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17 June 2011 @ 10:57 pm
/crawls out from under rock  
Story: Blood sacrifice
Pairings: Kurogane/Fai
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Some blood 'n' gore. Spoilers?
Summary: The slow journey towards absolution, through blood.
Note: SCREAM WHAT IS WITH MY SELF-IMPOSED INTERNET EXILE?! THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS. Ahem . That said, have some random angst. Oh, and the cut quote is from Hebrew 9:22, the King James version.
***

Outo

It’s fine as long as he keeps up the facade, as long as he keeps playing games; that’s what he tells himself. Because as long as he keeps from becoming too real, as long as he keeps pretending, how can someone like Kurogane possibly care about him? And then, if he maybe cares a bit more about the ninja than he should – more than he promised himself he would – it won’t matter, because Kurogane won’t let him come close enough to do any real damage.

So he smiles when Kurogane tells him he’s the kind of person he hates, partly to infuriate the ninja even more, but also to remind himself that this is what he wants. He wants Kurogane to hate him. And no, it doesn’t hurt.


Yama

Yama country is a miscalculation. He’d never thought it would turn out like this. But suddenly, he’s not only alone with Kurogane in a strange land, but he’s also completely dependent on the man. It is almost comical how well he seems to understand what Fai wants to say with just a glance, a gesture. Would be, anyway, if it wasn’t so very frightening. And so he exaggerates his gestures even if he doesn’t have to, turning them into complicated charades that confuses the ninja more than they help him. He’s got a feeling that many of Kurogane’s “translations” of what he’s trying to say are of the nature of, “He’s an idiot, ignore him.”

During their first battle, he tries to remain remote, feinting and flitting about Kurogane like a ghost, never letting on where he’s going next. It’s a familiar feeling, and therefore oddly comforting, this distance.

Unfortunately, it leads to Kurogane slicing up his arm by mistake.

Afterwards, the ninja corners him before he manages to slink off and nurse his wound in private, a thunderous expression on his face. He growls something, voice vicious and low, and when Fai tries to fake ignorance he grabs him by his wounded arm, making an almost triumphant little grunt when Fai winces.

“Kuro-pin, than hurts,” he complains, but for once the ninja barely reacts to the nickname. He just glares at him, rattling out a long string of words in his staccato language, which to Fai seems as harsh and yet as strangely intriguing as does the ninja himself. He points at Fai’s smiling face, then at himself, and then makes a dismissive motion with his hand. The meaning is pretty clear: The way Fai normally acts is none of his damn business. It’s a strange sentiment coming from someone who seems so disturbed by his behavior, and Fai raises his eyebrows in surprise.

In response, Kurogane grabs Fai’s arm even harder, twisting it and pushing it upwards, and Fai keens in protest and slumps against the wall. Kurogane nods briefly, sure now of having Fai’s attention, and then points up toward the fortress.

“In battle,” Fai translates, hoping Kurogane will let go if he complies. He doesn’t, but he eases his grip a little.

Next a sharp cutting motion.

“Stop?” Fai ventures.

Kurogane suddenly twists his arm around further, up on his back, forcing him to the ground in one swift motion. Then he points down with an air of finality, rasping out a short sentence. “Or you’ll force me to stay here,” Fai translates, and even though he cannot understand the words, Kurogane seems satisfied that Fai has understood. He lets go, and Fai gets slowly to his feet, confused and overwhelmed and far too unsure of himself, far too frightened. He smiles, of course, because he has to – smiles even wider when Kurogane makes a disgusted little sound – and answers as cheerfully as he possibly can.

“Well, I can’t promise you I’ll stop smiling, of course. That wouldn’t be much fun, would it?” Kurogane scowls, understanding the tone of his voice if not the words. “But I guess I can let you know where I am, so we won’t have any misunderstandings again. How’s that?”

Kurogane only shrugs, looking away. But when Fai starts walking toward his room, he once more grabs him, although thankfully not by the injured arm. He doesn’t say anything this time, just starts dragging Fai along with him, and the magician would protest, but he’s starting to feel light-headed and slightly ill. Looking down his arm, he winces. The sleeve is completely soaked in blood now. He doesn’t like the sight of his own blood, because it makes him think of bleeding fingertips, torn nails, bloody trails on stone walls, blood blooming in the snow. Maybe having someone take a look at him won’t be so bad. Maybe then Kurogane will leave him alone.

