A/N: This is just a short piece musing about Kurogane and Fai's relationship and how it might evolve after the manga. Hope you enjoy!
Fai had had plenty of time to ponder the ties that bound him and Kurogane together. It wasn't as though he actually sat down with the intention of considering their relationship, but it was a topic that was endlessly brought to the surface, again and again. And every time this happened Fai had to pause and wonder again at the strange way the two men seemed to dance around each other – or at least, Fai danced and Kurogane sort of hacked-and-chopped around the bush.
But it was this mutual avoidance that made their interactions so meaningful and important, he had decided. While Sakura was still around she constantly drew everybody's attention, being really the heart and focus of their group. Now that she was gone everyone was forced to face the situation head-on. Not that the situation was difficult. In fact, in some ways it was easier to progress now than it had ever been. Syaoran's abilities strengthened and improved every day and now that Fai was comfortable using his magic freely, they could solve any problem they had in moments. Days at most. And no longer were they desperately aiming for a single goal – a feather – but instead they had free rein. Although this almost made it harder. They had all separately acknowledged quite early on that it could take an eternity to achieve the goal they had set and so by this point they almost were aimless, three friends – yes, Fai acknowledged, they definitely were friends of the highest order – wandering around and having fun together, and while they were at it trying to make every world a nicer place.
Syaoran spent all of his time thinking about the parents he had lost, and the love of his life waiting for him so very far away. This tended to render him blind to the actions going on around him in the group. Fai, on the other hand, enjoyed every moment of this adventure. He'd always wanted to live a proper life, and now he had the chance to do even more than that. And Kurogane? Well, he was a mystery, as always. Doubtless he still longed for his country, but maybe he had continued with them because he really did want to find the other Syaoran, and the other Sakura. Or maybe it was the suggestion of true friends, like he hadn't had in years, that made him continue. Or perhaps…
Something Fai had to make note of was the way that he and Kurogane had always considered themselves a little separate from the rest of the group. For a while now, it had always been 'us' and 'them', or 'us' and 'the princess and the kid'. Perhaps this distinction could be made because they were older, or because they had started the journey for different reasons, or because they were just so similar it made sense to consider them a separate part of the group. But this, again, was going into the ideas that might have been best left undefined.
Reminders of the ties that bound them were present every day. The way that Fai persisted in calling Kurogane by a stupid nickname, and the way that Kurogane refused to use Fai's name. The shiver that ran through both of them when Fai's hand brushed across the pale scar on Kurogane's wrist. Or the way that in one world, Fai had taken lessons in mechanics and the way that they both would stand silent as Fai worked on Kurogane's arm, adjusting screws and connections and the way it connected to his shoulder in an attempt to make it more comfortable.
And often when they had to share a bedroom and a bed – because the more times change, the more things stay the same – something could be seen in the way they both tried to stay on opposite sides of the bed as they fell asleep, and woke up either with Fai fallen off or tangled together in the middle of the bed. And this was always followed by a silence, as neither one knew what to say. Perhaps more notable was the way that when this happened, and they woke up in each other's arms, they were far too close for comfort and yet far too comfortable to move. And still far too uncomfortable to actually say anything about it later.
There were signs and little things everywhere, things that Fai noticed and he was sure that Kurogane had noticed too. But he was set firmly on the side of silence; the moment anything was said about it, it would change from being a dreamy and ethereal sort of thing that may have only existed in their minds to a real thing that they would have to mention and possibly even discuss. And besides, Fai had always been sure that the more ambiguous their relationship, the more honest it was. Because when it came down to it, he'd never known what he wanted from life, only what he didn't want, and he knew almost nothing about Kurogane's life before they had met at Yuuko's shop on that wonderful, rainy day. But he was sure that Kurogane, too, must have felt something happening, and something beginning, and for now wasn't it best just to leave it and see whether anything came of it or whether it had been a dead end all along?
The shivers, and the brushes, and the way Fai smiled when he looked at Kurogane, and the way Kurogane never mentioned the nicknames, not even once, ever again would last Fai until the day he died. He'd never wanted much from life. And he didn't know it, but Kurogane did occasionally have similar thoughts; to him, the honest smile that rested comfortably on Fai's face every time he looked his way was all the reward he'd ever wanted from life.
So the days drifted by, and the nights, in what either of them could only describe as blissful ambiguity. Because had it been defined, it might have lost its meaning.