Title: Him Or Me

Author: Sybil Rowan

Pairing(s)/Characters: Kurogane/Fai

Rating: T

Summary: What if Yuui didn't like Kurogane, and Kurogane gave Fai the one ultimatum that crosses the line.

Warnings: Based loosely in the Horitsuba Gakuen universe, but no solid references.

Author's Notes: This was an idea from the doujinshi "Black, White, Gray." In it, there is a tense minute when Kurogane ask Fai if he would break up with him if Yuui asked him to do so. Fai says he would, but to not worry because Yuui knows how important Kurogane is to him. This is just a rough sketch of what that situation might look like and why Yuui may not like Kurogane.

Disclaimer: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle belong to CLAMP.

Beta Reader: None, so it might have rough patches.

Date: January 4, 6:30 am

Word Count: 1,657

Kurogane crossed the one line he never should have with Fai. He made the one demand on Fai he knew deep inside the blond couldn't and wouldn't deliver. Kurogane looked down at his boyfriend after a contentious conversation over his detestable twin. Kurogane went right for the heart of it. He said, "It's either him or me."

He felt the wrongness of those words slip from his mouth. He felt pushed in a corner by Yuui's over protectiveness and his hostility thinly cloaked in politeness. Kurogane was sick to death of walking on eggshells around Fai's twin. Sometimes he and Fai had to sort things out on their own and that's when Yuui inserted himself. It felt as though he couldn't make any progress with Fai because of Yuui lurking around.

His stomach sank when he saw Fai's cheeriness fall flat into a blank stare. Without a moments hesitation he said, "Him."

Then Fai turned and walked off. No other words, just 'him.' Kurogane had no choice except to be angry at himself. He had no idea what it was like to be a twin, but he should have known Fai would side with Yuui. He ground his teeth, balled up his fists, and jammed them in his pockets as he stared at Fai's back. He walked off towards his own home when the blond was out of sight.

Maybe it was for the best. Fai wouldn't have pressure anymore, and Kurogane wouldn't have to deal with his obnoxious twin. It rankled Kurogane just how quick Fai was to throw him away all because Yuui didn't like him. He certainly knew Fai did it because of the twins' horrible childhood; no doubt that glued them together solidly. And it was beyond him to figure out how to break through that bond after months of trying.

"What's wrong?" Yuui asked Fai the moment he opened the door to their apartment. He stopped cooking and examined his twin closer. Fai's smile was too large; but his eyes were entirely dismal.

"Nothing at all. Why?"

"You're trying to lie to me? You should know better," Yuui said.

"Well, you won't have to worry about Kurogane any more. I broke it off with him," Fai said in forced blithe.

"What? Why? Not that I don't think thats good news," Yuui said, going back to the kitchen to set the food at a lower temperature.

"He wanted me to pick between you and him," Fai said, following him into the kitchen.

"It figures he would. You're better off," Yuui said, turning his attention back to Fai.

He didn't like Fai's looks at all. Yuui could tell Fai was in deep pain even if he wasn't showing it. Fai could fool most people, but he couldn't fool Yuui in the least. And yes, one of the other people Fai couldn't fool was Kurogane. Yuui knew his irritation with Fai's boyfriend began there, but it sure didn't stop there.

Kurogane's quick temper was high on the list of things Yuui didn't like. Also, the man's ability to crack through Fai's defenses was something else that annoyed Yuui to no end. Fai and he had been through extreme hardships during their childhood; he just wanted to see Fai have some peace. Kurogane seemed too deft at getting Fai to deal with pain rather than hide it. It was something Yuui hated to see because Fai reliving those hardships stirred up disquiet in his twin.

He also didn't like how Kurogane took Fai's time. Yuui was used to having all of Fai's attention. Was it selfish? Yes, and Yuui knew he was entirely too greedy when it came to Fai. He justified it by saying it was for Fai's own good. Fai might be older by four minutes, but in many ways Yuui felt he was years older than his twin.

"Dinner will be ready soon," Yuui said.

"I'm not really hungry," Fai said and left the kitchen. He heard Fai's bedroom door close.