He has some thinking to do.

Once his arm has healed, Kurogane presses a bow and a quiver of arrows into his hand with a barked command. Fai doesn’t protest; he just smiles and praises Kuro-tan on his manliness, giving orders like that. He firmly pushes down the worry that stirs in his chest. There’s no reason to be afraid. Kurogane just doesn’t want him to be in the way, that’s all.


Piffle

It’s like something red-hot and sharp forces its way down his throat, into his heart, puncturing his lungs on the way and leaving him without air. And then Kurogane breaks the surface, gasping, and after a moment or two Fai can breathe again. He wonders, steadying himself against his chair, if he’d been able to draw breath again, if Kurogane hadn’t.

No. No. Those are dangerous thoughts. Now that he knows that the ninja is unhurt, he ought to let go of that fear, which just for a moment had made living in a world without Kurogane seem impossible. Let it go and forget that he was made to feel that way.

But instead he finds himself making a flimsy excuse to go see Kurogane. Oh, it is true that he wants to make sure he gets looked at, but that’s not the reason he rushes through the corridors in such a breathless, helpless haste. It’s not the reason why seeing Kurogane standing there causes his knees to buckle with relief for just a second. He is soaking wet, and his hand is bleeding, but he’s still there, still alive, still able to turn around and scowl at Fai as he approaches.

“The hell are you doing here? I thought you could wait up there.”

Fai doesn’t answer, just smiles at him and steps past under the pretense of watching the rest of the race. But he feels Kurogane’s eyes lingering for him for a bit longer, and is frightened for a completely different reason.

Funny, though, how this fear seems so much easier to forget.

Watching the doctor treat the ninja’s injured hand, he decides that he doesn’t like the sight of Kurogane’s blood either.

LeCourt

He knows Syaoran won’t talk about what he saw when he touched that book while he and Sakura are in the room. Nor will he be able to make the boy tell him later, and Syaoran would be disappointed in him if he tried. But he has to admit, even if it is only to himself, that he wants to. The shame of it burns him, because he knows all too well why.

The only thing he knows for sure about Kurogane’s past is what Fei Wong Reed told him, all those years ago, and all in all, it isn’t much. He wants to know more. He wants to know everything. But most of all, he wants to know if Kurogane once did something horrible too. If he’d ever been as weak as Fai. He wants the ninja to have been less than the man he thinks he is, because maybe then, if he finds out the truth…

…maybe then he won’t hate him.

Even as he smiles and leads Sakura out of the room, he digs his nails into the palm of his hand, furious with himself for being so selfish. What kind of despicable person wished that upon someone else, just for the sake of the sake of his own meaningless absolution? But then again, he knows the answer to that, doesn’t he? If anyone would be capable of such egotism, it’s kind of person who is capable of doing the things he has done.

And Kurogane is better than that.

Tokyo

He doesn’t fight back. He can’t fight back. Even if he hadn’t spent himself trying to hold onto Syaoran’s heart, he wouldn’t have known how to. He thinks with bitter amusement that Kurogane really choose the right time for making him realize the endless affection he holds for the children travelling with him, didn’t he? Now that he has realized how much they truly mean to him, how could he possibly fight with Syaoran, even when he’s been turned into this bleak and heartless puppet?

How could he?

He can deal with pain, he has before; dealt with it so well that sometimes he used to wonder if he would ever feel again. Finding out that he can wasn’t much better, however.

When the scream of agony ripping through his head has died away, he slumps forward, hoping he will pass out before Syaoran manages to get to his other eye. Because he’s sure he won’t stop at one. And while the pain isn’t so bad that he cannot manage it, he doesn’t want that blank, unfeeling look on Syaoran’s face as he hurts him to be the last thing he ever sees. So as Syaoran drags him forward, he painstakingly opens his uninjured eye for a fraction of a second.

Blood. And then darkness again.

No, he doesn’t want that either. Not blood. So he turns his head slightly, once more forcing his eye open a fraction, and stares into the darkness stretching ever upwards to a ceiling he can’t make out.

Stairs. Winding along. Walls. They are glistening with. Water. Hovering in the air. People. Far above. Among them…

Kurogane.

