Author: Sybil Rowan

Pairing(s)/Characters: Kurogane/Fai, Syaoran/Sakura (all pre- romance feel)

Rating: T

Summary: Kurogan makes a wish that Fai get struck mute for a week in an effort to teach him a lesson. It back fires and Kurogane learns that kindness, rather than force, is a way to handle Fai.

Warnings: none

Author's Notes: I'm just loving on these characters right now.

Disclaimer: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, xxxHolic its names and characters, belong to CLAMP.

Beta Reader: WingedPanther73

Date: December 20, 2012, 6:30 am

Word Count: 2,757

Kurogane awoke and sat up on the bed. It was a perfect, quiet morning. He could hear the peaceful sounds surrounding the country home they were renting. And then, that voice sliced through his serenity.

"Yo! Kurga-lurga! Breakfast! Fai-mommy made waffles with extra sweet maple syrup."

He shuddered and glared at the bedroom door right before it cracked open. Not another breakfast with sugar. He kept telling that blasted wizard to knock it off, but no, he insisted on drowning everything in that goo.

"Wakie, wakie! Or do you want breakfast in bed, Kuro-rin?"

"Shut up, you idiot!" Kurogane snarled, hurling a pillow at the wizard standing uninvited in his bedroom. Of course, Fai dodged gracefully, snagging the pillow out of midair.

"Pillow fight!" he shouted in glee, leaping into the air and smacking Kurogane in the head with the pillow.

"You little bastard!" he shouted and jumped from his bed, but Fai was bolting down the hallway.

"Hyuu! Hyuu! Mokona, daddy-kurgs woke up on the wrong side of the bed!" Fai called out when they hit the kitchen. Kurogane ignored the kids at the table and the white pork bun as he ran after Fai. The wizard kept running around the table, just barely avoiding Kurogane's fists.

"Fai, what now?" Syaoran sighed, looking as if he'd witnessed this same routine hundreds of times. And yes, this type of morning was occurring too often, to Kurogane's irritation.

"Stand still so I can kick your scrawny butt, wizard!"

"Oh I'm not in the mood for that, Big Doggie! You just have your breakfast like a good boy," Fai said in a sing-song way. Kurogane paused, clenching the back of a chair. He knew it was pointless to chase after Fai; he was just too quick and light on his feet. Just once, he'd love to wrap his hands around that slender throat until that smirking face turned purple.

"Kurogane, please have some breakfast. Just ignore Fai," Sakura pleaded.

He sat, glaring at the infuriating wizard as the princess served him waffles. His mind started machinating on Fai. He had to teach Fai one painful lesson that would put him in his place once and for all. Once breakfast was done, he took Syaoran out for some sword practice. Sakura, the sweet girl, packed them lunches and bid them a nice farewell. And then, Fai butted in with senseless chatter that inflamed Kurogane all over again.

He had to admit, he put Syaoran through the wringer during their practice so he could get rid of his aggravation over the blond wizard that made his dimension hopping a living nightmare. Syaoran, to his credit, held his own nicely.

They were eating their lunch when Syaoran pointed out, "When you blow up, it feeds what he's after."

"What?" he snapped at the kid.

"Well, Fai doesn't like it when you ignore him. I think..." Syaoran started looking a little sheepish, even kind of sad. "He's just trying to get your attention, even if it's bad attention."

"He's an overgrown child. Spoiled rotten and in need of a good spanking," Kurogane said, wishing the kid would drop the subject. He thought the kid had, because he was quiet for several long minutes.

When their food was gone, Syaoran stood up, adopting a serious expression. Kurogane paused and the next words out of Syaoran's mouth gave Kurogane a kick to the stomach. "He really likes you more than you know."

Kurogane snorted and shook his head. Kurogane snapped, "Let him take a fancy to someone else. Now, let's continue."

They didn't finish until dusk. When they got back to the house, it was blissfully silent. Syaoran went to go get cleaned up. Kurogane checked on Sakura, who was doing some drawing in the kitchen. She proudly showed what Fai had been teaching her all day, how to sketch landscapes. He had to admit, she was getting as good as Fai at art.

He wandered off to the living room to get away from the others, only to find the proverbial pebbled in his shoe sound asleep on the sofa. The waning sunlight fell on Fai's blond hair, giving it a gorgeous luster. His face was relaxed and soft, making his delicate features even more fetching.

Kurogane groaned inwardly and wished Fai were this quiet all the time. He looked positively angelic like this, but his stunning good looks were always destroyed by that ever moving mouth. The ninja looked over to the coffee table and noticed the white pork bun curled up, napping as well. His mind hit on a solution, a very odious one he nearly dismissed. Then again, silence would be worth any price that abominable woman may ask.

