Atopos - I've been getting farther into CLAMP; I really like the romance and angst all rolled into one. I wrote this a couple of months ago, but I'm only now wanting to post it. The inspiration came from the last few sentences, which you'll read really soon. I'm rather proud of this story ^^

WARNINGS!!! there's a lot of yaoi in it. in fact, it starts off with yaoi.

This includes: KuroxFai and KamuixSubaru (twincest (I had finished watching all of X/1999 and Tokyo Babylon when I wrote this) There's also references to sex and major spoliers to Acid Tokyo. And the character maybe OOC (Fai's angsty, but - and I haven't read too far into it yet - that was normal for him at that time).

I own nothing and try to enjoy; this is the first 'lengthy' story I've written for CLAMP ^^

It's a Kind of Magic

He could hear them, the noises that he felt only he could distinguish from all the other nightly sounds. They broke the silence of the night, even though they were surrounded on all sides with people. Perhaps those people had no clue who they really were. He noticed the strange looks when they returned from the painful experience below the building. More than one person was injured, and there was one extra among the group.


The boy – no – the vampire was quiet, so unlike his twin. Although Kamui was quiet, it was more in the way that a vulture was quiet. He was waiting patiently for something, and now that it was available to him, he made his intentions clear to everyone. No one was allowed near his precious brother. A fact that Subaru paid no mind to, it seemed. Subaru smiled in a motherly type of way, enabling Kamui to do as he wished. That included, if Kurogane was hearing the sounds right, doing what normal couples did after re-uniting during such a trying incident.

Kurogane could respect Kamui's actions, at least, even if he did find his attitude disgusting. He was a sort of stuck up version of the kid, no, the person, the clone, who had left them in such a mess. Maybe that was why, when Kurogane heard the door of the room next to theirs lock shut, the first sharp gasp, the first moan, the bed that sat just on the other side of that wall where the headboard of Kurogane and Fai's bed sat creaked, he felt miserable.

He had that type of relationship. Well, he used to. So much had happened over the last few hours, and it left Kurogane feeling as if he was the sanest person in the group so far. The princess had been given her own bed; the thought of her waking up surrounded by others who had suffered so much would drain her emotionally. She would see the real Syaoran if they shared a room like they used to, and perhaps that would cause her to cry even harder, or she would mistake him for the clone and would either go to him or hate him even more.

And then there was Fai.

Kurogane felt his heart twist at that moment.

If he felt bad over what happened, then the princess would be worse. He still shared a room with the blond, but long after waking – the memory of him doing so and calling Kurogane his real name also sticking in the back of Kurogane's mind – Fai had decided to check out the building once again. It felt as if everything had slowly been returning to normal. The building remained upright, thanks to one of Sakura's feathers, their hosts were especially thankful and allowed them rooms to stay in, and they were expected to work and care for each other like a family once more.

And then there was Fai.

Again, Kurogane's heart bled from the thought.

He looked over to the closed door that stood before a bathroom. It was one of few in the building, and it had one of few doors that were still standing. The light was still on, indicating that Fai was not yet finished in that room. Perhaps he realized that he needed to get cleaned up. Or perhaps he was staring at himself in the chunk of leftover mirror that hung on the wall.

Fai was not the only one among them who was broken, of course. His pain was just much deeper than simple betrayal. Mokona had wanted in the room before they all decided to go to sleep, but Fai reminded their tiny traveler that Sakura needed him too, and it would be best to stay with her. Mokona had agreed, after all, Fai had Kurogane with him.

Not that that made Fai feel any better.

Fai was mad at him. Another reason Fai could be locked in the bathroom. Perhaps he chose to sleep on the cold floor instead of on the warm bed beside his companion (were they even considered lovers when they no longer acted as such?).

The bed in the next room slammed against the wall, causing one of the twins to gasp at the contact that caused the crashing sound, and Kurogane stared at the wall, wondering if with all the strength the two had, if it was possible for them to just shove the entire bed through the thick divider between them. He considered getting up to move the bed, and then shook his head against it. No point in re-organizing the room when they had no plans of staying there for very long. The group had to set out soon.

Then Fai walked into the room as a distraction. It worked well, of course. Kurogane sat up on the bed, watching Fai make his way around the bed to stare out the window. It was dark out, yet Kurogane wondered if Fai could see better in the blackness of night since he was now a vampire as well as a magician.