He cannot hold his eye open anymore. Cannot smile even though he almost feels like it. How suitable.

He is shaken briefly awake as Kurogane lifts him into his arms. Strong, warm arms around him. And then the roar of magic surrounding them, his magic. It used to be a part of him. He hears Kurogane grunt in pain, but can’t feel anything except the searing burn of the eye that isn’t there. Is Kurogane shielding him? Shielding him from his own magic?

The roar dies away. Kurogane is panting with the effort, but when he speaks his voice is steady and coarse with anger. Fai hears him ask if Syaoran ate his magic, hears Syaoran answering even though the unfeeling monotone makes the words hard to listen to.

It felt so good, too good, to be held like that, pressed close to Kurogane’s body as the magic tore the world apart around them. And he shouldn’t be thinking about this, shouldn’t acknowledge the feeling at all, but…

But he is tired. So, so tired. And Kurogane is still holding him.

He changed for you, Kurogane is saying, and there is fierce, heartbreaking pride in his voice. Fai realizes that he’s talking about him. Kurogane is talking about him that way. As if he’s something precious to him.

He wakes up again when they burn his eye shut. He doesn’t make a sound – he cannot – only stirs feebly. He hears the healer say he’s going to die, and all he can feel is relief.

Or… is that really all?

No, he decides. It isn’t. But it’s a bit too late for regrets now, and he feels peaceful, like he hasn’t felt for such a long time. There’s nowhere he can run to now. No one to hunt him where he’s going. He’s free.

He wants to tell them, but how can you find the words for something like that? And right now, he doesn’t want Kurogane to hate him, as he surely will if he speaks. So he keeps silent, and maybe that is where he makes a mistake; maybe he has once again been too weak to do what has to be done, say what has to be said. Because now Mokona is calling out for Yuuko, begging her to save his life, crying over him, and Fai finds to his surprise that his resolve is shaken a bit by the anguish in that small, sweet voice. He doesn’t want to leave people crying over him.

But he has already decided, hasn’t he? He has to let them know that they should let him die. He thinks about Syaoran using his magic to hurt Kurogane, and finds the strength to finally speak. It might make Kurogane hate him, but at least it won’t make him bleed.

Yuuko disapproves. He can hear it in her voice, see it in those heavy-lidded, timeless eyes. She thinks he’s making the wrong decision. It worries him, because it’s not part of Yuuko’s business to be wrong. He wonders if she will tell him that balance needs to be maintained; that since Kurogane gave him something, he must give something back. That he owes him that much. But she doesn’t; she doesn’t even mention Kurogane’s name as she tries to change his mind, saying that his suffering will only lead to the suffering of others. Maybe because she knows she doesn’t have to.

But I never wanted it this way. He wants to scream the words at her. I never wanted this to happen. I never wanted to fight even though it was hopeless, just so that Syaoran could stay whole. But I did. I never wanted Sakura to be so important that I’d rip myself apart just to see her smile. But I would. I never wanted to be this ashamed that I made Mokona cry over me. But I am.

I never wanted to love Kurogane. But I do.

And even though he can’t help feeling this way, for them to care in the same way about him is the very last thing he wanted. And now that it still turned out this way… he needs to consider what he can do to change it.

This Syaoran is not the same as theirs, and he’ll most likely keep his own distance. Sakura… Fai couldn’t erase the love from her heart if he tried, any more than he can move a mountain with his bare hands; any more than he can turn back time. But he can prevent Kurogane from getting even closer, choking his love with absence until it dwindles and dies.

And that is what he’s going to do.

Infinity

He hates it. He hates that he loves the taste of his blood.

Ceres

He’d expected to feel relief when Kurogane found out the truth about him. He’d expected it to hurt, like a wound being cleansed would, but he’d also expected relief. Finally, Kurogane’s unbending devotion would falter, his resolve would break, and Fai would be alone, as he deserves. He’d chosen to be alone. He’d strived so hard to achieve it, but Kurogane had just refused to listen, refused to accept that this was how things had to be.

Instead he finds only sadness. Nothing is made better, or easier. The anger that blazes in the ninja’s eyes only serves to prove just how much the man does care for him, and Fai finally realizes the truth. Even if Kurogane does hate him now – and he has to – that will not take away his pain at this betrayal. It won’t even take away his love. All it will do is make him finally realize how impossible it is for them to be together, and Fai knows in his heart that this might break him.