He grabbed Mokona by the ears and jogged upstairs. Before the critter was fully awake he shut his bedroom door and dropped Mokona unceremoniously on his bed. It waved its paw at Kurogane and said, "What's the big idea! Mokona was sleeping."

"Listen, pork bun, get me the witch, now," he said, sitting beside Mokona.

"Big meany," Mokona pouted, but did as it was told. Its eyes popped open and the red gem flared to life. The witch was there, smiling serenely at Kurogane.

"Kurogane, how nice to see you. How are the children and Fai?"

"No time for chit-chat. I have a wish."

"Oh? It must be pretty important one for you to stoop so low and crawl to me." Her taunting tone rankled him, as always.

He gritted his teeth and nodded. "It's very important. I need you to make Fai mute."

She didn't look surprised; she just gave a chuckle before saying, "For how long?"


"Now, now... I wouldn't dream of depriving you of Fai's cheery voice that long. How about a week?"

"I'll take it!"

"Don't you want to know the price?"

"Fine, what do you want me to cough up now? An arm or something?" he growled, half afraid she might ask for that.

"Nothing that drastic. Just some of the whiskey on the world your at. Seven liters should do, one for each day Fai will be mute."

"What? Bringing liquor into this place turns things into a madhouse, but fine, I'll go out get it," Kurogane said. Yuuko's image disappeared and Mokona was back to normal. He picked up the critter and snuck out of the house, seeking the witch's payment. He purchased the whiskey and sent it through Mokona's mouth.

Mokona had been unusually silent. He could swear the thing was glowering at him. On the way back home it finally spoke up. "You're very mean."

"Hey, who's being mean? He's the one waking me up at the crack of dawn and getting on my last nerve with those annoying nicknames. This is just teaching that spoiled brat a lesson. And you better not say a word!"

The Mokona continued to pout until they got home and walked into the kitchen. Syaoran was setting the table while Sakura made a salad. Fai was at the stove singing that vexing song from Outo World's Clover Club. Just as he shut the door, Fai's voice seized up and then there was silence.

Fai looked stunned. His hand went to his throat and he tried to talk. Nothing, not even a croaking sound. The kids stopped what they were doing to fuss over the wizard. Kurogane gave a wicked, gleeful smile as he clamped a hand over the squirming pork bun's mouth.

Fai looked over, baffled, at Kurogane. Those pretty, blue eyes narrowed; he knew Fai was smart enough to figure something fishy was going on. Mokona finally slipped away from Kurogane's grasp and launched itself in the air. "This is all mean Kuro-daddy's fault! He made a deal with the witch that Fai is mute for one week!"

"I told you to keep quiet, you little rodent! I'll make gloves out of you yet!" he raged, waving a fist at it.

"Really, Kurogane? Why would you do something like that?" Sakura said. He wasn't surprised at her defense of the wizard.

"Yeah, that was pretty low," Syaoran agreed. Syaoran's scowl of disapproval did annoy him.

"Hey! You know how irritating his prattling can get. This will teach him to stop messing with me. Besides, it's only for a week," Kurogane pointed out.

He looked over and was disturbed to not see anger in Fai's eyes. Nope, instead a bright, faux smile grew and he nodded. He mouthed some words and patted the kids on their shoulders. Mokone said, "Now there, don't be mad at Kuro-daddy. He just wanted some alone time from your mommy."

"What?" Kurogane shouted at Mokona.

The little critter held up its paw and said, "Lip reading is one of Mokona's one-hundred-and-eight secret talents."

Fai doubled over and looked as if he were laughing out loud, not one sound came out though. Kurogane groaned and smacked his face. "I should have known better than to deal with that witch."

It was a mistake, indeed, to deal with Yuuko. There was a type of silence at the table, but not the pleasant kind. The kids were frosty towards him, and Mokona went out of its way to be rude. Fai though, plastered on one of those exasperating, fake smiles and chatted away regardless of the fact that he was now mute. Mokona would recite every word faithfully, but it was senseless chatter directed more at the kids than Kurogane.

He had to admit he was unnerved by not hearing Fai, but seeing his lips move. He expected to finally get the wizard pissed off at him, but instead he was seemingly unphased. He knew if the shoe were on the other foot, he'd want to kill Fai. But no, not even a cross word was recited through Mokona, just cheery banter.

His appetite was ruined, so he stalked off to his room to sulk. He'd failed to annoy the wizard in the slightest. And what was worse, Mokona voiced Fai's words anyway. He pondered demanding a refund.

Kurogane woke up and listened from his bed. Not a sound in the house. It was so wonderfully peaceful. He waited a few moments. Nothing, no knock at the door or interruptions to his morning. He threw off his covers and mentally kicked himself when he felt a little disappointed that the blond didn't show up.

