What Counts, What Drowns

Disclaimer: don't own

Warnings: it's Infinity, ok? think you know what that means ;) oh, and no spoilers I think

thanks to: my two lovely beta-readers : Liriella, who beta'd the german one and then Charmkeeper, who read it after I translated it and helped me to get rid off my stupid faults... so yeah - thanks very much you two!!! You did a great job!! ^O^

I wrote this some time ago - now that I re-read it, it was like : what the hell was I thinking?! so, I hope it didn't turn out that bad... it's the first fanfiction I post here *nervous* I hope I didn't make any faults or something... sorry, I'm babbling again° - now you shall read! Please review, I'll do a little dance about everything you write!

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"We hurt them, don't we..." It was no question. Fai remained silent.

What could he have done? Deny it? Ridiculous... as if he wouldn't know if it was true. As if they both didn't know, didn't act differently because of it. They couldn't act differently. No, they didn't want to act differently, why trying to cloud it. They had made the choice. They had decided this for the very same reason: The hope to keep others from distress.

No, that wasn't true...

Fai shot a glance at Sakura, who seemed to be looking out of the window , she hadn't expect any answer, or wanted one.

No, it really wasn't true. Referring to her, maybe it was, but whether it was the whole truth... he wasn't sure. He wasn't sure if he really knew as much about her as he had thought. He hated it, but he wasn't even sure how much he could trust her. There seemed to be so much what she kept hidden – especially from the others, but there were things she hid from him as well.

So much what was left unasked, unsaid, and not put into question. Bemoaned? Sure. Regretted? He didn't dare to ask that question, or to answer it.

Ha, he thought with a bitter smile. As if he knew the answer to start with...

His gaze sliped off of Sakura and seemed to be fixated on the ground, but in reality he didn't see the floor either. The girl's words haunted, as if it was suddenly empty, as if the words would rebound from the walls of his skull, returning again and again, repeating themselves, and resound as an deathless echo in a deep canyon.

We hurt them, don't we...

"Yes," he answered inwardly. "Yes, we do, but it is the right thing to do. To keep them away from us is the right thing. It's right..."

His thoughts seemed to seep away, while the echo perished gradually and faded away, like the weak grey light which floated through the high windows into the room and was drowned by the dark. Likewise the two seemed to get drowned in their thoughts, the burdens of their lies, and their knowledge making their heads and hearts heavy.

Guilty? Most likely. Willing to give up? Fai snorted inwardly. Even if he would dare to do that, would he grant himself that sin? It would be too late. Even now, they lived on borrowed time, and even this time trickled away.

He sensed it, they both did while they sat in that chamber, motionless, the flow of the time rushing past them. Though they just sat there watching the shadows creeping over the walls.

Sometimes he wondered, if time didn't go in circles like his thoughts did: What if they acted amiss? Would that make a fault, if the people there in the other room would notice something? Even if it didn't... could they really bear the consequences? However, the price was worth it, it had to be worth it... and they would pay and get things in return. Only in different ways.

For memories. For the most precious person.

For the past. For a life.

It was so hard, it felt so...wrong sometimes. When it was the right thing to do, why did they feel so guilty?

They deceived the others, yes – but only for their sakes. Though, the thought tasted bitter and appeared to get stronger every time, like it would entrench itself in his taste, still it was always there, a constant escort, joining the guilt.

The guilt, that he had involved others in his life, that others were in sorrow because of him. That an innocent girl had to sacrifice so much, only to get to the one she loved, and he could do nothing, could do nothing other than stay by her side as long as he could.

But soon, it would be over. Soon, their borrowed time would come to an end. Soon the circle would be completed.

We hurt them, don't we...

Yes. But soon, it will be over. And then, it will never happen again. Never.

For the time being it was meaningless.

The only thing they were counting on, was Hitsuzen.

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