The snow is burning cold against his face. Kurogane presses him against the ground, hard, and Fai is reminded of Yama. Of how Kurogane had hurt him then, because it was the only way he knew to make Fai listen.

Now he tells him again that he doesn’t care about his past, that whatever he’s done, it does not matter to him. Fai can scarcely believe it. But there is one thing which he can believe even less, and that is that Kurogane would lie to him.

Ashura is dying.

Ashura is smiling.

Ashura tells Fai that he believes he will overcome the curse.

Ashura thinks he’ll survive.

Ashura looks at Kurogane, and then breathes no more.

Nihon

“Yuuko wants to know if you’ve changed your mind.” Princess Tomoyo speaks sweetly, but there is steel underneath each syllable. Fai looks away, and she guesses his mind easily. “You finally saw it yourself, didn’t you? There is no pain you can cause him that is worse than not being there. He knows this; has known it for quite a while. He was trying to tell you.” There is naked reproach in her voice, and Fai flinches.

Tomoyo sighs. “When that man gives his heart, it is not in his nature to take it back,” she says softly, gently. “It is a terrible responsibility, and it is quite acceptable for you to sometimes hate him for it. Heaven knows I do.” An impossibly warm smile makes her eyes light up from within. “But do not think for a second that you can make his mind up for him. His heart may belong to you, but his will, his life… those are still his to do what he wishes with.” Her smile turns amused, and her voice when she speaks next sounds like she’s quoting something. “People can wish for whatever they want. Happiness and unhappiness alike.”

“The witch said that?” Fai guesses, and Tomoyo nods, looking pleased. The magician sighs, pushing a hand through his hair with a rueful smile. “If I deny him again, he’ll just keep sacrificing more and more until I give in, won’t he?”

Tomoyo nods again, this time grave. “Yes, he will.” Her eyes narrow slightly, and swords clang in her voice. “And I won’t allow that.”

“Well then,” Fai says, his heart soaring despite every attempt to rein it in, “I guess I don’t have much of a choice, hmm?”


The next time he feeds, the sight of Kurogane’s blood doesn’t bother him anymore. He deems it a small price to pay, considering the alternative.

 
 
Current Music: Blood roses - Tori Amos
 
 
 
Cloverfield: uwaaaah~!fieldofclover on June 18th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
ASDFGHJKL;KSJAHK

/KEYSMASH

/KEYSMASHING FOREVER

You went away and I missed you and then you came back and THERE WAS THIS AND OWWW MY HEART ;A;

Infinity killed me. Just one line, and yet... oh.

/squeezes you forever
sweetjerry: Dangliessweetjerry on June 18th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
/SCREAMS AND CLINGS

I don't know what my deal is, disappearing off the face of the inernets and then returning WANGST D: But but but /pets your heart soothingly

THERE WILL BE FLUFF AND CUTESYNESS SOON I PROMISE

/smishes you
Cloverfield: hugfieldofclover on June 20th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
/CLINGS BACK

/ALLOWS HEART TO BE PETTED

/IS SMISHED

I missed you ;A: But I am happy your back! XD
sweetjerrysweetjerry on June 20th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
SO AM I. THIS IS LIKE. THE SWEETEST FANDOM EVER. ;-; I have so much love for it <3
youkohiei_fan: love youyoukohiei_fan on June 18th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
;w; So pretty and just ugh, the fluff and introspectiveness, and the end and Infinity.
sweetjerry: Smack an emosweetjerry on June 18th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
hfshgrelsgerpjgl <3<3<3! Thank you ^^
mikkeneko: kuro/fai savedmikkeneko on June 18th, 2011 07:03 am (UTC)
Ahh, beautiful ♥

Don't know what else to say, except that the moment in Lecourt -- when Fai wishes for a moment that he and Kurogane were not so far apart -- was very like him and heartbreaking.
sweetjerry: SISTAHsweetjerry on June 18th, 2011 11:00 am (UTC)
Thank yooooooooooooooou ♥

I was tearing my hair out over the Lecourt part, so I'm really glad it didn't fail utterly. /hugs
maijame: fai eyelossmaijame on June 18th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
We all knew Fai was secretely thinking these things, but you put it into words beautifully! ^^
Well done and welcome back on the internet, or the sparkly void sucking all your life and freetime away.

