SPOILERS for volumes 19 and twenty in case you didn't see in the summary. I don't want any unhappy people who haven't read this far.

The first of three. This is, in fact, about Yuui (who we've known for the entire series as Fai), and his twin, the 'real' Fai. So, for that sake, I am going to refer to Fai as Yuui.

....Why does it seem the only things I ever seem to be able to write for TRC is angst? Gah, it's all CLAMP's fault.

Disclaimer: Tsubasa Chronicle belongs to CLAMP.

.o1. premier sang

First, break the skin

It was a sunny, sunny day--so hot, the snow outside was actually starting to melt, so hot that Yuui and Fai only had to wear one coat, instead of two, and three, and four.

The twins thought it was magical. Everyday, snow practically flung itself from the sky, or drifted sleepily down, but today was special--so, so special--and they wanted nothing more than to run around in the main garden of the castle.

"Let's go, let's go~" Fai cooed quietly, gently taking Yuui's hand. "Hurry, or we'll get caught."

"I'm coming!" Yuui whined, worming his way out of Fai's grasp to finish buttoning up his coat. "She'll be mad at us if we aren't dressed properly--"

"She'll be mad at us no matter what," The older twin interjected, sounding as bitter as a six year old could. "We're supposed to be studying now, and she doesn't like us to go outside in the first place..."

"Finished!" Yuui waved his little hands, once again gaining Fai's full attention.

Grinning--the smile that never failed to cheer Yuui up, the smile that seemed every present on his loving brother's face--, Fai once again snatched up Yuui's hand, and the two snuck out for a rare visit to the outside world.

It was so bright outside---brighter than any of the candles or oil lamps or magic lights inside---and the sunlight glistened off the wet snow and ice, making them shine like diamonds.

The two boys laughed and chased each other, hiding behind half-frozen rose bushes and trees.

Yuui leaned back against a garden wall, breathless and smiling. He could hear Fai calling for him---"Come out, come out, wherever you areeee!"---but he was determined to win this round of the game.

He tensed as he heard the crunching of footsteps to his right. Crouching, he expected Fai to come barreling down the pathway---only to frown in surprise when two female servants showed up in his brother's place, whispering to each other.

Knowing he'd be punished if caught out there, Yuui scooted further behind a bush, and listened to the girls' conversation.

"---This weather is absolutely dreadful," the first complained, arms crossed tight across her chest.

"Isn't it? If it gets any hotter---" The second cut herself off, smoothing her hair nervously.

"Don't even suggest it!"

"Did you hear about the head magician?"

"He's fallen terribly ill, I know..." the servant pursed her lips, her eyes narrowing. "Of course, you know who's fault that is. Those goddamn twins!"

"All they've brought since the day they were born is misfortune! They're cursed!"

"I can't believe their mother didn't just kill---"

"Susugi! Sasaki! Stop gossiping and get back to work!"

"Ah, we're sorry!"

"We're coming..."

Yuui slowly let out the nervous breath he'd been holding as the girls trudged grudgingly away.

Those goddamn twins---twins, twins, Yuui didn't know a lot about the outside world, but there was only one pair of twins in his kingdom, and---and---

"I found you!"

Yuui jumped about a foot in the air as Fai's gloved hand touched his shoulder. He whipped around to look at his brother, fist held tightly to his chest.

"Yuui?" Fai tilted his head, a look of concern gracing his features. "Are you okay?"

"Uh-um-yeah, I am, I mean..." Yuui stood, and glanced worriedly over his shoulder. "I just--I feel a little sick, can we go back inside?"

"What? You do?" Fai's eyes widened, and Yuui felt a pang of guilt at having lied to his brother. "I guess I feel a bit ill too...maybe it's too hot out?"

"Yeah, that must be it."

Fai smiled again, and tugged on his younger twin's sleeve. "Let's go back, then."


And as the two made their silent way back to the library, Yuui, urgently, desperately, whispered three words to himself;

---WE'RE NOT CURSED, we're not cursed, WE'RE NOT CURSED.---