Fai turned to look back at Kurogane, his remaining blue eye filled with shame and disgust. He was still pretty to look at, though. His blond hair was growing out longer, his emotions were finally being seen, and he looked fragile, breakable, after not eating anything for awhile.

"Come to bed." Kurogane patted the bed for emphasis. He would never admit to anyone that he missed the feeling of having someone next to him, feeling the warmth radiating off another body.

There was another noise from the other room, and Fai's eye flew to the wall above Kurogane's shoulder. His attention stayed there for a moment before he looked at Kurogane once again. It was obvious that he did not feel comfortable sharing a bed with Kurogane anymore. There were times in their journey when Fai would jump at the chance to share a bed with him, and Kurogane had to force him off (or at least try to; Fai never listened to any threats when he learned that Kurogane would never follow through on them). The fact that Fai would rather keep his distance from even him now made him feel frustrated.

"Get in the bed before I come over there and make you," Kurogane growled, pointing at Fai's side of the bed. The right hand side. Kurogane always slept closest to the door or any exit. Now more than ever. He did this to protect Fai, even early in their journey. It had been a subconscious decision that he still did even if he was angry or infuriated at Fai for his nicknames and behaviour. It also might have been subconscious on his part just incase Fai chose to leave in the middle of the night; Kurogane would hear him or feel the bed move and would be able to stop him faster than the magician could.

Fai glanced over his shoulder to stare back at the night sky, showing Kurogane only the eye-patch covered side of his face. "I'm going to stay up for a little longer, alright," Fai gave a twisted little smile, his blue eye flickering over to judge Kurogane's face for a reaction, "Kurogane?"

Did his blood boil? Yes.

Could he feel the rage building up in his veins? Yes.

Did he let Fai witness any of these? No way in hell.

That was what Fai wanted, after all. He wanted a response. It was just like when they started their adventure, and Fai called him every ridiculous nickname he could think of. Now – after becoming so used to these names even when in the middle of a life-or-death situation – Kurogane was getting aggravated over being called his real name by a mage who wanted nothing to do with him.

Kurogane got off the bed in the calmest way he could. He wanted Fai to see that he meant business. The only noise in the background was the noise of lovemaking in the next room. Although, Kurogane wished he could have that closeness with Fai once again, he was more desperate to have Fai trust him again.

Fai did not budge an inch when Kurogane approached him. He stood his ground, glaring at Kurogane with all his worth as if the action would cause Kurogane to freeze. When Kurogane didn't stop until he stood right in front of the blond, Fai's expression turned to one of surprise.

"I already told you that I would force you," Kurogane said, grabbing Fai by the wrist before the blond could even react to the sudden motion. One would think that as a vampire and a mage (and one who knew Kurogane well enough), Fai would be so much faster. Kurogane then tossed Fai over his shoulder as if he was just a bag of flour. "So don't struggle."

Fai, though he wanted none of it, did not move any while in Kurogane's hands. This was strange in itself. Even when Fai wanted Kurogane to carry him or touch him, he put up a fight with a smile on his face. They both liked the fight; it was something they enjoyed in the end. Kurogane missed that, but he sensed that Fai was not struggling not because he did not want to be there, but for another reason.

Kurogane tossed Fai onto the bed and sat on his left hand side, just out of Fai's line of vision. He planted his left hand on Fai's other side to keep him in place. Of course, if Fai was desperate enough to put up a fight to get away, Kurogane would let him go.

"Why don't you want me getting close?" Kurogane asked, his voice shockingly curious despite the fact that he did not truly want any answers. He just wanted to be close, for Fai to accept the familiarity that they had had before the entire mess happened. This sudden change made him worry over the state of their 'family', even if he hated calling them that. "Do you still hate me for what I did?"

Fai crossed his arms like a petulant child. "You should have let me die. It was my wish to do so."

"Yeah, well, it was my wish to not listen to you," Kurogane snapped back. "You can't always have what you want. Everyone else wanted you to live, so you're outvoted."

Another slam, louder this time, as if the noises were increasing in volume. Kurogane would not doubt that. Not that he saw this as a challenge, but he had a strong belief that he and Fai could reach the same tempo and volume as the twins.

