A/N: ...erm...right... Merry Christmas! *runs and hides in shame and terror*

Chapter 16

Kurogane made his way quickly down the many halls of the palace before striding quickly into the garden. It took a few minutes to get to the gazebo, but when he did, he paused. Fai was standing there, staff in hand, and whispering in quiet whispers to the numerous grey snake-fish-things hovering around him. Those things always gave Kurogane the shivers. Creepy things.

And then Fai turned to him and he noticed the gold that still dyed his eyes. So Fai was still possessed. This was going to be fun.

"Come on out, Kurogane." God, the way he said his name like that… "Why eavessdrop if you can just lissten."

He was not turned on by Fai's voice all slippery like that. It wasn't even Fai in there, not really.

"We thought you'd be coming. You took your time. We were growing tirred of waiting."

Oh, by the gods, that rolling 'r.' "Yeah, well, I'm here now. And if you were waiting for me, why didn't you send for me earlier?"

Lin-Fai stuck out his lower lip in an adorable, ahem, annoying pout. "But that would have rrequirred actually doing worrk." A slender hand planted itself in the center of Kurogane's chest as Lin-Fai leaned closer. "We prefer fun."

"I'm not sure I like your version of 'fun,'" Kurogane growled.

The lin-Fai snickered. "Yesss. That iss exactly why we enjoy it. Your reactionss are, how do you say, adorable." Now the hand on the pirate's chest began slipping steadily downwards in a light, teasing motion. "You are such a teassse."

Kurogane glared indignantly. "Me a tease?! Look who's talking, mister tease-and-torture-a-lot. You're ten times the tease I am, idiot mage."

"Not a mage, Kuro. Shaman."

"Whatever. Same difference."

A slender, blonde eyebrow lifted in a perfect arc as the lin pressed Fai's body flush against Kurogane's. "Therre was a time even you would disagree with that sstatement."

The pirate snorted, his body nudging automatically against Fai's. "I doubt it."

Pale lips came within centimeters of Kurogane's as the shaman whispered, "We know it." And then pale lips met dark in a kiss the likes of which Kurogane had only felt once before, long ago with someone he'd long ago sworn to torture 'til the edge of death for kidnapping his sister.

But while it was similar, it was also different. Whereas before, the other party had been shy and gentle, this shaman was forward and sensual sweeping Kurogane away at his pace instead of the other way around. It was a new experience and the pirate was not about let this chance pass.

His arms immediately encircled the thin waist pulling the slender body closer. His hands began exploring the shaman's back feeling each notch along the knobby spine. One hand slid up into feather soft blonde hair gripping the shaman's head and tilting it to the side to deepen the kiss. The other slipped downward to fondle the plump buttocks, squeezing and caressing causing the shaman to hum and press closer to Kurogane's body, one leg lifting to hook around one of the pirate's legs.

Pressing the slender body closer, Kurogane began thrusting lightly against the shaman who reacted by breaking the kiss gasping for breath and arching against his tanned captor. Dark, hungry lips locked onto the pale jaw steadily working their way back to tender ear, latching onto the soft skin and nibbling earning spasms from the shaman's fingers on the pirate's back. He smirked as he dragged his teeth along the skin before releasing the ear and coming down to the throat tongue lapping at the shuddering pulse just beneath the surface.

He didn't notice they had moved until suddenly his body shuddered from the impact of Fai's body against one of the columns of the gazebo, but he took advantage of the change in position nonetheless. He pressed his hip against Fai's and rolled them drawing an outright purr from his pleasured captive who proceeded to press back just as hard. Hands that had only moments ago been grasping at Kurogane's shirt, now gripped the belt loops of the pirate's pants and yanked forward adding more friction to their sensual game.

Kurogane's hand that had been kneading the tender buttocks migrated back up the knobby spine before tracing imaginary lines up and down Fai's back between his shoulder blades. One particular spot seemed to draw a rather unique response that neither party expected. A single finger pressed firmly down Fai's back diagonal from his shoulder blade to just before the spine and Fai moaned and arched.

"Youou."

It was needy plea whispered just loud enough to be heard, but it caused Kurogane to freeze. All pleasure previously gained by their antics gone, replaced by shock and distrust. Fai visibly shook, eyes slamming tightly shut. Instantly, Kurogane caught Fai's chin, forcing his head up and back against the column hard.