Fai's despondency stabbed Yuui in the heart. He'd spent too many years getting Fai into a functional person to see it all trampled by one, testy jerk of a boyfriend. That's when he really got pissed off at Kurogane. That man should have known better than to force Fai into that kind of a choice.

After putting their dinner in the refrigerator, Yuui stalked off to find the tall, dark haired man so he could give him a piece of his mind.

Kurogane answered the knock on the door and felt relieved to see Fai. He hoped the blond changed his mind and wanted to sort things out. Then he took a closer look. No, those beautiful eyes full of hostility. This had to be Yuui, since he didn't bother to hide his unpleasant emotions behind fake smiles. Kurogane groaned inwardly, he hated every time he confused the two.

"What do you want?" he snarled.

"To talk about Fai," he replied.

Kurogane stood aside and let Yuui in. He slammed the door and flopped on the sofa. Yuui sat at the other side and gave Kurogane a dour look.

"You really hurt him, and I hate anyone that hurts Fai like that."

"So it's all my fault? You played a part in this, you know," Kurogane said. He wasn't going to shoulder all the blame for this. Either Yuui took ownership for his part of it, or he knew it really was over between him and Fai.

"How so?"

"You've done nothing but nag about me to Fai. You're so critical. You tear me down every time you have a chance to, rather than letting Fai decide if I'm the right one for him. Fai has to start making decisions on his own. You won't let him. All you do is sabotage him, and it's not right."

"You act like you're some expert on Fai and me. You don't know a thing about us."

"What I do know is that you like keeping Fai down. You like making him dependent on you so you don't have to go out and make a life for yourself." Yuui looked flustered and that told Kurogane he hit the target perfectly. So he pressed the attack. "Fine. Go ahead and make your brother an emotional cripple. That's really some brotherly love you have for Fai."

"I don't have to sit hear and listen to you!"

"There's the door. Nothing is stopping you," Kurogane said.

"Screw you," Yuui hissed and marched out of Kurogane's house. Kurogane wasn't happy about forcing Yuui into a snit, but it might shake Yuui up and make him aware of how much damage he was doing to Fai.

Yuui didn't go back home immediately. He wandered around a park as night settled in. Kurogane had pegged his relationship with Fai perfectly. No, he didn't want to let Fai go. If he stopped influencing Fai's choices, then Fai and he could grow apart. Yuui wasn't sure he could handle that eventuality so well, because he had invested so much of his life in his twin. Worst yet, apart from his influence, Fai could get hurt. Fai was fragile and needed someone strong to watch after him, take care of him.

He froze and ground his teeth. That's why Fai had gravitated towards Kurogane. That man was strong, without question. Could Fai have picked such a good match for himself? Yuui wasn't sure he was ready to concede that much. After all, Yuui was convinced Kurogane was still too course for Fai. Maybe, though, some of the recent changes in Fai hadn't been so terrible.

Fai had stopped being afraid of his own shadow and had stopped looking over his shoulder in fear of their twisted foster father showing up. It was also nice to see a few genuine smiles come to Fai's lips rather than those false ones. Also, Fai had started taking more of an initiative in life.

Yuui walked back towards their apartment, dreading having this conversation with Fai. When he got there he found Fai balled up on his bed, looking utterly despondent. Yuui felt his stomach clench; this was too much like the old Fai when they lived with Ashura. Fai finally noticed him and looked up at Yuui, baffled.

"I'm not saying I like him, but you should go make things right with him."

"But why? What's changed?" Fai asked, sitting up.

"I realized he's good for you. That and, he knows how to tell the truth. That's something neither of us are very good at."

"You did go to talk to him?"

"He said a lot of things I didn't like, but were true. I was forcing you to choose between me and him, only I didn't come out right and make the ultimatum like he did. I'm sorry for that. It was selfish of me."

"You know you'll never loose me, right?" Fai asked with a huge smile.

"Sure. Now go invite that boyfriend of yours over here for a late dinner."

Yuui was knocked back by Fai's sudden hug. "You're the best, Yuui!"