A/N: Oh yeah, I went there. I wrote FaiSaku smut. There wasn't any, and this pairing is so heartbreakingly beautiful. It deserved some IC and -pretty- smut. :3
And here, I'll ask this question for some of you and get it out of the way: "HOW DARE YOU IGNORE CANON PAIRING(S) AND/OR DENY THE KUROFAI."
Well. Quite easily, actually. If you hate that fact and this pairing, don't read, simple as that.
It's always late at night when they finally return to their rooms, all drifting along halfway lost in their thoughts, their own separate little worlds, Infinity and its brutal human chess matches
somehow both the farthest from and the only thing on their minds. They all nurse their wounds in their own separate ways, Syaoran disappearing into his own room almost immediately tonight, Kurogane disappearing almost as swiftly into a glass of alcohol; and as always, it's Fai who helps the princess into her room, seating her on the edge of the bed.
The magician's hands are gentle as he kneels before her, removing her boots, buckles and laces and the odd snap falling away before deft fingers, and she absently tugs off her lacy headband, staring sightlessly down at her hands, her feet, the floor. Today was an especially rough day for her, a particularly long, grueling battle, and all three of her knights had received minor injures; it hasn't hit her yet, not really, Fai knows, and he lingers here, because his way of nursing his wounds is to be with this someone who cares about him enough to let him stay with her even though he can't do any sort of healing magic, who loves him enough to say with perfect sincerity I'm glad you didn't die, who is fragile and strong all at once.
He doesn't move for a long while, staying on his knees at her feet, a humble subject before his ruler, waiting to be recognized, to be called upon. When she simply closes her eyes and bows her head, he takes it as a dismissal, standing and moving away, turning out the light as he goes. Then he pauses, unable to resist turning back, starting towards the window, thinking to close out those watchful eyes, but he doesn't get that far.
He's kneeling before her again in an instant, and he's not surprised to see that tears have started slipping their way down the girl's face, shining silver-blue in the light from the city outside her window. She reaches for him, and he moves closer, reading the longing in her face, knowing what's coming, and submitting to it already.
"…Help me…help me, Fai-san."
Her hands are soft at first, sliding down from his shoulders, settling on his forearms.
"I'm sorry…but…I'm empty…so empty…"
Already those soft, gentle hands are growing desperate, slender fingers twisting into his shirtsleeves, grasping, pulling.
Moving slowly, he captures one of those desperately clutching hands in his own, and she goes utterly still as he slowly brings it to his mouth, briefly pressing his lips to her knuckles, hesitating only a fraction of a second before brushing them over the back of her hand as well. It's selfish, allowing himself to kiss her twice, but he needs it like he needs Kurogane's blood to survive and he knows she won't begrudge him that small selfishness.
On the contrary: she's enthralled by it, watching raptly, and when he chances to look up at her through his eyelashes, he finds the longing on her face hasn't lessened in the least, and she won't let him release her hand.
"Please," she breathes, her grip tightening ever so slightly, and this time she's the one bending to press her mouth to his hand. "…Please…"
"Ui ra Purinshia," Fai murmurs in reply, as if that is the answer to everything. And in a way it is, at least as far as he's concerned.
He lays her back on the bed, kissing her forehead, then her hand again, lingering over it for a long, meditative moment before tracing his fingers down her left leg (such long, graceful legs). His hands and mouth are light, pressing softly against the arch of her foot, the inside of her ankle, her knee, her thigh. Sakura hasn't moved once, flat on her back, her limbs carelessly spread-eagled, but her gaze is focused on him, watching him kiss and caress her pale, perfect skin, shivering or humming a quiet sigh when he happens upon an especially sensitive spot.
It is almost worship of a sort; with reverence he pushes aside the ruffled obstruction of her skirt, with veneration he looks at her, then bows his head to pay homage to her, glorying in each soft gasp the movement of his mouth draws out of hers. She is shaking by the time he's through, her breath coming fast, and both make it harder to get her out of her dress and into her much more simply-styled nightgown, but working together they manage it, her fumbling fingers aided by his somehow still-steady hands.