One thing I thought: Fai probably doesn't mind Sakura loving him so much, because he knows she won't be there all that long and doesn't have anyone else to act the mommy part who understands her that well. Sort of like with Chii...

And seriously, how could anyone in Lecourt be NOT curious? It was pretty dramatic how Syaoran burst into tears and apologized to Kurogane. Mokona was just the only one who dared to ask.

*sends you cookies*
sweetjerrysweetjerry on June 20th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
;-; Th-thank you! I'm really glad you thought so <3 And thank you, I am really glad to be where everything sparkles and nothing hurts again.

I thought about that too ^^ I didn't really want to go on a tangent about it, but I was thinking it nonetheless.

I KNOW RIGHT. I'd be tearing my hair out with curiosity.

/noms cookies and sends chocolate and huggles
maijame: fai and yuukomaijame on June 20th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
Chocolate! And huggles! Hah, I needed those... I've been missing some personal space lately, but human contact is always worth it...(had a visitor over for a week and I'm living in one room, it's sort of nerve-wracking, yet lovely)

It's always so hard to write from Fai's perspective without diving into the abyss of eternal angst and self-doubt, that most people tend to prefer Kurogane's perspective I think, but I love to read outside perspectives on Kurogane so much and think it's a shame it's not done more often.
I sooo enjoy people's reactions to him or thoughts and opinions about him, it's so amusing, or as in that case, makes people want to know more, even though they're terribly afraid/too polite to ask! Lecourt was really a world with heavy subtext and one of my favourites. There are more fanfictions for Outo, but now I really want something on Lecourt again...

Yeah well... don't mind my rambling. Have some truffles, I've got them left over!^^ I'm too lazy to comment on Black Cat right now, I'm sorry, but I'm happy the story is back on track!

*huggles back and clings on a bit*
(my dear visitors idea of human contact is poking, tickling and ruining my hair)
sweetjerry: Pretty in pinksweetjerry on June 22nd, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Haha, I know the feeling with the visitor. I live in my best friend's living room atm, so personal space isn't really something I'm spoilt with.

And yes, I do agree. I find it hard to write Fai because as you say, it's hard not to fall into the abyss. Yet without introspection his character would come off as shallow and annoying, so you have to sort of balance on the edge of the abyss. So even though Fai sort of invites to writing more than Kurogane in a way, with all his vast and confusing inner self to explore, I also find myself writing Kurogane more often. Which is not to say that Kuro-pon is easy to write, but at least he's not even nearly as prone to the angst-pit.
AND YES. Writing reactions to Kurogane is a thing that needs to happen more ofen. And Lecourt! Allllllll the Lecourt!

I NEVER MIND RAMBLING. I AM A TOTAL RAMBLER TOO <3

Also... are you sure the visitor is not me? -.-''' Although of course I poke, tickle, ruin hair and hug xD
BEWARE OF RAVING LUNATICfaren_maddox on June 25th, 2011 05:46 am (UTC)
This is great and wonderful and full of things that made me flail and squeal like a kid at her birthday party, but THIS, THIS RIGHT HERE, makes me love you so hard.

Tomoyo nods again, this time grave. “Yes, he will.” Her eyes narrow slightly, and swords clang in her voice. “And I won’t allow that.”

OMG. *bows in deference to your awesome* SWORDS CLANG IN HER VOICE. I LOVE TOMOYO AND I LOVE WHAT YOU JUST DID WITH HER. *flails like a kid whose birthday is also Christmas*
tarmachantarmachan on June 26th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful. Your characterisation is dead-on, and I LOVE how much of a void you left as far as Infinity is concerned.

My favourite bit, though, is THIS:

But most of all, he wants to know if Kurogane once did something horrible too. If he’d ever been as weak as Fai. He wants the ninja to have been less than the man he thinks he is, because maybe then, if he finds out the truth…

…maybe then he won’t hate him.

Because it's just perfect and so amazingly Fai. You are awesome. :D
CarmenWoodscarmenwoods on September 2nd, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
Your stuff is seriously the very best. Amg.