently as he came.

Tomorrow is so uncertain. Will it be then… or will…

The time has come. She holds his hand close, squeezing.

"You said it, didn't you? That it would be as I wished."

She feels so guilty for asking, so selfish. She knows he would do anything to save her. To hold her. To love her like he cannot love the other. She knows she would to.

And because she knows what he would do, what he will do… what he is going to do during the final battle… She must ask.

"As long as it is the wish of my princess."

"Then… from now on… I want you to treat yourself as the most important person in your life. Please promise me."

He cannot speak. He can't let her down. But, he cannot treat himself as worthy. Because he is not.

He watches in silence as she acknowledges the other. That was her silent way of pushing him away. She has made her final decision, and it is not him.

They are not.

They cannot.

They were not.

And as he slides the sword into her heart, he wonders what she wished for.

And as her spirit holds him tight, much like he did a world before… he knows…

That this was what she wished for. And, indeed… he was the one to grant it.

He could not protect her from harm like the other… but he at least fulfilled his promise.

"It's alright! I still exist! Never forget!...

Please, take care of Fai-san until we meet again!"

She would not abandon him. She could not abandon him. She did not abandon him.

She will not dissapear.

He would find a way to fix his wrong. He could not let her down. He would make sure he would see her again.

His princess.