"Kuro-rin…" And the words that followed were complete gibberish. Even by Fai’s standards.
But after the last world they had left- or, rather, escaped from- Kurogane believed himself deserving of a soft bed and some quiet time. He pressed his back against the wall at the head of the bed, stretching his long legs out before him; after several joints had popped and tendons had creaked, he finally felt comfortable. With the brats and the manjuu running errands in the city's marketplace, he'd have time to relax without a fuss. And since Syaoran usually took it upon himself to scout out the new customs and natives on these sorts of trips, Kurogane would hopefully have the entire afternoon to himself.
"Kuro-rin~!" The lilting voice seemed to flow through the very walls, no matter how far away that damned wizard was. Kurogane could feel his expression twisting itself into a deep frown; Fai was supposed to have left with the others, to keep an eye on the kids. Fai was the one with all of those touchy-feely parental instincts, so what was he doing back so soon?
He could hear the footsteps approaching the bedroom door, now. Of course, the idea of actually knocking on a closed door would never enter a mind like Fai's; as far as Kurogane could see, formality seemed to be against his very nature. The door swung open, revealing the blonde man...and his vaguely unsettling smile.
"Kuro-rin..." And the words that followed were complete gibberish. Even by Fai's standards. Fai finished on a high note, beaming at him expectantly. Kurogane stared blankly back at him for a moment, before the memory rose to his mind: the day that the kids and Mokona had been separated far from the two adults, leaving them without an automatic translator.
He doubted Fai had even noticed that Kurogane couldn't understand him; he just kept prattling on in his usual inane way, taking Kurogane's occasional grunts as a sign that he was listening. Such a problem had never occurred since, so he hadn't really thought about it. After all, Kurogane wasn't one for idle chit-chat, and it wasn't like he would have anything important to say to the wizard when they were alone; if he had his way, he would be on his own anyway.
Fai's smile was beginning to shift to puzzlement. "Kuro-pon?" More gibberish, but this time it was definitely in the form of a question. The ninja summoned up the best condescending look he could muster, and gestured towards his own mouth. "I can't understand you...The manjuu's not close enough."
One elegant eyebrow rose, and Kurogane could have sworn he saw a mischievous look move across the blonde man's face in a flash before it was replaced by what seemed to be genuine confusion. Fai moved closer to the bed, before perching himself neatly on the edge, near the ninja's knees. Fai looked directly into his eyes, demanding his full attention. Kurogane was surprised to find himself fighting the urge to fidget under that gaze; he realized suddenly that Fai almost never looked him directly in the eye. With Fai, it was always sideways glances or little looks from under his eyelashes.
The deep blue eyes seemed to make it even more unnerving; no one in his home world had eyes like that. Eyes of that color were only featured in stories of demons and forest-gods. And now that he had to truly face them, Kurogane was at a sudden loss as to how to deal with them. More importantly, Fai had asked him another nonsensical question while he had been distracted, and was patiently waiting for some reaction from him. Something about the focus of his strange eyes and the softness of his voice seemed to say that his own answer was extremely important. The moment stretched on in tense silence, with Fai's pale eyes boring straight into his own.
And then, for reasons he couldn't even begin to understand, his battle instincts kicked in. Kurogane could feel the spike of adrenaline in his blood; the deepening of his breathing; the prickle of sweat breaking out over his skin. His senses snapped into sharpened focus, allowing him to see the lighter flecks of blue that were scattered around Fai's pupils. And none of this made any sense.
And there sat Fai, still watching him. His facial expression was serene, patiently waiting for an answer, while his blue demon's eyes pierced and pressured for the reply. So Kurogane reacted in accordance with his basest survival instincts: in defensive anger.
"What are you looking at?! I couldn't understand a word you just said, idiot..." Kurogane leaned forward without even thinking, to allow his larger body to threaten the slighter man without the need for words. He gestured sharply to his own mouth again several times as he growled, "We can't speak this way; are you too stupid to even realize that yet?!"
And then Fai did what he does best: something completely unexpected. The most sweet and heartfelt smile that Kurogane had ever seen lit up his face, and he scooted even closer to the ninja. Fai laughed lightly at what was no doubt his stunned expression, and spoke again, leaning forward to peer up at Kurogane through those long blonde lashes.
His voice had lowered, as if sharing a private joke between just the two of them, and this time, he was the one to point to Kurogane's mouth. It apparently just wasn't worth the effort to be angry; completely and utterly flummoxed, Kurogane gave up and just shrugged. The ninja closed his eyes and began to rub his temples as Fai smiled brightly again; Kurogane opened his mouth to complain about his apparent insanity- after all, it wouldn't matter if Fai understood him or not- and ended up with a mouth full of slick tongue.
Fai's tongue. In his mouth. And the rest of Fai had apparently settled into his lap.