"What I don't understand is why you care." Fai gave him a heartbreaking look that shook him down to his soul. "I thought that what we shared was only sex to you. I was just relief for you. If that's true then why make it so you can't leave me without letting me die in the end? I already know that you'll be staying in Japan when we reach it. If you're going to break my heart doing so then you shouldn't kill me as well."

Kurogane had never thought about it that way, but he was not going to start now. The very idea of him killing Fai was absurd. He then backtracked to the rest of what Fai had said, and he felt disgusted in more ways than one. At Fai for him even thinking such a thing and saying it out loud. And at himself for the possibility of letting that show through his actions.

He knew that there was a past figure, a man of some sorts, that Fai was afraid of. This person must have done something horrid to hurt Fai to the point of breaking him down, turning him into a broken doll. He felt so sickened by this creeping thought that had somehow made it's way into his head that this man had for some reason used Fai for personal uses, that he knew that if he ever sank to that level, he would do Fai a favour and leave right then.

Kurogane then thought about what Fai was telling him as a whole. It sounded as if Fai was sick of being in this type of position. He no longer wanted people using him and then tossing him aside. Kurogane applauded the idea of Fai standing up for himself in his head, but then also realized that it meant that this had happened more then once. This made him come to the conclusion – not just today, but long ago at some point when they were comfortable with each other – that this Ashura person had indeed used Fai to fulfill some sick whim.

"I have no desire to do anything to you like that." Kurogane tried his hardest to reassure him. He felt good at being able to get through even a little to Fai after the ordeal they had been through. Yet he knew that the wrong thing would turn Fai away from him again. He placed his right hand on Fai's delicate cheek, foregoing the eye patch, and brushing his hand through the wispy blond hair. "I would never break you like that. No man would ever turn away from someone he loves."

He knew his feelings were showing, but he also knew that Fai needed to hear them. Bright, beautiful Fai was feeling depressed over every little thing. Kurogane's first thought was because of the loss of his eye, a feature on his face that attracted a lot of people to him. After thinking it over some more, Kurogane figured it had to be deeper than just the loss of a pretty object from his face. He figured it was because of his magic. None of it seemed to click, though. Fai was not narcissistic, and he definitely was not weak, so what else could there be that would cause Fai to be so upset besides the pain and the fact that Kurogane did not listen to him. Unless that was the answer to it.

Fai shook his head. "You don't love me. I believed that at some point, but I don't now. The only reason you wanted me was so you had someone close by who could take the spot in your bed."

"Would you quit acting like this?" Kurogane stared at him coldly.

The noises in the other room were persistent. They had not seen each other in a long time. Upon seeing each other, they shared an embrace, few words, knowing looks, and then a hasty retreat to the bedroom to see even more of each other. That was what lovers did. Kurogane missed it.

"Listen to them," Kurogane muttered before he could help himself. He knew Fai could hear them. Hell, he could hear them, which meant that Fai would know whose voice was whose, what they were doing to cause the moans and gasps, and even what position they were in thanks to his heightened senses. Nonetheless, Kurogane continued, "They're happy. They haven't seen each other in so long, and they're happy. That bastard who killed you in that one world even likes the shy one, and still they find a way to forget everything. Why can't we--"

"I can't forgive you," Fai whimpered, hiding his only blue eye behind a shield of blond hair. "I never wanted to live. I wanted to hide, to run away. But you hate that more than anything." Fai shook his head as if the thought had a negative answer. "For some reason, you're the only person I have ever met that I don't want to disappoint. When you told me that I was the kind of person you hated most, I wanted to change, but…not really. I can't change that part of my life because it's out of my control. I can't change what he's done to me and how that's affected me…"

"I never wanted you to change." Kurogane's voice sounded strong, sure of itself, the complete opposite of how he really felt. "I see that now. I don't want you to regret living. I thought it would make you happy. I don't like seeing people dying before my eyes, and I only wanted you to be happy. Maybe it doesn't, but it made me…happier" he spat the word as if he hated the taste of it in his mouth "to have you alive. And now you're not the same person. What happened?"

