There is no such thing as coincidence in this world. The only thing is hitsuzen.
“I have to admit, I never imagined meeting another version of myself.”
Kurogane kept his eyes trained on Fai’s face, carefully looking for any telling signs that this was as bad an idea as he thought it was.
(“But Kurogane, this was bound to happen eventually. Besides, look at them! They’re so happy together. It’s good to know that Fai and I could’ve had a happy life, if things had been different. We could have stayed together.”)
Fai smiled and took a sip from the cup offered to him by one of their hosts. “I wasn’t expecting this, either. None of us have ever seen ourselves before in other worlds.”
“Fate,” Yuui said wisely. “There must be something here that you’ve come to do.”
“Where’s the other one?” Kurogane growled, his eyes still warily locked onto Fai.
“My brother’s out getting us dinner with Syaoran,” Yuui replied easily.
Fai caught Kurogane’s eye and smiled at him. Kurogane frowned back.
“Don’t be shy,” Fai whispered with a coy smile. “If he’s me, then that means you know him very well.” He winked, small pink tongue darting out of the corner of mouth to lick his lips slowly.
Kurogane let out a snarl, stopping only when he realized their host was giving him a strange look. “Excuse me,” he said gruffly, before standing up and grabbing Fai’s arm, dragging him with him into the adjacent room.
“Remember that talk we had about common decency in the last world?” Kurogane hissed.
Fai just beamed at him. “Don’t worry, Kuro-chan.”
“I’m not worried,” Kurogane snapped back immediately. “You’re an idiot.”
Fai smiled. “I’m … happy. To see the two of them together.”
Kurogane grunted and brushed aside Fai’s bangs to tap him on the forehead. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Yes, sir!” Fai raised his hand in a mock salute and gave Kurogane a grin.
Fai flitted forward to give him a peck on the corner of his lips. “Your face will get stuck like that if you frown too much, Kuro-chuu! But wait,” Fai giggled, squeezing and pinching Kurogane’s face, “I think it’s already too late!”
“You’re hopeless,” Kurogane sighed, shaking his head.
Fai patted his cheek. “You are too. Relax, Kuro-wanwan. Nothing bad is going to happen!”
“It’s Kurogane.” With a last exasperated huff, Kurogane walked back into the kitchen where Yuui waited.
“Goddamnit!” Cursing, Kurogane tried to regain his footing. The laundry basket teetered in his arms and a misfortunate sock fell out as he tried to dislodge the weight on his back. “Get off, you big lump!”
“Kuro-rin is so slow with his chores,” Fai complained, detaching himself from Kurogane to sit on the floor.
Kurogane bent down to pick up the wayward sock with a snarl. “What have you accomplished today?”
“Yuui and Fai took me out shopping!” Fai said cheerfully. “We bought lots and lots of yummy things for the four of us to try!”
“I’m not eating anything sugary,” Kurogane retorted right away as he yanked open the closet door. With an irritated growl, he started picking up clothes to be placed on the hangers. “Why am I doing the laundry, anyway?”
After a few moments, he placed the last clothes hanger back in the closet and closed the door. Kicking aside the laundry basket, he came to sit across from Fai.
Fai laughed nervously. “What do you mean, Kuro-tan?”
“Don’t even try that with me anymore.”
Fai chuckled again, giving Kurogane a wry look. “I suppose I can’t hide anything from you anymore, hmmm?”
“You never could,” Kurogane said simply.
Fai looked down, one hand drifting upwards to play absentmindedly with his ponytail. “Fai came up.”
“Those bastards,” Kurogane grunted. “What business is it of theirs?”
“It’s not that a big deal,” Fai said quietly. “Naturally, they were curious, since we’re them in another world.”
“Did you tell them?”
Fai shrugged. “I told them my brother died to save me, and that I took his name to honor his memory.”
A few brief moments passed. Kurogane leaned forward, one hand fisting in Fai’s hair to pull him in for a bruising kiss.
“K-Kuro …” Fai whispered, confused, once they had parted.
“Don’t forget that you’re you,” Kurogane said slowly. “And they’re them. You might have the same soul as one of them, but he’s not you and you’re not him.”
Fai smiled. “And if I forget?”
Kurogane growled. “I won’t let you.”
“Ice creaaaaaaam! We’re going to go get ice cream!” Fai sang out, throwing his hands up in the air and nearly hitting Kurogane in the face.
“Idiot,” Kurogane sighed as he ducked.
The two brothers leading the way exchanged an amused glance.
“Are you sure it’s alright to leave Syaoran at the library with Mokona?” Yuui asked.
“Of course,” Fai reassured. “He’s a big boy now, he can go wherever he wants, and watch Mokona while he’s at it. Besides,” Fai’s voice dropped to a stage whisper. “It lets Mommy and Daddy have their private time whenever they want.”
The three of them all gave each other knowing looks and burst out laughing. Blushing furiously, Kurogane snapped, “If you had any sort of decency, the kid wouldn’t be trying to run away from us all the time!”
“Nuh uh,” Fai wagged a finger at Kurogane. “Kuro-Daddy’s forgetting that time when he jumped Fai-Mommy at the river three worlds back.”
“I didn’t know the kid was trying to fish there!” Kurogane said defensively.
“He’s a keeper,” Yuui said firmly, his brother nodding along.
Kurogane sighed. The past few days had been a nightmare, with what seemed like three Fais constantly around him. The twins were considerably quieter than his Fai; even the Yuui from this world wasn’t as exuberant, and the Fai from this world seemed nearly mute compared to the other two.
They were crossing the street when he heard the screech and the frantic honking. Glancing over his shoulder, one hand already reaching out towards Fai, Kurogane saw a truck quickly spiraling out of control towards them.
“RUN!” He shouted, shoving his Fai brutally out of the way. He watched the twins stumble for the sidewalk together, their faces white, when this world’s Fai stumbled and fell. Yuui stopped with a desperate shriek, trying to pull his brother up.
Kurogane started forward, grabbing Yuui by the back of his jacket and yanking him back. He reached down towards Fai, but suddenly his limbs seemed to freeze in midair, an unseen force stopping him where he was.
The Fai he was trying to save looked up at him with a weary smile. “Thank -”
There was red everywhere.
So much red – blood, burning and writhing and screaming for attention as it grew, painting everything around it red red red –
The truck lay in a smoldering heap meters away. The weight on Kurogane was lifting and he fell to his knees wordlessly, unable to believe how he had failed. He heard the quiet rustle of cloth and turned to see his Fai approaching, a look of pain on his face.
“Why -” He started, his voice trembling with betrayal. “I saw – you could have – why didn’t you -”
Kurogane just shook his head and opened his mouth soundlessly, searching for the words to explain, but Fai threw himself onto the body with a voiceless scream. His shoulders trembled and shook and Kurogane thought that he could almost see all the pieces that have been so painstakingly put together falling apart again.
Fai’s eyes snapped up to meet Kurogane’s for a moment and Kurogane was temporarily stunned by the coldness of the normally cheerful blue. He was reminded for a brief moment of a world of ice, another world where he had killed and Fai had cried.
Fai stood, purple magic swirling from his bloody fingertips as he carved a language Kurogane would never understand into the air. The powerful runes hummed and twisted, out of place amongst the ever too mortal red and the ever too fragile ice cold blue.
Fai gave him another look before stepping forward and suddenly –
– he was gone.
Kurogane realized, with a sudden jolt of fright, that he didn’t know if he would ever see him again.
It had been too good to be true.
(but none of them wanted to believe he was cursed in every world)