Fandom: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles
Pairing: Kurogane x Fai [KuroFai]
Warning: Boy/Boy. Hurt/Comfort. Possible OOC. Grammatical and spelling mistakes. Un-beta'd. Cliché. Fluff. Brackets. Spoilers for those who have not finished the manga!
Word Count: 2526 words
A/N: Wow, something not Kurobasu! I am not sure how I managed to write this; maybe it's because I finished reading Tsubasa for the umpteenth time and I just love these two so much. I have wanted to write something for them in so long, and I'm glad I finally got it done! For those of you who have read my previous work, it is definitely written differently! I tried a different style, so hopefully it works haha! Also, to all my readers, expect a story post or update every Wednesday (or second Wednesday) from now on!:) Written all on my phone, while listening to "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles!
Disclaimer: I do not own Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. It belongs to CLAMP!
Dedication: To all those KuroFai readers out there! Please enjoy, and remember to favourite and review! Reviews are greatly appreciated! :)
Summary: No matter how terrifying the nightmare, he knows those strong arms will be there to protect him.
There's something Fai always hides from his significant partner, and that's his nightmares. The only time he ever dreams of such horrible thoughts is when Kurogane and Tsubasa have left him alone, as they wander around the new city and figure out what to do next on their journey.
He never tells anyone about his dreams, not even Kurogane. He never tells him anything, to be honest. It isn't like he can't trust him; it's that he can't bear to trouble the ninja with his problems.
It's something he believes he can solve on his own; something he thinks will pass eventually. He just needs time―time to forget, time to move on, time to focus on the memories in front of him rather than in the past.
So why can't he focus on his perfect life with the one person who matters and accepts him for who he is? Why can't he look at the positive side of life, rather than remember the negative?
(He wakes up in the middle of the night, gasping for air, clutching his bed sheets as he frantically looks around. He sees nothing but pitch black.)
(And it occurs to him that he is alone and it is just a nightmare. Fai, the real Fai, isn't alive anymore, and neither is Ashura-ou, so why can't he forget and move on?)
(It's because deep inside, he doesn't want to forget those faces―the faces of his loved ones. But he knows, he knows, that Fai and Ashura-ou only want what's best for him and want him to live life once again―for both of them.)
(But he can't. Knowing that both of them are dead, and the guilt inside him never left; never intends to leave.)
(And all he can do is cry; alone, in the dark, with no one to hold him.)
- Hold Me Close -
Kurogane knows something is wrong. When Fai's smile lacks genuineness, like he's returned back to that emotionless, fake individual in the beginning of their journey, he can't help but question the expression behind his eyes. It doesn't help that Mokona tells him Fai sleeps by himself when he and Tsubasa are exploring their new destination at night.
He knows Fai hates sleeping alone. The reason why he insisted Mokona to stay with Fai is so the blonde has someone to keep him company; to speak to; to cuddle with.
Lately, he hasn't kept the magician company, but the country they are in this time requires he and Tsubasa to work at night. He knows he should be next to Fai, especially after all that's happened; with his brother, with his king, with the clones of Sakura and Tsubasa. But he also knows there are times when someone needs their own space, and sometimes, he felt Fai needed that.
It's when Mokona pulls him aside, when Fai smiles artificially at Tsubasa as he makes dinner, that he realizes his mistakes; that Fai never needed privacy, but something else―something completely opposite.
Mokona's distressed, with the way his eyes are down casted, the way he refuses to look Kurogane directly in the eyes, as the ninja sets him on the bed in his room. It's almost like he feels liable for Fai's actions, like he is guilty for the sudden shift in atmosphere of the blonde, but Kurogane knows that isn't true; that the reason for Fai is from his own negligence.
"Speak, shiro manjuu, or I'm leaving."
(He can't help but flinch at the harshness of his voice; can't even mutter an apology when he notices the white animal shift uncomfortably on the bed. He never noticed just how much the blonde affected him, but he has, and he isn't sure if he's ready for this.)
(But he cares about him, he really does. But to treasure and protect someone personally close and console them―this is something he's not prepared for, something he feels Fai needs but he can't give him.)