He got dressed and went to the kitchen. Fai had served the kids breakfast and now was in the process of making lunches. Kurogane sat at the table, wanting Fai to do something outrageous in retaliation so he could justify his wish. Fai walked over with the sweetest smile and served him some oatmeal with fruit, no sugar in sight.

Fai then walked back to what he was doing without giving Kurogane another glance. Kurogane broke the silence at the table. "It's time we looked more earnestly for that feather. We should head north."

"That sounds good," Syaoran said.

"Fai? Sound good?" Kurogane asked, but the blond just nodded as he cleaned the kitchen.

Syaoran was concentrating, as was Mokona. They were in the lead. Kurogane marched beside Fai. The wizard didn't glance at him once. Instead, the fool prattled on soundlessly. His lips were moving furiously over some subject Kurogane was clueless over. He was struck mute, yet he was undeterred from the act of talking. It was absolutely maddening.

It made him want to shake Fai until his teeth rattled loose. And still, not one sign that Fai was angry in the slightest. That was the most riling part of this whole situation. Kurogane could understand anger and holding a grudge. After all, he did slight Fai in a pretty big way with that wish.

After hours of searching, they came up empty handed. When they got back home Kurogane picked up Mokona and stomped off to his bedroom. "Get me the witch again."

Her image was projected on his wall. "Let me guess, you're not a happy customer," she said with a knowing grin.

"No! Damn it, he keeps moving his mouth like an idiot! He won't stop at all."

"I don't think you really wanted Fai to be silent."

"No, I wanted him to be pissed off at me. He's always doing something to irk me. I wanted to give him a taste of what it's like."

"Well what purpose would that serve?" Kurogane had to admit, she did have a point. She went on to say, "Fai's temperament is what it is. You'll just have to learn to accept him."

"Okay, okay... can I have a refund. The little pork bun just recites what that idiot says anyway. This wish sucks," Kurogane said.

"No refunds," she said, with a gleam in her eyes. "But I'll give you some advice to get you through the week. You won't change Fai by force, but you can change the way he treats you somewhat. Say something kind to Fai each morning for the next six days. It could be the littlest of compliments. If he feels you paying attention to him, he'll mellow."

"Something kind? Okay," Kurogane said and then groaned. That would mean he'd be forced into thinking about what he did like about Fai.

"A little kindness never hurt, but it does change worlds," Yuuko said before the projection disappeared.

"Yeah!" Mokona said, before scampering off.

"I should have known better."

The next morning he sat at the table and was served some eggs and toast. Before Fai could walk off, he grabbed the wizard's sleeve. Fai gave him a baffled look.

"Could you make chicken again tonight? It's your best dish."

The smile that came to Fai's lips was real and warm. He then launched into saying something, and Mokona was the one who said, "Anything you want, Kurgs."

He groaned a little inside, hoping the end of the week would hurry. Though he did admit, that real smile was almost worth putting up with this messed up wish.

And so it went. He complimented Fai on something new each morning; he even got as bold as complimenting Fai's hair by saying it was too pretty to be on a man. It was an awkward compliment, but Fai took it with grace.

Each day Fai seemed to mellow out more, he seemed content with just walking quietly beside Kurogane. His mouth no longer moved in soundless chatter and he seemed more focused on helping Syaoran with his quest.

They found the feather on the last night of Kurogane's wish. They were about to leave, but the witch sent a dire warning that Fai would need his voice before the next leap. The group patiently waited out the day, enjoying a picnic.

The kids were changing in their rooms, getting ready for the next dimensional hop. Fai was already in his warm, formal clothing as he waited on the lawn. Kurogane joined him and crossed his arms.

Fai gave him a rare, genuine smile. Kurogane started acknowledging the guilt he had been harboring over the last few days. "Fai, I'm really sorry about that wish. I promise to not do anything like that again."

"I was never angry with you over it, although I admit I was hurt that you did something like that to me," Fai said. Kurogane flinched back a little. Between hearing that voice again, and realizing he had hurt Fai with his selfish wish, he was left dumbfounded. He tried to think back, but Fai was well too practiced at hiding pain. When Kurogane didn't say anything, Fai pointed out in excessive mirth and hand clapping, "I got my voice back a few minutes ago, Kurga-wa, and that's what matters!"

"Good," he said gruffly.

"You can't change who I am, Kuro-pu," Fai said, dropping some of his glee to indicate Kurogane should take what he said to heart.

Kurogane was a about to snap at the other man. Instead, he silently disagreed as the kids and Mokona showed up. A little kindness had made a world of difference in Fai's behavior towards him.