Fai's lips tightened, and then he opened his mouth as if he was unsure of what would come out. "You told me to think of my future. And all I could think of was you." He noticed the way Kurogane tensed in surprise at the mention of it, and somehow it gave him the strength to continue. "I thought about the way you would do things. I know that if you saw what I did you would cut in. I jumped into the water when he was holding Kamui against his will. I bent over to see what had become of his eye. And…I didn't fight back…I just accepted it…"

"I would never have done that!" Kurogane growled. "That's why when he grabbed you--" He stopped and saw that Fai had no clue what he was talking about. Of course. Fai had been unconscious. He had no clue what had happened to him after his eye had been taken. Kurogane took his right hand away from the bed and placed it under the black eye patch on Fai's cheek. "I can't imagine what kind of pain you went through. I never want to see it again; I want you to be safe. That's why when I saw him with you; I did what I wanted to. I didn't care if he was the kid who was traveling with us or not because I saw him standing over you… All I knew was that he was killing you… The journey we had gone on no longer mattered after that…"

"When we first started traveling together…would you have done the same thing?"

Kurogane took a long look at Fai, sensing that he was close to tears. He had never seen Fai look so upset, but he figured the magician hid his emotions whenever they threatened to leak through his masks. And now he had a good idea of Fai's fears. Fai wanted to know how much Kurogane felt for him. Even though Fai hated him, he wanted to know if Kurogane would do the same thing or if this was just a feeling that appeared after having sex.

"I would have helped the best I could," Kurogane muttered, turning his head to the side. Fai kept staring at him now that he expected answers. That bright, watery blue eye showed Kurogane Fai's full attention, his full devotion. The black patch, however, reminded Kurogane of what he was dealing with: Fai's emotions, delicate as they were. "It wasn't until awhile ago that I would have given something up to keep you alive."

"So," Fai's eye narrowed, "it was only because we slept together. That's the only reason. If I hadn't given in to you, you would never of let me live like this. Maybe we never should have done anything."

"I don't regret anything." Kurogane growled, staring back at Fai with even more intensity. They were both quiet when a moan was heard in the next room. Kurogane could only think about what Subaru mentioned with Fuuma earlier on. Seishirou. There was something about that hunter that Subaru was trying to escape. Kamui would do anything to protect his brother, but it almost sounded as if Subaru would return to Seishirou for some reason, and it was clearly not the sex. If Subaru could turn to his twin brother for a relationship, why would he want to return to some bastard? The same longing in Subaru's heart had to be in Fai's in regards to Ashura. Fai might not like Ashura in any way, but Ashura must have treated him nice once upon a time. Just like Seishirou with Subaru. Until Seishirou broke Subaru's heart. And that was why Kamui hated the man even more than he hated the hunter that the man was. That was why Kurogane hated Ashura who turned Fai into this emotional, mistrusting wreck. "I definitely don't regret what's happened. It was fate that we were brought together like this."

"Was it fate that I should be the one to be hurt so badly?" Fai asked, a far away sound in the small room. Fai shook his head, tears finally brimming in his single eye, and Kurogane found that no matter how much he did not want to be a witness to this, he could not bring himself to look away. "Why must I suffer so much pain? Why must I bring pain to those I love? It's not fair…"

Kurogane placed his right hand on Fai's shoulder to balance himself as he leaned forward. His forehead met with Fai's and he stared into the endless blue eye before him. He felt pity for there only being one eye like that left, only one that he could stare into now. He could remember sharing rooms with Fai long before this mess began. He remembered Fai staying up long into the night with him with bottles of alcohol between them. He remembered seeing so much laughter in those bright blue eyes that always sought him out in crowds and large rooms. And he sought out the company and comfort those eyes gave him. Even now he thought of Fai as his only constant companion in all the worlds they traveled to.

"I've told you," Kurogane said, sounding harsher than what he meant to, "I don't care about your past. If you want to stay…with me…for the future, that doesn't bother me. There's no way you can survive like this on your own. I don't want to see you turning to anyone else for anything. You don't need that bastard, Ashura or whoever it is, to live. You know I won't hurt you. I know that whatever the hell happened to you obviously broke you. I want to help fix you. What do you think? Do you want to throw this all away?"

