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[personal profile] burningdarkfire
Title: Falling For You - Meeting
Series: TRC
Pairing: KuroFai
Rating: PG
Length: about 2500 words, chapter 26 (26/26)

Meeting (21 Years and 4 Months Old
December 5, 21: 20 Years and 11 Months Old


Kurogane groaned. "It's Kurogane, you idiot." But unknown to Fai, he grinned at the sound of the nickname he thought Fai had taken with him to the north years ago, to be buried forever under ice and snow.

"Kuro-rin is still just as grumpy as ever, I see." Fai's laughter rang oddly over the phone.

"He's gotten even worse ever since you left," Tomoyo's voice sounded.

"TOMOYO!" Kurogane shouted. "Don't just listen in on my phone conversations!"

"I want to talk to him too!" Tomoyo whined.

"Then talk to him later," Kurogane snapped. He waited for the click that would tell him Tomoyo had hung up.

"Fine," his little sister sighed loudly. "I'll just leave you two alone to say romantic and sweet things to each other then." She hung up, but Kurogane could hear her laughter from down the hall. "Ohohoho!"

"Tomoyo-chan doesn't sound like she's changed much," Fai remarked, clearly amused. "Where is she studying now?"

"She's just a few hours' drive away," Kurogane told him. "She usually comes back on weekends."

"Studying fashion design, right?" Fai asked.

"Yeah. She's already got some people interested in her work, and she's set up her own little business at the university."

"That's good."

There was a silence on the line for a moment, before Kurogane spoke again, his voice flat and carefully blank. "Of course, you wouldn't know any of that, since you disappeared off the face of the earth three and a half years ago."

Kurogane had the feeling that even though they were talking on the phone, Fai had plastered a fake smile on. "Sorry, Kuro-rin, but classes and everything have been so busy; I haven't had any time to call or anything …"

"Three and a half years," Kurogane repeated slowly. "You could have come back to visit at any time, or called me, or even turned on your phone for ten seconds to text me back."

Fai remained silent for a moment. "I thought I told you to forget about me, Kurogane."

"Why's that?" Kurogane demanded.

Fai hesitated a bit before speaking. "I … didn't want to hurt you. I never wanted to get close to anyone. Everyone that gets involved with me always ends up getting hurt, one way or another."

"Idiot," Kurogane said softly. "You're so, so idiotic."

Fai chuckled bitterly. "You always say that."

"Because it's true!" Kurogane snapped. "How worried do you think everyone was when you failed to answer phone calls and emails? You never came back to visit, never once got in touch with any of us! Himawari-chan cried, last New Year, when everyone gathered again – everyone except for you!"

"What about the others?" Fai kept his voice light, although Kurogane could hear the slight tremors. "What did you tell them?"

"Souma-chan thinks you've replaced us." Kurogane clipped his words bitterly. "She thinks that all along, you've just been playing with us, fooling around until you could get away from us and meet people that you deem more worthy of your company. Watanuki-kun was worried for a while, afraid that you had gotten yourself killed or something. But now he thinks you must have just replaced us too. Doumeki-kun … he's just … Doumeki. Whenever the subject comes up, he never says anything."

Every time Fai is mentioned, Doumeki always stared at Kurogane. Even though the other boy would glower back, Doumeki would just meet his eyes steadily, and Kurogane always looked away first. Those golden eyes always seemed to pierce him and see more of him than other people could, and he hated the way they seemed to accuse him.

"I see," Fai replied softly. "Well, I suppose it's better that way."

"Why," Kurogane demanded with clenched teeth. "Is that better?"

"I was stupid," Fai admitted. "I allowed myself to be sucked into everyday life and I got close to people, even though I knew that it would be best if I kept my distance. I didn't notice I was forming bonds until it was nearly too late, but university was the perfect opportunity to severe them."

"Why?" Kurogane repeated.

Fai sucked in a breath and blew it out noisily. "Look out your window, Kurogane."

Kurogane stood still for a moment, staring at his curtains. Slowly, he got up from his bed and lifted a hand. He paused right before he wrenched the curtains open, already knowing what he would find. His mind erupted in a strange mixture of relief, anger, and anxiety at what he saw.

Fai was standing on the sidewalk outside of his house.


"Idiot," Kurogane said again, crossing his arms and glaring at Fai.

"That's the twenty-sixth time you've said that since you walked out of the house," Fai told him mildly. "Kuro-rin, I think you need some new insults."

"It's a fact," Kurogane retorted. "You are an absolute, complete idiot."

"Yes," Fai smiled. "I am."

Kurogane grabbed Fai's arm. "Don't you dare say you're an idiot."

Fai looked at Kurogane in amusement. "But you always call me an idiot."

"Only I can call you an idiot," Kurogane told Fai. "Besides, I don't agree with why you think you're an idiot."

"Why do you think I'm an idiot, Kuro-rin?"

"Because you left," Kurogane answered simply. "Because you're so idiotic sometimes. You don't get it, not at all."

