Hey everyone! I'm kinda sorta hopefully back now. For those reading The Stages of Love, yes I am trying to write more of it. It's not going too well and I've hated everything I started. So yes, I really am trying. Maybe watching No. 6 again will help.

Now, on to business. I know I gave this fic a weird title, but it was literally the first thing that popped into my head. It doesn't mean there will be ten fics here. There might be less, there might be more. I don't know yet.

Also! This is a collection of one-shots. I tried that song meme thing. Y'know, the one where you pick a pairing and put your iPod on shuffle, then write the first idea that pops into your head? Yeah, that. I've taken a few artistic liberties with it because I was NOTPLEASED with the results I got from the song's time span. On to the funz~!

Disclaimer: Kurogane and Fai are now and forever will be the cosmic playthings of CLAMP. I am borrowing them without permission and make no profit from writing this or anything that follows.

Song: In Her Eyes
Artist: Josh Groban


Somehow, Kurogane saw right through me from the start. I had no idea how he did it, either. There had been no cracks in my mask, no flaw in my script. He just had a way of always knowing how I was feeling and, to an extent, what I was thinking.

At first, I ignored it. I thought it was a fluke. It had to be. No human was naturally that intuitive, and certainly not towards a total stranger.

He had to be the one exception, didn't he?

I became wary of him. He kept seeing; he kept knowing. Both were dangerous – not just for me, it was dangerous for him, too. I was meant to one day betray him. I was not meant to get close to him, not meant to open my heart to him and see what he made of everything that spilled out of it. I was not to love him – any of them.

I built more walls. I hid those walls behind more smiles, more laughter, more teasing, more silly nick-names (I had one for every possible occasion now). I pushed Kurogane further and further away.

At least I thought I had.

He still saw, he still knew. What baffled me the most wasn't that none of my tactics worked on him, though that was something in and of itself. No, what really confused me was that despite everything I tried, everything I was, he still bothered to care. He didn't hate the bottomless well of nicknames I had for him, he hated that they were my way of trying to enrage him past his seemingly natural ability to read me. He didn't hate my smiles, he hated that they were fake.

I still tried.

I failed so miserably it was admirable. Kurogane was too stubborn for his own good, really. Once he'd decided on something, he'd see it through to the end no matter what stood in his way, no matter how long it took, no matter how difficult I was – no matter what.

Why decide on me, though? I never fully understood why it was me he tried the hardest with. I couldn't fathom why he'd bother. It confused me; it annoyed me; it made me want to shake him until he gave up. If he could read me so easily, if he saw right through me, if he understood me so well, why would he care about me?

What could he see in me that I couldn't?

I was never a hero; I was never an angel. I was never anyone worth the trouble. I was tainted and dirty, a murderer, a thief, a liar – a sinner through and through. I wasn't worth saving.

Still, Kurogane persisted.

He saved my life. Not once, but twice. First, he willingly became my life source. I wanted to hate him for it. I wanted to be angry. I wanted to close him out and keep him out. In reality, I hated myself for not being able to stop him. I was angry at myself for being the tiniest bit relieved to still be alive. I couldn't close him out if some part of me had softened to him; I couldn't close him out if I had started to love him.

The next time he saved me, it was after I had betrayed all of them. After they learned the true horrors of my past – after they learned who and what I really was. It didn't stop Kurogane from cutting his own arm off and abandoning his sword in exchange for my life.

Both times, though he knew the consequences, he still saved me. He still chose me. And he did it with no hesitation.

He saw something in me worth saving. He saw someone worth protecting. He saw someone he loved, regardless of the hell I'd put us both through. In Kurogane's eyes, I wasn't worthless; I wasn't a harbinger of misfortune; I wasn't a curse. To him, I never had been and never could be.

In his eyes, I was everything he wanted and needed.