Sometimes she lets him go after that, but the magician knows tonight will not be one of those nights, and a part of him is grateful for that. He needs this too, and when he bites his lip as slips off his shirt, he can still taste her through the flat coppery tang of his own blood.
Sakura doesn't watch him, looking out the window instead at the washed-out neon lights that seem to extend forever; but she turns to give him a tiny smile when he joins her in the bed, closing her eyes as he presses another kiss to her forehead and braces himself over her.
"Please," she murmurs again, looking up, reaching up, tracing his jaw, his chin, his lips, a featherlike brush against his mouth, and he can hear the sound of wind rushing past his ears, chains shattering, locks being broken, and he doesn't know what it means but he does know it's because of her.
"Your wish…" he murmurs in reply, and he can tell by the flicker of understanding that crosses her face that she remembers his words from before: your wish is my wish. In reply, her hands wrap themselves around his upper arms, and the magician bows his head once again, piously offering himself to her, the one who sees through every fake smile and brushes them away when they are in private with gentle words and gentler fingers.
Her back arches as he joins himself to her, a pale crescent straining to connect its pointed tips and close off that vacant blackness lying along its curve, her mouth dropping open in a soundless cry; he does not pause, does not once look away from her face, his own showing nothing but an unyielding detachment, though there is sadness enough in his single golden eye to overshadow all else. It is an unhurried communion, almost tender in its slow, steady pacing, a transfiguration rather than a quick and messy baptism, though there is still a very real danger of drowning.
He is every bit as empty as she is, every bit as desperate and needy, and whenever they try to fill each other, it always ends up like this, like two half-empty glasses pouring water back and forth between each other, each one allowing itself to be a little more empty for a while so the other can be nearly full, knowing that in the end neither will be any closer to being complete but unable to resist even that temporary satisfaction. And even that nadir, when everything in one is rushing into the other, is a different sort of satisfaction, because for those few precious moments, at least one of them is whole, and the pain is welcome if it means they can take away that emptiness and heal the other's hurts, if only for a short time.
They are not loud, but they are not really quiet enough to be subtle either, and Fai knows that Kurogane can hear them, knows that he knows. Syaoran might as well, but he has little reason to care; she isn't his princess, after all.
She always sleeps afterwards, sleeps for a long time, and deeply, and that almost-peaceful look on her face makes the fact that he probably won't get much sleep tonight himself all right. He hates himself a little for this every time it happens: for their difference in age, their difference in rank, the fact that once again it's selfishness, not love, not really, that's behind their actions. They are using each other, but both know it, and both want to be used, so even though he can hardly stand to look at himself afterward (not that he ever can), he knows this won't be the last time, and ultimately he knows he doesn't mind, that in fact a part of him is looking forward to it already.
He starts to move away, intent on gathering up his clothes and slipping out before she can wake, before his own restless tossings and turnings disturb her, but a hand on his arm stops him. Staring down at her serene, beautiful face, he thinks she looks as though she is still asleep, but the touch can't have been anything but intentional.
"Stay," she whispers, eyes still closed, and though she doesn't say it, he can hear the silent like you promised in that single word.
The tightness in his chest eases just a little at that soft, solitary word, more plea than command, though he has given her the authority to give him the latter. He reclines once more, letting the pillows envelop him in their downy embrace, and though her eyes aren't open to see it, his mouth curves in a small, and for once entirely real, smile as he brushes his fingertips over one smooth cheek.
"I will," he murmurs, his hand finding hers again, clasping it gently as he gives her only as much of a promise as he's sure he can keep, because forever isn't what she wants from him, though it's what he wishes he could give her. "I'll stay…for as long as I can."
For as long as you want me, he amends silently, smile fading as sleep tugs at him, an enticing lure of impossible dreams--where maybe, for once, he can have the place in her heart that she's already given away to someone else--as well as a promise of welcome forgetfulness and temporary satiety.
It's not really enough, but he knows it's as much as he can hope for.