"If you had the choice, what age in your life would you go back to?"
Kurogane took his drink away from his lips and frowned at the mage. "What kind of dumbass question is that?"
Fay shrugged, smiling his infuriating smile. "It's just a question, Kuro-pon."
Not long ago, Kurogane would have sputtered and yelled at Fay for calling him something so stupid. As it was now, when all had been said and done, Kurogane found he preferred the nicknames.
"It's a stupid question."
"If you had one night left to live…" the blonde then said, his eyes on the stars above and voice low, soft over the silence, "What would you do?"
"What's with all these que-"
"Just answer; stop being such a killjoy~"
"I'M NOT A…" Kurogane stopped midsentence and took a breath instead. "I guess I'd… probably try and fight whatever was going to end my life. If it couldn't be helped then I'd say my goodbyes and make my peace with the gods."
Fay hummed, mulling over the words.
"What about you?"
At this the blonde grinned and murmured "Drink," before taking a large gulp out of his bottle as if to prove a point.
Kurogane snorted. He had suspected that the idiot wouldn't even face his own questions head on.
A comfortable silence followed, which Kurogane was grateful for. It went without saying that a silent mage was the best kind of mage. He relaxed back against the bank of grass, holding his bottle close. In the world they were in, the chill of night was present but didn't bother your bones, and even though the sky was lit with stars, both of them were comfortable.
It was rare they had times like these. Times where they could lean back and take it easy for a few hours. Syaoran had been more determined than ever, which made sense to both adults, and some of the worlds they visited were extremely dangerous due to the echo of the "tsubasa paradox", as Fay was calling it.
There had been worlds where fire fell from the skies and worlds where diseases turned humans into monsters. There were worlds where nobody could see or hear. There were worlds where only pain was real.
They weren't anything like this world. This world was calm and peaceful. Even Kurogane was enjoying himself after all the destruction they had faced.
"I would go back to when my mother was still alive…" Fay mumbled. His voice was level but soft and his focus was not on the stars. "She used to read stories to my brother and me… About princesses and knights in shining armor… wicked witches, dragons…" he trailed off.
"How did she die?"
Fay's smile turned wry and he gave Kurogane a dry look. "Now who's asking stupid questions?"
Silence stretched on after Fay's reply. Kurogane sighed and put a hand on Fay's head in a kind of affectionate gesture. Anxious blue eyes met calm red before they darted away, and Kurogane's warm hand moved to his cheek.
Fay's paler hand jerked up to hold Kurogane's darker one where it was, but he still didn't risk glancing up.
"We're your family now." the ninja stated. At this, Fay did look up and found he couldn't avert his eyes away from the intense gaze staring back at him. He felt his cheeks flush a little and he nodded once.
Kurogane's hand fell away.
The larger man settled back in his seat a little awkwardly, swigging from his bottle. Fay remained sat upright, palm still resting on his cheek and eyes on the ground.
"Even if I had a choice," Kurogane started, "even if I could go back to change my past, I wouldn't. Those experiences are what have made me who I am. Without those… we may not even be sat here." Together, he added mentally.
Fay nodded again and his smile returned, true this time.
"That's just like you, Kuro-sama."