A/N: Written for a 500themes LiveJournal writing challenge community. The prompt was #480. When words fail. This pairing has a disturbing lack of fic here on ffnet. There's one if French, one in Spanish, and one in English (where SenKuro is only a side-pairing). What gives, fandom? What gives?
Oh, and there might be a tense shift somewhere in there - recently I've been writing fics in the present tense and I kept forgetting to switch to past every now and then while writing this. But I think I managed to mostly weed that out. Do let me know if you manage to catch a lapse there, please.

Disclaimer: Hotaru Odagiri and all associated companies are the rightful owners and I claim no association with any of them. This work is in no way associated with them, and no profit is being made of this.

Warnings: mild shounen-ai.


One Moment In Time Is Ours

Somehow they had passed the point where words were needed to communicate. Or maybe they had never had a point like that to begin with; predetermined by some higher power to be together. Even if Kuroto had tried to push everyone away in the beginning, fearing to drag more people down with him when he fell; everything he had gone through while staying with Senshirou's family had changed it. Now he couldn't imagine going on without him, couldn't imagine making it this far on his own. He was thankful for Senshirou's family taking him in, thankful for Senshirou's steady resolve, for his insistence which had made Kuroto stay. And with the passing years Kuroto came up with new reasons to stay. One was their shared memory of their grandfather. The other was their shared bid for revenge on Cadenza because both of them had lost someone they loved to that Opast. And yet another… Another was this.

Kuroto leaned into the touch, eager to be closer to his partner, his hands fisting in Senshirou's shirt.

"Don't leave me," Kuroto whispered in a low voice again, not looking at Senshirou's face. He didn't want to see it – he wanted to hear it – that answer. Even if it was a lie, even if it didn't last. He'd had it once and he had lost it all. He knew what being alone meant and he didn't want to feel it again so soon.

"If you won't," Senshirou replied calmly, a little taken aback by Kuroto's antics. He had only seldom seen and experienced him actively seeking contact with others, preferring to stand alone, to shoulder everything alone. It was actually a relief to see him open up (even if just a little bit) and disconcerting at the same time because he looked so hesitant, as if ready to bolt at any moment or hide behind that thorny armor he always wore.

Kuroto shook his head and clung tighter to the lapels of Senshirou's shirt. He couldn't look up; he couldn't meet his best friends, his almost-brother's eyes, afraid of what he might see in them. Afraid that it would break him.

"Kuroto."

Kuroto knew that tone all too well: that slightly desperate note in Senshirou's voice, that 'what am I to do with you?' which he used every time when he thought Kuroto was about to do something stupid or reckless, or stupidly reckless and wanted him to reconsider, though he never tried to force that decision. And Kuroto had decided that nothing would stop him this time. He needed to be acknowledged like this, to have a proof of his own existence – that it wasn't in vain.

"You're engaged," Kuroto whispered, pressing close to Senshirou, eager to feel more of his touch, more of his warmth.

Senshirou sighed, his eyes gazing at something in the distance which only he could see.

"She understands."

Kuroto nodded and pressed his forehead to Senshirou's chest, letting his partner's, his friend's hands trace his torso with gentle touches, which were equally good with holding a paintbrush and handling a weapon. Calloused hands unfit for an artist, so much like Kuroto's own, but they slid along his skin so lightly and – reverently, almost. Senshirou wasn't intrusive; he never was, and he always gave enough room to back away, but that was not something Kuroto wanted this time. He hadn't been able to forget that night of rain and death and Senshirou's passion and resolve with which he had held him back, preventing him from running out to meet Cadenza and die. He knew that passion existed in Senshirou, though it was always controlled, always safely hidden away. Kuroto wanted to see it once more, just one more time; he wanted to feel it, and he couldn't think of a different way to let his partner loose again.

Senshirou laughed softly when Kuroto's hands glided over his sides, tentative and just as hesitant as his own, and he didn't have the heart to decline the quiet plea that followed.

"Stay with me."

Kuroto looked up at him, darkened eyes imploring and so, so hopeful. His lips curved upward the tiniest bit when Senshirou nodded in agreement. He wound his hands around Senshirou to hold him close and never let go, or at least for as long as never lasted for them.

"Will you let me?" Kuroto asked, his hands perfectly still on Senshirou's back and held his breath. He couldn't take a refusal now; not now when he was this far gone, when he was ready to acknowledge that he had let someone else into his life, that he no longer wanted to carry to world on his shoulders in solitude. He wanted to have somebody to share it with to alleviate the weight of a…

"I will," Senshirou whispered and touched Kuroto's forehead with his lips. It was only a ghost of a real kiss; a bat of a butterfly's wings, but Kuroto needed no more than that. "I wanted to be here. I wanted to be with you. Since only we know…"

The look in Senshirou's eyes set something ablaze in Kuroto. He remembered another time when Senshirou looked at someone like that and he could almost taste the fire and dust, and blood of a battlefield from his memory and the air burning through his lungs from the speed and despair, and oh god, oh god, they were all going to die here... But the shadow had already passed and Senshirou's eyes were warm and friendly again. They were all walking a thin line between life and death and with each passing day it only thinned out more, therefore each moment was worth glittering gold and they clung to precious memories to remind themselves that they were still alive, that they existed if it's the last thing they would ever do. And Kuroto clung to this moment, scared to hold on too tight because he could never forget what happened with his previous partner – Zweilt guardians are cursed to remember everything forever until the hand of a Duras writes them out of existence. And in that case, somebody else would remember for them, would remember them for the next eternity and would be left hollow and bitter, and that was a greater curse than being forever able to remember an eternity of pain, battle, and rebirth. Kuroto didn't want that, but he knew that it was unavoidable, and he knew this better than anyone else. He also didn't want Senshirou to experience it just as much as he wanted him to – that part which wasn't that bad, though really, they're practically the same.

Kuroto sighed and got himself comfortable in Senshirou's embrace, and they needed no more words after that. Touches and breaths, and slow kisses spoke for themselves. The night was quiet and calm and they kept drifting in and out of the haze of dreams only to find that the other was still there, by his side.