Title: Nicks and knacks
Pairing: None. Syaoran x Sakura if you squint
Words: 532
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst? Drama?
Spoilers: Everything until the Clow arc, and very vague hints for R!Syaoran's backstory
Disclaimer: I own nothing; CLAMP does. Isn't that lovely?
Summary: The scars of the TRC cast, physical and otherwise.

Notes: This was supposed to be all about physical wounds, small and not, and how the magnitude of it all increases with each arc. The fic got away from me, of course, but boy, am I glad it did.


1. The world is raw and young

Fai's hands are scarred, crisscrossed with tiny lines, cracked and torn under his pale skin. The marks are hidden by long gloves, don't show when he kneads dough or skips artfully between smiles. His knees are lined, his feet are sore, and he has walked a long way here.

Kurogane's left hand is pierced clean through. The cut is long and deep and aches in cold worlds, when it rains. His eyes are red as blood, and there is blood dried on his fingers – there had been blood on his dark face – and he is tall and strong and straight.

Syaoran's right eye doesn't see. His hands are streaked by pottery, and stones and sand and time, his legs are bruised from fighting, his heart is not his own – he's given it to one who will never remember him, but might know him again. He has lean shoulders and an earnest gaze, and bears his burdens well.

Sakura's knees and elbows have tiny nicks and marks – she can't remember getting even one. Her skin is white, her hands are soft, and she holds all the kindness of the world in her innocent eyes. She does her best and trusts in people, and her smiles heal the weary.

2. For it to make and break

Syaoran is gone. He's lost one heart and bears another that sleeps still in his chest. His broken arm has healed. The power in his stolen eye is growing, and though he's washed in blood he cannot see. He is at last a tool, an empty shell; his body might remember.

Sakura is broken up. She cries herself to sleep and dreams of death. She clutches fists on borrowed time, and frowns and lies and hides; she knows herself too well. Her hands are cracked, her skin is bruised, her mangled leg won't heal; in the end, a sword pierces through her and, dutifully, she splits in two.

Fai cracks, little by little. He breaks his voice up screaming (from drinking life, from taking life, from seeing his friends' lives almost be taken) He loses all his family for good, and his demons are torn away at last, even as he reaches a shaking hand, loving them desperately. His face is stained with tears and the blood of three people. His magic, halfway stolen, starts to fade.

Kurogane bargains and waits. He takes a life under his wing, becomes what he has always been, once upon a long time ago, and he remains undaunted. His wrist drips blood, and he cuts into it enough that, in the end, he slashes his left arm completely and throws it in a dying world, old scar, new sword and all.

The boy is tired and grown beyond his years. He cannot stop and cannot rest, and he can only pity those whom he knows were wronged. He waits, still, for an end to come. He waits for his wish to be granted. He hopes, because he must.

3. Drawing near

Fai heals.

Kurogane learns.

Syaoran has to feel again.

Sakura loves and dies and is stolen away.

The boy keeps going, hands clenched tight.