His arms latched firmly onto Fai's shoulders, poised to push away, while his brain scrambled to catch up with current events. His eyes remained wide, like a man who'd just been run through with a sword and didn't realize that he was dead yet. The adrenaline was still coursing through his veins, making the experience nearly unbearable for his heightened senses; every little sound Fai made, every little shift in weight, became a major event in his mind. There was no room in his mind to react; only to feel.
The slender hands that had been resting on his cheeks slid upwards, tangling long fingers into his dark hair; Fai tilted his head to shift the angle where their lips met, creating a soft wet sound that made the blood pound in Kurogane's ears. He started when Fai began to lap at his already-wet bottom lip, and a deep, throaty sound managed to escape his mouth.
Fai pulled back fully to study his face, a faint blush tinting his alabaster skin. In the silence, their breathing sounded unnaturally harsh and desperate. As it was, Kurogane felt like he was gasping for breath. His common sense seemed to be reviving quickly, though, because he took one last deep breath to start his demands for answers; but Fai stopped him dead in his tracks by pointing at his mouth and saying a word in his own language. Then he leaned forward again, pressing a damp kiss to the ninja's cheek, and whispered a different word.
Time seemed to pause there, as Fai pressed his own cheek against Kurogane's, causing his eyelashes to flutter against it in the process. Arms rose gracefully to drape over his broad shoulders, and every muscle in the magician's body seemed to go limp. After a few moments, he was vaguely shocked to find himself settling his own arms loosely around Fai's waist in return.
The blonde man pulled his face back far enough to nuzzle his nose into Kurogane's quickly heating cheek, before turning his head to place his lips a breath away from the ninja's ear. The foreign whispers that followed would have been barely audible for most men, but a warrior of Kurogane's caliber could have heard them across the room. They seemed to rock straight through his body.
He may not have ever heard those words before, but the tone in which they were delivered left no doubt to their meaning. Silken cadences painted a vivid image of unhurried lust. It was a very intimate invitation, if he'd ever heard one. That tone, combined with the warm breath tickling his ear, made the arms wrapped around Fai's slender body clench.
But there was something strange- fake, an inner voice whispered- about this effeminate man; something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. Something that wouldn't allow him to relax. Something that had triggered his body to prepare for battle at the beginning of this insensible chain of events. Flirting and giggling aside, there was always a subtle air of distance about this man, and to have his attention focus so sharply on Kurogane earlier was too uncharacteristic to not reek of foul play.
No, this wasn't what it seemed. And if there was one thing that Kurogane absolutely couldn't stand, it was treachery.
The wizard must have sensed the sudden pause and shift of mood in the room. He leaned back to observe the larger man's face, peering up indirectly through hooded eyes. Again with those shifty stares! Kurogane was quickly losing his temper.
"Why." He growled out through clenched teeth. Fai remained silent, his eyes the only movement as they continued to roam over Kurogane's face. He decided to try pronouncing the question again, this time gesturing to the small amount of space between their bodies, the bed, and the whole empty room around them that was giving them this time alone.
Fai's lips curled up into a slow, mysterious smile that made the ninja's blood run cold.
"Because....Kuro-sama is such a fast learner!" The sentence was punctuated by a large playful smack of pink lips on his once more.
Kurogane felt his temper skyrocket. The infuriating wizard managed to slip the bounds of his encircling arms and hop nimbly from his lap before he could make a grab for his skinny neck.
"Don't play games with me!" Kurogane lunged for his sword as the blonde menace got a head start running for his life. He was quickly losing patience with this cat-and-mouse game, peppered with secrets and lies, that the mage had been playing with him from the beginning. Treachery, the inner voice hissed.
Fai glanced over his shoulder long enough to squeal, "Kuro-pon thinks too much!" before vaulting over the living room furniture to avoid a slash from the sword. The front door swung open as Fai evaded yet again with a light-footed twirl.
"Kuro-tan is mad again!" Mokona cheered, as if this were just another round of a delightful spectator's sport.
Kurogane decided that he could always corner and interrogate the wizard later, and gave up the chase rather than become the manjuu's afternoon entertainment. He sheathed his sword and retreated back to his room, deciding that some meditation would calm his restless feelings in the meantime. Curse that idiot mage for throwing him so far off balance...
Syaoran's lips tightened ever so slightly, but he certainly didn't look surprised at this new development. Fai spared a fond thought for the boy; he knew that the child had enough on his mind without having to deal with the petty tantrums of adults. But, true to form, Syaoran set down his load of groceries and squared his shoulders, ready to face anything. "Fai-san...What happened?"
"Oh, I haven't the slightest idea..." Fai sighed softly, but then his lips lifted into a coy smile. "After all...All I was trying to do was teach Kuro-pin a new language..."