Disclaimer: I wouldn't be here if X belonged to me.

A/N: Subaru has not been referred to as the Sakurazukamori, seeing as there is little mention of the same in the anime. Feedback is appreciated.

It was dark, forbiddingly dark. It engulfed the surroundings wholly, nothing in probable sight visible. The place felt familiar, evoking vague recollections but nothing that Subaru could put a finger to. He could feel nothing – surely this wasn't a kekkai but it could be an illusion as well.

The sound of footsteps echoed against the space before he could think any further.

"Sumeragi Subaru, isn't it? It's surprising to see you."

Subaru turned around at the addressed words, only to see Fuuma Monou, the former Dragon of Earth... Kamui's counterpart.

The said person was equally startled to see him. So this is the dreamscape. No wonder it felt familiar, so distressingly familiar. As for Fuuma, he found the missing smirk and swagger amiss, before remembering that the Promised Day had undone all the necessities of that role.

That Kamui had sacrificed himself to restore Fuuma to his original self.

Of course he would remember. "It's a pleasure to see you again," he said evenly, waiting for his reaction. Would it be weighed with guilt or would it express relief and joy of being alive once again?

The man brought back memories, memories Subaru did not care to remember.

"It will sound strange, but I would like to... thank you for being there for Kamui. When I could not be."

The frank admission got to Subaru. This was not what he was expecting.

"How do you do it?" he couldn't help but ask. "How do you look past your actions towards Kamui and be so...objective about it?"

"I have not forgotten the days leading up to the Promised Day. I remember what I did to Kamui...Kami knows how I killed my own sister," Fuuma spoke, his voice lowered to a whisper, quivering with untold emotions. "But it was my destiny, as was Kamui's. Either one of us would have died either way. By choosing to repent over the past, I was only forsaking Kamui's sacrifice."

Subaru could only look back at him in astonishment. How could he...?

A part of him felt grateful - Kamui's life did not go in vain. But the other only grieved and mourned for his loss. The two people he held most dear.

A sister who chose to die in order to protect him. A lover who sought to kill, only to be killed. By his own hands.

"I believe it is regret I see in your eyes," Fuuma spoke after a brief silence. Evidently, he had not lost his ability to see past through people or was the remorse etched so clearly in Subaru's expressions?

He didn't want to know.

"Seishirou believed that it was your wish to kill him. I had known even then that it was the opposite. And regretfully, if I may add, none of us could ever gauge his true intention, right upto the moment of his death."

But I had, against all hopes. And I still find it hard to believe. The name still stung dully, stirring awake feelings Subaru had kept buried for long. Feelings which were hard to forget, to obliterate.

"I suppose it had been easier for you to face Kamui, not remembering what he meant to you," Subaru muttered, not intending to be harsh. Nevertheless they had been fortunate, despite Kamui's obvious troubles of dealing with Fuuma and the fate of the world together.

Or had he seen it as one and the same thing, seeking a single answer to all issues?

"In a way, yes," Fuuma acknowledged, "But in a way, our fate was eerily similar to yours and Seishirou's."

There, he said it. The truth Subaru had been unwilling to face. And look where it got them as well. But no, he was wrong, unless Fuma only pretended to be happy, happy without Kamui and Kotori.

"You cannot make everyone happy," he reiterated, wistfully recalling how he had told the same to the Seal. "And Kamui chose your happiness above his."

It was Fuuma's turn to reminisce. "He sought his happiness in my well-being. It is what we all do. You sought yours in all these years. They sought their happiness in wanting you to live."

The onmyouji closed his eyes in quiet remembrance. And so it is.

It doesn't change the past, however. It doesn't bring life to the deceased.

"Similar fates, yes," Subaru finally spoke, looking at Fuuma intensely, a single eye betraying apathy and pain intertwined. "But you have been fortunate, more fortunate than I could ever be. Cherish it."

He briefly placed a hand on Fuma's shoulder as if to reassure and walked away into the looming darkness.