A/n: takes place IMMEDIATELY after chapter 208 and thus SPOILERS

After Kurogane and Fay got exploded.

Fay blinked dazedly, the last thing he remembered was… what did he remember? Syaoran had been fighting with his clone and… then what had happened. The memories filtered through his mind like water through his fingers, until it suddenly hit him. There had been a very big blast. Looking around Fay could only see blackness, darkness… yet he could see himself. He was certain of that. Pale hands, white clothes… not an inch of darkness covered his skin, almost as though he was glowing. He looked to his right, and there was another glowing form, staring stony faced ahead into the ink like black.
"Kuro…" Fay began.
"We're dead." Kurogane said bluntly, sounding utterly pissed off. Fay blinked, then surveyed himself. That would make sense. That explosion had been pretty huge, and Fay was human now. There wasn't (as far as he could see, a scratch on his body. Then he realised. He could see. He raised one hand shakily to his eye, and sure enough what had been a hideous gauged out socket only minutes before was filled.
"Syaoran-kun!" He gasped suddenly, looking around frantically for the teenager.
"Still up there." Kurogane growled. His voice sounded slightly hollow, lacking something.
"Up... you mean we're..." Fay looked up, half expecting to see rain of fire about to lash onto their bodies. He saw nothing. Only everlasting darkness.
"Well I don't see corridors of cloud if that's what you mean." Kurogane lay back, causing Fay to wonder what exactly he was laying on, there didn't appear to be any object beneath him, yet as sure as he was sitting, Kurogane was laying. "Never actually expected to get into heaven anyway." He muttered.
"Me neither." Fay confessed, crawling slightly closer. Now that Kurogane was laid back with his hands tucked behind his head, he could see quite clearly, the arm which he'd sacrificed for him was gone. Combine that with the return of his eye, and the death theory seemed ever more plausible. Fay felt his heart ache slightly.

"We can't protect him from down here."
"Open your eyes mage, we didn't protect him anyway. We got ourselves killed. He's probably gone the other direction." Kurogane jabbed his thumb in the direction he believed to be upwards. There was no proof it was actually up, other than the way his spiky hair stood.
"I didn't think you'd give up so easily." Fay said coldly.
"It's kind of hard not to give up, after death that's pretty much it." Fay slowly dragged himself to his feet, standing up. There was no more bond between himself and the Japanese warrior, he picked left. There was no path to guide him, no indication to an end. But he was heading left.
"Do you think it's eternal?" He asked eventually, bracing himself to leave. Kurogane shrugged.
"Guess so." He murmured. Fay nodded.
"I suppose this is goodbye then." He spoke softly, and started off into the oblivion, only to feel a hand on his shoulder.
"You'll get lost." Kurogane growled in a warning tone.
"That's the point." Fay smiled, his trademark broken china doll smile and looked on into the distance.
"There's nobody else here... you'll go mad."
"I think we're supposed to." Fay said gently. "There's no rest for the wicked..." And he started off again, one foot infront of the other. A journey of a million miles? He wondered if he could feel exhaustion here, if he walked too far or ran too fast, would he collapse? He desperately wanted to. He'd spent his life running, why in death should it be any different?

He was painfully aware that Kurogane was following him, and he didn't quite understand. The blood bond was gone now, there was no need to stay close. Fay wanted the darkness to just envelop him, shield him from everything. Abruptly he turned on his heel, surprised at the proximity between himself and Kurogane, who was merely a pace behind.
"Why!?" He demanded angrily, clenching his hand into an incredibly tight fist. kurogane said nothing, just stared at him as though looking right through him. "Why!?" Fay asked again desperately. "You don't need to stay with me any more! There's nothing to protect here!"
"Yes, there is." Kurogane said simply. "Dead or alive you still need to be protected from yourself." Fay felt a rage like no other burn through his very veins, as the hopelessness of the situation fell hard upon his shoulders. They were dead. This was it. There was nothing left for them, and yet he was still being patronized by Kurogane, someone he'd cared very much for. Didn't logic say he shouldn't walked right away the second he realised he was no longer bait.