(He remembers memories of his parents, with that loving sparkle when they looked into each other's eyes, and thinks. Yes, he believes he sees Fai's eyes, shimmering with that same sparkle like his parents, when they look at each other; and he is certain he, too, has that same expression. That affectionate glimmer.)
(Just when did he start to see Fai as someone special? As someone he has to protect and cherish?)
(He's not sure how to react, not sure how to treat Fai, but he knows for certain the blonde needs him, needs his company, but he is not so sure he can give that to him. He's not used to this relationship, never expected he would be in this type of bond, but he is. And now he's not sure he can handle it.)
(And he's wondering just how the magician managed to break down that strong barrier he had when he was young; not sure when the two managed to be so close. How did his father support his mother? How did they support each other?)
(He wishes at this time he could speak with them, ask for their guidance, but he can't. They passed away years ago, leaving him alone. But now, now, he isn't alone, and yet he's finding ways to run away; run away from someone he truly cherishes.)
(He feels like he should grow up. Deep inside, he knows what he should do, but he's just scared to make the move; scared that by showing this type of affection, he will learn to rely on others, and perhaps weaken his strength.)
(For years, he managed to block away his heart, so he could gain strength. But perhaps that is a mistake. His father―he was strong, yet he was in love with his mother. Perhaps, after all these years, he misunderstood the correlation between strength and love. Perhaps, by loving someone, he would not lose his power.)
It isn't until Mokona speaks that Kurogane realizes the connection between power and love; realizes that after all these years, he is only afraid to look at the truth.
"Fai... He doesn't say anything, but Mokona knows he's lonely at night. Mokona can hear Fai wake up in the middle of the night, sounding scared and breathless, and Mokona doesn't know what to do. Kurogane..." Tears begin to well up in the edges of the white animal's eyes, as he finally musters the courage to look the ninja in his eyes.
Kurogane takes a deep breath, before patting Mokona on the head, and offers a small smile; something he is not used to but lately, finds himself doing more often. Perhaps now is the time to change.
(Perhaps, by change, he needs to address Fai properly, and maybe then―maybe then, things can improve for both of them.)
"It's fine, you did what you could." He takes another glance at the door before looking back down at the white animal who still cries for both his lack of ability to comfort and Fai. A sigh escapes the ninja's lips as he realizes what he needs to do next. "But I need you to do something for me tonight."
And all Mokona can do is look with anticipation, waiting for the next set of words to leave the male's mouth.
Fai isn't sure where everyone is when he prepares for bed. Mokona has even disappeared but he's too exhausted to call out. Instead, he whispers a soft 'good night' in case someone is present in the house they are residing in but retreating to his room.
He's not sure when he manages to fall asleep but he does, and it doesn't take long before he shoots up from his bed and gasps for air. The memories of his nightmares repeat in his brain, as he viciously glances around the room, waiting; waiting to see if Fai is alive; waiting to see if Fai will show up by the door, point at him, and repeat the same question, over and over again.
("Why do you still use my name, Yui? Why?")
(He doesn't know how to answer. All he knows is that there's a lump in his throat, something that refuses to let him speak, to answer his twin brother as he stands in front of him.)
(He knows that Fai isn't really there; that his brother had died years ago. However, the memories continue to haunt him, and he can do nothing but listen.)
(Fai's question leaves him wondering.)
(Why? Why is he still using his brother's name when his companions already know of his true name; of his true nature?)
(He doesn't know how to answer.)
There is something blocking his airways. Suddenly, he can't breathe, and he finds himself gasping, reaching for help, as Fai's words repeat over and over and over again in his mind.
He wants to scream, he wants someone to come, hold him, and caress his back, saying he will be all right. The one that comes into mind is no one but Kurogane; a scowl on his face. There would be no caresses, no soft comforts, no cuddling, but at least there would be someone―that someone, and Fai knows he wants Kurogane of all people to accompany him for the night.
However, no one is present, and he only cries. The tears begin to fall down his cheeks, as he clutches the bed sheets tightly, still gasping for air as he finds the lump in his throat getting bigger.
("Why, Yui, why? Go back to using Yui. You no longer need to keep me alive.")
(Because he still feels guilty.)
("Fai has moved on. Now it is Yui's turn.")
(But he can't let go; can't move on.)