Fai must have found some energy left in his body since his arms picked themselves off the bed and were then wrapped around Kurogane's shoulders. Kurogane sat up, pulling the magician with him into a sitting position. He entangled one hand into the blond hair that seemed to be growing longer and placed the other on Fai's shaking back. He could feel Fai, still crying and whimpering, as the blond snuggled into the place where his shoulder met his neck. He was able to forget the fact that Fai was now a vampire, that he had heard legends where this would be where vampires sucked the blood of their victims until they died.

This was what he had wanted in the end.

"I still don't like…drinking your blood…Kurogane…" Fai's muffled voice was barely heard, but Kurogane smirked when he caught the words. "You…still should have…let me die…"

"No." Kurogane tightened his grip on the man in his arms. He never would have known that Fai would break down so easily or that he – himself – would find so much comfort in the fact that Fai was still with him and living as normal a life as possible. "There was no way I could let you die like that. How am I supposed to live with those other three? I need someone to be with me. And I know you need someone, too."

Fai nodded slowly, sniffling as he did so. "I would…go insane… I…need someone…to keep the nightmares…away when I sleep…and when I'm awake…" He turned his head so he could breathe onto Kurogane's neck, feeling the pulse quicken, and he licked his dry lips. "You're that person… You protect me… Thank you…Kurogane…"

Kurogane sighed. He was content with the feeling of his closest companion in his arms once again. The sounds next door no longer bothered him as much as they did before. As he ran a teasing finger up Fai's spine, feeling a shudder and smiling to himself, he voiced his thoughts once again. "What does this mean?"

"It means, Kurogane," Fai laughed gently, the sound of his crying stopped for a moment, "that I still…love you, and I think we should still have sex, but…I can't forgive you for what you did. I still hate you for that…"

"Hmph." Nonetheless, Kurogane kept Fai in his arms. "I guess that's good enough for now. After all," he gave Fai a devilish smirk, "we need to show those damn vampires what it's really like to miss someone."

Kurogane felt Fai smile in the crook of his neck and the tender kisses that Fai was capable of begin to decorate his neck. When Fai made his way up Kurogane's jawline, there was a moment where they stared at each other, realizing what the journey had forced them to become, before Kurogane held Fai's face in his hands and pressed their lips together. Fai relaxed into the kiss, allowing Kurogane to reclaim his mouth as his own.

The taste was different, but unmistakably Fai. The blond had only a slight difference now when compared to who he was when they first joined like this. Instead of the alcohol and sweetness Kurogane once associated with Fai, there was now blood and tears, the result of digging deeper into their souls and the fact that Fai drank from Kurogane whenever forced to. He suspected that he would have to get used to this if he ever wanted this to work out.

Fai must have realized that Kurogane was tasting him; he could feel the warrior's tongue moving inside his mouth, and his eye widened when he came to that conclusion. When he tried to move away, disgusted by what Kurogane might be thinking about him, Kurogane pulled him closer. He pushed Fai down onto the bed a bit too forceful. Fai returned the unspoken sentiment by tightening his hold just a bit.

Neither spoke, even when they came apart to listen to the night – which had become oddly quiet – and to look at each other, to see the face of the only other person they wanted to see. They had to continue the journey together, for Sakura's sake. In that sense, Kurogane felt as if Fai had predicted the entire ordeal, of them becoming parents to at least the one child that still depended on them for assistance.


And he still could not get over how wrong that sounded coming from those lips. To Fai, he was not 'Kurogane', he used to be something more, even if it was just a means of entertainment. Regardless of how he felt, though, he paused and stared at Fai intently.

"Doesn't this feel…strange?" Fai's eye closed halfway as he tried to find a better word for how he felt at the moment. "It feels different, but good. Like…this has been what we've been waiting for… I guess it feels kind of weird and wonderful at the same time. Do you know what I mean?"

Kurogane was used to making sense out of Fai's gibberish, however, even this seemed odd for him. It must have meant that Fai was feeling happier than how he felt before, which made sense to Kurogane when he thought about it that way. He would never admit it to anyone besides Fai that he felt better about the world and the past few days when he was curled up with the magician in bed.

Besides, there was something magical about being left in a single bedroom, the sound of other couples around them joining together for the night as they did the same, when the rest of the world was going up in the flames from Hell from the acid rain, the irrational fighting, and all the death just outside the window.

This was real magic.

- Atopos