"How do you know that name?" he demanded. His answer was a pair of bright, golden eyes opening, cat-like pupils dilated in shock and arousal.

Gold. Not blue. Not Fai. Lin.

Surprise filled the pirate and he released the shaman's lin controlled body to lean weakly against the column. He stepped back, trying to remember how they had gotten themselves into this situation in the first place. Quite simply, he had completely forgotten that Fai's body was still possessed and had ravished it. It had just felt so comfortable, so familiar, so…natural. It was almost more of a compulsion than anything else.

But the fact remained, he had just assaulted a defenseless person without their consent. A lin in possession of the body allowing such advances was not the body's owner allowing the advances. But that still didn't explain-

"I said, how do you know that name?"

The lin seemed to shake itself back to the present humming thought. "Fassscinating. Truly fasscinating. Never had we imagined such a rressponsse." Pupils narrowed to slits as a dark, intense expression shaped Fai's features. "You are full of surprises aren't you, Kurogane."

"Answer me!"

"We do not answer to you mortal!" Kurogane reeled back at the sharp retort. "Nor will we ever answer to you. Always remember that, lest you seek death. We protect our own, no matter what. Do not be deceived by what you see. Nothing is every skin deep."

"Hey, you're not hissing any-"

"We don't need to. It's just a preference of ours." A quirk of a smile. "We enjoy the way these mouths of yours move. The sounds they make. It issss intriguing. Besidess, iss natural. We are who we are, nothing will change that. Our speech is simply another factor that unites us."

"Why do you always use 'we' instead of 'I'? I mean, you only one lin, possessing a human body I might add."

Golden eyes narrowed once more as the lin possessing Fai moved the shaman's body back, frowning. "We are many, Kurrogane. We alwaysss have been, and alwaysss will be. To be alone is the mosst crruel currsse. To have no one to identify with, no one to touch, no one like you, alone. That is a death currsse. It hass alrrready verry nearrly claimed the life of one we hold dearr.. We assk you not to mention ssuch thingss again. Now, as for your Shaman…" Golden eyes closed and the body sighed, then blue eyes clear as day blinked open.

"Kuro, why are you here. I thought… Your ship is here, why aren't you there to meet it?"

The pirate blinked at the sudden change. And honestly, before he could force that lin to tell him how it knew his true name. And after that erotic encounter. Oh. Right. "Fai."

"Hmm?"

"Do you remember anything from when you were possessed?"

Fai blinked. "Bits and pieces, mostly. If I focus hard enough I can, why?"

Several moments passed in awkward silence. "Nothing."

Fai watched as the pirate captain left wondering what exactly he had done to make the situation so awkward. Although the hard-on in his pants was certainly a suspicious reason. He'd have to have a word with the lins. They're tactile nature worked differently when in a human body. He knew they were aware of this, but it seemed they often forgot. Or perhaps they just enjoyed tormenting him like this.

But then that name, Youou. Why did it sound so familiar? He could swear he'd heard it before…somewhere. He winced as a migraine slowly made itself known the harder he tried to place the name.

"Come to me, child. Come to me."

Every time. Every time without fail. Whenever he thought he was close to a breakthrough with his memories, he'd get another migraine. If he could only remember his name, then maybe…maybe…

But that was for another time. When he wasn't hard as the proverbial rock and horny as hell. Damn those lins.

XxX

:Nesstmate, arre you well?:

:…:

:Nesstmate?:

:It would sseem ourrr warrrd is more aware then we originally thought.:

:How can thiss be? The sseal should ssstill hold.:

:It does, but it grrowsss weak and the Pillarr iss becoming active.:

:Ah. We should not be ssurprisssed. Yui was always strong willed.:

:Yess, but so ssoon?:

:Perrhaps sshe was correct. Fate iss inessscapable.:

:…:

:Nestmate? Ssecretss are not wise to have.:

:…We were affected but the Pillar'ssss emotionsss. We werrre…sswept away.:

:…We ssssee. And Windrider? Will he be a thrrreat?:

:He asssked why we referrer to ourselvesss ass 'we' and not…'I.':

Silence.