("Is Yui still lonely? But Yui has someone to hold him now.")
(If that someone implied Kurogane, he has yet to address him by his true name; has yet to even hold him in that way.)
(Perhaps he is wishing for too much. Perhaps he-)
(He doesn't realize, but someone managed to sneak into the room, and he feels strong arms wrap around his body. It's unusual, but somehow, he recognizes the arms almost instantly―the warm arm on one side while a cold, mechanical arm on the other. His eyes widen once he registers who is behind him, and his heart quickens.)
(It's too surreal. There is no way that person would do such actions but he can't help but lean back, and feel warm, comforted―safe.)
(He doesn't speak, not until he feels a light tap on his head and he finally glances at the male behind him; a relieved, genuine smile on his lips as he sees the usual frown in that familiar face.)
A scowl escapes Kurogane's face as he looks away from Fai's gaze, but keeps his arms wrapped around his torso. They recline on the bed; Kurogane's back leaning against the headrest as they simply stare into the darkness. There is a small silence, but it's nice and reassuring, not like how Fai usually sees it―solitude, insecurities, and fears.
"Why didn't you tell me you were having problems sleeping?"
He hesitates for a second. Kurogane always had a habit of being straightforward, but he never expected to hear the question so quickly after the sudden embrace. Soon enough, he answers, but there's a slight tremor in his voice. "I didn't think it was a big deal."
It is at that moment Kurogane directs his eyes to Fai, causing the blonde to almost shrink at the sudden fierce eye contact, but he stares back with as much strength as he could. There is a minuscule look of disappointment in the ninja's eyes, as if the blonde has hurt him; perhaps it is because he never informed him about his nightmares or perhaps it is from his sudden privacy with him.
He thinks back to his current attitude with Kurogane; how it has reverted back to its original status of the fake smiles, of the hidden secrets, and most importantly, the lack of trust. It all begins to make sense now, and the guilt begins to return; this time, for a different reason.
"I'm sorry," is all he can mutter before averting his eyes from Kurogane's, and stares into the darkness. There is silence once more, until he continues, "I just didn't want to trouble you."
Fai remains silent, knowing he is referring back to the nightmares.
The harshness in the other's voice causes Fai to wince, but he sighs, "Since we left Clow Country."
(And he knows he will be scolded; he knows Kurogane hates it when he keeps secrets.)
However, he doesn't feel any impact on the top of his head, indicating a light punch to knock some sense into his brain for keeping secrets, nor does he hear Kurogane's voice lecture him about hiding his feelings. Instead, he feels the arms around him tighten before the two shift their positions on the bed and they lie down. Kurogane pulls Fai into his chest, as he leans on his palm, staring down at the blonde while his other arm - his mechanical arm - pulls him closer in a slight embrace.
(Fai doesn't, because he fears when he sleeps, he will only awaken with the sight of Fai and Ashura-ou in his mind, and possibly startling Kurogane in the middle of the night.)
He hears Kurogane mumble something. His ears barely catch it, but the ninja repeats it again, and he finally he understands. The words - the name - makes him blush, but he can't help but feel safe. He agrees to sleep, nuzzling closer to Kurogane as he rests on his chest.
(It has been so long since he last heard that name, but he feels now he can embrace it again, and leave his past behind.)
(It is time to start over, he believes. Within seconds, he falls asleep, safe and sound.)
Kurogane stares out the window momentarily, thinking how he let his body move on its own when he saw the blonde gasp for help only minutes before. In the beginning, he backed away; wasn't sure if he should approach the blonde, but he closed his eyes, and let his body take over.
His body moved on its own, where his arms wrapped around the slender body of the other male, and from there on, both his body and mind moved together.
(It is like he needed that one push by his body, in order for his mind to register that he had to comfort the blonde in his time of need; that his significant other needed company.)
(It is like he finally understands his father's strength; how he felt to protect his mother. Now it is his turn to protect his loved one, and he will.)
(Slowly, and surely, he is learning the connection between love and strength and he hopes one day, he can protect his partner from anything―from enemies, from his past, from his insecurities, and from his nightmares.)
(And it isn't long before Kurogane finds himself fast asleep, still holding the other close to his body.)
"Sleep, Yui. I'm here now."