Title: Yama snippets
Pairing: Kurogane x Fai, pre-pre-slash you could call it.
Words: 425; (14795 total)
Genre: General, in general; for this one, pseudo-angst; maybe
Spoilers: Fai's backstory, Kurogane's backstory, and the events up to and including Yama
Disclaimer: I own nothing; Clamp does.
It is a shock when the children arrive. It's the middle of battle and, suddenly, the words don't seem so strange to Kurogane, and Fai can understand. They stare at one another for a beat, then make their way deeper into the fray. Six months seem very short, and rushing towards the children is natural and easy.
The only difference now is that Fai doesn't need words to understand Kurogane's intent – a glance and a grin are enough.
The sudden loss of understanding once the smoke dissipates, and they return to Yama, is more disorienting now than it had been before. Now, however, they know it won't last long; they know that they will leave, and their tent feels alien now, the people round them foreign once again, and everything they've learned and done for half a year feels like a dream
Fai doesn't smile or chatter, sits in the corner trying not to stare at nothing. Kurogane polishes Souhi the way he always does, then sets the pitcher out to cool. Tomorrow will be the last day.
They are restless all morning, but neither let it show. Kurogane thinks back on wanting to get home, looks forward to leaving, to starting up again. Fai remembers and feels himself unsure. He loves the children, he knows now – his heart had soared and filled and torn to see them; he loves his brother too, and all the dice are cast, and even if they weren't, he cannot stay behind and watch them leave. And, maybe, he could help along the way.
Noon passes quickly, and this day they do not go to practice; there is no point. They finish their remaining chores – in silence, they can hear it now. Meaningful pauses and short gestures suddenly fall too short, and for the first time in long months Fai feels mute, deaf, and trapped.
They adjust on the spot and fall into old patterns once the children find out it's really them. It is as much to pick up old, nearly forgotten ties, as to bridge the gap of a six-month silence. It feels familiar and rusty, but it's neither the time nor place to pause and think of it – Yasha's revealed for what he truly was, and the world in the sky fades from around them, broken to pieces for a wish that could not be.
They all return to travelling; and Kurogane is determined, purpose and drive renewed, and Fai feels his heart growing heavy, because the wheels are turning once again.
AN: Aaaaaand we're done. Finally. This fic has been the bane of my existence since August last year, and I've picked it up and put it down and picked it up again all this time (god, more than a year). It had the horrible luck of not being completed before my interest in TRC faded away, and still being in progress when uni started again, for which reasons the latter chapters a well below my usual standards. However, I hate leaving things dangling, and the idea of it would have nagged at me even years later - I figured some sort of ending is better than none. The feel and direction of these chapters were exactly what I'd planned in the first place, they're just much, much shorter/less elaborated than they would have been under normal circumstances. But hopefully, the gist of it comes through, and that's what's important.
Thank you to everyone who's born with me and followed my (lately) sporadic updates all this time, it may not have seemed so towards the end (what with a severe lack of free time and everything), but knowing that people were actually keeping track of it meant a lot. I hope you drew some small amount of satisfaction from reading this fic, and that, at the very least, it made you wonder about Fai and Kurogane's Yama-period as seen through the prism of their later-revealed backstories - that was the fic's purpose, after all. Again, many thanks!
Oh, and a PS for this chapter: if the ending feels rushed, it's not because I was fed up with the fic (though, in fact, I was), it's because I've always thought that the group reunion came in the middle of things, all of a sudden. It's too convenient to assume that the "process" of getting closer and becoming something, whatever it was, that Fai and Kurogane were going through in Yama would be allowed to come to a nicely-wrapped conclusion; the end of that period would most likely have been abrupt, out of the blue. Like this chapter :D