Fay raised his fist and swung it back, completely ready to punch Kurogane again, only to find a hand close over his. He swung around to see a young boy, with blond hair and blue eyes, smiling at him lovingly.
"Fay." He gasped. Kurogane pushed the elder magician aside, and pointed his katana at the smaller twin, apparently convinced it was some kind of apparition.
"I FOUND THEM!" the boy called over his shoulder, and sure enough several seconds later two taller darker figures emerged from the abyss. Kurogane stiffened slightly at sight. Unmistakably his parents, the woman wrapped her arms around Kurogane without a word, clinging tightly to him.
"Good job." Kurogane's father said softly to the young blond Fay, bright eyed and bushytailed, the true Fay. The original.
"Youou." Whispered the woman, she pulled back and stroked his face, and he stubbornly looked forward.
"You're innocent, why are you here?" He asked. His father laughed.
"Always asking questions." He chuckled, shaking his head. Yuui still seemed to be in a catatonic state, staring at his twin, perserved in his younger state. The way he'd been when he'd died: only healthier looking. Yuui fell back, sitting and staring up at the scene. Fay seemed to be content with cuddling against the rigid form of his twin.
"You killed, I get that." Kurogane growled at his father, he looked at the tearful woman in his arms. "She never did anything to deserve to be here."
"Where do you think here is, Kurogane-san?" Fay asked, innocently looking up.
"Hell." Kurogane told the boy simply. "Incase you can't tell pipsqueak, we're in hell."
"He's innocent." Yuui hissed. Fay hushed him with a stroke of his bicep.
"No we're not. This is known as limbo. It's in between. It's not death, it's not life, not innocent and not guilty." Fay said.
"The crossroads." Kurogane's mother spoke gently, in her usual soft tone.
"You can still go back son." His father said firmly. "But only if you want to."

Kurogane didn't even hesitate. He kissed his mother on the forehead, and nodded at his father.
"I still have things I have to do. I'm going back... oi." He turned to the twins, looking specifically at the adult one, who hung his head. "You're not seriously considering staying!" He barked.
"It's his decision." Kurogane's mother said, trying to ease the situation.
"The kid might still be down there, that bastard is still alive, and like hell should he get away with it!" Kurogane roared, bracing his fist. Fay stood up,
"If you don't." He said to Kurogane. "I will." He warned his brother.
"I'm tired Fay." Yuui said weakly.
"You still have a purpose." Fay said, leaning forward and kissing his brother on the cheek. "They need you there..." He pulled on Yuui's hand, and tugged him to his feet, then with the innocence of a child he placed his brother's hand into Kurogane's, then stared at the dark haired figure of Kurogane. "And if I see him back here again before his time," Fay warned. "I will come after you." He spoke with such a serious tone, that even though Kurogane had a hard time taking such a small boy seriously, he nodded gruffly.

"Wait." Yuui said sounding strangled. "Where... where do you go from here?" He asked the three spectres, who he knew full well to be dead. Had they been stuck in limbo this whole time? He couldn't bear the thought of leaving his twin alone here even if they'd been together maybe they wouldn't have suffered. Yet he still couldn't bring himself to let go of Kurogane's hand... and for some reason Kurogane hadn't loosened his grip either.
"Cast aside any prejudice." Kurogane's father said, speaking to Yuui. "Forget heaven and forget hell." He instructed, taking back his wife and wrapping one arm loosely around her waist as she wiped her eyes. "The afterlife is something you cannot know, nor experience until death."
"But we're only here to guide you." Fay said, apparently reading his brother's mind. "Mother didn't come, nor did father. But they've moved on too." He said reassuringly.
"Good luck." Whispered Kurogane's mother. "And we're proud of you." She hesitated, before sweeping forward, and kissing each of them on the cheek. "Both of you." She added. All three of the family members waved their hands, and everything went black.


"Oi." Kurogane barked. Fay felt his eye flicker open as he peered up, seeing a one armed figure leaning over him. Bodies of the shadow ninjas lay scattered around them, and a light glare indicated they were in the ruins: the battle still in full swing. Fay realised with a jolt that Kurogane's good hand, the uninjured one, held onto his, to lift him up. "Don't fucking quit yet," He ordered.
"Can't." Fay grumbled, getting up and ignoring his aching head. "We have a job to do."

A/n: those pestering me about daddio... go pester Xenovyr at deviantart! I refuse to update it until she posts the AMAZING fanart she's done for it.
Reviews are good.