A/N: A flashfic written for a request on LiveJournal. The prompt was Kurogane/Fai – loss and the ability to get past it.
Warnings: contains mild sexual content.
Disclaimer: Tsubasa Chronicle is the intellectual property of CLAMP and all associated companies. No profit is being made from this and no copyright infringement intended with this fan-made piece of fiction. Please support the authors by buying their official work.
Sharing is not the same as giving
Somehow, they'd ended up as something like friends. They'd made an unspoken truce some time after Kurogane had revealed himself as being aware of Fai's true nature. And now that they had both gained so much and lost even more, they had reached a breaking point in their relationship.
Though, if Fai had to be completely honest, Kurogane had done more for him than he – for Kurogane. He'd been stopped from dying not once, but twice, and the only reward Kurogane had gotten was a punch to the face. And now he had to depend on Kurogane if he wanted to keep on living – something he had finally found the will to do. But it didn't come without a price. A price that the vampires had failed to mention.
Every time Fai drew blood from Kurogane it wasn't just Fai who became affected, though it worked on Kurogane in an entirely different way. Fai, though noticing it straight away, chose to not heed it, feeling rather awkward about the situation, even if his cheerful demeanour didn't let it on. Much later, when he allowed his natural perceptiveness to take the upper hand, he realised that the situation between them hadn't changed at all. Fai supposed that, in the beginning, he'd been too angered, too guilt-ridden and too reluctant to accept his new status to pay much attention to things going on around him. But around the fourth or fifth time he finally realised that Kurogane wasn't as okay with the situation as he had claimed to be and as he pretended to be even now.
"That cut will never heal if you keep tearing it up all the time," Fai joked, eyes practically closed to hide the fact that the smile on his lips never reached his eyes.
"Like you care," Kurogane grumbled and withdrew his hand with a frown, and a hint of relief that he couldn't entirely hide. He found everything about Fai infuriating. Of course the cut wouldn't heal because he used it to draw blood for Fai.
"Oh, but I do," Fai continued with the same smile. "You're my prey. I have to take good care of you."
Kurogane snorted and turned his back on him, indicating that the conversation was over. Of course. The magician-turned-vampire couldn't continue living if Kurogane died.
"You're always so cold, Kuro-tan!" Fai called after him in his sing-song voice, but it produced no reaction from the warrior. He noted that this was the first time when they'd gotten around to discussing their situation. Well, in any other way than the usual Kurogane's bark for Fai to just hurry up and get it over with. Now Fai took the time to study him thoroughly – something he'd forsaken while stewing in his own fury for not being allowed to die. And so he was quite surprised to discover something rather… out of the norm. Kurogane looked uncomfortable every time just the two of them were in the same room.
Taking a chance to jump right onto his discovery and using a moment when Kurogane was still around, Fai spoke up.
"You seem rather concerned about something," he stated with the air of his usual cheerful indifference.
"Nothing's wrong," Kurogane snapped back, wrapping the cut up. "Get out if you're done."
Considering it unfit to argue just then, Fai bade him goodnight and left. But the next time he had to take Kurogane's blood, he studied him intently, listening in to every little sound, trying to sense the shifts in the air around them. Because now that he'd began to finally notice the changes, and after reflecting on all of the previous times when he'd been quite ignorant, he had started to see patterns in the warrior's attitude. Now he took note of every little thing: Kurogane's heartbeat, for instance, – the way it sped up; the way his breathing changed slightly, the way his body tensed in defence.
Fai drew back sooner than the previous times and regarded him with disbelief.
"Don't tell me you're…"
Kurogane's glare and the colour on his cheeks were eloquent enough and Fai made the mistake of laughing out loud at the incredible fact. Almost immediately he found himself across the room with the impact of Kurogane's fist on his cheek. He slid down the wall to an ungraceful heap on the floor and tentatively reached up to feel his jaw. Good thing vampires healed faster than humans.
The next time Fai approached him, Kurogane was glaring, and the former magician chose to refrain from any further comments concerning his problem, though he did take his time annoying Kurogane with comments from his usual repertoire. This earned him several more violent attacks and Fai decided that maybe this was okay. That, maybe, this was the price he would have to pay for his life. Peace could not be established quite as easily between them. In fact, it had never seemed possible; just mute acceptance of each other's existence.
It took four weeks until Kurogane began regarding him with his usual indifference. At that time Fai risked to offer some sort of help, but was turned down quite harshly, informed that Kurogane could take care of his problem on his own, and threatened with bodily harm if the former magician decided otherwise. Eyes slipping shut as usual, Fai smiled again, tilted his head to the side charmingly and remarked that, technically, this was both their problem, as Fai was the cause of it. He was, once again, told to sod off, though Kurogane didn't resort to violence this time, too appalled by the offer to react in any other way.
Fai didn't bring it up anymore and eventually they reverted to the same relationship they'd had in the very beginning: doubt, suspicion, mistrust.
It took a good while until Kurogane allowed himself be touched by Fai and even then he wasn't all that certain or accepting about it. Even Fai's "It doesn't have to mean anything" wasn't of much help. Even if Fai called this an expression of his gratitude, a payment for being alive and dependent on Kurogane, the warrior wasn't predisposed to accept such an act. Being touched like that by another man felt wrong, no matter what the circumstances and the reasons were.
Still, Fai offered himself, his body, as a means of relief, and Kurogane came to accept it with reluctance after a long period of doubt. He remained hesitant in touching Fai and the magician had to show the most initiative, to encourage Kurogane to use him as a relief in whatever way he found suitable. In the very beginning at least. Gradually Kurogane allowed himself to be more open with his displays of need, taking without being offered, and Fai didn't complain even once, no matter how accidentally rough he became. He had agreed to it. He had wanted it. And Kurogane found that this extension of their relationship didn't change the basics about them: they weren't anything more – or anything less – that what they'd been before.
Fai let Kurogane take him just like Kurogane let him drink his blood, and even if this mutual courtesy was barely equal – yet again, as it tended to happen within their group where one person would always be more giving – they didn't seek for more. They didn't demand anything more from each other, and most notably – they didn't let anything show on the outside. They hadn't changed for the world. They'd let the world change them.