"Get what?" Fai seemed genuinely puzzled.

"Exactly." Kurogane, still holding onto Fai, glared at him. "Why did you come back?"

Fai looked away and smiled bitterly. "Because I'm a very selfish person, Kuro-rin."

Kurogane watched him warily. Fai seemed much more tired, much more weary than the last time Kurogane had seen him. "How so?"

But Fai didn't answer his question. Instead, he tugged his arm free and started walking away from Kurogane's house. "Let's go to the park, Kuro-rin!"

"Why?" Kurogane growled, catching up to Fai easily.

Fai looked at him strangely. "For the memories, of course." Then he started skipping, swinging his arms around and humming a vaguely familiar tune. "Come on, Kuro-rin! Loosen up! It's such a beautiful day today; let's go have some fun!"

Annoyed by the sudden change of mood, Kurogane followed Fai to the park. "What's so important about today?"

Fai pranced over to the play structure. There were few little kids around; it must have been time for lunch. "Why do you ask that, Kuro-rin?"

Kurogane watched him clamber up and approach the slide. "Why did you come back today?"

Fai ignored his question. "Come up, Kuro-rin!"


"But Kuro-riiin …"

"I said no."

Fai pouted. "Fine, then I'm coming down!" But he didn't move from his spot at the slide opening.

"Hurry it up," Kurogane commanded.

A sly grin slid onto Fai's face. "I'm not coming down unless Kuro-rin catches me!"

Kurogane groaned. "Not a chance."

"But Kuro-rin!" Fai widened his eyes in mock fear. "The slide is so scary!"

"Slide down yourself." Kurogane walked right up to slide and stood beside it, glaring up at Fai. "It's shorter than I am!"

"I want Kuro-rin to catch me!" Fai requested again, beaming at Kurogane.

Sighing, Kurogane positioned himself at the end of the slide. "Hurry up."

"Wheeeee!" Fai squealed happily as he slide down. Kurogane caught him at the bottom, grunting slightly as Fai hit him and he was knocked back. For a moment they just sat together in the sand pit, Fai in Kurogane's lap and Kurogane's arms loosely around him.

"Are you mad?" Fai asked softly.

Kurogane thought about this for a while. "Just … frustrated. At your idiocy."

Fai giggled quietly. "I knew you would catch me."


"The slide," Fai said, a bit impatiently. "I knew you would agree to catch me."

Kurogane huffed.

A few minutes passed in silence.

"Why did you come back?" He asked again finally.

Fai shifted slightly. "You don't sound very happy that I'm back."

Kurogane didn't say anything. He rested his chin on top of Fai's head and contemplated the mix of emotions running through him. "I … didn't think you would come back."

Fai leaned backwards and rested against Kurogane's chest. "I didn't think I would either."

"Then why did you?"

"I wanted to see you again …"

"It took you three and a half years?"

"No … I'm just weak. I've always been weak."

Kurogane lifted Fai up and stood up. Confused, Fai followed his lead. Kurogane grabbed Fai's shoulders and stared into his clear blue eyes. "You're not weak. You're just an idiot."

Fai's face twisted in a wry, but real smile. "It's just like you to say that, Kuro-rin."

Kurogane snorted. "You think you know me?"

"I know I know you," Fai replied, grinning. "Kuro-rin is always so straightforward; it's not hard to predict what you'll do."

"Tch," Kurogane scoffed. "Then you should've known I didn't want you to leave."

Fai looked down. "I did. That's why I had to go."

"You. Are. Such. An. Idiot," Kurogane said slowly, well aware of how the words brought a small smile to Fai's lips. He cupped Fai's face in his hands and forced the blond to look at him. "Don't ever leave again," he whispered before kissing Fai.

"Would you believe me if I said I won't?" Fai whispered back after Kurogane withdrew. He leaned forward, and Kurogane captured his lips again.

"No," Kurogane said, one of his hands moving to play with Fai's hair and another one to press firmly against his back. "I wouldn't."

They didn't say anything else, choosing instead to enjoy each other's company without the poison of words.


Over half an hour later, the blazing sun threw pink over the park. Kurogane had pulled Fai into the forest, seeking some sort of privacy from the gaping kids and shocked adults. They had passed the time reacquainting themselves, hands and mouths roaming all over the other's body.

Kurogane had been disgusted to find that Fai was thinner than ever. The man was wasting away slowly, whittling himself down day by day. His hair was also longer, but he had tied it back and so many pieces were still drifting around his face that it barely made a difference.

"You got your ears pierced," Kurogane observed with mild surprise as he trailed a line of kisses along Fai's jaw line.

Fai moaned quietly, his breath warm against Kurogane's face. "I was drunk."

Kurogane drew back quickly and glared at Fai. "You were what?"

"I'm allowed to drink if I want to, Kuro-rin," Fai whined, his tone clearly telling Kurogane to drop it. "Besides, it was only that one time."

Kurogane allowed himself to be tugged back, only to pull away again when he ran his hands through Fai's hair and accidently pulled the ribbon out. "Sorry."

Fai smiled at him and knelt to pick up the ribbon. Kurogane was on the verge of making a cutting comment about the masks the idiot still evidently insisted on wearing when he took a closer look at the ribbon.

"It's one of the ones I gave you," Kurogane said, voice neutral. "Years ago."

Fai wound the red ribbon around his hand and refused to meet Kurogane's eyes. "So you were my mysterious admirer, huh?"

"You knew full well it was me," Kurogane rumbled. "Just like I knew those Valentine's Day chocolates were from you."

"We knew each other too well," Fai remarked carelessly.

Kurogane snorted. "It was obvious."

Fai shot him a sly smile. "Kuro-rin didn't have to sneak around though; he should have just announced his love for me!"

"You're the one who gave me chocolate first," he retorted, pulling Fai close for another kiss.

"Hmmm," Fai said dazedly, running a hand over his lips once they had separated. "I guess I was."


"I have something for you," Fai whispered breathlessly after they enjoyed a long goodbye kiss on Kurogane's doorstep.

"Hmm?" Kurogane buried his nose in Fai's hair and Fai nuzzled into his neck for another moment before fumbling for something in his pocket. Kurogane stared at it for a moment before lifting an eyebrow and looking questioningly at Fai. "A ring?"

"A promise ring," Fai clarified, holding it up so it caught the last of the sun's dying rays. "I want you to make a promise to me, Kurogane."

"What do you want me to promise?"

"Promise that if I ever fall, you'll catch me."

Kurogane stared at Fai, almost insulted. "You don't think I would?"

Fai chuckled briefly. "I don't know."

"Fine then. I promise I will always do everything I can to catch you when you fall." Fai, with a childish grin on his face, lifted his pinky. With a sigh, Kurogane did the same, and chanted the old rhyme. "Pinky promise, hope to die, swallow a thousand needles if I lie."

"Thank you, Kuro-rin." Fai slipped the ring onto his pinky and pulled him down for another kiss.

Once again, it was Fai that stopped first. "Do me a favor?"

"What?" Kurogane asked, in no hurry to go inside.

Fai disentangled himself from Kurogane's arms and stepped back. He kept a smile on his face and his tone light, but it had never fooled Kurogane and still didn't. He narrowed his eyes in suspicion.

"Don't come over tonight, okay?" Fai requested of him. "Wait for me to call you."

Kurogane grunted. "Going to run off again?"

Fai flashed him an almost genuine smile and chuckled before getting into his car and driving away.

Kurogane took that as a yes and hurried inside to pack a bag.


He tore through the streets to Ruval only minutes later, having stopped briefly to tell Tomoyo that he was going to stop Fai from doing something stupid again.

Arriving at the estate, Kurogane rang the doorbell, a strange anxiety passing over him. Something wasn't right, although he couldn't say what. He jabbed at the doorbell a few more times before trying the door. To his surprise, it was unlocked and he stepped in.

The further in he walked, the more evident it became. It slowly became stronger as Kurogane ran deeper into Ruval, doing his best to trace the scent among the twisting hallways. His feet skidded on the smooth floor as he made his way through a part of the building that he had never been to before.

Finally, he saw a light spilling out from a door left slightly ajar. He opened it swiftly, cursing at what lay within.

Kurogane stepped inside and carefully lifted Fai up from a puddle of his own blood. A long sharp blade clattered onto the floor as it slipped through Fai's hands and Kurogane swore again.

Fai really was an idiot.

But he was Kurogane's idiot, and he wouldn't let him die.


Now (21 years and 5 months)

Kurogane has been reassured several times that Fai is doing perfectly fine and will wake up when he's ready. He has been lurking by Fai's bedside for hours, determined that the first thing Fai sees when he wakes up is him.

Kurogane is in the process of debating whether or not he should call Tomoyo to bring some clothes so he can change out of the hospital wear when Fai's eyelids flicker.

And sapphire eyes open.


A/N - I want to give everyone who has read this a big, huge, fat, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I get a review, or when someone faves or puts this on alert, or even just when I look at the number of views and I know that there are people out there reading. Thank you all so much!

To those interested, I'm not done writing Fai's side yet, but I'll give a tentative posting date of September. I have a few scattered drabbles lying around that are in this 'verse but too short/not important enough to be chapters, and I'll post them eventually too. Also, would anyone be interested in seeing the oneshot that started it all? =)

This was Kurogane's story. I hope you'll all join me when I tell Fai's story as well, but if not, thank you once again for reading and sticking by me!

(edit: just to clarify, FFY is complete. What I had originally intended as the epilogue will instead be in Fai's side of the story (it has no title yet XD). His side will be formatted like Kurogane's - mostly memories, but with the present as well, showing their interactions as Fai tells Kurogane about his past.)
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December 2011

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